This article was published in the daily newspaper the New York Times, March 23, 1966.
Also check other files on the Michigan 1966 swamp gas story.
87 Coeds Saw a Flying Object Near a Dormitory in Michigan
Hillsdale, Mich., March 22 (UPI) - A civil defense director, an assistant dean and 87 coeds reported that a glowing object flew past a college dormitory and hovered in a swamp for hours.
Their description of the object tallied closely with that of one seen by more than 50 persons, including 12 policemen near Ann Arbor, Mich., the previous night.
The Air Force dispatched it's top scientific adviser on unidentified flying objects to begin an investigation.
The witnesses said they watched from the second floor of a Hillsdale College dormitory as the object wobbled, wavered, glowed, and once flew right at a dormitory window before stopping suddenly.
Mrs. Kelly Hearn, for seven years, a newspaper reporter before becoming assistant dean of women, assistant professor of English and housemother of the dormitory, had the coeds take notes as they watched the object for four hours.
They and William Van Horn, 41 years old, Hillsdale County civil defense director, said the object dimmed its lights when police cars approached, brightened again when they went away and dodged an airport beacon light.
Barbara Kohn, 21, of New Castle, Pa., and Cynthia Poffenberger, 18, of Cleveland were the first to see the object. They described its shape as roughly that of a football. This was roughly the same description given by a man and his son who reported that they saw an eerie object land in a swamp Sunday night 45 miles northeast of here near Ann Arbor.
The Air Force announced it was bringing in Dr. J. Allen Hynek, chairman of Dearborn Observatory at Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., and scientific consultant to the Air Force's Project Blue Book program to track down the reports of unidentified flying objects.
Dr. Hynek set up his headquarters at Selfridge Air Force Base, Mount Clemens, Mich., near the southern Michigan section where the objects have been reported several times lately.
"It was definitely some kind of vehicle," Mr. Van Horn said. "Through the glasses [binoculars] it was either round or oblong."
The object's shape was briefly outlined by lightning as it veered over and near the dormitory before retreating into the swamp, Miss Kohn said. It stayed there for four hours before vanishing, witnesses said.