Forty years ago this month, a UFO flew over the Bass Lake district near Draper, Wisconsin. It happened on Friday, November 2, one week after a similar encounter at Halfmoon Lake. The November 8, 1979, Sawyer County Gazette out of Winter, Wisconsin publicized a sparse account of Bass Lake area sighting:
A UFO was reported in our area last Friday night by several of our area residents. They describe seeing a large, round, blue object with red lights and another object under it. The object was seen along Hwy 70 and it moved toward Draper and then returned to the Bass Lake district and then back toward Draper. Joe Paulick of Loretta along with three or four other people stopped their vehicles to observe the object near Hwy B and 70. If any of our readers saw this object please let us know, we are sure that Joe and the others would be interested in your description of the U.F.O.
The photo above depicts the intersection of Hwy 70 and Hwy B where the craft was spotted.
The news article called for additional witnesses, stating, “we are sure that Joe and the others would be interested in your description of the U.F.O.” Forty years later, we’re still interested. Someone in the area should check the archives of the Sawyer County Gazette to see if any further witnesses came forward or if any further information on this sighting can be obtained.
The Draper sighting does add one more in a growing list of Western Wisconsin UFO sightings from the Fall of 1979. It follows on the heels of legitimate sightings with multiple witnesses including incidents at Dresser, New Richmond, Balsam Lake, Baldwin, and Half Moon Lake.
Halfmoon Lake Incident
The Halfmoon Lake incident happened around 6:30 AM on Thursday, October 25. Halfmoon Lake is adjacent to Balsam Lake, where a strikingly similar UFO encounter had already occurred in early September. Read about the Balsam Lake Encounter here.
In the Halfmoon Lake story, Richard Breault and his wife, farmers from Apple River, were driving in a pickup on their way to a deer hunting encampment. The sun had not yet risen. Less than two miles from the Halfmoon store, Mrs. Breault noticed a particularly bright star in the sky. “My wife thought it was a bright star and I said it looked more like a weather balloon,” Mr. Breault reported. Suddenly the bright light descended on their vehicle, just past the store.
“I’ve never seen such speed in all my life,” Breault said, estimating the speed at 4,000 – 5,000 miles per hour.
“My wife thought we were going to smash into it and screamed at me to hit the brakes!” The object swooped at the car, flying about 80 feet above the ground, and then dropped straight down until it hovered about 20 feet above the surface of the road. Breault described it as 40 feet in length with a hump in the middle. One end of the craft was squared off, but the other end sloped to a curve. About three quarters of the object glowed red in color, but the top quarter seemed to be a combination of red, green, yellow, and orange. In about six seconds time, the object shot out across Halfmoon lake and disappeared from sight. “I’ve never seen such speed in all my life,” Breault said, estimating the speed at 4,000 – 5,000 miles per hour.
The encounter happened so fast that Breault never had an opportunity to use either the binoculars or the camera that sat beside him on the pickup seat. The experience left the couple “with a good case of the jitters.” Breault said, “We had butterflies in the stomach and we couldn’t swallow.”
Initially, the couple told no one about their frightening experience except for their children “because you know what people think when something like this happens.” After two weeks of sleepless nights, Breault told the Amery Free Press about the incident
Similar visitations have been reported all over west central Wisconsin, from the Elmwood Encounters immortalized in the annual UFO Days festival to the unusual phenomena in the area of Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls, Menomonie, Barron, and Ridgeland as documented in a 2004 Fate Magazine article titled “Valley of the UFOs.” In the late 1970s, a local investigator with Dr. Allen Hynek’s Center for UFO Studies documented the encounters in the 1979 flap of sightings. Read the story here.
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