- *Michigan Sightings March '99
- *Toledo Report
- *Disruption in Trumbull County, Ohio
and Pennsylvania due to
- military maneuvers thought possibly
linked to Fremont, OH
- and other sightings
- MILAN, Michigan REPORT
- On Friday, March 19, an number of inquiries
were prompted by the following message:
- Mr. Young, Hi! I live in Milan Mich,
and I understand from a neighbor that we also had sightings in Milan for
3 nights in arow. The nights were March 14, 15, 16 very late at night around
1 or 2am in the morning. I'm wondering if you have heard anything about
this. The Milan police are the ones that chased the UFO all 3 nights. Please
feel free to email me back. Thank-you kindly for reading.
- To follow-up with the report [dated March
19], The Milan, Michigan Police Department was contacted on March 23 [734-439-1551]
and the dispatcher was asked about a suspected UFO sighting reported by
officers with the Washtenau County Sheriff's Department. She suggested
that a call be made to the Sheriff's Department for details. The sightings,
she said, were not reported in the news media, but she knew of them by
hearing about it "through the grapevine."
- The Washtenau County Sheriff's Department
[734-971-8400] was then contacted. The call was handled by numerous people
at the department, and transferred to a half-dozen people around the administrative
facilities and in the dispatch office.
- A secretary in the administrative facility,
Sherry, advised that the Dispatch Center would have to be contacted for
further information. The telephone number to the dispatch center was given,
734-971-8400 ext. 1911, and it turned out to be the original number which
- The call was then placed back to the
first office contacted, and the female dispatcher who took the call at
that number at 3:45 p.m. on March 23 would not reveal any information,
and hung up the phone against this reporter in an extremely rude fashion.
- At no point during the nearly 45-minute
ordeal of contacting this department [via long-distance phone action] would
any employee assist by reviewing records or logs from the night of March
14, 1999 as requested.
- Another attempt to contact the same department
was made at 4:20 a.m. on Saturday morning, March 27, with hopes of speaking
with a different and kinder dispatcher. The attempt was not productive,
however, and while not 'hanging up' on this caller, the dispatcher was
abrupt and 'untalkative,' stating only that they "knew of no sightings."
- The attempts to obtain information about
the alleged Milan, Michigan sightings were thought important due to the
proximity in both locations and time to an incident happening in Fremont,
Ohio, where a Sandusky County deputy documented a UFO sighting on March
- For details of this event, see: http://home.fuse.net/ufo/Fremont99.htm
- Through correspondence with Michigan-area
investigator Jeff Westover, some information surfaced which seemed to shed
some light on the suspected Milan, Michigan report - a recent newspaper
article regarding a 1966 UFO sighting in this same area. It seems likely
that this episode may be due to 'misinformation' given to the reportee
by this "neighbor" who may have misinterpreted reportage given
in a March 17th edition of The Detroit News.
- Michigan at the Millennium:
- Crowds turn out to chase UFOs near
- The Detroit News
- March 17, 1999
- By Vivian M. Baulch
- UFO sightings often come in bunches,
like the spate that tantalized southeast Michigan in 1966.
- After a few days of sighting reports
by civilians, on March 17 two Washtenaw County Sheriff's deputies, Sgt.
Neil Schneider and Deputy David Fitzpatrick, said they saw three or four
red, white and green circular objects oscillating and glowing near Milan
about 4 a.m.
- They called Willow Run Airport officials
but radar could not confirm the report.
- Two more Washtenaw deputies, Buford Bushroe
and John Foster, chased the same types of objects three days later. Livingston
and Monroe County residents also reported seeing the objects.
- The Detroit News carried the police chase
story and a drawing of a quilted football-like UFO with lights, dome and
- When Dexter Patrolman Robert Huniwell
saw the object at 9:30 p.m. at Quigly and Brand, Washtenaw County Sheriff
Douglas Harvey ordered all available deputies to the scene. Six patrol
cars, two men in each, and three detectives converged on the area. They
chased the flying object along Island Lake Road without catching it.
- Farm owner Frank Mannor and his family
said they came within 500 yards, "It wasn't like the pictures of a
flying saucer and it had a coral-like surface," Mannor said.
