The Michigan 1966 UFO Flap - Was it Swamp gas?

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posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 10:55 AM
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"This is the strangest thing that [we] have ever witnessed. We would have not believed this story if we hadn't seen it with our own eyes. These objects could move at fantastic speeds, and make very sharp turns, dive and climb, and hover with great maneuverability. We have no idea what these objects were, or where they could have come from."

Washtenaw County deputies Bushroe and Foster



Had a good look for an ATS thread on the 1966 Michigan UFO sightings but couldn´t find one (so apologies if there´s one already) - the case certainly is an infamous one with lots of media coverage at the time and involves UFOs being observed flying at high rates of speed over a period of one week by separately located witnesses such as policemen, sheriffs, town residents etc.. -there are close range description reports below of the object´s appearance and flight characteristics and the documentary clip also includes eye-witness testimony from farmers, students and policemen.

There´s also other information found in the links about possible radar confirmation and ground trace evidence in the form of soil/grass/mineral analysis - Dr Hynek´s now highly controversial ´swamp gas´ debunk also gets a mention and it´s said this case may have helped changed his official attitude towards the UFO subject.



Documentary:





There was a rash of UFO sightings over the state of Michigan (USA), skies in 1966, being reported not only by many sheriffs and police officers, but also by good reliable people in Washtenaw County and its surrounding counties. But the most notable incident occurred with a Dexter farmer named Frank Mannor, a father of ten children who witnessed a UFO remaining over his swamp for more than four hours. The witnesses included his wife, his children, his in-laws, and other residents from the area. Despite the multiple witnesses, the explanation that came from the US government that it was "swamp gas".




Media Coverage:





This is the case that convinced the then absolutely skeptic J. Allen Hynek, employed by the US Army to find natural explanation to UFO sightings, that he must now publicly admit that there is something real in the UFO reports that the military minimized.


Ufologie Newspaper articles




Object Descriptions -excerpt:





Frank Mannor, 46, told authorities that night that the two went out in search of the object moments after they saw it touch ground. He said it appeared to be brown, with a "quilted'' effect on the surface. It was flat on the bottom and cone-shaped toward the top, with two small lights on the outer edges emitting a glowing blue-green color that intensified and turned red at times. When it became brightly lit, the entire object was light yellow, with the light running horizontally between the two outer running lights.
According to the police report, Mannor said: "We then heard the sound of a whistle - something like a rifle bullet makes when it ricochets off something. Then this object went up in the air, passed directly over us and disappeared.''
Patrolman Robert Hunawill of the Dexter Village Police Department reported then that he saw what appeared to be the same object after he parked his car near the area. He said it suddenly appeared over his patrol car at a height of about 1,000 feet, that it had white and red lights on it that at times had a bluish tinge, and that it hovered over the car before continuing sweeps over the swamp..


NICAP Case Directory




Related Links:

Lab Results - Environmental analysis:
www.ufoera.com...

Series of letters about the incident between Dr Hynek and William Van Horn:
www.cohenufo.org...

Possible radar confirmation and timeline of events:
www.ufocasebook.com...
edit on 02/10/08 by karl 12 because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 12:01 PM
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reply to post by karl 12
 


Was it Swamp gas?
Well as you no doubt know not even Dr Hynek thought it was Swamp gas , from what I've seen reported this case really perplexed him and the explanation given was was a last minute fix for the problem , it became an explanation he regretted .

I have no doubt the people involved honestly reported what they saw and they did see something unusual , to the best of my knowledge a suitable explanation hasn't been found so I guess the ET hypothesis remains a possibility .
No matter how many times I see that clip of Frank Mannor my heart goes out to him , times were hard back then if you dared stand out from the crowd .



posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 12:21 PM
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What have you got against swamp gas?


A very interesting time period for UFOs. They don't seem to make 'em like they used to. And that brings me to the following mystery that might have some bearing here. The so-called Pentacle Memorandum (bolding mine) brought to public attention by the great Jacques Vallee and involving the mysterious workings of the Battelle Institute..


