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Michigan UFO Sightings

On March 18, 1966, 50 or more witnesses (including a dozen police officers) observed a large, disk-shaped craft hovering low over the marshlands outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Several witnesses reported seeing four other smaller objects escorting the larger one. Over the next three days, dozens of other residents and more police officers also viewed the object as it hovered over the marshes.The Air Force was alerted, but denied any knowledge of the case. The next day, on March 22, 1966, more than 80 students at Hillsdale College observed a large, unknown glowing object move in darting patterns over the Ann Arbor swamplands. Also present were civil defense authority William Van Horn and Kelly Hearn, journalist and dean of Hillsdale College.

When the UFO refused to leave, the police were called and officers viewed the craft. As the crowd watched, the UFO seemed to show off its ability to maneuver quickly around the area. Van Horn observed the object through binoculars and told reporters, “It was definitely some kind of vehicle.”

By now, the Michigan sightings had become front-page news across the nation. The Air Force could no longer safely ignore the situation and sent their astronomical consultant, J. Allen Hynek, to investigate. Hynek is known for his participation during the 1950s and 1960s in the U.S. Air Force’s Project Blue Book, a government attempt to convince the American public that UFO sightings were due to mass hysteria, hallucinations, or the misidentification of ordinary phenomena such as meteors. Hynek was asked to work on Project Blue Book with the goal of finding an astronomical explanation for apparent UFOs.

Hynek concluded that what the witnesses had seen was a large cloud of methane, or swamp gas, caused by rotting vegetation. This conclusion seemed so ridiculous to the public that it convinced many people the government was trying to cover up evidence that UFOs really were alien spacecraft. As a result, Congress ordered the Air Force to study the UFO phenomenon more seriously.

J. Allen Hynek, who had previously sided with the Air Force, began to wonder if perhaps he had made a mistake. He later left the Air Force and wrote two best-selling books about the UFO phenomenon, criticizing the Air Force’s policy of debunking good cases, and stating without any doubt that UFOs are real.

Sources :
Mysteries, Legends and Unexplained Phenomena : “UFO and Aliens” by Preston Dennett;
The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Paranormal Phenomena by Patricia D. Netzley

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  1. "Swamp gas" - that's hilarious. And it just happened to look like a flying space craft.


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