HOLLAND, MI – Twenty-five years ago tonight, eyes all across West Michigan were drawn to strange lights in the sky, and 911 dispatch center lines lit up with reports of UFOs.
What started out as a handful of people describing cylindrical lights moving overhead quickly snowballed into reports rolling in from Ludington, then down the shoreline to Michigan’s southern border. Some callers said they looked like fast-moving Christmas lights. Others wondered if there were experimental military aircraft in the area.
Many calls came in a cluster from Grand Haven south to Allegan County.
At least one report came from law enforcement, a Holland Police officer who spied the lights through binoculars handed to him by a witness, according to the Associated Press. When authorities called the local National Weather Service office to get a handle on what was being reported, a meteorologist’s initial bafflement turned to amazement when he took a closer look at the radar, according to dispatch tapes of the event.
“Yeah, there’s something big down there … that’s really strange,” the NWS staffer says in the call with police, according to a copy of the call available online. “It’s moving toward the west-southwest, looks like a big blob. It was up about 6,000-feet or so … it disappears … it’s moving.”
“I’m getting it now at about 12,000 feet, it’s a pretty strong return. Oh my God what is this? Now I’m getting three of them and uh, they’re about separated by about 5,000 feet in height.”
“I’ve never seen anything like this, not even when I’m doing storms,” the NWS staffer says. “These aren’t storms.”
The phenomenon has been featured on cable television specials, and a quarter century later, remains a mystery for that part of the state. Other UFO sightings were reported later that month in the Upper Peninsula, according to AP reports.
Days later, another NWS official downplayed the incident, saying the staffer on the phone with police that night was seeing erratic radar echo activity. He said he believed they could be attributed to military aircraft. But an Air Force liaison to the FAA said there was no military aircraft activity in West Michigan that night.
This content was originally published here.