Bill Johnson answers question, ‘Why UFO Days’

 By Kaye Bird, Contributor, Gateway News
Saturday, July 25, 2015 12:01 AM

Bill Johnson, retired professor at UW/Stout will be presenting a talk entitled, “Why UFO Days” on Saturday and Sunday this upcoming weekend. Don’t miss it! Photo by Kaye Bird

MENOMONIE, WI – Bill Johnson, retired professor from UW/Stout has the answer for anyone who has ever wondered, “Why does Elmwood celebrate UFO Days?”

Remember the tagline from The X-Files, “The Truth is Out There?” On Saturday afternoon, July 25, 2015 that “truth” will be revealed. And the truth is this—there have been several UFO sightings in the Elmwood area.

“Roswell, New Mexico has had one sighting; Elmwood has had several,” said Johnson adding, “You have to wonder why. Some people say it’s because of its location—it’s in a valley.” To that Johnson would reply, “So is Spring Valley and Plum City, and I haven’t heard of any sightings in those towns.”

It was in 1974 when Johnson decided that he wanted to be a UFO researcher. He flew to Tucson, Arizona and stayed with a friend. “To me the most impressive and widely respected group at that time was the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization or APRO Read More

George Wheeler’s Alien Ordeal

Reposted from Phantoms and Monsters

This case / report was exhaustively investigated by several researchers including Robert Pratt, who did exceptionally thorough interviews with all individuals important to the case, and Mr. Jack Bostrak, a Professor of Biology at the University of Wisconsin at River Falls. I have included some of the APRO Bulletin from April 1976. I have also added a link at the end of the post to a site with more information. The important elements of this case are:

(1) The primary witness reported a UFO in April 1975, thus making him a “repeater”. (Some researchers, and Dr. J. Allen Hynek in particular, have reservations concerning the believability of witnesses where they claim more than one sighting. It is our contention that during heightened UFO activity in a particular area, an individual could easily have more than one sighting.) (2) The object, or the glow from it, was seen by at least two other witnesses. (3) There apparently were electro-mechanical effects on an automobile and possibly on television reception, and (4) possible animal reaction.

At about 11 p.m. on April 22, 1976, George Wheeler, a relief policeman at the town of Elmwood, population 737, located in west central Wisconsin about 60 miles east of the Mississippi River, spotted an orange glow at the top of Tuttle Hill. Mr. Wheeler is a veteran of 30 years police work in New York state and Wisconsin, and the former one-man police force in Elmwood where he now performs as reserve officer, filling in for the present chief when necessary. He was also a combat pilot in World War II.

Thinking that the glow was a large fire, he drove to the top of Tuttle Hill, but when he arrived there he found a strange glowing object which he estimated was about 500 feet distant and hovering about 100 feet off the ground. He said it was between a limestone quarry and a farmhouse in the area. Wheeler later said that there were six bluish-white lights, windows or portholes on the side and he could see shadows as if someone was moving inside of it. In the middle of the side facing him there appeared to be some kind of a panel that was open and Wheeler said that inside he could see something which was revolving slowly and had fin-like parts on it similar to a turbine.

What Wheeler interpreted to be legs on the craft were partially extended from the main body of the object and there was a long, black, hose-like appendage on the bottom. The main part of the craft was silver in color.

All the while he was observing, Mr. Wheeler remembered some advice given him by Bostrak the preceding April when he had his first experience: if he should have a similar experience in the future, he should attempt to observe as many details as possible.

When Wheeler first saw the object as he arrived at the top of the hill he radioed the sheriff’s department headquarters in Ellsworth and described what he was observing. Suddenly the object started to rise straight up at extremely high speed and at this time there was a bluish flash, whereupon the squad car, the lights, and the radio went dead. Wheeler claims that he doesn’t remember any more until somebody asked him if he needed any help. He thinks he recalls saying something of this nature when he radioed the sheriffs office: “My God, it’s another one of these UFOs or spacecraft.” He estimates that he observed the object for perhaps 45 seconds, and recalls that it made a “whooshing” sound when it left. Although the main body of the craft was silvery in color, the top of it glowed an orangish-white, and so brilliant that it was difficult for him to look at that part because it was “like looking into the sun.” He could not discern whether the hose-like appendage was touching the ground because it extended down to where it was obscured by trees.

The limestone quarry where the object was hovering is an active quarry, that is, it is still being worked. In the neighborhood, the nearest farm is that of the O’Bryan family and when Bostrak interviewed Mr. O’Bryan he said that he hadn’t seen anything because he was watching television, and casually noted that he recalled the time because he was watching the Perry Mason show which comes on at 11 p.m. and that several minutes after 11, his television set quit for a short time. When Bostrak visited another farm with Wheeler they learned nothing from the adults, but the 9-year-old boy said something about his sister coming home from “some doings” in town and when she came into the yard the dogs did not act normally. Always before, the dogs would run up to her and jump up for attention and petting but on that night they would not respond to her calls and merely barked for some time.

The first person to see George Wheeler after the accident was David Moots, 36, a dairy farmer at Elmwood. Moots had taken the babysitter home a few minutes before that and he had seen Wheeler’s squad car parked elsewhere with lights on, etc., so when he saw the car parked on the top of the hill with the lights out and blocking that lane of the road, he decided to stop. Moots said that Wheeler was trying to get out of the car and there seemed to be something wrong with him. Knowing that Wheeler had once had a heart attack, he thought he might be having another so he stopped and asked what was wrong. Moots said that Wheeler said that he’d been hit. He responded with a question: “Hit by a car?7′ Wheeler then said, “No, one of those UFOs.”

Original sketch by George Wheeler
APRO Bulletin 1976

When interviewed, Moots said that he’d heard that a lot of people had seen UFOs in the area before so that was no particular surprise but the being “hit” by a UFO took him aback a bit. He said that Wheeler appeared to be dazed, and because although he did not know him well, he had had sufficient contact with him to know that he was not acting normally.

A second witness to the incident is Mrs. Miles Wergland, a housewife who lives just outside of Elmwood to the North. She claimed that at about 11 o’clock she heard the cuckoo clock strike and got up to go to the kitchen to take some medicine when she happened to glance out the kitchen window and spotted a “bright orange moon-shaped” object on the hill (Tuttle). She said she observed it for a “few minutes”, then went back to bed and did not even bother to wake her husband because she said she had seen strange things in the area before and he had merely told her to go back to bed, she was seeing the moon, without ever checking for himself.

The third witness to the actual object is Paul Fredrickson, who is administrator of the Heritage of Elmwood Nursing Home in Elmwood. Mr. Fredrickson was at his home when the police chief’s wife called him and asked him to go to his front porch and look out the window and see what he could see. Fredrickson did as he was asked, and saw what he later described as “an orange glow, like a half-moon, like a moon cut in half” on Tuttle Hill. He said he knew it was not a house on fire as there were no flames leaping up. He went back to the telephone and by that time his wife had gotten out of bed and the two of them went back to the window and the thing was gone. Fredrickson feels that the length of time that he spent on the telephone might have been from 3 to 5 minutes.

