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UFO Reports

Michigan Sighting Events: Part Two of Three

She described the object of the current sighting as at first looking like an airplane shape but with no wings or tail. She said it had green lights and white lights and didn't seem to move at first, and was larger than her fist at arm's length. They could not see an outline.  She also said that many years ago (in approximately 1955) her brother, who was 16 or 17 saw a large UFO by an Elk Lake farm (also in this general area) was terrified, and to this day is still terrified of the thought of UFOs.  She has a sister in Manton (approximately 30 miles away) who saw a very bright object in the sky at about 6:45 PM the same evening, 11/16/99.  She said, however, her sister did not want to talk to anyone about it (including any UFO investigator).

Eight days later I had a chance to interview DB, (CC's sister) by phone.  Her story very closely matched those of her mother and sister, except she could see square windows between the round lights.  She explained she was sitting in the back seat behind the driver, and that she got out of the car when her sister did to try to see the object more clearly.  She also said there was no sound from the object.  She thought she saw about 12-15 lights, with "windows" between the lights.  To her, it appeared to be the size of a 747.  (This witness is a trained EMT.)  The 10 year-old and the 5 year-old in the car were her children.  When I requested her and her children draw a picture of what they saw, she said her and her son (the 10 year-old) already had. I was not able to arrange a face-to-face interview with any of these witnesses for one to three weeks because of their schedules and mine.  I obtained sketches from CC and DB, and BB, the 10 year-old boy.  The 5 year-old girl was shy and wouldn't talk to me about what she saw.  BB very readily related his sighting, which was similar to CC's, his aunt.  The sketches of the object drawn by mother and son were very similar, although drawn independently, except DB's showed square windows between the lights; BB's did not.

A second sighting at approximately the same time that evening came to my attention in an article in the Traverse City Record Eagle newspaper dated November 18, 1999.  The article was entitled, "Look up in the sky-A meteor? An aircraft? A UFO?"  (See article).  I decided to try to reach the witnesses of the sighting whose names were in the article. Fortunately, I found a telephone directory listing for them.  GW was very willing to talk with me about the sighting by both she and her mother, and we set up an appointment for a face-to-face interview. The scheduled appointment was six days after the sighting.                                                                

The witnesses reside at a farmhouse (sighting location #2 on the map) about four miles south of the above-described sighting.  Although the newspaper article reported the witnesses lived in Elk Rapids, in actuality they live in a rural area of Antrim County and have a Kewadin, Michigan mailing address.  They both were present at the time of the interview appointment. GW, a 59 year-old woman, gave me a brief written report of her sighting, and a two-part sketch of what she saw. The 79 year-old witness (BW) was unwilling to give me a written report, but drew a sketch of the square windows she saw.

BW described how her attention had been drawn to the kitchen window by the dog's behavior.  She and her daughter had just begun to watch "Wheel of Fortune.  As she came out from the living room to attend to the barking dog, she saw bright lights out the south-facing kitchen window.  They were toward the East and emerging from behind the pole barn.

She immediately called her daughter GW to come and look.  GW thought her mother was probably seeing meteors since the Leniod Meteor Showers were expected to occur.  Therefore, she told her mother they would probably be out of sight by the time she would get to the kitchen.  BW responded it was not like meteors, but a row of lights like an airplane with windows.  In fact at first she thought it was a large airplane crashing.

GW got up and joined her mother at the kitchen window.  She too could see a long row of lights.  They both agreed that the length of the lights was like five railroad cars attached together.  They appeared to be about five feet off the ground.  BW could see what she described as square windows.  The windows seemed to be lit up with a bright fluorescent glow.  She stated that she was looking intently into the windows to see if she could see people, since it appeared to be a plane crashing.  She then said she should have known it was not a plane because planes have rounded windows on top, and these "windows" appeared square.  She also told the investigator that after her sighting, her left eye became watery, she experienced blurred vision, and a grainy feeling, "like sand", in her eye, ever since she had looked into the "windows"(this interview was six days after the sighting).  BW cautioned the investigator, "If you ever see anything like that, don't stare into the windows because you'll burn your eyes!"  They heard no sound.

They described the object continuing to travel slowly to the north from behind the pole barn, just 25-30 feet from the east side of the house.  GW wrote in her report (written account previously requested by this investigator):  "Headed North was a string of lights going about 5 miles an hour (below the tree tops.) (sic) in the pasture. It looked like a train passing by.  A whole person could stand in one window.  The first windows were solid white. You couldn't penetrate into the interior with your eyes.  The next lights seem to shimmer as they passed by, like 'pieces' of light."  They estimated BW viewed the object for about three minutes and GW for about one minute.

As the lights passed out of the view from the kitchen window, GW said she ran to the east windows at the back of the house to see if she could continue to see the object.  The lights had disappeared.  They saw nothing else.

After the newspaper article appeared, GW and BW talked with a neighbor south of them who reported seeing a "fireball with sparks and things" at approximately the same time, but he was unwilling to talk to anyone about it.  GW also had a phone call from the first witness in this report (the driver of the car who reported the lights over the landscape nursery).  She, too, had seen GW's name in the newspaper article.  They discussed together what each had seen.   GW stated she had heard CC on "Coast to Coast" during Peter Davenport's report, after seemingly having had a "telepathic message" to turn on the radio to that program.

GW also heard about a man on the other side of Central Lake, her sister's brother in-law, who had seen a large lighted object go over his son's home next door. She gave me the man's name and telephone number.  (BW also reported her husband had seen a UFO "years ago", and GW said she has a sister who saw a triangle-shaped object over by Central Lake about ten years ago.)