We expect that our analysis will show that certain areas in the United States have had an abnormally high number of reported incidents of unidentified flying objects. Assuming that, from our analysis, several definite areas productive of reports can be selected, we recommend that one or two of theses areas be set up as experimental areas. This area, or areas, should have observation posts with complete visual skywatch, with radar and photographic coverage, plus all other instruments necessary or helpful in obtaining positive and reliable data on everything in the air over the area.

A very complete record of the weather should also be kept during the time of the experiment. Coverage should be so complete that any object in the air could be tracked, and information as to its altitude, velocity, size, shape, color, time of day, etc. could be recorded. All balloon releases or known balloon paths, aircraft flights, and flights of rockets in the test area should be known to those in charge of the experiment. Many different types of aerial activity should be secretly and purposefully scheduled within the area.
www.cufon.org...


More Here: A Missing Pentacle

The timeframe would work. And I make no assertion that this was the case here, but when I see concentrated reports from a concentrated time period this "memo" always comes to mind.

Great job--as usual--karl12!



posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 12:37 PM
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Originally posted by gortex

Well as you no doubt know not even Dr Hynek thought it was Swamp gas , from what I've seen reported this case really perplexed him and the explanation given was was a last minute fix for the problem , it became an explanation he regretted.



Gortex, thanks for the reply mate and I´d certainly agree Dr Hynek regretted his ´swamp gas´ debunk - like so many other USAF UFO explanations down the years, it bears very little relation to the reported facts and wilfully ignores vast swathes of credible witness testimony (link) -apparently, according to Sheriff Doug Harvey, Dr Hynek was at a complete loss to explain the incidents but then received a telephone call from Washington a short time before the press conference which left him looking a bit perplexed..



The origin of Dr Hynek´s "Swamp Gas" explanation





In interviewing Washtenaw County Sheriff Doug Harvey for the article, the former Sheriff explained how he had taken Hynek to the Frank Mannor farm near Dexter for some on site investigation. The sheriff described how Hynek interviewed witnesses and sloshed around in the swamp for a time in an attempt to determine what the many witnesses had seen a few nights earlier. The Sheriff then brought Hynek back to the Sheriff's headquarters located in Ann Arbor.

According to Harvey, they talked for a time about the sighting and Hynek admitted he didn't know what the witnesses had seen on the Mannor farm.


"That's when the phone call came in," Harvey told me.

"What phone call I asked?"

Harvey said, "it was a call for Hynek and it was from Washington."

"How did you know it was from Washington," I replied.

"Because the dispatcher stepped into the office and said, 'Dr. Hynek, you've got a call from Washington.'"

Harvey told me that Hynek stepped out of the office to take the call and then returned in a few minutes looking a bit perplexed. And then, according to the sheriff, Hynek said, "it's swamp gas they saw, swamp gas."


It was a short time later that Hynek held the infamous press conference at the Detroit Press Club and suggested that a possible explanation for the recent sightings might have been marsh or swamp gas. The explanation became a front page story the next day in papers across the country and Hynek became the butt of jokes and cartoons. He was ridiculed to such an extent that Michigan Congressman Gerald Ford (later President Ford) asked for a Congressional investigation. It was one of Hynek's worst moments.

link






Originally posted by gortex
No matter how many times I see that clip of Frank Mannor my heart goes out to him , times were hard back then if you dared stand out from the crowd .


Couldn´t agree more there, I could be wrong but something about that interview just screams out to me that the guy isn´t making it up - like so many other UFO witnesses down the years, it´s a great shame the way he and his family got treated because he had the courage to make a report.

Cheers.



posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 02:49 PM
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reply to post by karl 12
 




The swamp gas quote from Dr.Heynek still enjoys great popularity around here. More or less in an annoying way I have to say.
For this quote alone the incident is of significance imo.

It's a shame that witness testimony is worth next to nothing to many people.
These days it's pics (
) or it didn't happen.
I choose to believe witnesses like Frank Mannor over every next picture or video.

