This article was published in the daily newspaper the Daily Tribune of Royal Oak, Michigan, on March 25, 1966.
Also check other files on the Michigan 1966 swamp gas story.
Expert Says Marsh Gas Caused UFO 'Sightings'
From Tribune Wires
The Air Force said today its top scientific adviser on unidentified flying objects believed marsh gases were responsible for mass sightings of weird glowing object this week.
An Air Force Public Information employee at Selfridge Air Force base here said Dr. J. Allen Hynek, scientific adviser to its "Project Blue Book" program to trace UFO sightings, was to make the disclosure today.
Hynek has been investigating sightings in Michigan this week. Both flying objects sightings reported by large numbers of witnesses - near Ann Arbor, Sunday night and Hillsdale, Monday night - were in swampy areas.
Hynek said today that photographs allegedly taken of the flying objects near Ann Arbor earlier this week were time exposures of the moon and Venus.
Meanwhile, Selfridge Air Force Base officials today staunchly denied any knowledge of base radar equipment tracking UFOs observed for several hours Thursday night by at least a dozen north Oakland County residents, two state policemen and two county sheriff's deputies near Clarkston.
An Air Force information office spokesman denied the base had radar equipment which could monitor UFOs, or that any calls had been received at the base regarding them.
But county sheriff's deputies told a different story.
Deputies John R. Davis of Milford and Fred Olsen of Clarkston said they observed three glowing objects in the sky with Mr. and Mrs. Michael Michalcheon and a group of their neighbors near Maceday Lake in Waterford Township.
After observing the red, green and white objects through high powered binoculars, they radioed sheriff's dispatcher Jack Lawrence, who reported their sighting to Selfridge.
Deputy Davis and Michalcheon, who was in the squad car at the time, said the Air Force men quizzed them for about five minutes, with Lawrence asking them questions over their car radio and repeating their answers.
They said they were questioned regarding the altitude, directions, size, shape, color, and speed of the objects.
Lawrence said after several minutes, the Air Force men said, "Oh yeah, we've got them on our tracking screen now-" and the connection went dead.
Olsen said at first there was only one object, and it seemed to be over the Ann Arbor Brighton area. Later, two others appeared. The deputies observed the objects from 11:45 p.m. until about 1 a.m.
Four squad cars of Washtenaw County sheriff's deputies watched an unidentified flying object for about 45 minutes Thursday night in the vicinity of Sunday night's sightings reported by more than 40 persons.
Dr. J. Allen Hynek, astrophysicist from Northwestern University heading up Project Blue Book for the U.S. Air Force, was called to East Delhi to view the objects.
Dr. Hynek, who is staying in Ann Arbor during his continuing investigation of the Dexter and Hillsdale, Mich., sightings could not be reached for comment before today's news conference.
The pictures, Hynek said, were time exposures of the moon and Venus were taken by David Fitzpatrick, a Washtenaw Deputy sheriff, on Sunday.
The prints released today by Fitzpatrick were delayed because the film had to be sent to Forest Hills, N.Y. for development.
Official Arranges Special Meeting
Detroit (AP) - As reports of flying saucers whizzing through Michigan's skies continued to multiply, an Air Force investigator called a news conference today to discuss his probe of the unidentified flying objects.
Dr. J. Allen Hynek, a Northwestern (Ill.) University astrophysicist, called the conference after spending almost a week interviewing people in the nearby Ann Arbor and Hillsdale areas where most of the sightings have originated.
Hynek, who has studied and investigated UFOs for the past 15 years, called the conference a day after the Air Force said it would have an explanation of the sightings within 24 hours.
Saucer sightings have been reported with increasing frequency during the past two weeks, especially in extreme southern lower Michigan.
Three members of the university police force said they saw lights in the sky when they arrived at the field but could not determine whether they were objects.