Strange Shape Darts Through Detroit Lakes, MN Skies

On September 20, 2019, Todd Mitchell was trying to film a lightening storm when his camera seems to have caught something highly unusual. A phantom-like creature darts into the sky and swoops about erratically. You’re going to want to watch this video more than once, probably frame-by-frame, to appreciate this piece of high strangeness:


The bizarre-looking video from WDAY News (Fargo, ND) depicts the skies over the Country Campground, just south of Detroit Lakes, MN near Galwe Lake. Todd Mitchell, the owner of the campground, was taking video of a lightening storm on Friday, September 20, 2019. When he replayed the video, he noticed a strange anomaly on the playback. Perhaps a glitch in the software or some trick of the light on the lens, but it appears that a smokey wraith shape trailing a tail like tadpole darts into the sky and maneuvers about through the clouds.

Mitchell re-watched the whole recording and discovered the same phenomenon appeared a little earlier in the film. Puzzled by the glitch, Mitchell submitted the video to WDAY News asking if anyone could help explain it. Was it something real that his camera had caught or some trick of the recording? It may be simply a flying insect close to the lens, a glitch in the software, or a strange trick of the digital processing, but the spooky wraith looks convincing as it seems to weave through the clouds. In one sequence, it seems to leap up into the sky from a flash of light on the horizon as if entering this world through the discharge.

Mitchell does not claim to have seen the phenomenon with the naked eye. He only discovered it while re-watching his video footage of the lightning storm. AREA51crop.png

Mitchell observed that, ironically, he shot the video in a location identified by the a Detroit Lakes map as section “51,” and that he had often joked about the campground occupying the Detroit Lakes version of “Area 51.” Coincidentally,  he recorded the video of the “storm” at “Area 51” on September 20, the date set for “Storm Area 51.” The alleged coincidence doesn’t add any credibility to the witness’ testimony and raises the possibility of a practical joke. [Update 9/25/2019: Mitchell, however, disavows knowledge of the Storm Area 51 Event and has now provided us the raw footage and several clarifications. Read the new story and watch the original unedited footage.]

An article about the incident at WDAY News concludes by soliciting input from viewers, “If you know what this could be, let us know!”

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6 Comments on “Strange Shape Darts Through Detroit Lakes, MN Skies

  1. This is a pretty accurate version of what happened. I wasn’t actually trying to get lightning footage, but discovered these weird sites while checking an already recording camera to see how thee lightning looked on it.
    I had no idea of the Area 51 event or when it was supposed to be. We like to joke about Country Campground being location 51 on the Chamber of Commerce map. Honestly, discovering these black streek around the same date as the real Area 51 event was a crazy coincidence. I’ve never looked at lightning footage from that camera before. I’m still freaked out as what this is.


    • Hey Todd Mitchell, welcome to Your famous now! To clarify the story, you were recording video on September 20 at location 51 and then reviewed the footage that same day to see what the lightning storm looked like on camera. Is that correct? Can you tell us what you were using to record? Would you be interested in sharing the video file with us?


      • Hi! The camera is a Ubiquiti UniFi G3 Dome camera connected to our UniFi wifi network. I’m very impressed with it.
        I looked at the footage that same night to simply to see how the camera recorded lightning in the sky since there was so much. That is when I saw more than lightning in the playback video. The three video are on my YouTube channel if you want to see what was sent to the news station. They came to the campground yesterday and did an on site story so watch for it at the WDAY website if you would like. This is the link to video 1 of 3 that I saved out that night.


    • Hi Todd, I just saw your video on “paranormal caught on tape” on what no one seems to notice is that the object is actually on the ground also. Right after where you say you were “freaked out” look at the green area on the ground right in front of the camera. It’s right there coming at the camera. I think everyone was focused on the sky and never sees the object on the ground also.


  2. Pingback: Raw Footage of Detroit Lakes Anomaly – UFO Days and UFO News

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