Thank you for your very good report on this important sighting.
I have thought on more than one occasion that it would be nice to have your threads in book format
edit on 22-11-2011 by derpif because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 02:59 PM
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It's just another nail in J. Allen Hynek's coffin, as for Hynek being a spook UFO debunker, while working for the CIA.



posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 05:20 PM
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reply to post by karl 12
 

The only opinion I have on this case is that I don't think it is swamp gas! Presumably you would agree on this or you wouldn't have bothered covering the case.

Although it is a tragedy how poorly so many witnesses have been treated, Hynek's bad treatment may have been a blessing in disguise. Let's face it, it showed the world to what ludicrous lengths the authorities will go to debunk or discredit sightings.

There is a part of me that thinks Hynek kind of deserved it too. To even play along with that game of deliberate debunking even when he knew there were other possible explanations is propaganda rather than science. Yes, he redeemed himself later, but he deserved it at the time in my opinion.


Originally posted by The GUT
More Here: A Missing Pentacle

The timeframe would work. And I make no assertion that this was the case here, but when I see concentrated reports from a concentrated time period this "memo" always comes to mind.

That's an interesting possibility mate. I don't have a clue what they saw but it's as plausible an explanation as any I've heard.



posted on Nov, 23 2011 @ 06:11 AM
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reply to post by The GUT
 


The Gut, fascinating post mate and I´d never realy read through that document before, I found it interesting that they actualy concede that they expect to find areas in the U.S. which have abnormally high numbers of UFO reports - it´s just speculation of course but maybe the ´extra benefits´ of many different types of aerial activity being secretly and purposefully scheduled within the area of reported UFO flaps was one of plausible deniability for the USAF..



Results of an experiment such as described could assist the Air Force to determine how much attention to pay to future situations when, as in the past summer, there were thousands of sightings reported. In the future, then, the Air Force should be able to make positive statements, reassuring to the public, and to the effect that everything is well under control.

Link



I also found it telling that the proposal came along just one year after arguably one of the largest UFO waves in U.S. history:




"The summer 1952 UFO sighting wave was one of the largest of all time, and arguably the most significant of all time in terms of the credible reports and hardcore scientific data obtained. Electromagnetic (EM) effects and physical trace evidence were more prominent in other waves, but 1952 (and 1953) featured recurring radar detection of UFOs, often from both ground and airborne radar, visual sightings by jet interceptor pilots sent up to pursue the mysterious objects, and cat-and-mouse chases in which the UFOs seemed to toy with the interceptors. Further, Air Force investigators who plotted the sightings noticed that they were concentrated around strategic military bases, and this clearly posed a threat to national security since their origin was unknown".

Richard Hall


The 1952 UFO Wave




Will certainly have more of a look into the links you posted and the subject in general, it also seems there was a bit of a flap in October 1973:


Guest Blogger: John Lasker ‘The UFO invasion of October 1973


Cheers. :up



posted on Nov, 23 2011 @ 11:16 AM
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Originally posted by Erno86
It's just another nail in J. Allen Hynek's coffin, as for Hynek being a spook UFO debunker, while working for the CIA.


Erno86, thanks for the reply but I wouldn´t agree with your comments about Dr Hynek being a spook debunker in the pocket of the CIA - as Pimander quite rightly points out he did deserve criticism for ´deliberate debunking´ early on in his career but later on he was extremely vocal in his criticism of Project Bluebook´s unscientific methods and lack of objective, impartial scrutiny - he also wrote some great books on the UFO subject (`the Hynek UFO report´ is a very good one) and even attempted to form a centralized UFO authority at the United Nations.

Spacevisitor has made a great post here about his apparent change of opinion and there's also a good bit towards the end of this documentary focusing on Hynek's attitudes both before and after Bluebook.






Cheers.
edit on 9-5-2013 by karl 12 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 23 2011 @ 01:05 PM
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reply to post by karl 12
 


Karl12 ----- Granted..... Hynek did run his CUFO's organization with some form of respectability. But as in his early years with Project Bluebook, he still used alot of ridicule, and UFO coverup while he was running CUFO's.

