This article was published in the daily newspaper Daily Tribune of Royal Oak, March 31, 1966.
Also check other files on the Michigan 1966 swamp gas story.
Experts Say Blinking Only Twinkling Star
Reflections, Refractions or maybe it was just that old ruddy rascal Arcturus, who knows?
But while government officials were categorically denying the existence of unidentified flying objects Wednesday, new sightings of something were reported winking in South Oakland skies.
The latest were seen between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. by the Manley Tyler family, 2939 Wisconsin, Troy. Other less definite objects were reported seen between 11:30 p.m. and 2 a.m. by some residents on Woodland, Royal Oak.
Whatever it was, it wasn't swamp gas says Mrs. Tyler, whose son, Gerald, age 18, sighted a large object soaring from east to west, high in the sky. The entire family rushed outside and observed the object which was topped by a large red flashing dome and flanked by white lights.
Within a few minutes, a second object appeared at a much lower altitude, traveling at a slower rate of speed, she said.
Two others flashed across the sky shortly before 10 p.m., but the only reaction Mrs. Tyler's excited call to police received was a droll "what do you expect us to do about it," she said.
The family observed a fifth object which hung motionless in the east. After a few minutes it suddenly vanished and they noticed an airplane approaching the area where the light had been.
After repeated denials of anything unusual by the Air Force, The Daily Tribune today sought answers from astrologists, but guess what? They don't believe in them either.
It's a Star
Dr. Helen D. Prince of the McMath - Hulbert Observatory, Lake Angelus, attributes the eastern sighting to Arcturus, a giant fixed star of the first magnitude about 20 degrees off the horizon.
"A nice star," says Dr. Prince affectionately, "Ruddy rather than blue."
She said the sightings are a "psychological phenomenon" and believes the general public should go back to school for a few lessons in astronomy.
"Since this started people are looking, really looking in the sky for the first time," she said. "They are not prepared for the variety of the things they see."
Any Star Has Color
Any star that winks has a lot of color, she said.
Dr. Robert T. Hatt, director of the Institute of Science at Cranbrook Institutions, claims he's "no expert," is "highly skeptical" of such sightings.
"We just leave it up to the Air Force to analyze. We haven't the time or talent to look into it the way they do."
"People imagine a lot and fill in the details," he said.