The more I think about this story, the more it seems like a hoax to me. Take a look at the various factors at play:
- The on-camera witnesses in the article know each other. (I neglected to mention this in the original post, and for that I apologize.) From the article:
"Coincidentally, Frank Costigan, the ex-cop, works on investigations for David Hayes. When he came in to the radio station, he told Hayes about the thing he had seen in the sky, and Hayes told him about the Men in Black."
What this says to me is that two townspeople may have conspired to bring some publicity to their otherwise sleepy hamlet.
- The fact that Knapp said he could not find "Bob on the river." You'd think a guy living in a houseboat in the middle of the nearby Colorado river would be pretty easy to spot. Linda Howe was able to find Bob, although he refused to give his real name, which makes this whole story even more suspicious.
- Knapp said this early on in the article:
"Somewhere in the rough terrain just west of the Colorado River and south of Needles is a point of impact, maybe some burn marks, created by something that fell from the sky."
But he never mentions anyone ever going out there to see for themselves. You'd think a big time investigative reporter such as Knapp would want to go check that out. Also, Knapp admits that his investigative team contact several government agencies about this, but reported no one knew anything about it:
"The I-Team phoned nearly every agency we could think of to see if they had received any report or knew anything. We were not surprised to learn that no one knew anything."
Either this is an elaborate government cover-up, or nothing actually happened.
I decided to send an e-mail to Knapp with these questions. I'll report any reply he sends here.
Thanks to the nice people at the Bad Astronomy and Universe Today Forum for the discussion on this topic.