(video report-end of article)
(On The Shores of Lake Erie, OH) --- It's become known as the "Lake Erie 'UFO' phenomenon."
11/27/06-Recent sightings of unidentified objects are sparking new interest in the subject. So NBC24 launched a probe into the area's close encounters. Whether you're a skeptic, or a sworn believer, you'll want to see what we found. Ufologist Aaron Clark is among the area's top investigators. He showed NBC24 video footage of a recent sighting -- a dark object that appears to dart back and forth in the sky.
"It's very strange as it moves," Clarks tells NBC24. 'It almost looks like it's changing shape."
Clark says efforts to identify another glowing object have been unsuccessful.
"It's this very strange odd shaped, almost boomerang-shaped object that flies in front of the moon. It's unknown. All we have is the video. It's not anything that's a conventional type of aircraft."
Clark says Ohio's Lake Erie coastline is is a well known hot spot for UFO sightings. Ufologist Richard Lee has been examining reports for decades.
"Ohio's been famous for the possibility of the connection of the UFO subject from way back in the 1950s," he told NBC24 recently during a meeting of Ufologists. This is the oldest continuously operating group as far as we know in the world."
Lee admits most of the incidents the Cleveland Ufology Project has investigated are of this world.
"It might be atmospheric, or it might be miss-identified."
But the trained UFO investigator says there are incidents that still can't be unexplained. Lee says a police chase with a UFO depicted in the 1970s Steven Spielberg film "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" was inspired by an actual event that happened right here in Ohio. The chase started on the morning of April 17, 1966. Several police crews followed an object they could not identify. Lee says the deputy who first encountered the object described what he saw.
"We usually say, 'how big was it at arms length?' He said it was like a house 50-feet over your head, and that started the chase that ended up in Pennsylvania they exceeded 100 miles an hour in part of the pursuit."
Police followed it into Pennsylvania and eventually ran out of gas. It was a sighting that looked like a movie scene that make Clark a believer.
"It was a large object bigger than a house that had three rows of white lights and it was rotating about 500-feet away," he says. Nearly 22 years later, in 1988, the Coast Guard responded to a call of a sighting. NBC24 confirmed a Coast Guard report, in which crews described an unidentified large object, appeared to land on the Lake Erie ice, before it vanished.
"Unexplained. It's like there's no definitive way to define what the phenomenon was." Lee says. "It's just one of those mysteries."
If UFOs are watching over Lake Erie, the real mystery is why? Area Ufologists have heard several theories over the years.
"The lake is being monitored by somebody from elsewhere possibly. people think there are underwater bases," Clark says.
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