In the course of the investigation, Mr. Pratt found that Mr. Fredrickson had had another experience along with his son in October, 1975, at which time they were in the same general vicinity, and driving home from the Nursing Home where Mr. Fredrickson had worked overtime. His son suddenly pointed out “something” coming up over the horizon. At the time, they were on Tuttle Hill and looking eastward “right over the top of our house”. Fredrickson said his first impression was that it was the full moon rising but then realized it couldn’t be because the object was rising very rapidly. He stopped the car and they got out, the boy getting a better look because Mr. Fredrickson was busy with braking, turning off on to the side of the road, etc. Mr. Fredrickson described it at first as a big orange light coming toward them, but when it was overhead it looked like the bottom of a huge, gray plate which he estimated was about 100 feet across. He thinks perhaps it may have been between 500 and 1,000 feet in altitude and when it was directly overhead they could hear a roaring sound much like the roar of a waterfall. The Fredrickson boy said that the object gave off a blue and green beam from the side of it at one point, but this was while his father was engaged in stopping the car. The object faded into the distance rather quickly, they said; having originally come from the east, it disappeared into the west. Fredrickson did not make careful note of the date at the time, but feels it was around the 20th of October and that the experience took place between 10 and 10:30 p.m.

The next individual to become involved in the Wheeler incident was Police Chief Gene Helmer of Elmwood. He had been at home and monitoring the “police scanner” when he heard Wheeler say that he was watching a UFO. Helmer said Wheeler had started to describe the object but the radio went dead. The Sheriffs Department was trying to contact Wheeler by radio also, and Helmer tried to get Wheeler back, but to no avail. Helmer decided he had better go and see what was wrong when Wheeler came back on the radio momentarily and said, “Get somebody up here — I’ve been hit.”

Helmer, who lives about a quarter of a mile from Tuttle Hill, left immediately and when he arrived at the scene, Moots was trying to soothe Mr. Wheeler. Helmer said that he had never seen a man as frightened as Wheeler was. He said further that he had worked with Wheeler under various trying conditions but had never seen him so upset. Another interesting aspect of Chief Helmer’s interview was his description of the condition of the patrol car. Although they had had the car tuned up not long before the incident, it was necessary to replace all points and plugs in the car’s engine. The starter is beginning to act up also, whereas they had had no problem with it prior to the incident.

Wheeler’s wife arrived on the scene at about the time the Police Chief got there, as she had been listening to the police frequency on the Wheeler scanner. Wheeler was taken home and the family doctor, Frank Springer, was called. Mrs. Wheeler took her husband to Springer’s home where he examined Wheeler and gave him a shot to calm him and help him sleep. After they got home, Chief Helmer arrived and questioned Wheeler for about an hour and a half. At about 1 a.m. Mrs. Wheeler called Dr. Springer and said that her husband was still quite upset and Dr. Springer instructed her to take her husband to the hospital.

Wheeler was in the hospital for three days where tests were taken but nothing could be found wrong with him. He stayed for three days, was released, but went back to the hospital for a second stay of 11 days because of headaches he was suffering, as well as nightmares.

Dr. Springer, who has been Wheeler’s physician for 25 years, said that it was unusual for Wheeler to suffer headaches and the headaches he had which prompted him (the Dr.) to re-hospitalize him were continual and severe. Otherwise, however, Wheeler was rational and appeared normal.

One puzzling aspect of this case is the fact that although Wheeler recounted the entire experience to Helmer, who recorded it in writing, he could not recall any of the details of the experience later. – APRO Bulletin – April 1976

NOTE: As his health rapidly deteriorated for causes his doctors could not determine, Wheeler repeatedly told them, to their disbelief; that he was dying from the mysterious effects of internal injuries caused by alien beings. Within six months after his April encounter, Officer George Wheeler died of unknown causes.

UFO Days 2019 Schedule

It’s happening! The 2019 Schedule for Elmwood’s 41st Annual UFO Days is here, and it’s jam-packed with activities for everyone. UFO Days this year is July 26-28, the last full weekend in July. Bring the family for a weekend of out-of-the-world fun.

UFOs: Fact or fiction?

Wisconsin UFO News excerpt from Stillwater, MN Evening Gazette, 6/16/1988

Not since the Steven Spielberg movies Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T. were released has so much attention been given to the possibility of extraterrestrials and UFOs. 

But some Elmwood, Wis., residents have decided to go on record with their reports of UFOs. 

It’s estimated that over the last two decades, the townspeople have seen anywhere from 30 to 50 strange-looking objects in the sky, and they’ve decided to speak out about it. Through the years, a series of “flaps” have taken place within Pierce County, and reports have continued to filter through, from Plum City and Ellsworth in the south to Elmwood and Spring Valley to the north. 

When you enter the village of Elmwood, it looks like any other small rural town you might run across in the midwest – a few blocks of business district with a sprinkling of hole-in-the-wall taverns. It won’t take long to find your way around in Elmwood. 

Hob Wilson says he has lived there since 1914. His only time away from Elmwood came during 44 months of active duty Army life during World War I. He says that he was glad to come back home. When you drive into Elmwood on Wisconsin Highway 128 from the west, you’ll recognize Hob’s place – it’s the one across the street from the biggest gas station in town and a stone’s throw from the grocery store on the corner. 

Proud of his garden and his ability to grow some of the largest turnips this side of the border, Hob spends much of his time weeding and planting these days. Today, he’s picked a fresh bunch of rhubarb and cleans it in the water bucket kept out front. 

He says the town hasn’t grown much at all over the years. But he’s noticed a lot more activity in town since news was released about the UFO sightings and how the town may be the site for a proposed UFO landing strip. He talks about Elmwood’s UFO Days held last year and says he shudders to think about how much traffic will come in this year. 

From underneath his worn straw hat and the big oak tree in his front yard, Hob recalls all of the comings and goings last year. He estimates that about 4,000 people showed up for the event, which kept him busy picking up hamburger wrappers and pop cans for days. 

There have been a lot of out-of-town visitors showing up lately, too. A few weeks ago, three men dressed in business suits approached him while he was cleaning those huge turnips, and one introduced himself as Dan Rather from CBS News. Hob says the crew, which arrived by helicopter, spent about three days taping and talking to Elmwood residents. He admits that it caused a bit of a stir in town. 

Other than a handful of media people who stop in town to chat with locals, Hob says he hasn’t seen so much excitement since his own UFO sighting in about 1972-74. 

“Nobody paid much attention to UFOs back then,” said Hob of the sightings. “They’d think you’re crazy if you talked about something like that. But it’s not that way anymore. I think more and more people are coming out about it.” 

According to Hob, he, too, has a UFO story to tell. He says he used to work at the nearby Spring Valley dam. When it was first built, it was Hob who greased the machinery and kept things running. He saw two UFOs in the same night and says he was less than 200 feet away from them. 

“Nobody paid much attention to those sightings back then,” said Hob. “I didn’t want to call in about it, so I more or less kept it to myself.” 

Hob says he expects the worst during UFO Days this year, so many people are interested in the UFO sightings. He’s heard that rooms are already filled up in neighboring towns like Menomonie. 

“It gives you an eerie feeling when you see something like that,” says Hob as he continues to rinse and clean a handful of rhubarb. “There’s something going on out there … and more people are willing to talk about it.” 


Rogers Worthington, Chicago Tribune CHICAGO TRIBUNE 5/31/1988

Planners of Elmwood`s annual UFO Days, strictly a local bash in previous years, are hoping for an invasion of celebrant earthlings this summer from far beyond the cozy hills of the Eau Galle Valley.

Just as other Wisconsin towns have Mosquito Days, Cucumber Days and other oddly named July festivals of food, parades and sporting events, Elmwood (pop. 991) has UFO Days, inspired by a wave of reported UFO sightings in the late 1970s.