- Carloads of students from nearby University
of Michigan and Eastern Michigan converged on the area after hearing radio
- The Air Force sent in "Project Blue
Book" astronomer and UFO expert J. Allen Hynek, who drove around for
two hours and 45 minutes. "Swamp gas" he concluded.
- "Marsh gas usually has no smell,
but sounds like the small popping explosions similar to a gas burner igniting.
The gas forms from decomposition of vegetation. It seems likely that as
the present spring thaws came, the gases methane, hydrogen sulfide and
phosphine, resulting from decomposition of organic materials, were released."
- But William Van Horn, a local civil defense
director and pilot who claimed he had seen the UFOs, was outraged by the
report. A Hillsdale native, Van Horn said he grew up next to a swamp and
knew more about swamp gas than Hynek.
- "A lot of good people are being
ridiculed," Van Horn concluded.
- End of article
- Again, it may be possible that the person
reporting the Milan sightings had confused data and thought there had been
recent action in this area, based upon this newspaper report [from two
days previous] regarding a 1966 UFO sighting.
- Because of the comments from the dispatcher
at the Milan City Police Department, who stated that she heard through
the grapevine of sightings that were not "reported in the media,"
it would be wise to remain open to the possibility of a fresh, recent sighting
happening there. However, it is possible that this officer may have also
been misled by this same article in the same capacity as the first person
reporting the information.
- Complicating this easy dismissal could
be extra information also courtesy of researcher Jeff Westover, who reports
that: "a Saginaw, Michigan TV station ran a story last week about
UFOs sighted in the Thumb area..." Jeff is currently in pursuit of
details through his inquiries with a television station [that may have
video recordings] and a 9-1-1 center that took complaints of UFOs from
area residents [Saginaw is 101-miles north of Milan, and nearly a straight
line can be drawn from Saginaw to Milan and finally to Fremont, Ohio].
- Toledo REPORT
- Also within this same 'line' rests Toledo,
Ohio, where a strange UFO situation was alleged through a "UFO Alert"
section of an internet website entitled "UFO Files." Said to
have taken place on March 17, researcher Stig Agermose found and copied
- *Posted by Billy Bob on Thursday, 18
March 1999, at 12:55 a.m.-- "Tonight on TV13 news there was a report
of a group of 3 discs flying over Toledo and hovering over the downtown
area for 7 minutes, 5 of which were filmed by the TV's News crew. They
then split and flew in different directions at an amazing rate of speed"
- *Posted by plastic on Thursday, 18 March
1999, at 1:02 a.m.-- "I too saw the broadcast. They only showed about
30 seconds of the footage. They mentioned that there had been sightings
earlier this week of similar craft in the area."
- The report of the UFOs sighted over Toledo
on March 17 and videotaped by a news crew may not be factual. A phone call
was placed to the WTVG Channel-13 News station in Toledo, an ABC affiliate
[4247 Dorr Street, Toledo, OH 43607] on March 24.
- Upon making contact with an employee
in the News Room (419) 534-3858, she informed that she had not heard of
any such story. This writer was placed on hold for about 60-seconds as
the employee presumably asked others in the newsroom, and then returned
to soundly inform that no such video exists and the report was "untrue."
- Military Maneuvers
- With the Fremont, Ohio report [March
14] thought to be a good focal point from which to corral this other data
around, further details of intrigue were related by Pennsylvania researcher
Stan Gordon who told of an episode involving unusual military activity
over the skies of southwest Pennsylvania on March 18, involving a 3:00
a.m. incident in which widespread reports of low-flying military helicopters
flooded law enforcement agencies.
- Gordon also related how this unpleasant
disruption was reported on the Jim Quinn "Quinn in the Morning"
radio talk-show, where they had received many calls of complaint. The choppers
were reported over Westmoreland, Allegheny, Beaver, Butler and Fayette
Counties in southwestern Pennsylvania.
- More interesting was a caller to [President]
Clinton investigator Larry Nichols that reported an unusual sighting near
Cleveland, Ohio. Nichols told of how a man and his wife observed -hovering
right outside their window- a 'jet fighter' a horrifying distance of only
50 to 100 feet away [we don't have an exacting date for this particular
sighting]. The witness described two distinct jet engines on the vehicle,
which was not thought to be a Harrier Jump-Jet [capable of hovering]. More
disturbingly, the witnesses also stated that the aircraft operated in perfect
silence. The aircraft, thought to be white or silver- colored, tilted its
nose back and departed straight up into the sky.
