Star-Trib Charts Minnesota UFO Reports

“UFOs are back in the news, and Minnesotans are seeing more of them.” That’s the title of an October 14, 2019 article in the Minneapolis Star-TribuneThe article doesn’t contain any new revelations, but it does compile data from the Minnesota listings of the NUFORC (National UFO Reporting Center) website to try to the chart the local phenomenon. You’ll want to check out the article for it’s interesting charts and graphs. Tom Maher and Mike Harris of Minnesota’s chapter of MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) provide some analysis and context.

Unfortunately, the data is skewed by the source it utilizes. The article observes that half of all Minnesota UFO reports have been made in the last decade, and it speculates that this may be due to increased drone activity. Harris suggests that people are more prone to observe and report unknown objects because they are inspired by the recent uptick in paranormal television. Both of those theories sound plausible, and both factors certainly contribute to the increased reporting, but according to recent analysis, there has been a downturn in UFO sightings since their peak in 2014.

The seeming increase in sightings over the last decade is part of trend, clearly visible on the charted data, that begins in the late 1990s and peaks in the last five years. That trend correlates exactly with the development of the internet. In other words, the increase in UFO reports over the last decade has more has more to do with accessibility to the internet and the creation of the NUFORC website from which the data is drawn. Not exactly a scientifically sound sample.

Prior to the late 1990s, people did not have access to online searches, and there were no online reporting options such as NUFORC. People who observed UFOs in 1979, for example, did not have a NUFORC website where they could easily post a report. Reporting methods were cumbersome: most people did not know about the existence of civilian groups or how to contact them, the Air Force made it clear that they were not taking  UFO reports, and newspapers usually did not follow up on reports. UFO reports in the data prior to the internet age had to be entered into the NUFROC database manually by someone who compiled them from other sources such as the Project Bluebook files or civilian saucer records. That does not make for a consistent data set or an accurate reflection of the frequency of sightings over the seventy-two year span of UFO history.

Despite the skewed data set, the article’s charts and graphs provide some interesting insights into the phenomenon. The map, for example, seems to indicate that the UFO reports are distributed according to population density, challenging the stereotype that most sightings occur in remote rural areas. Another chart ranks the type of UFO sightings by frequency. Nocturnal lights lead by a wide margin, followed by circular craft, triangular, spherical, fireballs, and disks in order of frequency respectively.

It’s a great article, and here at UFOdays.net, we are happy to have the Star-Tribune taking the phenomenon seriously. Anytime the media writes a straight piece of journalism on UFOs without making the obligatory references to X-Files theme music and tinfoil hats, it should be celebrated. The Star-Trib article is just one more piece of evidence that it’s happening … again.

China’s Flying Saucer Helicopter

Are UFOs actually super-secret Chinese aircraft? Now that the Navy is admitting that our pilots and radar operators are routinely encountering UFOs intruding over American airspace, many are wondering if the mysterious craft might actually belong to a foreign power like China. Turns out that China would like us to think so. The State tabloid the Global Times released photos and write-up about an experimental craft that looks like a UFO. 

Beijing’s latest toy is a Flying Saucer knock-off, actually a helicopter with the rotor encased within a flying wing design, making the entire aircraft into  a wide sphere with a central cockpit that seats two pilots. Turbo jet engines provide thrust. The craft is called the “Super Great White Shark,” and it’s supposed to function as a stealth craft capable of reaching a top speed of 650 kilometers per hour, a ceiling of 6,000 meters and a climb rate of 16.5 meters per second. Sounds like a good attempt to make a flying saucer. Read More

Massive Saucer over Elmwood, WI (1963)

The following Elmwood, WI UFO account was submitted to UFOdays.net in July 2019. Name withheld at the request of the witness.

I saw a UFO over Elmwood in the early 1960s.

I just recently looked up Elmwood because my family is from there, and I found your website. I think what you guys at UFOdays.net are doing is awesome! Also, Doris Wheeler, the wife of George Wheeler, was once my dad’s secretary. I have my own Elmwood UFO story, but my story happened about a decade before George Wheeler’s. I was 9-10 years old, which would make it around 1963. I was a young independent kid, sort of a wild child. That night, I was sleeping outdoors as I often did in the summer. However, this particular night, I was with a friend. We decided, in the middle of the night, to go raid gardens: rhubarb and green apples. We were somewhere on Elm Street, but looking at the map it looks like we were by the Elm Valley Veterinary Clinic Area. (Was that Frank Springer’s old office?) We were under the plumb trees and walked into the opening when suddenly it was very bright. A fluorescent light showed on the ground and it looked like a weird daylight. It was like we were standing under a fluorescent streetlight. Read More

Detroit Lakes Phantom and Becker County UFOS

Last week, the ABC’s Fargo affiliate WDAY News carried a story about a Detroit Lakes man whose security camera inadvertently filmed a strange “storm phantom” moving through the sky during a lightning storm on September 20, 2019. As interest in the story quickly escalated, WDAY decided to create a follow up. They sent a crew out to interview Todd Mitchell of the Country Campground, the man who discovered the anomaly on footage recorded by his surveillance camera. (See Mitchell’s raw footage with some analysis here.) The new piece from WDAY attempts to place the strange phenomenon within the context of the history of local UFO sightings. The piece features a visit to the Becker County Museum to review an archive of UFO clippings. The finished story aired on 9/25/2019.

