This article was published in the daily newspaper Jackson Citizen Patriot, Michigan, USA, on Wednesday, January 7, 2004.
Mystery at Mud Lake
Wednesday, January 7, 2004
By Brian Charlton
UFO experts visited Liberty Township recently to investigate an unusual ice circle at Mud Lake.
When Vaughn Hobe first noticed a blinding light veering through the trees of his back yard and into his Liberty Township home in mid-December, he was mesmerized for nearly 20 minutes.
Ten days later, he discovered a 45-foot wide ring in the ice on Mud Lake, a private body of water abutting his property. It was surrounded by a 60-foot halo melted into the snow and overlapping onto the shore.
"It looked like something had come down with a cookie cutter and whoosh," Hobe said raising his hands to explain.
Hobe, 52, shot pictures of the ice ring and sent copies to the Michigan Mutual UFO Network Inc.
Hobe also noticed odd patterns in the ice, about 30 holes and what looks to be one set of footprints.
Investigators specializing in UFO sightings and crop circles, gave up their New Year's Day holiday to visit and spend seven hours at possibly the first ice circle to have data gathered before it melted, said Jeffrey Wilson, an independent crop formation investigator from Dexter.
"These are extremely rare," Wilson said. "I can only think of six or seven that have been reported in the whole United States."
Investigators don't believe an object fell on the lake, as the 3-foot deep lake is too shallow for dirt and plants not to splash onto the ice, he said.
Using ice samples and data gathered, Wilson said the investigators are trying to discover if the ring could have formed naturally by water flow or melting effects.
Radioactivity levels and electro-magnetic changes measured normal. But GPS elevation readings were abnormal, measuring elevation at higher levels in the center of the ring, Wilson said.
Past ice rings reported have been circles carved out of the ice with open water in the middle or rings cut through the ice. But the one found on Mud Lake is neither, which might be explained by the ring freezing during the two weeks the sighting went unreported, he said.
At least six months will be spent studying the data found at the scene and comparing numbers to weather patterns, said Todd Lemire, chief investigator for the Michigan Mutual UFO Network Inc., a nonprofit business that investigates UFO sightings with about 100 members.
When the weather warmed up last week, the odd ring melted, leaving Hobe with just pictures and memories.
"Too bad it's gone," Hobe said shaking his head.
"I could have charged $5 for people to come pester me."
-- Reach reporter Brian Charlton at email@example.com or 768-4945.
© 2004 Jackson Citizen Patriot.