The only thing that I, and others, can explain for his odd behavior on some UFO cases, is that he was a mole for the CIA; even when he was running CUFO's.

I was a subscriber to CUFO's back in the late 70's. Around that time I sent a couple of my ET pictures to his office. His typed reply was that the ET was just a rock. Can't say I'm sure myself, since I did not see the ET when I took the picture.

After Hynek passed away - About 6 months later, I recieved a letter in the mail from his replacement, telling me that he was reading my letter that I sent to Hynek that described my pictures.

He told me he was interested in seeing my pictures, and wondered if I could mail them too him.

I never replied back too him, instead I just threw up my hands in disgust.

What did Hynek do with my ET picture's?

Whatever happened.... he probably took the answer with him too his grave.



edit on 23-11-2011 by Erno86 because: added a couple of words
edit on 23-11-2011 by Erno86 because: spelling



posted on Nov, 23 2011 @ 02:00 PM
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reply to post by karl 12
 

Another great thread, many thanks Karl.

Here's a link with a convincing claim by Jeff Westover that the intriguing 1966 photo was in fact taken near Clare, Michigan in 1971.

ufos.about.com...

Would be good to have some expert comments on this pic.

Cheers.



posted on Nov, 23 2011 @ 07:28 PM
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Originally posted by Erno86
I was a subscriber to CUFO's back in the late 70's. Around that time I sent a couple of my ET pictures to his office. His typed reply was that the ET was just a rock. Can't say I'm sure myself, since I did not see the ET when I took the picture.

After Hynek passed away - About 6 months later, I recieved a letter in the mail from his replacement, telling me that he was reading my letter that I sent to Hynek that described my pictures.

He told me he was interested in seeing my pictures, and wondered if I could mail them too him.

I never replied back too him, instead I just threw up my hands in disgust.

What did Hynek do with my ET picture's?

You have every right to be irritated. However, if you want to look into this properly drop me a U2U/PM and lets have a proper look. It's up to you but if you care then the offer is there.



posted on Nov, 24 2011 @ 09:56 AM
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Originally posted by Erno86
reply to post by karl 12
 


Karl12 ----- Granted..... Hynek did run his CUFO's organization with some form of respectability. But as in his early years with Project Bluebook, he still used alot of ridicule, and UFO coverup while he was running CUFO's.

The only thing that I, and others, can explain for his odd behavior on some UFO cases, is that he was a mole for the CIA; even when he was running CUFO's.



Erno86, appreciate the reply mate and who knows, you may well be right (when it comes to the subject of U.S. Intelligence services and the UFO subject anything is possible) - I know from your posts on another thread that you've been researching this subject longer than I have but after reading many of Hynek's public statements down the years, I do have difficulty in accepting the idea.

I think it's fair to say Hynek was vocal in his criticism of the CIA's Robertson Panel and there's a relevant clip here where he's voicing his concerns about the lack of objectivity within the group - the link below also goes into more detail and, when read in context, contains this quote which just about sums it up:




"Another way to describe their basic attitude....was very clearly an attitude of 'Daddy knows best, don't come to me with these silly stories, I know what's good for you and don't argue.'

Dr Hynek talking about the Robertson panel


link



Whatever the case, I always trusted Hynek's judgement after dealing with Project Bluebook's notorious pathological debunker Major Hector Quintanilla.



Hynek wrote that during Air Force Major Hector Quintanilla's tenure as Blue Book's director, “the flag of the utter nonsense school was flying at its highest on the mast.

link



He even went as far as to completely debunk Project Bluebook's own 'evaluation' when it came to the Portage County incident so just for that he's got my eternal respect.




The most intriguing piece, however, came from Dr. J. Allen Hynek, the Air Force consultant. Hynek noted that Venus had risen at 3:35 that morning and would have been too high in the sky, by the time of the sightings, to be mistaken for an aircraft..


*Above BlueBook* - Ohio UFO Chase , Portage County April 17, 1966


Cheers.
edit on 9-5-2013 by karl 12 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 25 2011 @ 11:40 AM
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Originally posted by Lowneck
reply to post by karl 12
 

Another great thread, many thanks Karl.

