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UFO over the state of Michigan

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UFO over the state of Michigan

February 1966 passed quietly. March-not at all. On March 14, two Sheriff's deputies in Dexter, Michigan, saw several disc-shaped objects looping over the city.

Mysterious incidents in Michigan

The police have already received reports of such phenomena. Selfridge Air Force Base Command confirmed that these objects were detected by radar, demonstrating great speed and incredible maneuverability. The newspapers, however, reacted sluggishly to the incident. At midnight on March 17, in Milan, Michigan, another police officer saw a disc-shaped UFO. His first thought was that a plane was crashing.

UFO sightings Michigan

The object, however, was flying silently and therefore could not be an airplane, and when the police officer tried to radio the city police department, its transmitter refused to work. Instead of crashing to the ground, the UFO approached the patrol car at a distance of fewer than 20 m and accompanied it for almost a kilometer. Then it gained altitude and disappeared from sight. In diameter, the object reached 15 m, and bright lights ran along its edge.

Michigan was becoming the scene of mysterious incidents... At 20 o'clock on March 20, again near Dexter, Frank Mannor and his son Ronald saw a glowing brown object hovering over the swamp. It was cone-shaped, and on its surface, eyewitnesses saw several lights, the color of which at some point changed from bluish to red. Immediately after that, the object flooded everything with a bright yellowish glow and sped away, making a loud whistle.

UFO over the state of Michigan

That same night, in the area of the marshes, other eyewitnesses also saw strange lights. The next evening, they were spotted in even greater numbers near Hillsdale. The head of the local civil defense service, William van Horn, and a group of students watched for two hours a strange object that pirouetted in the air and lit up the ground.

Frank Mannor’s sketch

Frank Mannor’s sketch

Military intelligence response to reports of UFOs in Michigan

While these incidents were not the most spectacular of those that occurred in Michigan, both local and national newspapers responded vividly. Hoping to calm the public and stop the flood of phone calls that plagued Pentagon officials, the Air Technical Intelligence Center sent Allen Hynek to Michigan. He was ready to go and investigate some particularly interesting case before, but the ATIC command did not want to spend extra money on useless, from his point of view, voyages of its employees. Hynek set out with the most serious intentions but suddenly found himself in the center of a scandal.

Allen Hynek

When he arrived in Michigan, he was almost immediately forced to attend a press conference. The phenomena described by eyewitnesses looked really mysterious, and Hynek called for serious research. If he had stopped there, everything would have been fine, but the journalists wanted something more specific, and he touched on the possible nature of the lights observed at the level of the earth's surface. According to Hynek, in this case, we could talk about burning gas, which is formed during the rotting of plant remains in swamp conditions.

In other words, it's just swamp gas, and nothing particularly strange. The press was outraged. Allen Hynek and the Air force as a whole were heckled. For those UFO researchers who have always found Hynek's attitude toward the Air Force too lackeyish, the moment of triumph has finally arrived. Hynek himself later claimed that the main thing in his speech was not swamped gas, but the emphasis on the need for serious research work.

UFO over Michigan 1966

But he might have thought so; the Air Force looked at these things quite differently. Upon his arrival in Michigan, Hynek was later told that his main task was not to engage in all sorts of arguments but to immediately call a press conference and give reporters a direct answer to the question about the nature of the phenomena observed in Michigan. Most likely, this is exactly what happened: the management of the "Blue Book" was not eager to spend time on research and could simply force Hynek to come up with a ridiculous, but explanation. However, a year later, talking with scientists from the University of Colorado, Hector Quintanilla presented a very different version of what happened.

 UFO over the state of Michigan

 According to him, Hynek really believed that swamp gas was really behind the Michigan observations; that's why he was allowed to hold a press conference. No matter who was to blame in this case — Allen Hynek or the United States Air Force, but never before have official researchers of the UFO phenomenon looked so ignorant and liars. With his press conference, Hynek did a very bad service to the Blue Book, undoing the Air Force's long-standing efforts to create its good image. 

Media reaction to the UFO incident in Michigan

Although many newspapers have allowed themselves to make fun of Hynek, the leading publications of the country have chosen a completely different goal for their ridicule, namely, the UFO phenomenon. Life and Newsweek, for example, supported the "swamp gas hypothesis" and sang hosanna to the Air Force. "Life" praised Hector Quintanilla's work as the head of the Blue Book and quoted him as saying: "There is not a shadow of a hint that flying saucers could be extraterrestrial spaceships." It is a pity that the editors of the magazine did not have the opportunity to read Quintanilla's secret article about the Socorro incident; otherwise, they would have appreciated his revelations differently.

UFO over the state of Michigan

The government spends billions on the development of rocket and space technology — Imagine how new and important we could learn if we got our hands on a spaceship created by an extraterrestrial civilization!

the head of the "Blue Book" reasoned:

In May, the management of CBS decided to do its part to calm the minds and prepared a special program on the UFO problem with the participation of Carl Sagan, Donald Menzel, Harold Brown, and even Lawrence Thacker, who was extracted from overseas exile. To create the appearance of a discussion, Donald Kehoe and Allen Hynek was also invited. The program was hosted by the famous TV reviewer Walter Cronkite. The sole purpose of this TV show was to once again remind Americans that there is no" UFO problem", strictly speaking, that does not exist. Menzel, as usual, talked about mirages and temperature inversions, Sagan focused on contactees and other "saucer cultists"; in general, the points of view of Kehoe and Hynek were ignored rather than discussed.

Parliamentary inquiry into Michigan UFO case

>Meanwhile, Congress came into play, and it was going to play by its own rules. On March 25, a member of the House of Representatives from Michigan and Republican minority leader Gerald Ford, with the support of other congressmen, demanded a parliamentary investigation into the UFO issue. A few days later, Ford sent a letter to the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, L. Mendel Rivers, expressing disappointment with the government's policy on this issue.

I believe, that some reports of unidentified flying objects deserve serious attention. The people of America have the right to demand that the air force take more responsibility for the tasks they face and give truly reasonable answers to the questions they are asked. It is the responsibility of the people's representatives to support these demands, aimed primarily at clarifying the current situation.

he wrote:

On April 5, 1966, for the first time in history, the American Congress held a public hearing on the UFO problem. They lasted only one working day and were chaired by L. Medel Rivers. Only three people were invited to give official testimony — Secretary of the Air Force Harold Brown, the head of the "Blue Book" Hector Quintanilla, and Allen Hynek.

Kehoe and NICAP, who fought for a decade to make such hearings possible, remained outside the Capitol but submitted to Congress a written statement of their views on the UFO phenomenon. The results of the discussion could, however, be predicted in advance. Hynek, who wanted to rehabilitate himself for the failure of the swamp gas idea, said that UFOs deserve serious attention from the scientific community, and called for a special commission of independent scientists to consider further research programs.

Letter From Gerald Ford About UFO's - 1966

Brown said that flying saucers are not spaceships, and then expressed his agreement with the recommendations of the O'Brien committee. The reports of the six hundred "officially unidentified" phenomena that the Blue Book had at that time were to be passed on to a group of reputable civilian experts for analysis. On this note, the hearing ended. Attention from Congress and numerous articles in newspapers significantly influenced the attitude of Americans toward unidentified flying objects. Judging by the results of a survey conducted by the Gallup Institute, 46% of the country's population were already inclined to believe in the real existence of UFOs. Moreover, 5% (or nine million people) believed that they had personally observed such objects in the sky.


Related tags:

UFO  UFO sightings  1966  Dexter  Michigan  disc-shaped UFO  unidentified flying objects

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