This article was published in the daily newspaper Hillsdale Daily News, of Hillsdale, Michigan, USA, on April 3, 1967.
Also check other files on the Michigan 1966 swamp gas story.
CD Chief Firm In Stand On UFOs
William Van Horn, Hillsdale County Civil Defense director still finds himself in the opposite corner from Dr. J. Allen Hynek, Air Force consultant on Unidentified Flying Objects.
After Hynek's appearance at Hillsdale College Wednesday night Van Horn said he still is not satisfied with the investigation the astrophysicist conducted into the UFO sightings in Hillsdale last year.
Hynek said the observers in Hillsdale could have seen swamp gas, a theory which Van Horn was quick to contest.
In a release presented during a press conference after the Hillsdale and Dexter investigations Hynek concluded by saying:
"I emphasize in conclusion that I cannot prove in a court of law that this (swamp gas) is the full explanation of these sightings. It appears very likely, however, that the combination of the conditions of the particular weather conditions that night - there was little wind at either location - were such as to have produced this unusual and puzzling display."
On May 16, Van Horn issued a report in which he challenged Hynek's marsh gas theory (the only explanation he presented even though he said there might be other explanations).
In his report, Van Horn listed wind velocities for the area and temperatures from November 1965 to the day of the sighting on March 21, 1966 in an effort to show that temperature and wind conditions precluded either the formation or collection of marsh gas in quantities great enough to have produced the "will-o-the wisp" phenomenon.
During a brief interview Wednesday afternoon, Hynek refused to discuss Van Horn's report on the grounds that he (Hynek) is not qualified in the areas of biology or meteorology, and repeated the statement again during his talk Wednesday.
Van Horn said this morning: "We have never been challenged on this (his report). I feel there is nothing this man has proved scientifically and I feel we have proved scientifically that swamp gas could not have existed that evening."
Van Horn also disagrees that members of the press created an atmosphere which precluded scientific investigation while Hynek was in Hillsdale. Van Horn said only three writers saw Hynek while he was here - an author, one out of town news-paper reporter who talked with Hynek briefly and one Daily News newsman who only took Hynek's picture.