- Extra information bolstering the report
of Stan Gordon -and later thought related to the Fremont, Ohio UFO sighting-
was received with a newspaper article from Trumbull County, Ohio regarding
military action above residential quarters.
- COPTER TRAINING FLIGHT ALARMS RESIDENTS
- Source: The [Trumbull County] Vindicator
- Friday, March 19, 1999
- Page B2 top.
- The 12 helicopters flew out of Youngstown,
Ohio before dawn, shaking cruisers and prompting frantic calls from residents
to police in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio.
- Residents of several southwest Pennsylvania
counties were jolted out of sleep at the sound of low-flying helicopters,
prompting numerous calls to police and emergency dispatchers.
- Walt Sokalski, spokesman for the U.S.
Army Special Operations Command Public Affairs Office in Fort Bragg, N.C.
said a dozen Army and U.S. Air Force helicopters flew from Youngstown to
the West Virginia state line early Thursday at 800 to 1,000 feet as part
of a training exercise.
- "When you're talking 12 helicopters
at once, yes, it makes a lot of noise" Sokalski said Thursday. "We
apologize for the inconvenience, but this is important training for our
- This was an unusual event for the air
reserve base in Vienna, which normally does training for C-130 transport
planes, said Technical Sgt. Brian Ripple of the base's public affairs office.
- He said the route used in the exercise
was given just before the exercise took place Thursday morning. Normally,
base officials would notify the public before such an exercise took place.
- "Helicopters are noisy anyway, even
if it's a Life-flight helicopter going to the hospital, but these are much
larger," he said. As a result, Ripple said he did receive some calls
from residents and understood their complaints.
- However, Ripple said the exercise was
needed to test helicopter pilots for flying at night.
- WHAT OCCURRED
- The helicopters made the flight at about
3 a.m. Thursday, skirting eastern Pittsburgh to avoid commercial airspace
and prompting frantic calls from residents to police and 911 dispatchers
in southwest Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia and eastern Ohio.
- James Falcsik of Irwin, Westmoreland
County, told KDKA-AM radio that a helicopter 'buzzed' his house. Police
in Penn Township, Westmoreland County, said they saw helicopters fly low
and loud enough to shake their cruisers.
- PURPOSE OF FLIGHT
- The army informed state police about
the training and surveyed the area to ensure civilians wouldn't be hurt,
- He said the extended flight was a one-time
event and all the pilots have returned to their respective bases. "They
need this training to do their missions," he said. "They need
to operate in any environment at any time around the world.
- End of article
- The March 14th sighting in Fremont, Ohio
[witnessed and documented by a deputy with the Sandusky, Ohio Sheriff's
Department] described objects that were said to be: "clustered lights,
cigar shaped and oscillating." The deputy recorded that he could not
identify the object[s] through his field glasses, although they did not
exhibit ballistic traits incompatible with conventional aircraft [except
possible hovering characteristics exclusive to a helicopter or Harrier
Jump-Jet]. Further, the primary witness who placed the initial complaint
to the Sheriff's Department was certain the objects, which numbered from
5 or 6, were neither airplanes or helicopters, but did note that his family
members also detected a 'low-pitched humming sound.'
- A logical point of concern was to determine
if these same military flights reported on March 18 may also have caused
similar consternation on March 14 - but on that date being reported as
UFOs through witness misinterpretation/misidentification. Could it be that
the Fremont, Ohio [March 14] report -and also the Saginaw/Milan Michigan
report[s] were actually these military flights being construed as UFOs?
- A first step in making this determination
was to contact Walt Sokalski, spokesman for the U.S. Army Special Operations
Command Public Affairs Office in Fort Bragg, N.C. [listed in the Vindicator
- In the article, Sokalski said a dozen
Army and U.S. Air Force helicopters flew from Youngstown to the West Virginia
state line "early Thursday at 800 to 1,000 feet as part of a training
- Of particular interest was the brief
reference "early Thursday," as the dates of concern would be
March 11 [Thursday previous] and March 14 [Sunday].