The sightings brought Elmwood some media notice, but the town did not become renown until last February, when Wisconsin businessman Tom Weber unveiled a plan to raise $50 million for a two-square-mile, illuminated UFO landing site near Elmwood.

Weber said he needs $25 million to buy the land and build the buildings and another $25 million to operate the site for a number of years. He would not go into further detail about the financial aspects of the project.The site would have a giant, two-part panel depicting a friendly meeting between man and alien, Weber said. A third panel would be a landing site, which would be a circle 300 yards in diameter. Buildings housing scientists and radio and computer tracking devices would be placed nearby.

Weber, 50, has an abiding interest in the possibility of extra-terrestrial life. He lives in Chippewa Falls, 45 miles northeast of Elmwood, where he owns a small metal paint finishings firm.

He chose Elmwood for the site because, between the reported sightings and its UFO Days, which will be July 29-31 this year, it has ”a community that is fully acclimated to the phenomenon,” he said.

UFO talk and allusions are common in Elmwood, where claiming to see odd things in the sky is not necessarily viewed as a sign of oddness.It helped, of course, that the town`s mayor and village board were receptive to Weber`s plan. The idea of someone spending $50 million in a farm town, where the annual village budget is $283,411, seemed a fine one.

”We`re just thrilled with it,” said Wayne Nohelty, the town`s banker and a planning commission member, who sees the possibility of a tourist industry developing.

Elmwood is not the first Wisconsin town to try to capitalize on its reported UFO sightings. Belleville, in south-central Wisconsin, nearly passed a Kiwanis Club resolution declaring their town ”the UFO capital of the universe.” Officials there opted instead to allow club members to erect a statue of a flying saucer in the town park, complete with flashing lights.

But not everyone in Elmwood supports Weber`s plan.

”The whole thing lacks logic and any depth of real thinking about it,”

said Rev. James Thunstrom, pastor of the Elmwood United Methodist Church. Rev. Thunstrom, who considers it all ”a misguided effort to seek answers or help from spiritual forces other than God,” makes a point of taking his family out of town during UFO Days.

Even some of those in the UFO field are critical of the endeavor.

”We still don`t know enough about what`s going on to justify a landing pad,” said Donald Schmitt, Wisconsin investigator and co-director of the Center for UFO Studies, based in Chicago.

Jerome Clark, vice president of the center, termed Weber`s plan naive.

”We`re dealing with a phenomenon that wants to conduct its business relatively undetected. It doesn`t indicate it wants to have meetings with us,” he said.

Weber says such criticism reflects the competitive nature of the UFO field. ”We`re the new kid on the block,” he said. ”If we`re successful, they`re out of business.”

From Lake City, Pa., to El Cajon, Calif., a number of UFO landing pads have come and gone over the years. They have ranged from well-meaning civic endeavors to efforts by cult groups fired by religious millennialism. All are defunct or gathering dust, like an unused plate set for a dinner guest who never came.

Weber resents such comparisons: ”I guess you could say something has been tried before, but at what magnitude? I feel it`s unfair to mention us in the same sentence with efforts by groups that wear white robes and chant.”

No previous project, it can be said, has approached the magnitude of $50 million in proposed financing. It is a vast amount to raise through public contributions. By comparison, NASA`s Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence project, which scans outer space for alien radio signals, is hoping to win approval from Congress for its proposed budget of $60 million for the next 10 years.

Weber won`t say how much he has raised. An initial outpouring of small donations enabled him to open a UFO Site Center Corp. office in Chippewa Falls, where a telephone is manned eight hours a day. Beyond that, his fundraising strategy seems to fluctuate somewhere between talk of millionaires back East and selling T-shirts and key chains.

No one says they doubt Weber`s good intentions or integrity. The site corporation is formed under the state`s nonprofit laws. If contributions fall short of the goal, Weber said he would turn the money over to reputable UFO research organizations. But no one is holding his breath, either. ”People are taking it all in stride,” said Village President Larry Feiler. ”If it happens, fine. If it doesn`t, well, no one is

When UFOs visited Western Wisconsin

Bob Collins July 27, 2018, 8:31 AM Reposted from MPR News

It’s UFO Days around Elmwood, Wis., this weekend, the 40th year of the celebration of a rash of UFO sightings that earned the area the nickname, “Valley of UFOs” for a time.

We don’t get many news stories anymore about UFO sightings, nor do we have many colorful local personalities anymore who have the nerve to propose the building of a landing strip for UFOs.

So, here’s to you Tom Weber, the former Chippewa Falls, Wis., businessman and Minnesota native in the late ’70s who had a plan to raise $50 million for the project.

He needed $25 million to buy the land, and another $25 million to operate the facility, which included a circle 300 yards in diameter. Buildings housing scientists and radio and computer tracking devices would be placed nearby, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Town officials liked the idea; they were just happy that anybody gave a rip about a town in the middle of nowhere.

But the people who help make life boring, piped up, too.

“The whole thing lacks logic and any depth of real thinking about it,” declared Rev. James Thunstrom, then the pastor of the Elmwood United Methodist Church. He considered it all “a misguided effort to seek answers or help from spiritual forces other than God,” the Tribune reported. He left town during UFO Days each year.

Weber, apparently, was in no mood to be dismissed by such talk.

“I guess you could say something has been tried before, but at what magnitude? I feel it`s unfair to mention us in the same sentence with efforts by groups that wear white robes and chant,” he said.

Weber raised a few bucks, enough to open an office in Chippewa Falls and get a telephone installed and print up a few T-shirts.

All of this, of course, sprung from the April 1976 UFO sighting, a report of which in

Howard Blum’s book, Out There, also reminds us how much we miss this sort of thing in the news business:

It all began when George [police chief George Wheeler], out on an evening’s patrol, noticed an orange glow near the quarry at Tuttle Hill. “Looks like we got a fire out there,” he radioed in. “I’m going to investigate.”

When he drove to the crest of County Road P, he was high up enough to have an unobstructed view. To the north, over a flat hilltop alfalfa field, there it was. “My God, it’s one of those UFO’s again,” he shouted into the police radio. But when he started to describe the craft, he was very calm, under control.

“It’s huge,” he explained over the radio to Chief Helmer’s wife, Gail, who was working as a dispatcher that night. “Bigger than a two-story house.” And he went on that it was silver-colored, perhaps 250 feet across, and that a bright orange beam glowed from its domed roof. The light was so powerful, he couldn’t look straight at it. It hurt his eyes.

And just as he was describing this light, the craft started to rise. That was when he heard the loud whooshing noise. And, before he realized what was happening, a blue ray shot out from the craft. The ray hit the squad car.

The police radio instantly went dead. The chief’s wife was yelling on the other end, “George, can you hear me? Are you all right?”

But George couldn’t hear her. The car was a wreck. Its lights were out. Its points and spark plugs were ruined. And Officer Wheeler was unconscious.

David Moots, a dairy farmer, was driving the babysitter home when he noticed the squad car, its lights off, sitting in the middle of the road. He went over to investigate. He looked inside and saw George Wheeler sprawled across the front seat.

“George, you OK?” he asked.

The police officer didn’t stir. Moots repeated his question.

This time George tried to move. He leaned forward from his seat, and then fell back. He didn’t have any strength, and he looked white as milk.

“What’s wrong, George?” Moots asked. He was really worried.

