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|National UFO Reporting Center Sighting Report|
|Occurred : 9/20/2003 18:00 (Entered as : 09/20/103 18:00)
Reported: 1/5/2004 4:39:39 PM 16:39
Location: Fraser, MI
Duration: 25-30 minutes
|Occurred : 9/20/2003 18:00 Reported: 12/4/2003 2:55:02 PM 14:55 Posted: 12/9/2003 Location: Fraser, MI Shape: Duration:25-30 minutes
----begin amended report per our conversation---------
This report is in response to the following sighting as it appears on the NUFORC website. It is a 'comment' report on a follow-up investigation done by a Michigan MUFON Field Investigator.
Occurred : 9/20/2003 18:00 (Entered as : 09/20/2003 18:00) Reported: 9/21/2003 6:45:44 PM 18:45 Posted: 9/24/2003 Location: Fraser, MI Shape: Light Duration:25-30 minutes star-like lights in the form of triangles and diamonds dancing in the late afternoon sky My Brother was out in the yard and called to us to hurry and come look at "this". In the sky directly above us were what we at first thought were hot air balloons that ascended so high they appeared to look like stars in the clear blue sky. There were 3 in a formation of a perfect triangle to the left and 4 to the right in the shape of a diamond. Then they began to dance in the sky with each other returning to their positions. Coming very close to each other but never colliding. There were 3 sets of these formations. One had a stream of light coming from it leading me to believe it was a hot air balloon but when it ascended up and disappeared I dismissed that idea.
Nearing the 20 minutes of watching these star-like objects dancing in the sky others started to appear as dim stars and became brighter up to 50 were in the sky at one time dancing, but never colliding. They ascended and just disappeared. There was no sound, no aircraft in the area, no tails on the craft above us.
The observers ranged in age from 81 a homemaker, a police detective (just retired)51, myself (laid off) 48, retired auto worker 53, spouse 54, niece 32, Ameritech line man, 51 and spouse, 51.
Comments on - WUFOD Case 2-826 - Fraser, MI Multiple Witness Daylight Sighting I received FI (I.e. Field Investigator) David Twichell’s photocopied forms and report on Sunday November 9, 2003. My initial impression of this case was that it was a solid case that would produce quite an extensive report due to it being a daylight sighting. The investigator originally included with his report a copy of the original WUFOD report in context of an email I sent him, Form 1 (2 pages), with an extra page for the spillover of the reporting witness’s personal account, a 2 page hand-written description of the object by the witness, Form 2 (3 pages), Form 4 (1 page), Form 5 (1 page) with an added handwritten page describing the psychological and physiological effects as reported by the witness, a 3 page typed report by FI Twichell, a 2 page printout of the weather conditions for Mt. Clemens, MI on September 20, 2003, a one page small printout of a map of the sighting location and two cassette tapes of the phone interviews of all witnesses involved.
There were 8 witnesses in total however after all was said and done only 1 witness’s signature and form are on file with Michigan MUFON. The 1-hour onsite interview was done on November 3, 2003 with R G and her mother S at R’s home. The attention of the investigator has been drawn towards R G, who appears to be the dominant witness and whom initially filed the report. I will summarize my thoughts on the other witnesses accounts first, then R G’ account, and finally on the case as a whole.
MA D, wife of L D, described the event in a very straightforward serious manner, with excellent detail. The time of the event as noted by M A was around 4:00 pm (2 hour discrepancy here compared to other witnesses T.L.) or a bit thereafter. She mentions that one of the objects could’ve been a ‘party balloon’ floating upward with a spiral tail attached to the balloon. She mentions that L, her husband, in fact said it was a party balloon. M is in agreement with most of the other witness’s in the fact that she stated she was facing south and the objects were moving from west to east. She suggested that she thought it may have been a ‘weather gadget’ as appears in the movie ‘Twister’, and may have had something to do with weather testing. She mentions a 45-minute duration to the sighting. She described the movements of the clusters of objects as being ‘like a butterfly’, no jerky movements. She also didn’t report any physiological or psychological effects as a result of this sighting.
L D, the witness who was first to see the objects mentions them catching his eye while he was walking up the back steps, to go in the house, around 3:55 pm. He was looking towards the west at about 40o up from the horizon. He stated the sighting duration was approximately 47 minutes. He too reported no physiological or psychological effects as a result of this sighting. He mentioned initially seeing 7 shiny ‘dots’…. 3 being in a ‘straight line’, and 4 being shaped in a ‘straight edged arch’. He mentions some of the objects rotating around in a circle very slowly. Most of his account matches closely with that of his wife M A and that leaves me with the question of, “Was there significant collaboration between the two witnesses resulting in some level of contamination in these two accounts? This seems most evident in the time at which they estimated the sighting began.