Six days after I interviewed the first witness, I again spoke with BW by phone. She reported that she talked to her daughter who lives up on the hill to the northeast of her residence who reported seeing nothing unusual at the time of the sighting, but her draperies were drawn.  One of BW's grandsons (she said her grandsons run the farm) didn't believe her at first, but he did after her eye doctor diagnosed a burn to her left eye.  (BW made an appointment with her ophthalmologist because of the tearing, blurring, and sandy-feeling in her eye after the sighting. The doctor told her it would heal in about a week.  I asked her to have the doctor write down the diagnosis when she went back, but learned in a later interview that the doctor did not write it down.)  As they further described the sighting, BW said the object had appeared to be about half the size of the pasture (it is a very large pasture).

BW also told me of talking to the pharmacy clerk at the Traverse City pharmacy where she went to get the prescription filled for her eye medication.  The clerk had also seen something unexplained in the sky in the early evening of 11/16/99. Their conversation took place when BW was getting her prescription filled for medication to treat the eye injury.

The next witness I learned about and was able to interview was JD, the man by Central Lake (sighting location #3 on the map) who had seen a large light pass over his son's mobile home sometime between 7 and 7:30 PM the same evening, November 16,1999.  He related he had been watching TV when all at once out the west window, to the southwest he saw an oval-shaped light traveling slowly.  At first he thought it might be car lights on the road, but then he realized the light was too far off the ground to be car lights, but it was not up very high. It was "whitish" in color, like a light bulb.  He went out on the deck, which faces south and saw the object pass relatively slowly over his son's mobile home, about 600-800 feet from him.  It seemed to be about 150-200 feet from the ground and over treetop level.  There is a tree-covered hill behind their properties, and at first he thought it wasn't going to clear the hill, but it did and it passed out of sight over the hill.  There was absolutely no sound as the object passed by.  It appeared to be the size of "a housetrailer".  There was no effect on the TV.  JD seemed very clear about what he saw and described the sighting very forthrightly. Within a few days of the sighting I heard of DC, another person who had seen an unexplained large bright light out his window (sighting location #4 on the map) while he was watching TV in the early evening of November 16, 1999.  A clerk in a local party store told me her father had seen something unexplainable the same evening as the other forgoing events.  She checked with him and learned he would be willing to talk with me.

Our interview was delayed several days because of an illness he was experiencing and the Thanksgiving holidays, but we were able to meet for an interview on December 8,1999.  When I first talked with DC on the phone to get his information and to set up an appointment for an on-site interview, he spent considerable time telling me of a UFO sighting some years back by the whole family, off Elk Lake Road, within ten miles of their house.  As I talked to him on the phone, I was confused about what information pertained to the current sighting and that which pertained to the previous sighting.

When we met for the on site interview, he was very clear about what he saw the evening of November 16, 1999 and gave me that information before talking at all about the previous sighting.  He was watching TV sometime between 7 and 7:30 PM when his wife called his attention to a bright white light streaking by that could be seen out the south-facing window (near the TV).  The object was oval and had a tail.  It moved fast; it was only viewed for 1-2 seconds, then was gone.  There was no sound.  It appeared smaller than his fist at arm's length, about the size a full moon on the horizon.  It appeared about 50-100 feet off the ground, a little above the horizon.  It moved from west to east; it appeared to be 50-100 feet from the window.  It did not cause any effect to the TV.  He said he hadn't talked about it to anyone (except his daughters) because people might think he was weird. 

DC then described the other sightings he has had in the past.  About 26 years ago he saw an object he couldn't identify moving slowly west toward Grand Traverse Bay viewed from Elk Lake Road.  He said the whole family saw it and got out of the car to watch it.  Another time in the past he said he saw 13 objects moving together.

Also present at this on-site interview was his wife, a 36 year-old daughter, and her two young children.  His wife was in agreement with the report.  The daughter related her memory of the object the family saw in 1973.  It was disc or saucer shaped and had a rounded "dome thing" on top, and the appearance of windows around the dome-shaped part.  She said it made a whirring sound and then all of a sudden it "took off" and was gone.  Her father related it went toward the southwest over "the Bay" (Grand Traverse Bay).  All of them were very scared. This daughter was a 10 year-old at the time; the other daughters were 8, 14 and 16.   This daughter also related an experience her husband had when he was working on Elk Rapids Golf Course; a "ball of light" came over his head and caused the golf cart he was riding on to stop.  After the ball of light "took off" the golf cart started again.  She wasn't certain just when this incident had occurred.

I learned of two other persons in the area who saw a bright fiery light (sighting location #5 on map) in the sky the evening of November 16, 1999 shortly after 7 PM.  Two women acquaintances of mine, MJ and SM were traveling south in a car on East Torch Lake Drive. They were about 5 1/2 miles southeast of the last witness's location and about 11 miles south of JD's location (#3 on the map).

They were near the 15-mile Polar Trail marker of South East Torch Lake Drive.  The object was moving from west to east.  They slowed the car when they saw the object.  It was above the treetops at horizon level.  It was greenish, and then the front changed to reddish. They saw it separate into 3 or 4 parts; then it was whitish as they lost sight of it behind the trees that grew on the hill on the east side of the road.  They were convinced it must have been  "the meteor breaking up" they had heard about later on the radio and TV.

The last witness I interviewed regarding an unexplained object in the sky shortly after 7PM on November 16,1999 was the clerk (SM) in the Traverse City pharmacy.  She saw the object from her car at approximately 7:15 PM (sighting location # 6, off the map).  She said at first it was like a ball with a tail behind, then it looked like a plane on fire and bigger than a 747.