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100'S WATCH UFOS OUTSIDE DETROIT 
Dexter, Hillsdale, Michigan  
Date: Sunday, March 20, 1966 
Hundreds of people, among them college coeds and police officers, spot UFOs west of Detroit/Windsor, about 3 hours from London. The 87 college students watched a red and white, 20 foot object for over 3 hours. The air force, concerned about the sightings, pressures Dr. Hynek to explain them away. He suggests swamp gas and flares, which only insults the witnesses. Hynek later said this debacle was the low point in his career.

Michigan Residents Insist Flying Saucers Sighted
DETROIT (AP) -- An expert's opinion that some of Michigan's unidentified flying objects probably were swamp gases may have convinced the U.S. Air Force, but not the people who saw them.
 
"I'm no professor, and I'm not as educated as him, but I think he's all wrong." Mrs. Frank Mannor said of Dr. J. Allen Hynek.
 
Hynek a Northwestern University astrophysicist san scientific consultant for the air force, told a press conference yesterday that sighitngs made on two specific days probably stemmed from swamp gases.
 
He said his study was confined to sightings made near Dexter March 20 by the Mannor family and at Hillsdale by 87 college coeds and the county civil defence director. Dexter a small community, is about 50 miles southwest of Detroit. Hillside is about 100 miles west.
 
Numerous UFO sightings have been reported in Michigan, especially the southern lower portion. In recent weeks many of them by police officers. Hynek said he did not investigate these because large enough groups had not witnessed them.
 
He said both the sightings he did investigate were in sawmpy areas -- "most unlikely place for a visit from outer space" -- and said the UFOs probably resulted from spring thaws releasing trapped gases resulting from decomposing organic material. He added that in the Hillsdale case the sighting might have been assisted by youths playing "pranks with flares."
"There were no flares involved in this," said William Van Horn, Hillsdale County civil director. He said the Hillsdale college coeds reported watching a white and red object -- about 20 feet across -- from dormitory windows for nearly three hours.
 
" I think I will disprove him (Hynek) in a few weeks," Van Horn said. "I also didn't care for the methods of investigation. I know no flares were involved." 
 
Milton M. Ferguson, the college's director of public affairs speaking about the dean of women Kelly Hearn , and the coeds.
 
 "What they saw has no resemblance to rockets or flares." he said. "I don't know what it was nor do the people who saw it, but this is trying to explain it away arbitrarily. The air force is going to get into trouble going on in this way. It seems a whitewash."
 
At Dexter, Mrs Mannor said "I saw it with my own eyes. And my son and husband wouldn't lie. They saw it too. I think there's something going on the people don't know about. I'm scared. I want to pack up an move."
 
Said her husband: "There's nothing wrong with my eyes and my son (Robert 19) has 20-20 vision. We both can't be wrong."
 
Dexter Police Cheif Tobert Taylor, who says he also saw the object said "I have no idea what it was, but I don't think it was swamp gas.

The London Free Press, Mar 26, 1966

Copyright 1997 Joseph Daniels, All Rights Reserved