michigan-ufo-incident-1966-photo1Several policemen saw The Great Michigan UFO case, witnessed by over hundred witnesses. Many remember with the experience remember it but rarely discuss it within the community.

It was in March 1966, when seven witnesses reported that they had seen an unidentified flying object that was flying over the county of Washtenaw and Livingston. Before, the officials always dismissed the reports as being the work of cranks.  This time, however, the seven witnesses were sheriff’s deputies from the two counties and police officers.

They had a backing from over 100 witnesses, which included William Van Horn who was a civil defense director, together with several students who observed the football shaped object for several hours as it maneuvered near a local swamp, University of Michigan campus and a nearby airport.

The sighting was in March 14, and brought about an uproar, causing the area to go on a wild UFO pursuit. Three days later, at about 4 a.m. the Washtenaw county sheriff’s deputies, Deputy David Fitzpatrick and Sgt. Neil Schneider saw four or three white, red and green circular objects in Milan. The objects were glowing and oscillating near the area. They then called the Airport official, William Run who could not confirm with the radar.

On 20th of the same month, two more Washtenaw deputies, John Foster and Buford tried to follow similar objects in the county’s northern part. Residents from Monroe and Livingston also reported having seen the same objects.

The next day the News of Detroit had the police chase story together with a drawing of a quilted football shape drawing which had a dome, lights and antennae. Dexter patrolman Robert  confessed that he had seen an object flying at Quigley and Brand roads between 9:30 and 9:45 PM. He reported that the object that had green and red flashing lights, first came close to the ground and hovered above a scout car before another vehicle joined it as it ascended.

Washtenaw County Sheriff Douglas Harvey gave an order for all deputies to go to the scene. Three detectives and six patrol cars with two men in each enclosed the area. They later tried to chase a flying object at Island Lake Road but could not catch it.

michigan-ufo-incident-1966-photo2Frank Mannor and his family said that they saw the objects from their farm in McGuiness road. He said that he got within 500 yards of the object and that it was pyramid in shape. He also said that it had light in every side and something similar to a porthole.

It had no similarities with a flying saucer and had a coral-like surface. Frank said that he had never seen anything that resembles the object. The vehicle had light, which made it appear to be the length of a car. It also had a Hazy mist under it that as it continued to hang above the ground. Frank’s son, one of the Dexter High School track team together with his wife was the object witnesses.

The object went up to the tree tops and rested for some time before falling back to the ground. It kept changing colors, for example, white on the ground, blue, and red in the trees. It then fell down and changed colors again. The sounding was like that of a ricochet of bullet and a siren and had a real high frequency.

Frank contacted police officers, police chief Robert R. Taylor and Patrolman N.G Lee  who responded by coming to the firm. The officers had heard the noise and wanted to find out what it was. Lee thought it was an Ambulance.  Chief’s son, Robert also saw the vehicle at around 10:30 p.m. The vehicle fast moved slowly in the east direction before speeding up and going in the west, flashing white and red.

Washtenaw County Deputy Sheriff Buford also witnessed it. To them, it was like an arc and was round. They turned around and began to following to Dexter for almost five miles. It went towards the west then stopped. The vehicle, unfortunately, got lost in the trees either due to lights going off or it went off with a great speed. It was at 1,500 feet over the ground and moved at 100mph.

Carloads of the Michigan University and the Eastern Michigan University congregated around the area on hearing radio reports of the sightings. They asked Frank if it were a college Prank, but he denied saying that there were no pothole in the county, and he had never seen anything like that.  An Android college professor then offered a theory that the deputies could have been chasing the northern lights.

michigan-ufo-incident-1966-photo4On 23rd of March, many Dexter and Hillsdale residences saw several objects giving strange sounds and lights. A Monroe teen also reported of having taken photos of like a big black blob. The Air force ordered Blue book astronomer, and the UFO expert Dr. J. Allen Hynek, after the whirlwind probe that lasted two hours and forty five minutes. They, however, dismissed the sighting as a swamp gas.

Allen gave a description of marsh gases by the Dutch Astronomer. He said that the lights were like tiny flames often seen on the ground and at times merely floating. The flames moved to one place then suddenly appeared in another, giving people the illusion of motion. The colors kept alternating between blue green, red and yellow.

He added that the pranks with flares had bought excitements, and dismissed a photo as an exposure of the moon and Venus. Van horn form Hillsdale who grew up at the swamp edge could not believe Allen’s finding. He said that his reports ignored that the lights moved and that there was a convex surface between the lights.

Sightings of the UFO continued increasing in the area, but the copycat incidents seemed very vague. A Grand Haven man reported of having seen a UFO landing next to his home, but no one could believe him. Eastern Michigan University Police Chief John E. Hayes saw a Yipsilanti UFO but claimed it was a dry cleaning bag, which had a plastic cross on the open bottom that held several candles.

On 29th March, several sightings took place in Michigan. Some were from Oakland and Macomb counties, Bad Axe, Ann Arbor and Flint. Viewers included an off-duty sheriff’s deputy, police chief Ford Wallace of Linden and Richard Sober of Ann Arbor. The government in Washington was then urged to release all the information.

« »