As a kid in Mount Airy, George Fawcett played basketball with Andy Griffith and got hooked on UFOs.
A 1944 newspaper article describing “mysterious balls of fire” spotted by American pilots over Germany during World War II sparked his imagination.
Fawcett went on to work as a YMCA director, textile employee, weekly newspaper manager and sandwich shop operator.
A longtime resident of Lincolnton, he also became known as the UFO man.
His health had declined in recent years, and Fawcett died Sunday at age 83.
2006 FILE PHOTO … George Fawcett, dean of N.C. UFO investigators. He sent books and other material to the International UFO Museum in Roswell, N.M., where he is an honorary director.