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50th Anniversary of Michigan UFO Sightings

1966 - UFO Photograph Dexter, Michigan USA
Published: 3:46 PM 3/17/2016

government blamed it all on swamp gas...

By Aaron Dimick

See the UFO Casebook file, 1966 - Michigan Sheriff Confirms UFO, Tracked on Radar

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) -- 50 years ago this week, Michigan was a hotbed of UFO activity. Hundreds of people claimed they saw strange aircraft and lights in the sky. The government blamed it all on swamp gas.

But to this day, it's still a mystery.

In March 1966, the eyes of the nation turned to southeast Michigan.

The Mannor family of the small town of Dexter, in Washtenaw County, watched as a UFO hovered over their swamp for 4 hours. Dozens of local police officers and neighbors witnessed the phenomenon before it flew away.

The next big sighting happened at Hillsdale College.

Several students were transfixed by what they say looked like a flying saucer. Five decades later, UFO researchers in Michigan haven't forgotten this cosmic mystery.

They're taking another look at the "Swamp Gas UFO Conference" this weekend.

"They're unexplained, even 50 years later what their purpose was, what they are, where they came from, we're no closer to understanding them as we were half a century ago," said William Konkolesky, State Director of the Michigan chapter of the Mutual UFO Network.

Back in the 60s, the U.S. Air Force launched an investigation. Their explanation was that witnesses were simply seeing lights produced by swamp gas. However, the lead investigator later regretted giving this answer.

"He was very candid that he was told upfront, whatever you say, don't give any indication it was a flying saucer, just give a brush off answer," Konkolesky said.

Researchers say high profile sightings take place every couple decades. While we don't know why UFOs could have been zipping around Michigan, one thing is for certain, sightings keep happening.

"Last year we had 331 sightings just in Michigan alone. People report their UFO sightings to us, and we do our best to investigate them," Konkolesky said.

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