Here's a link with a convincing claim by Jeff Westover that the intriguing 1966 photo was in fact taken near Clare, Michigan in 1971.

ufos.about.com...

Would be good to have some expert comments on this pic.

Cheers.


Hey Lowneck, good call on the Jeff Westover photograph my friend -seems Michigan has quite a rich history of UFO incidents and I certainly echo your point about it being nice to have some expert analysis on the pic -just realised that this 1988 case describing an object releasing half dozen triangular shaped lights and objects also happened near the same vicinity -maybe all of these UFOs are coming out of Lake Erie.


Also found Navy_vet_stg3's thread relevant to the Michigan case as it includes a letter written by Gerald Ford about the sightings:



The origin of Dr Hynek´s "Swamp Gas" explanation

..It was a short time later that Hynek held the infamous press conference at the Detroit Press Club and suggested that a possible explanation for the recent sightings might have been marsh or swamp gas. The explanation became a front page story the next day in papers across the country and Hynek became the butt of jokes and cartoons. He was ridiculed to such an extent that Michigan Congressman Gerald Ford (later President Ford) asked for a Congressional investigation. It was one of Hynek's worst moments.

link






Letter From Gerald Ford About UFO's - 1966


Cheers.



posted on Nov, 26 2011 @ 04:24 AM
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UFO's in Michigan? NO, go back to sleep.

Was this the first time swamp gas was used as an explanation? When I first heard that being use as an explanation I knew it was BS, first and foremost, how could swamp gas be condensed to look like a UFO and appear intelligent.

Seriously Michigan is still a hot bed for UFO activity( thou calm compared to other hotbeds), I have seen 3 in two years. One appeared to be observing me but when I looked over at it disappeared.

My Thread on the subject .

www.abovetopsecret.com...

PS I Live like 50-70 miles from Clare MI. They are around fokes.
edit on 26-11-2011 by quantumdragon because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 26 2011 @ 05:11 AM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.


Well I spent half of my life in Michigan and never saw any swamp gas, not to mention that Michigan is hardly what I would call a swampy area compared to where I live now.

I had a relative who actually saw one of these objects during that time. They were traveling to Kalamazoo with several people in the car and saw lights hovering over a field, in the middle of nowhere, to the side of the expressway. Other cars that were traveling on the expressway also saw the objects and either slowed down or pulled over to watch them as well.

This all was during the height of the cold war, and many of our SAC bases were located in the northern states to allow bombers to fly the polar route into the USSR. So who knows what was really going on, or what the government was covering up, but I am pretty sure swamp gas was nothing more then a cover story to belay a panic, or cover for military activity.

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Nov, 26 2011 @ 02:01 PM
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Source: Swamp gas, To Be or Not to Be: That is the question

"Characteristically, swamp gas is found in peat bogs, mud flats, marshes and swamps - wherever stagnant water conicides with the decay of organic matter"

I've seen swamp gas myself, while on a wild turkey hunt, in a swamp, before dawn on one spring morning in the state of Maryland. The swamp gas glow was very faint, and few and far between.


Cheers,

Erno86
edit on 26-11-2011 by Erno86 because: spelling



posted on Nov, 26 2011 @ 05:45 PM
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Originally posted by defcon5
The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.


Well I spent half of my life in Michigan and never saw any swamp gas, not to mention that Michigan is hardly what I would call a swampy area compared to where I live now.


As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.


Compared to other area's Michigan is fairly swampy, Very more so before white man showed up and started to log and clear farm land.

Did you know that you if you can't find water in Michigan, just walk 3 miles and any direction and 98% of the time you will find it.

Couple of friends accounts of UFOs in MI .

My friend one saw a (whatever) dive into a lake and very fast speed.

Even a EBE happened near where I lived.

IT was observing my friend, and it appeared to be human like , but much taller, translucent skin, and wore black.



posted on Nov, 29 2011 @ 05:26 AM
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Originally posted by quantumdragon
UFO's in Michigan? NO, go back to sleep.