If you’re ever in Detroit Lakes, stop by the Becker County Museum to peruse the collection of clippings in the archive. The museum will be hosting a “Legends and Lore” presentation on October 9, 2019. Who knows, maybe Detroit Lakes will start their own “UFO Days” event.


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Raw Footage of Detroit Lakes Anomaly

The raw footage of the mysterious figure in the Detroit Lakes skies is now available, but it doesn’t help solve the mystery. Instead, the anomaly becomes even more anomalous.

Todd Mitchell, the Detroit Lakes man who inadvertently captured video footage of a spooky-looking phantom figure swooping around the skies during a Sept 20 lightning storm, contacted UFOdays to clarify his part in the story and to provide us with the original video footage. Contrary to earlier reports, Mitchell was not attempting to record the thunderstorm. Instead, he had recently installed a Ubiquiti UniFi G3 Dome surveillance camera at the Country Campgrounds of which he is the owner and operator. Mitchell connected the surveillance camera to his UniFi wifi network.

After Thursday’s lightning storms, Mitchell wondered how well the camera might have caught the lightning display. Mitchell said, “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.” Read More

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, Read More

UFO near Rice Lake, WI

A recent report to the NUFORC website describes “three stationary red lights in the western skies” near Rice Lake, Wisconsin. The report picked up some local publicity when the area Country Radio station B105 featured it on their website.

Shortly after sunset, at 8:05 PM September 10, 2019, the witness observed the three lights forming a line in the sky. The intensity of the light seemed to oscillate or, in the witnesses words, “they appeared to be flashing very slightly.” The witness watched the lights for about five minutes before the first one turned white “and flickered away.” Less than a half a minute later, a second light turned white and disappeared, followed by the third. Read More

High Speed Chase of Marshall Co. UFO

Witness account of pursuing UFO near Warren, MN, Oct. 29, 1979

My name is Steven M. Shoemaker, and this is a statement on the events that took place at approximately 2200 hours, on October 29, 1979. At the time of this incident, I was 25 years old, and was a Sergeant (E-5) Military Police Officer, on active duty in the US Army. I had departed Fort Wainwright, Alaska a few days earlier, and was driving to my next duty station which was Fort Snelling, Minnesota (AWOL Apprehension).

We had turned off Hwy 29 in North Dakota,and were headed East on Hwy 1 in Marshall County, Minnesota. We were enroute to my sister’s apartment in Thief River Falls, where we were going to spend the night prior to continuing on to the Twin Cities.

I was driving a 1977 Chevrolet Nova (V-8, 305 engine, speedometer only went to 80 MPH on this model). My wife Susan (3 months pregnant) was in the car with me, and we were just past the town of Alvarado when we observed an extremely bright light on the road approximately 3/4 to 1 mile ahead. We wondered what the bright light was, thinking maybe an accident or a road construction site. We figured that we would see what it was in a few moments when we got there. After about a minute or so we determined that whatever it was, it was moving because we were not closing on it.

As I got to within approximately 100 yards of the light (traveling at about 100 MPH) it suddenly came off the center lines into the middle of my lane and was coming right at me.

Now being the cocky young Military Policeman, I decided that I was going to find out what this light was. I accelerated to a high speed (I’m guessing close to 100 MPH because the needle was buried past the 80 MPH limit). As I started closing on the light, I observed Read More

Crop Circles in Wabasha County

Forty years ago, on September 16 1979, a farmer in Wabasha County, discovered two large circles of downed field corn on his farm. The farmer, Curtis Olson, said the corn looked like “when you take a hair dryer and it blows all the hair from the center.” He had never seen anything like it, and he could not explain it.

Crop circles had not yet come to enjoy the widespread publicity, attention, and hoaxing they would achieve in the early 1980s. It was still an obscure phenomenon referred to by some UFO researchers as “saucer nests.” Corn stalks in a circle about 50 feet in diameter were flattened. In the center, some corn was missing and other stalks were charred. Paths led from the circle to another circle about 18 feet away. The second circle was about 30 feet in diameter but contained no charred or bare areas. Read More

Michio Kaku Talks UFOs

It was UFO Days last weekend in Barcelona where the highlight of the UFOlogy World Congress was an appearance by the world-famous physicist and string-theory theorist Michio Kaku. His mere presence in the list of speakers gave the conference an edge of mainstream credibility often absent from such gatherings. According to quotations in a Yahoo! News article, Kaku was especially impressed by recent reports from Navy pilots and especially the recently declassified and much-debated gun-camera footage that has been circulating. He is quoted as saying, “We now know they fly between Mach 5 and Mach 20 — five to 20 times the speed of sound. We know they zigzag so fast that any pilot would be crushed by centrifugal force. That they have no exhaust that we can see.” Kaku takes this as strong evidence that UFOs represent an advanced technology, possibly an extraterrestrial one. Read More