S D - L’s Mother - The initial part of this taped conversation has only the voice of FI David Twichell due to the fact that his speakerphone was not turned on. After David asks her about what time [the sighting began - T.L.] there is some silence and then David mentions a time of 6:30 pm during the early part of their conversation. I’m making what I believe is a valid assumption, based on the taped conversation, that they are speaking of the onset of the sighting event. She mentions her friends present at the sighting location counting about 8 -10 lights. She stated they were moving around one another and darting back and forth. She also mentions a sighting duration of 15-20 minutes. Here we see a large discrepancy in the time of the event onset and the sighting duration as compared to L and M A’s account. S states the objects were seen ‘overhead’ in the southeast initially and then darted to the west for a short distance further stating that she didn’t have to move her head very much to follow them. She mentions also that the sun had set approximately 1 hour after the objects disappeared. The sunset, as listed at the bottom of the weather data, was at 7:30 pm so her approximation of the onset of the event being at 6:30 pm could very well be correct. She too mentions the possibility of the objects being helium balloons. She also stated she was emotionally excited and had ‘chills’ up and down her arms. This witness has had a previous sighting of a cigar-shaped object, which she experienced in Canada but no specific information was given about this sighting.
AM G - She initially states the time of the sighting started at 5:30 pm. She states she was initially facing south, which is in agreement with most of the other witnesses. She mentions the objects slowly moving, or drifting across the sky and that she watched them for approximately 2 hours (a notable discrepancy in the sighing duration here - T.L.). For the most part the description of the objects is in agreement with the others. She states she suffered from no physiological or psychological effects, however she does mention one interesting effect and that was she saw “little white specks” like TV static in her eyes due to her head being craned up towards the sky. She had to repeatedly look down to relieve this effect and readjust her eyes. She believes this may have been due to her looking up in the sky for long periods of time. She said the objects were at an elevation of approximately 80o to directly overhead. (Here too is a discrepancy in what was said to be a 40o elevation for the objects mentioned by the initial witness L. - T.L.) J G had very little to add to this investigation. His interview was extremely short. He was in the house watching a football game and showed very little interest in determining what the others were viewing. He states the sighting onset was approximately 6:00 pm. He stated he didn’t look at the objects long enough to discern much detail. He stated what he saw was a bunch of cluster type star shapes and then went right back in to watch the football game, not looking at them long enough to even determine if they were moving. He stated that the other witnesses stayed outside for 15-20 minutes watching the objects.
M Z stated onset of sighting event was about 5:30 pm. She stated she saw white ‘balls’ like a balloon but it wasn’t a balloon. She states there was about 15-20 of them and the sighting duration was a good 45 minutes. She stated that the objects were in different areas and not in one spot. The witness says they [her and the other witnesses] were all kind of nervous. M stated that R called [reported them to MUFON] because her and her mother thought these were some kind of thing from outer space. She states the objects were moving in different directions, yet says that it could’ve been the wind blowing them. She said at no time did they change color. No physiological or psychological effects noted by this witness. Witness, in my opinion, seemed very hesitant to give out her address, and left only her phone number with FI Twichell. Her husband M was interviewed later.
MZ stated he saw 10 whitish things that could’ve been balloons. He didn’t watch them too long and didn’t think anything of it. Stated it didn’t interest him so he went back in the house. Onset of event he says was 5:30 - 5:45 pm. To him it looked like balloons. He stated they were kind of drifting not going any certain way. Objects were at a high altitude. He watched the objects for approximately 5 minutes. Nothing unusual noticed, as they were too far away to tell. No color changes noticed. Very short interview…approximately 3 minutes.
R G, the witness who reported this incident, was affected quite differently by this event. She states the onset of the event was around 6:00 pm with a total duration of 25-30 minutes, which fits in well with most of the other witness’s accounts, except for those of L and MA D. She first thought these were hot air balloons. She went on to describe their movements using the word ‘dancing’ meaning they would move towards and away from, and around each other. She initially saw 7 objects in two different groups. She describes the color as being dim blue then turning brighter. She goes on to describe in detail, as evidenced in the taped interview, many perceptions that weren’t described by the other 7 witnesses. R’s size estimation being that of an aspirin, as suggested by the FI is quite in opposition to the starlike description given by the other witnesses. She relates her account in a very excited way with a lot of emotion in her voice. The other witnesses sounded much calmer when relating their accounts.