It took the officer some effort, but he finally managed to speak. “I’ve been hit. Get me to a radio.” His voice, Moots noted, was shaking, full of fear.

“By a car?”

“No,” George Wheeler answered very slowly and distinctly, “by one of those UFO’s.”

The only objects in the sky this weekend will likely be paper plates, dropped from an airplane bearing coupons for local businesses as part of the UFO Days festival.

40 years and over 40 sightings: investigating the unidentified at UFO Days

By Rachel Helgeson on Jul 27, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. Red Wing Republican Eagle

Bill Johnson, former UW-Stout professor and UFO investigator, said he wants those who are skeptical about the supernatural to “keep an open mind.” Rachel Helgeson / RiverTown Multimedia

For 40 years Elmwood has celebrated UFO Days and approximately 40 UFO sightings have been reported from the small town since the early 1970s.

But to keep the younger generations in-the-know about Elmwood’s past sightings, retired professor and former UFO investigator Bill Johnson presents a talk on UFOs for the festival.

When Johnson was visiting UFO days in 2014 and a teenage girl selling T-shirts couldn’t tell him why they celebrate UFO days, he recognized the need to keep alive the actual accounts of the witnesses who first saw the aerial phenomena, he said.

This year Johnson will present his investigative information at the Elmwood Auditorium at 2 and 4 p.m. Saturday, July 28 with a speech and PowerPoint presentation titled “UFOs and Elmwood – A Legacy.”

However, Johnson, who became an aerial phenomena investigator in his mid-20s, was eager in a recent interview to explain that the label “UFO,” which stands for Unidentified Flying Object, is a “presumptuous” term.

“Are they really flying like an airplane or a bird? Can’t say, really. Could be some sort of entity passing through a dimension,” Johnson said. “From a purely scientific standpoint, the term ‘UFO’ is a stretch.”

To refer to them as UFOs is common, Johnson said, and went on to describe the sightings in Elmwood.

The first few, both reported in 1975, were experienced by police officer George Wheeler and another by Carol Forster, a school teacher, who also had three children in the car with her during the encounter.

“It’s always a glowing orange ball, it’s always traveling alongside of the vehicle or hovering over the vehicle and then going straight up,” Johnson said, “Although the first one that George told me about was a cigar shape, which is also common UFO shape.”

Although he is not an official psychologist, Johnson used psychology to determine credibility in witnesses’ accounts by studying witnesses’ body language and facial expressions.

He said he never passed judgment on someone, but had the ability to guess what was or was not a valid experience.

“Picking up on how people are reacting to what they say or what they think they saw (is important),” Johnson said.

Most people who boast about their experience are usually a farce, Johnson said, and those that really did see something are more timid about telling the details.

Others don’t speak out because they fear ridicule, like Forster who was made fun of by talk show host Geraldo Rivera on television, according to Johnson.

Since the mid-1970s, other reports have come out, but not as many people formally report anymore because the sightings have become commonplace in the town, Johnson said.

“It’s gotten to be such commonplace that people will say, ‘Yeah, you know, I was driving around and the car kind of quit and the radio’s preset stations changed to a different station. I just sat there for a minute and started it up again.’ It’s not a big deal anymore and it’s not as intense as it was in the mid-70s,” Johnson said.

As investigators and researchers do, Johnson looked for commonalities in the evidence between the accounts and the relationship between the sightings and the geographical location.

Johnson examined the locations of the sightings and what might constitute Elmwood as a hotspot destination for the phenomena, even more so than the infamous Roswell, New Mexico where only one alleged crash was reported.

In the descriptions of the supernatural objects, the objects were commonly spotted near a power line. Johnson said many might think because Elmwood is in a valley that there is enough reason for a supernatural being to land. But unlike Spring Valley or Plum City, Elmwood has a large power plant.

“There may be a relationship between electrical power and somehow the geology of the place that is a positive feature for whatever it is (UFO). I’m just guessing at it,” Johnson said.

Johnson said he did not have a substantial scientific reason why there may be sightings near power lines or the plant, but he said he thinks the energy lost during transmission is something the objects might need and use.

“Almost 50 percent (of energy) is lost from the generating plant to point of use. That’s an appreciative amount of energy that could be used,” Johnson said.

In 1975 Wheeler lost power in his car after closely encountering the phenomena the first time. Johnson said the mechanic he spoke to had to replace every spark plug in the patrol car along with the starter and the coil. The battery was burned out and Wheeler was found unconscious in the front seat, Johnson said.

Johnson said further investigations might happen in Elmwood, and would likely take place between February through March which is when many more sightings have occured.

Sightings may be continue to be reported and filed, but Johnson said nothing is being done by the government as it has never really invested time or money in more investigations.

Although Johnson has never seen anything like a UFO in his time, he said he never hopes to.

“I have no credibility as an investigator. People will say, ‘Oh you investigate them, you wanted to see one’,” Johnson said.

The general public can hear more about Johnson’s investigations during the 40th annual UFO days Saturday, July 28.

While UFO Days is one of the most unique festivals out there, Johnson said, the people of Elmwood want others to “come have fun with them, don’t make fun of them.”

Police Officer’s UFO Sighting Account Wisconsin 1976

Click on the video below for a great narrated illustration of the incident.


7 Stories of UFOs, Alien Abductions & Close Encounters in Wisconsin

By Ashley Steinbrink. Reposted from Whoonew

Imagine if you spotted a UFO or had a run-in with an extraterrestrial. Would you tell anyone what happened, or would you keep your mouth shut so nobody called you crazy in the head?

Steven Spielberg’s 80s film, E.T., was the closest I’ve ever come to an alien encounter. E.T. Phone home…

I bet that gets you thinking about Reece’s Pieces.

But seriously, there are plenty of Wisconsinites who claim to have had very real experiences involving what might be aliens or UFOs. In fact, Wisconsin has the second highest number of UFO sightings in the nation. (Source)

So, do aliens love Wisconsin, or do Wisconsinites perhaps drink a little bit too much? claims around 20% of all UFO sightings are valid. And in Wisconsin, there are plenty of professional paranormal investigators who research each case.

Well-known paranormal researcher, author and lecturer – Chad Lewis grew up near Elmwood, Wisconsin. One of three cities in our state that claim to be UFO capitals of the world.”

He has a master’s of science degree in applied psychology from the University of Stout and many years experience traveling the world in search of what he calls “unique and bizarre stories and history.”

Lewis has been featured on hundreds of radio interviews, TV shows and in newspaper articles. Last year, he made a visit to the Spooner Library to talk about UFOs in Wisconsin.

The Up Norther Explorer captured some things he had to say about visitors from space stopping in our state.

“Wisconsin has a long history of UFO activity dating back generations…

“I’ve spent the past 20 years traveling the world looking for the strange and unusual, and some of the strangest UFO sightings I’ve found have been right here in Wisconsin….

“We live in a hell of a weird state, and I mean this as a good thing.”

So – will you scoff at these people’s stories, or will you be open to the possibility that creatures from outer-space are visiting our planet?

Decide for yourself – after you read these seven bizarre UFO stories from people in Wisconsin.

1. Saucer Cakes in Eagle River, Wisconsin

Image via

One morning back in 1961, Joe Simonton – a 60 year old Wisconsin chicken farmer living in Eagle River, heard some strange noises outside his house. He stepped outside to discover a very bright silver disk floating above his yard. It was about 12 feet from top to bottom and 30 feet in diameter.