- Additional UFO reports
- Before reviewing the newspaper article,
a separate and unrelated UFO report was received on March 18 regarding
UFOs thought to have been seen in Trumbull County, Ohio on the March 14th
date - same as the Fremont, Ohio police UFO sighting [nearly 131-miles
west of West Farmington, OH]
- Subject: information on March14 Date:
Thu, 18 Mar 1999 00:55:19 EST From: [deleted for privacy]@aol.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- I wrote you before about trumbull county.
And while i was reading about the Fremont report, I found some simularities
in the story with some lights my girlfriend and i saw on Sunday March 14
at 9:30pm. We saw three lights in the northwest, they seemed to be stationary
except the right one moved. I should say that we saw these lights in West
Farmington, which is in the northwestern part of Trumbull county. I only
viewed these lights for only about 5 minutes which did not allow me to
get a real good idea of what they were and how long they were there.
- Comment: West Farmington, Ohio is northwest
of the Vienna Airbase by about 15-miles
- On Tuesday, March 23, The [Trumbull County]
Vindicator was contacted (1-330-747-1471) and after several inquiries,
it was learned that reporter Chris Whitley prepared the March 19, 1999
news report entitled: "COPTER TRAINING FLIGHT ALARMS RESIDENTS."
- "From what I gathered, any helicopter
sightings or activity happening before Thursday, March 18 was not part
of the problem," Whitley stated. "The helicopter ruckus happened
during the week.
- "I know of nothing leading up to
the ruckus on Thursday, that was a one-time deal," he said.
- Whitley did not contact Ft. Bragg himself,
but rather, his report was based upon an AP wire story that originated
out of Pittsburgh. He did not have contact info for Ft. Bragg public relations
- In trying to reach Mr. Walt Sokalski,
spokesman for the U.S. Army Special Operations Command Public Affairs Office
in Fort Bragg, N.C., the following public affairs office associated with
the U.S. Army at Ft. Bragg was located:
- XVIII ABN Corps
- Public Affairs Office Bldg.
- 1-1326, Armistead & Macomb
- Fort Bragg, NC 28307-5000
- Phone: (910) 396-5600/5620
- This writer called that number and was
told Walt Sokalsi was reachable at the Special Operations Public Affairs
Office. For nearly thirty minutes various 'wrong numbers' were given before
contact with Walt Sokalski [910-432-6005] was finally made at the US Army
Special Operations Command Public Affairs office.
- When informed that an attempt was being
made to determine if the UFO sightings on March 11 and March 14 could have
been attributable to these helicopter maneuvers, Sokalski said he would
conduct some research to find out.
- "Without knowing the exact location,
I can't say. If our unit had copters in the area, I should be able to get
a rough idea based upon the locality and time of your UFO sightings,"
- Mr. Sokalski was given the times of March
11 at 11:45 p.m. in Clyde, Ohio and March 14 at 11:36 p.m. in Fremont,
Ohio. He was told that the Fremont, Ohio sighting accompanied a police
report, and also that possible sightings could have also been made by police
officers near Milan, Michigan at the same time.
- On Thursday, March 25, after conducting
his research, Mr. Sokalski placed a phone call in return, leaving a message
to announce: "They were not OURS."
- With the statement by Sokalski denying
that there were any Army Special Operations helicopters flying in or near
the vicinities of Clyde, Ohio or Fremont, Ohio on March 11 and 14, that
specific explanation can be ruled out. If helicopters were to blame for
these sightings, they would have originated from elsewhere.
- Further it may be entirely rational to
suspect that if the consternation would ultimately be attributable to military
action, there may be a highly classified aspect to these activities involving
secretive aircraft [hence aircraft being reported as UFOs or the unusual
'silent and hovering' jet report near Cleveland]. To equally balance this
area of speculation, one may also surmise that the later maneuvers [in
the days after the Fremont and Clyde sightings] may be a covert attempt
to obfuscate or complicate suspected UFO sightings. [Additional note: Army
Special Operations are not currently involved in the NATO conflict involving
the bombings in Kosovo].
- All speculative musings aside, an interesting
correlation in both location and time of two happenings -UFO sightings
and military helicopter maneuvers- cannot be denied.
- March 27, 1999
- Kenny Young
- UFO Research