R mentions another sighting she witnessed about 17 years ago in which she called Selfridge ANG at that time as well, with no response from her message left on the automated answering system at the base. 20 minutes into her phone interview R adamantly mentions there was not a plane anywhere in the sky. She then mentions, about 27 minutes into the interview that “after, a jetliner was by and it was higher than that”. This point being unclear as to whether or not the objects were in the sky during the time the plane was seen. I asked FI Twichell to clarify this if he could. He states, “As to the plane involved in the sighting of Sept. 20th, I’m sorry I’m not making myself clear on this. I didn’t make a copy of the recorded interviews so I can’t check them for clarity but the witnesses agree that they did not see any conventional aircraft in the sky until the very end of the sighting episode. While the objects were still above them, a jet, coming from the direction of Selfridge, came into view and headed in the direction of the objects. At this time, the objects ascended and were gone from view. MA stated that the plane was visible while the objects were still visible.
R goes on to mention her husband’s flu-like illness previous to the sighting and it’s complete reversal during the sighting, and then a subsequent relapse afterwards. She feels this may be relevant. Her husband did not mention this during his interview. R also noticed a definite difference in local animal activity whereas the others did not, and also mentioned an eerie silence during the event. She goes on to describe the remainder of the sighting as mentioned within David’s report.
On Form 2, first page, under ‘Shape’ I noticed that ‘disk’ was checked off but I hadn’t heard any witness mention anything about a ‘disk’ shape to these objects. I queried David about this and he replied, “The one object that appeared to be larger than the others, with the curly-Q tail, was described by R G as being more disk-shaped than star like. She was the only witness that made this observation. I’m not aware of where this statement appears in the context of the material that has been made available to me (T.L.).
I completed forms 4 & 5 as indicated on the forms. These were sent by the FI, via postal mail, to the witness to be completed and signed. Once she returned them he felt they shouldn’t be altered after her signature was placed on the form. I added the necessary data in order to complete the forms.
WUFOD, NUFORC and Filer’s Files were checked for sighting reports that may be relevant to this report but nothing of any significance was discovered. This sighting was also reported on September 21, a day previous to it being reported to WUFOD, to Peter Davenport’s NUFORC website. See http://www.nuforc.org/webreports/031/S31702.html I’m not aware of any other communications between R and Mr. Davenport. Mr. Davenport has made the original report available to me.
Due south of the sighting location is Victor Airway 221- 464 which is on an 85o (E-W) heading. Wind direction from ground level (329 ft. at DTX weather station at Pontiac White Lake) to ~35,000 ft. ranged from 240o - 270o (blowing from the west to east approximately) at speeds ranging from to 6 - 50 mph respectively. From 35,000 ft. to 97,000 ft. the wind direction was a bit more sporadic, ranging from 20o - 240o at speeds ranging from 58 - 3.5 mph respectively. These figures were taken from radiosonde data from the above-mentioned Nexrad weather station located approximately 30 miles northwest of the sighting location near Waterford, Michigan. Archived NOTAM’s (Notice to Airmen) were also checked for the date in question but nothing of note was listed.
In my opinion it is evident that helium balloons tied together could account for some of the movements described by the majority of the witnesses. As far as the event time and sighting duration discrepancies are concerned I would tend to think the 6:00 pm time range is correct due to the fact that the party was completed and the cleanup had begun. The football game (Michigan vs. Oregon) was televised at 3:30 pm with the postgame show starting at 6:30 pm. The sighting duration discrepancies are wide ranging but all estimates are, as far as typical UFO sightings are concerned, rather long in duration. This would make me lean even further towards the ‘balloon’ hypothesis as a possible explanation due to the objects slow and drifting movements. There are some aspects such as the color change and ‘beam of light’ or ‘light bar’ noted by a few of the witnesses that would be difficult to explain via the balloon hypothesis, other than it being some type of reflective string used to tie the balloons together.
Overall, I would have to evaluate this sighting as BORDERLINE IFO due to the distance between the witnesses and the objects, the object’s ‘point like’ appearance yielding no notable surface characteristics or structure, and their slow drifting movements.
Todd Lemire Chief Investigator - Michigan MUFON January 5, 2004 ------End Report---------
((NUFORC Note: We express our gratitude to Todd Lemire, State Director for Michigan MUFON, for following up on this report. He can be contacted at