Simonton says he saw the hatch open, and three dark-skinned “Italian-looking” men about 5-feet tall and 125 pounds were standing inside holding a chrome thermos. They were dressed in tight black and blue suits and wore helmets.

He noticed they were making something on a cooking device that looked like a griddle. They didn’t speak, but somehow Joe knew the men needed water, and he offered to fill up their jug with his pump.

When he got back to the apparent spacecraft, he handed over the water. In return, one of the aliens handed him four thin, holey pancakes.

The head alien put his finger on his forehead as if to say, “thank you.” Simonton saluted him back.

Still hot, Simonton took a bite of one of the pancakes and later told the Associated Press it “tasted like cardboard.”

I think it’s hilarious that he tasted it! Would you?

Lewis says the “saucer cakes” were analyzed and determined to be made of flour, sugar and grease.

“Some believe the ‘real’ findings were classified and hushed up.” Lewis said.

The U.S. Airforce did some major investigations on the case and in the end decided it must have been “a sudden strange dream Simonton had while he was still awake.” Wait… isn’t that just a daydream?

Simonton was a fairly normal guy. He was well-liked in the community, and even played the annual Santa Claus for the Eagle River Chamber. But that wasn’t enough to make anyone believe him.

The case was documented as “unexplained.” Simonton was a bit upset that he even said a word about it. He told a United Press reporter, “if it happened again, I don’t think I’d tell anybody about it.”

“The majority of people don’t report these things.” Lewis said. “They rationalize and keep going. Many rational, down-to-earth people have made reports.”

Even president Jimmy Carter reported a UFO sighting back in 1969 when he was still Georgia’s governor. According to UFO Evidence, Carter said, “One thing’s for sure, I’ll never make fun of people who say they’ve seen unidentified objects in the sky.”

2. The Greys Abduction in Bloomer, Wisconsin

About half of all alien encounters reported in the U.S. describe “The Greys.” Lewis says they might be the most familiar extraterrestrial beings.

Wikipedia article identifies them as “small-bodied sexless beings with smooth grey-colored skin, an enlarged head and large black eyes.”

The Greys are famous for the Roswell UFO incident from 1947, as well as the Barney and Betty Hill Abduction from 1961.

But, Wisconsin has an even more recent report of a “Greys” abduction that happened in Bloomer in 1997.

One day, a woman from Bloomer, Wisconsin – who didn’t want to give her name – saw a craft hovering by her home. Her front door opened, she felt a slow, steady force and a mist oozed in.

“She could hear a voice in her mind asking her why she was resisting.” Lewis tells us. He was part of the group who interviewed her under hypnosis.

“Under hypnosis she remembered seeing three creatures, 3-1/2 to 4 feet tall – the Greys. Lewis said. “She remembered being taken from her house and brought on board the craft where they did procedures.” claims the way she described the creatures while hypnotized “corresponds to 85 to 90 percent of other reports.”

Something Chad Lewis found alarming, was that she recalled seeing at least a dozen other people on board the alien craft with her. He wonders what happened to them!

During the hypnosis session, Lewis found out that this was not the first close encounter this women. Strange things like this started happening to her at least 20 years earlier. The poor women even started to cry while she was hypnotized.

When she woke up, she was convinced this particular alien experience was only a dream. But Lewis said “she later found a large burn mark in her backyard, similar to other UFO visitations.”

3. Elmwood, Wisconsin Police Officer’s Repeated Sightings

George Wheeler’s original drawing of the UFO via

What if a police officer told you he saw a UFO? Would you believe someone like that?

In 1976, 30-year veteran police officer and World War II combat pilot George Wheeler said he saw a UFO near his home in Elmwood, Wisconsin. It was the second time Wheeler had seen something strange in the skies above the area.

The officer spotted what looked like a very bright orange glow coming from the top of Tuttle Hill.  He said it was as bright as the sun and hard to look at.

At first Wheeler assumed it was a fire, so he drove his squad car to the top of the hill. To his surprise, he found a glowing object that seemed to be hovering 100 -feet off the ground.

It had six bluish-white lights, windows on the sides and he could see moving shadows inside.

That’s when Wheeler radioed the sheriff’s department in Ellsworth to tell them he was watching a UFO.

Just then, the spacecraft quickly shot straight up into the sky making a whooshing sound as it left.

Wheeler claims a flash of light came down from the ship and struck him.

At that point, the squad car’s lights and radio went completely dead. Wheeler was barely conscious. He couldn’t remember what happened after that until local resident, David Moots, stopped to ask him if he was okay.

When Moots was interviewed about the case, he said Wheeler told him he’d been hit. He asked him if he’d been hit by a car, but he said, “No, one of those UFOs.”

George Wheeler pointing to position of UFO via

Elmwood is actually a hotspot for UFO sightings. Moots said he’d heard of a lot of people making such claims, so it was no particular surprise. But being “hit” by a UFO took him back a bit.

There were several other witnesses involved and interviewed in this case.

Mrs. Miles Wergland, who lived just outside of Elmwood, claimed she saw a “bright orange moon-shaped object on the hill.”

Another witness, Paul Fredrickson, saw “an orange glow, like a half-moon, like a moon cut in half on Tuttle Hill.”

This wasn’t the first time Mr. Fredrickson spotted something like this. Only six months earlier, he and his son saw a very similar object in the sky about the exact same time and place.

Nearby, at the O’Bryan family farm, Mr. O’Bryan said his TV set quit for a short time while he was watching the Perry Mason show – right about the same time it all went down.

A 9-year-old boy at another nearby farm said his dogs were barking and acting unusually weird that night.

Police Chief Gene Helmer of Elmwood, yet another person involved, had been at home monitoring the “police scanner” when he heard Wheeler say he was “watching a UFO.”

Helmer’s radio went dead before Wheeler could describe it. But he did hear him say, “Get somebody up here — I’ve been hit.”

That’s when Helmer left right away to see what was up. When he got to the top of the hill, he found Moots trying to calm Wheeler down. Helmer said he’d never seen a man as frightened and upset as Wheeler was.

The officer also pointed out that the patrol car, which recently had a tune up, needed all of its points and plugs replaced in the engine and the starter was also acting up.

At about 1AM, or 2 hours after the incident, Mrs. Wheeler had to take her husband to the hospital. He was there for three days and tests found nothing, so he was released. Only a few days later he returned because he was having severe headaches and nightmares. He could also no longer remember any of the details from the sighting.

This story was also published in Fate Magazine in 2004. The author, Frank Joseph, wrote-

“As his health rapidly deteriorated for causes his doctors could not determine, he repeatedly told them, to their disbelief; that he was dying from the mysterious effects of internal injuries caused by alien beings. Within six months after his April encounter, Officer George Wheeler died of unknown causes.”

4. William Bosak Encounter, Frederic Wisconsin

One foggy night in the winter of 1974, 68-year old William Bosak of Frederic, Wisconsin had what he called “a hair-raising experience.”

He was driving slowly on his way home from a meeting that night when he spotted a strange object on the side of the road.

He slowly drove closer to it trying to see through the fog. But his headlights were so bright that he could only make out the top half of the object.

Drawing of Bosak Sighting via

The “human” as Bosak told newspapers, was standing still inside a transparent glass compartment that was bullet-shaped and tapered toward the top. It was between eight and 10 feet tall and had its arms raised above its head.

