Published: 2:21 PM 1/18/2011
ET Incident that Baffled Witnesses and Police
Original report written in July 13, 2008 by Jill Stefko
Five credible witnesses saw a UFO and one of its passengers on Presque Isle Park. Two women clearly saw a strange being. John Keel, respected paranormalist, investigated.
The summer of 1966 was a strange one for some Erie residents. Eight gave descriptions of the alien beings they saw. People reported seeing mysterious lights in the sky. Something was eerie in Erie, the city of the canal folk song fame.
Erie UFO Sighting
A glowing object landed on Erie’s Presque Isle Park deserted beach during the night of July 31, 1966, a few hundred feet from a car that was bogged down in the sand with five young people in it.
The terrified witnesses, with no escape, watched. After the craft landed, they saw it send strange rays of light into the woods close by.
A tall dark figure slowly moved awkwardly toward the car, adding to their terror. It scratched the vehicle’s roof, then left.
The witnesses reported the incident to the police. During the investigation the next day, large amounts of silicon and some cone-like indentations were found in the sand where the craft had landed.
Presque Isle police vouched for the sincerity of the witnesses who were still very very scared when they reported the event. Many other Erie residents reported seeing bizarre lights or, as some would say, “UFOs,” in the sky that night.
Additional Comments by Paranormal Investigator Rick Fisher, 2010
... There was the incident at Presque Isle, on the shore of Lake Erie. In 1966, four teens were on a beach and their car got stuck in the sand, Fisher recounted. One went to get help. The remaining three saw a strange light in the sky, then a beam of light shining down and the lighted object descending nearby.
Two police officers arrived and the remaining male in the car offered to show the officers where the object landed. The two females stayed in the stuck car. Soon, Fisher related, the girls said a Bigfoot-looking creature approached and clawed at the car.
The girls hit the horn and flashed the lights. The creature ran off and the flying object quickly flew away.
The next morning, police returned and found scratches on the car, three-toed tracks leading to and away from the car and tripod-type impressions in the sand.
Decades later, a man claimed responsibility for what he said was a hoax. As a boy, he had released a hot-air balloon from his backyard in nearby Erie that had floated to the beach that night, he said.
Yet, that doesn't explain the marks in the sand, Fisher said. (Editor's Note:... or the sighting of the creature).
The force needed to create the impressions would have required a weight of 700 to 1,000 pounds, he said.
"I'm not here to tell you that it was a UFO, but I can tell you it was unexplained," said Fisher.
Sometimes people see things, but they don't want to talk about it, he said.