Was this the first time swamp gas was used as an explanation? When I first heard that being use as an explanation I knew it was BS, first and foremost, how could swamp gas be condensed to look like a UFO and appear intelligent.


Quantumdragon, thanks for the reply and the link to your own UFO sighting, I don't know if the swamp gas explanation had been used before by the USAF to debunk UFO reports but I agree that, in the Michigan case, it realy doesn't seem to do justice to some of the reported object descriptions and flight characteristics -here are some of the police accounts from the case and apparently one of the objects hovered over a patrol car..



"It would swing back and forth like a pendulum, then shoot upward at tremendous speed, hover and then come down just as fast."
Washtenaw County deputies B. Bushroe



March 17, 1966, Milan, Michigan. 4:25 a.m. Sgt. Nuel Schneider and Deputy David Fitzpatrick saw top-shaped objects making sharp maneuvers. They alternately hovered, rose and fell quickly, darted around at jet-like speed, their light dimming and brightening periodically. In a report to NICAP, the officers stated that two objects were operating together, circling and flying in formation, while a third object hovered at lower altitude.



Dexter patrolman Robert Huniwell said he spotted an object in the sky at Quigley and Brand roads between 9:30 and 9:45 p.m.. He said the flying object with red and green flashing lights, came close to the ground, hovered above a scout car and was joined by a second vehicle on its ascent.



Officer Robert Hartwell of the Dexter Police Department saw a luminous object buzz his car. Robert Taylor, Dexter Police Chief, and Patrolman N.G. Lee came to the farm in response to Mrs. Mannor's call and heard the noise. Taylor said he watched an object in the field from Frank Mannor's home on a knoll overlooking the area. It appeared as a pulsating red, glowing object. Through binoculars he saw "a light on each end of the thing." "I thought it was an ambulance," Lee said. The chief's son, Robert, 16, also saw the red vehicle in the sky at about 10:30 p.m. "It was going on in the east pretty slow, and then it sped up and went west," he said. "It was flashing red and white."



Washtenaw County Deputy Sheriff BuFord Bushroe also observed it. "It looked like an arc. It was round. We turned around and started following it through Dexter for five miles. It was headed west and we stopped. We lost it in the trees. Either the lights went off or it took off with a tremendous burst of speed. It was about 1,500 feet above the ground. It moved along at about 100 mph. We were doing 70 before losing it near Wylie Road."

link



Cheers.



posted on Dec, 1 2011 @ 05:17 AM
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Originally posted by defcon5
The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.


Well I spent half of my life in Michigan and never saw any swamp gas, not to mention that Michigan is hardly what I would call a swampy area compared to where I live now.

I had a relative who actually saw one of these objects during that time. They were traveling to Kalamazoo with several people in the car and saw lights hovering over a field, in the middle of nowhere, to the side of the expressway. Other cars that were traveling on the expressway also saw the objects and either slowed down or pulled over to watch them as well.

This all was during the height of the cold war, and many of our SAC bases were located in the northern states to allow bombers to fly the polar route into the USSR. So who knows what was really going on, or what the government was covering up, but I am pretty sure swamp gas was nothing more then a cover story to belay a panic, or cover for military activity.

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



Defcon5, thanks for sharing the sighting by your relative near Kalamazoo, apparently the late, great John Keel described the town of Monroe in Michigan as a 'major UFO window' but I don't know if that's anywhere near the area - as for the SAC bases in the northern states, there's some extremely interesting reports here collated by Lawrence Fawcett (RIP) and Barry Greenwood which contain some very strange object descriptions over the facilities -apparently they were placed on a high priority alert due to repeated reports of UFOs flying at low altitude over their atomic weapons storage areas.




Michigan is described by John Keel, the Grand Old Man of unexplained-phenomena research, as "a major UFO '_'" He was actually referring specifically to the little town of Monroe in Cass County when he said in his book, "The Complete Guide to Mysterious Beings," that there have been "thousands of UFO sightings in this immediate area since 1896"


link


Cheers.





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