The creature was wearing a skin-tight suit and had dark tan fur sticking out from the sides of its head. It also had a furry upper body and hairy pits. Its ears stuck out about three inches from his head., a site that documents the paranormal in Wisconsin, quotes Bosak saying:

“He was looking out the window, and it was a different kind of character than you’d see on this earth.” “It looked a good deal like a man, but it had a different-looking face than you’d see. It had a kind of a cow-looking face.”

As Bosak got close, fear overcame him and he decided to get the H outta dodge.

When he stepped on the accelerator, the inside of his car got dark and he heard a noise like the engine was missing. He also heard a soft whooshing sound like tree branches rubbing up against a car.

Field Investigator, Everett E. Lightner, who was on the case reported that Bosak was very frightened at the time, but the look on the aliens face looked as scared as he was. He could tell by its large eyes protruding from his head.

“I was so goldarned scared I was afraid to go out at night for a few days,” Bosak told reporters.

He also said he felt he did the wrong thing by speeding away. “I should have stopped and tried to show it I was friendly.” He said “I wish I could meet up with it again.”

Bosak actually kept his encounter a secret for almost a month. He didn’t even tell his own family. He said prior to his experience, he was skeptical of UFO stories.

“And I’m sure a lot of people are going to be skeptical after hearing what happened to me. Bosak said. “But if people don’t believe me, I’ll take a lie detector test to prove this isn’t just something I made up.”

5. The Close Encounter of Over-Sized Gnomes in Wauwatosa

Image and story via

Anne and Peter E. of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin reported their close encounter in November of 1975.

They were an older couple. Pete was 64 and was a retired foreman who worked at a local construction company for more than 30 years. Anne was 59, and said she wouldn’t believe this kind of story if she hadn’t witnessed it herself.

Here’s their story…

The doorbell rang at 7:50 one night, and Anne looked behind the curtain to see who was there. She saw a strangely dressed man holding a white staff of some kind.

She opened the main door, quickly locking the screen door and said,

“Yes?” No answer.

After repeating herself, she realized the man didn’t talk. That’s when she called Pete to come to the door.

“What the hell is this, Pete asked, “something left over from trick or treat?”

He unlocked and opened the door to get a better look.

“The skin on his face was the same as smoked meat and the face was lined with deep grooves,” Pete reported later.

Pete also described the strange man as having a small puckered opening for his mouth the size of a dime and a pointy chin. The human-like creature also wore a hat – similar to a straw hat – but with a narrow brim. And he had tufts of hair sticking out from both sides.

“They looked like over-sized gnomes,” Pete said.

At first, Pete really thought it was a prank. So he reached out to grab the man, but when he did the creature raised his white staff and smacked the sidewalk with it making him float backwards. “He didn’t step back or jump back, he just drifted away from me,” Pete explained.

He looked out toward the street and saw four similar looking beings on the lawn and in the road.

“They were all dressed alike and they all carried a white staff in their left hands…” Pete said. “Their feet were making walking motions but they were two or three inches above the ground.”

He could see they looked deformed with arthritic claws and legs that were bent and bowed.

“One of them was heavier than the rest. Pete went on. He was out in the middle of the street. He was rapping his staff on the asphalt and floating two to three feet above the ground each time it clicked.

The staff seemed to be some sort of energy stick.” He continued. “That roly-poly one seemed to be having the time of his life, bouncing up and down like that. He looked like the astronauts looked when they jumped on the moon, only he seemed to have more control over his movements than they did.”

Pete called the Wauwatosa Police Department that night. As it turned out, Officer Daniel Anderson had just gotten a similar radio message about strange looking people only a couple blocks away. The police supposedly surveyed the area for three days and found nothing.

The couple said they felt like Officer Anderson thought that they were a couple of nuts, which is very possible, because the officer never filed a report about the incident.

Anne and Pete are convinced they were visited by spacemen that night. But, they did take a lot of crap from friends and family. “My own son walks hunchbacked and says click-click just to kid us,” Pete reported.

The couple later found out one of their neighbors had seen a strange vehicle in the sky driving through the Menominee River Parkway. They kept quiet so nobody made fun of them. Peter said that they were probably right to do so.

“You know, they were right.” Pete said. “No one takes us seriously. They all think we are making it up or that someone pulled a joke on us. I’ll believe it was a joke when someone shows me those staffs. Besides, the whole thing took about two minutes. Who would go to so much trouble for just two minutes? And how could anyone get people to float all over my lawn?”

  • You can find the Wauwatosa couples’ report on

6. Barron, Wisconsin Trolls Go On Maneuvers


UFO Roundup editor, Joseph Trainor, documented this story which was also in a 1978 article in Fate Magazine called, “Encounters with Little Men.”

I’m not sure how this story is about visitors from space – but it is certainly strange!

Way back in 1919, a 13 year-old boy named Harry Anderson was along for a drive with family and friends in their new Model-T Ford.

The group was on its way back to Eau Claire when the car’s engine started to act up. Harry’s father determined they were running low on oil and asked his son to run to a nearby farm and see if he could get some.

Harry cut through a cornfield towards a farmhouse in Barron, Wisconsin where he found help. But on his way back through the field with the oil – he claims he encountered something quite curious.

20 little men were marching towards him in a single file line!

Harry described them as having bald heads, white skin and wearing leather ‘knee-pants’ held up by braces over their shoulders. A lot like the German Lederhosen pictured to the left. Remember – this is 1919 – 18 years before Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was released.

Harry quickly ducked behind a tree as the trolls marched by him. He heard the little men singing a quirky song that he said went like this:

“We won’t stop fighting
Till the end of the war
In Nineteen-Hundred
and Ninety-Four.
Sound off–one, two
Sound off–three, four
Detail, one, two, three, four

The line of dwarfs marched right on into the forest and Harry was, what he called, “heart-pumping and terrified.”

Apparently these beings knew English. And, according to their song, whatever war they were singing about would have ended 20 years ago. Hope things turned out alright for them.

7. Professor & His Son Abducted Driving Through Wisconsin


Image and story via

This story blows my mind! You can find it published on The Galaxy Gazette as well as

Sociology professor, John Salter Jr., tells us about his very close encounter with, what he calls, “friendly aliens” in 1988.

He and his graduate student son, John III, were heading to Mississippi from North Dakota and traveling through Wisconsin. Professor Salter was scheduled to present a paper at the American Culture Association gathering on “Civil Rights and Self-Defense.”

They say they were in La Crosse, Wisconsin when the abduction happened. Salter says amnesia engulfed both of them, and doesn’t remember exactly how he and his son were abducted. They were still conscious, and somehow they were “gently but firmly forced off the highway onto a very narrow and extremely rough road,” Salter explained.

That’s when they saw two or three “small humanoid figures” climbing up on the back bumper of Salter’s Ford pickup.

He described them as being 4 to 4-and-a-half feet tall with large heads and large “quasi-slanted eyes.” He said the beings were pleasant and he could tell they didn’t intend to harm anyone.

“Their actions are quite positive. He explained. “While I think it’s possible that there may be some “experimentation” involved, I think this is ethically and honorably done, and to good ends.”


Salter was a sociology Professor at the University of North Dakota

According to the professor there were six or seven small aliens and one taller humanoid who was about the same size as a typical human man. The taller one seemed to be the leader.

“His features are more, as we would use the term, ‘human’–and he may well be a mixed-blood.” Salter said.

The aliens took the two men through the woods, up a ravine and over a ridge and inside a vessel that was in a large clearing. Salter and his son remember a bright room with white lights and a blue glowing panel.

