This article was published in the daily newspaper Hillsdale Daily News, of Hillsdale, Michigan, USA, on March 28, 1966.
Also check other files on the Michigan 1966 swamp gas story.
UFOs Reported in Ohio And Wisconsin Over Weekend
DETROIT (AP) -- Michigan's weird, blinking lights, identified as everything from swamp gas to flying saucers, returned over the weekend and apparently extended their operations into Ohio and Wisconsin.
The reports of sightings, limited for nearly two weeks to southern Michigan, came from some 100 miles north in Michigan's "Thumb" district across Lake Michigan at Green Bay, Wis., and south near Toledo and Dayton, Ohio.
As before, there was no full explanation.
So far, the only authoritative analysis has been the swamp gas theory advanced Friday by a Northwestern University astrophysicist concerning two sightings in southern Michigan.
The scientist, Dr. J. Allen Hynek, who also is an Air Force special consultant, has been criticized since by those who reported seeing the mysterious flying objects.
Ohio Highway Patrolman R. D. Landversicht said Sunday he saw a strange light approaching Wright Patterson AFB near Dayton. He reportedly photographed the lights and the Air Force planned to develop the films today.
Wright Patterson is the home of the National Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Office, called Project Blue Book.
Major Hector Quintanilla, Blue Book project officer, said reports of UFO appearances were not uncommon in the wake of the sightings in other areas.
"It's not unusual after incidents such as those in Michigan last week to get a lot of sighting reports. It's a normal aftermatch pattern," he said.
In the Toledo area Sunday night a member of the Sylvania Fire Department furnished a local radio station with a detailed account of his observations.
Equipped with binoculars, the observer described four objects he said changed color from red to green to white-"They kind of look like a star when you first see them, but they blink on and off," he said.
Hynek said at his Evanston, Ill. home Sunday that his conclusion that two Michigan sightings probably were swamp gas applied only to the sightings reported in the Hillsdale and Dexter area.
Several observers said they felt the explanation was inadequate. Washtenaw County Sheriff Douglas Harvey reportedly stated Hynek had been instructed by Washington Thursday to make his report Friday although he said that same night that he had no explanation ready.
"If I had not had an explanation, I would certainly not have manufactured one," Hynek said. "I was under no orders from the Air Force to 'produce something or else.' "The Air Force has given me full responsibility to release what I want."
The lights over Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio were described as "glowing green," "red and white," "bright, Reddish orange," and traveling at a high rate of speed.
In Washington, Rep. Gerald R. Ford, R-Mich., called for a congressional investigation of the situation stating many Michigan residents feel the incidents are "sufficient to justify some action by our government."
"Bring out those witnesses from the Air Force and the National Aeronautics and Space Agency, have them interrogated by members of the House Senate committee, let them put their records on the line. Let the people who have allegedly seen these objects come testify."
UFO Hunt Tires Local CD Workers
Reports of Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) sightings continue to come in but officials are too exhausted to check them all personally.
Civil defense Director for Hillsdale County, William Van Horn, said his organization is now concentrating on moving objects as most stationary sightings have been identified as stars.
He also suggested that witnesses could be of great assistance if they would write down what they have observed.
Basic information needed, he said, is the location of the observer and the sighted object. The time the observation is made, estimated distance from person to objects and estimated altitude of object.
This specific information, in addition to a sketch of the object itself and a diagram of its movement is needed, he said.
He added that only the most urgent of reports should be made after 9:00 p.m. "I'm still very interested in this thing", he said, "But we have to get some sleep and if people do not stop calling at all hours we're (Civil Defense personnel) going to have to wash our hands of the whole affair. It's taking too much time that should be devoted to business."
"Our jobs are volunteer jobs and we are dedicated to our work. However, all the personnel involved in the program have jobs or businesses they have to go to the following day and the men and myself just cannot keep up the pace we have been keeping."
Meanwhile, Harold Caulkins, Hillsdale police chief said he viewed something around midnight Sunday that changed colors and appeared to be shaped like a pie.
Does he believe he saw a UFO?
"I don't know what to think," he said, "I don't discount what Bud (Mr. Van Horn) says because, after all, I don't know what he saw."
Chief Caulkins went on to say he does not doubt that Mr. Van Horn has seen "something" or he wouldn't say what he does.
The police chief said the object he viewed through a telescope moved slowly out of view so that the instrument had to be realigned every 5-10 minutes. He thought it might have been moving about the same speed as the moon appears to move.
He didn't discount the possibility that what he saw might have been a star because he said he had no experience of watching stars in the past. However, Chief Caulkins did say it did not look like any of the other stars in the sky Sunday night.
"I just don't know," he said.