“An implant is placed very carefully up into my right nostril and well beyond.” Salter recalled. “There is now an injection into my neck, at the thyroid area; and then an injection into my upper, central chest.” He added.

Salter estimated the encounter lasted about an hour and a half. But despite what you’d expect, this was not a horrifying experience. The aliens and humans were even sad when it was time to part ways.

“I feel an extremely strong, poignant sense of farewell toward the tall figure, sensing equally strong reciprocity. Salter reported. “(His emotional and intellectual reactions are like ours: sharp intelligence, good-natured, smiled a great deal, eager, very interested in things and sad at parting.)”

Salter and the tall humanoid telepathically tell each other they’ll see one another again in another place in another time. The leader walks them back to their pickup truck and the father and son watch the UFO, brightly lit, fly diagonally up through the darkened clouds and beyond.

Here’s the most fascinating part of Salter’s story – The “Evidence”

First off, Salter and his son didn’t recall anything that happened to them until months afterwards. He says they had some sort of amnesia. Then all of a sudden most everything came back to them and the two stories meshed.

Salter claims that more than a dozen physiological changes have happened to him since the event. All good things. He believes they are most likely from the implant and injections given to him that day.

Here are some changes he reported:

  • His head hair, fingernails, and toenails grow two to three times their normal rate.
  • Eyebrows got very thick and fine body hair grew all over his almost hairless arms, legs, stomach and chest.
  • Cuts and scratches clot immediately and heal very, very rapidly.
  • For the first time in his life, his beard is very heavy, thick and dark.
  • A denture placed in 1984 resulted in almost daily blood for four year until shortly after the encounter.
  • Some little age spots have shrunk or disappeared and the few wrinkles in his face faded away.
  • His skin tone is much clearer.
  • Blood is much closer to the surface all over his body with better circulation than before.
  • His immunity is stronger – the few colds he may get are very short-lived.
  • His energy level is up and his sleep needs are down.
  • His protein needs are very heavy.
  • Disfigurement on his face from a car accident faded completely.
  • He quit smoking after 40 years without any withdrawals
  • He has frequent “telekinetic episodes” – especially around electrical equipment.
  • He has a mild aversion to sunlight and increased sensitivity to lights.
  • Occasionally, a red welt appears on his neck, and a brown, circular spot on his upper chest.
  • Salter’s son stopped growing 4 years before the abduction, but grew 1.5 inches taller that spring.

You can find many more fascinating details from Salter’s story on

3 UFO Capitals & a Landing Port in Wisconsin

Image credit Bret Aurit via

Image credit Bret Aurit via

As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, three cities in Wisconsin lay claim to the title UFO Capital of the World.

They are Dundee  a community in in the town of Osceola, in Fond du Lac County, Elmwood on the west side of the state in Pierce County, and Belleville, which is south of Madison in Dane County.

An article from says the three towns have been arguing for decades about who is ultimately the trueUFO capital. All three of the towns host UFO-themed events every year.

There’s also a landing port a man in Poland, Wisconsin built for aliens. (Pictured on the left)

Bob Tohak created his own extraterrestrial airport in 1994 out of a 42-foot high vertical fuel tank and some scrap iron.  It’s located the middle of his welding shop on Highway 29, east of Green Bay

But all that is a story for another day! Watch for a follow up in the near future.

Let’s Hear Your Strange Stories!

There are many other stories of close encounters in Wisconsin we left off this list. If you know a good one – tell us about it in the comment section below.

And if you’ve had your own experience with UFOs or extraterrestrials – feel free to open up here on WhooNEW.

As Agent Mulder would say – We want to believe!

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Featured Image Credit- Mr,W5er 3nee (More Evolved .. ?)

George Wheeler’s close encounter, 1976

… and other Wisconsin sightings, 1976 – 1977. ufologie.patrickgross

This is an excerpt of an article titled “Valley of the UFOs” published in Fate Magazine, Volume 57 No. 2 Issue 646, February 2004.

Valley Of The UFOs
by Frank Joseph[…]
A Fatal Encounter
More serious was an encounter of the worst kind experienced on the night of April 22, 1976, when police officer George Wheeler investigated a flaming red object hovering a hundred feet or so over central Elmwood. As he drove up beneath the craft, his radio abruptly ceased to function. Sometime later, David Moots, a local resident, saw the patrol car sitting silently and unlit in the middle of a downtown street. Inside, Officer Wheeler was barely conscious.In response to ambulance technicians trying to save his life en route to the emergency ward, Wheeler claimed he had been hit in the chest with a painful red ray that shot from the UFO through his windshield. As his health rapidly deteriorated for causes his doctors could not determine, he repeatedly told them, to their disbelief; that he was dying from the mysterious effects of internal injuries caused by alien beings. Within six months after his April encounter, Officer George Wheeler died of unknown causes.What is it about the Belleville-Ridgeland-Elmwood area that attracts visitors from another world? Whatever the reason or reasons, the relationship between extraterrestrials and the territories where they are sighted cannot be discounted. Investigators hoping to learn some answers may wish to camp out in Wisconsin’s Valley of the UFOs – if they dare.Frank Joseph is a regular FATE contributor and editor of Ancient American Magazine.

The article underneath has been published in the daily newspaper The Argus, Elmwood, Wisconsin, on June 3, 1976.

Whatever “They” Are, They Are Still Around HereThe “Somethings” are still around apparently. Those who see them hesitate to call them “UFO’s” because so many people just scoff at the idea. Any way you look at it, there is something that cannot be explained going on.On May 20, Mrs. Gayle Bock and Mrs. Kathy Holt were returning to Elmwood from the course in Emergency Medical Technician training that they are taking in River Falls. It was about 10:30 p.m.Just a little way out of River Falls on STH 29 they observed this object flying along side of them just above the tree tops. It was then obscured from their view for a short time and the next time they saw it, it was coming straight at them. There were two very bright lights, like beacons, in front of it and it made no noise.They drove on a short distance and then stopped. When they stopped, they realized that it was directly over them. Mrs. Bock estimated that it must have been 80 to 100 feet above them. She said she was a bit frightened and didn’t get out of the car, but put her head out the window to get a better look.She said they sat there for several minutes and the object stayed right over them. It was perfectly round and had red and blue lights in the bottom of the “thing” that alternately flashed off and on. There was no sound that they could hear and it stayed above them as long as they were parked. When they decided to continue on their way east, it went on west. She said it did not appear to be as large as the one George Wheeler described.This is the third time that the ladies have observed “something” on their return from River Falls. The first time they saw the “orange glow” when they turned off STH 183 onto CTH “G”. However, it was not nearly as close as the May 20 sighting.The second time that something was seen, the car ahead of them with Mr. and Mrs. Don Yauch and Paul Fredrickson, who are also taking the course at River Falls, had stopped and Mr. Fredrickson got out of the car. He stated that they were not positive what they had seen that time. It had the orange glow and seemed to be moving very slowly.Mrs. Bock and Mrs. Holt also stopped their car at that time to look at the object. They all agreed that they couldn’t be positive as to what it was, but there seemed to be a different operation than that of the usual aircraft that one sees.

The following summary was compiled by the personal of Elmwood Public Library in cooperation with the Indianhead Federated Library System and the Pierce County Library Service, from newspaper articles which appeared in The Pierce County Herald, The Elmwood Argus, and The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram:

Mysteries in the skies over ElmwoodPicture this idyllic setting: A small town nestled in a serene valley, cows grazing peacefully on farmland, streams filled with trout, and friendly, compassionate neighbors everywhere. Hardly the setting for UFO sightings.[Missing picture captioned:] First sighting as big as a football fieldThe sightings began in 1975 and would change the life of Police Officer George Wheeler forever. His first UFO sighting was described as a “flaming ball the size of a football field.” He was shaken, but he wouldn’t be caught unprepared if another chance encounter came his way. He equipped his squad car with field glasses and two types of cameras, one especially adapted to night photography.”I’m dying to get another chance at seeing one,” said George. His second chance came in April 1976.George was on duty when he noticed what “looked like a fire broken out” on top of the quarry hill. What George found was a UFO about 250 feet across and as large as a two-story building. He explained to the interviewers that he believed a blue light from the UFO struck his body and squad car. Upon inspection, the squad car needed a complete change of plugs and points; both had been burned out. His health suffered from that point on.Later, George would say, “I don’t know what I saw, but all I know is that I don’t want that experience repeated ever again.” At least he had the satisfaction of knowing that many others saw the flaming ball he did in April.[Missing picture captioned:] Second sighting scared the children“It was solid, the size of a car; it had sick legs. The light was so intense that we couldn’t look at it. Like a very bright star, except soft and bright. At one time it was as close as two cars away.”[Missing picture captioned:] UFO sighted by Carol Forster and her three children on March 2, 1975, at approximately 8 p.m.Another well documented sighting occurred on the evening of March 2, 1975, when Carol Forster and her three children noticed a particularly bright “star” while driving home. The object stayed alongside their car as they drove, at one point dipping down to hover above the tree tops. Carol stopped the car and concidered driving to a nearby farm house but felt foolish doing so. As the object came closer further down the road, she felt compelled to stop at the Weber home. Roger Weber observed the object as well, but they all determined it must be some kind of satellite. Feeling somewhat relieved, Carol continued on toward home.As they traveled on, the object attempted to settle down in front of the car and appeared to be landing. Carol reported the children were very frightened and were screaming and crying. She put the car in reverse and backed up to the Weber farm, honking as she drove. The object rose in the air above the trees but was still visable to the Webers when they came out of the house to investigate.In an attempt to get them to the house safely, Roger drove his car in front of the Forsters. The object did not come down again but was still visable and, reportedly, the lights glowed an orange color.Numerous other sightings by other residents occurred for several more years, but none as well documented as Wheeler’s or Forster’s.

Fame comes to Elmwood
As the word of the sightings spread and a landing pad project was unveiled by Tom Webber from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, Elmwood gained worldwide attention. Not only were the UFO sightings retold on the Geraldo Show, but articles appeared in the Chicago Tribune and Oui magazine, to name just a few. Sidney Sheldon’s book The Doomsday Conspiracy has a footnote pertaining to Elmwood and the sightings.

Noteriety makes for a great festival
The village decided to get some mileage out of the publicity and created a theme for parades and community celebrations from the sightings. Hence, the first “UFO Days” were held in 1978 and continue to be held the last weekend of July every year.The serene, peaceful surroundings are set aside for one weekend of the year as area residents and other curious folk enjoy local camaraderie and entertainment and, of course, gaze upward for the annual group “UFO Watch.”Activities over the years have stayed much the same, with the highlight being the Sunday parade featuring 100 entries. On Friday, the food and beer tents open for the evening, and Miss Elmwood is crowned. The medallion hunt for a cash prize begins, and street dance with live music commences.Saturday and Sunday mornings begin with plate-sized hot pancakes smothered in locally produced maple syrup served up by the Knights of Columbus. Bake sales, thrift sales, softball and volleyball tournaments, games for children, horse-shoe throwing contests, a sanctioned pedal tractor pull and kiddie parade round out Saturday. The day ends with another live band playing for a street dance.Sunday is attendance at a church of your choice. The parade, cowchip throwing contest, water fights and plenty of barbequed chicken and “UFO burgers” are available throughout the day.

The article underneath has been published in the daily newspaper The Chronicle, Melrose, Wisconsin, on February 24, 1988.

UFO’s – Seeing is Believing for Local ResidentEarly in October 1977, Paul Fredrickson was driving home with his son near Elmwood, Wisconsin. Travelling up Tuttle Hill, his son Mark pointed to the southeast and asked, “Is that the way the moon comes up dad?”Paul, a North Bend native, who was working as a nursing home administrator in Elmwood at the time, related what followed next: “I took one look at the speed it was approaching, and knew it couldn’t be the moon. It was round and a bright orange, but as it came close, it turned out to be crescent shaped. The light was coming from the front end. As it hovered near us, we could see the underside very clearly. It was round, nearly saucer shaped, dark gray, and about 50 feet in diameter. Before it came over us it made no sound, but when it passed about 1,000 feet up from us, it made a whoosh as it passed over. It disappeared so fast, it was gone with a snap of your fingers.”This was one of three UFO sightings Paul Fredrickson had while living in Elmwood. (Paul and his wife Fran are now retired and living between Melrose and North Bend.) As he and his wife discovered after living in Elmwood for 12 years, seeing a UFO around the town of about 1,000 was not uncommon. In fact, he says, everybody looks for them in Elmwood. They even began UFO days in 1978, as the town’s yearly celebration. (Elmwood is 93 miles north west of North Bend.) To the best of Paul’s knowledge, there have been over 40 UFO sightings in and around the small community.So it didn’t come as a surprise for him to hear that Elmwood was being considered as a likely location to build a multi-million dollar facility to provide a safe landing for alien spacecraft. A newly formed UFO Site Center Corporation (a non-profit organization founded by Tom Weber), based in Chippewa Falls, is responsible for considering the site. The two month old organization, which has received international attention, recently held an informative meeting in Elmwood High School gym on February 13th. Paul and Fran attended the meeting, along with nearly 300 other people. Paul, along with other people in the community who had seen UFO’s, was later interviewed by a variety of media on his UFO experiences after the meeting.He showed reporters the location of his first and second UFO sighting. The first sighting was also on Tuttle Hill near his home. It was April 22, 1976, and Paul Fredrickson was at home with his family.The last UFO sighting for Paul Fredrickson was that same year in June of 1976.Paul says that after each of his sightings, “I felt elated and I felt frustrated. I wish I had a piece of the ship so I could have concrete evidence of what I say. It’s no fun walking down the street and having people look at each other and say, he’s really crazy, isn’t he. I don’t want to be made fun of.” At the age of 70, he says he doesn’t believe he should keep what he saw to himself just because of what other people might think.Even at his age, he would like to be open minded in order to learn more about UFO’s. He says until now, people have by and large taken it as a joke. At Elmwood he knows of many reputable people who have actually seen these objects. “There’s something out there,” he says with conviction. “If they’re human or human-like, we don’t know, but I think the country is ripe for learning more about them. Creating the landing site for UFO’s seems for him to be a good place to start.There’s no question people in the country are curious about UFO’s. Paul was asked to join several people from Elmwood who have seen UFO’s, along with the widow of George Wheeler, the Elmwood Village President Larry Feiler, and Tom Weber, President of the UFO Site Center Corporation, when they flew to New York to appear on the “Geraldo” show, hosted by Geraldo Rivera. Unfortunately, Paul was not feeling well at the time. The show is scheduled to be shown in the next couple weeks.