Ancestral Notes

My Family History blog

UFO Report in Local Paper Archives

I was reading through the Essex Free Press newspaper archives and ran across an interesting article. It was about a great light over Lake Michigan in January, 1895. Here’s a transcription:

A Strange Phenomenon
Lights, Stronger Than Two Noonday Suns Seen by a Steamer on Lake Michigan

GRAND HAVEN, MICH., Jan. 21.- The Detroit and Milwaukee steamer was more than half way across Lake Michigan on Friday night when the pilot saw a bright light off the starboard bow. He could not account for it, and called the captain. The captain, too, was puzzled, and thinking that the boat must have veered from her course and that the light was from Grand Haven, he ordered her headed for it.
It was calculated that the light was fifteen miles ahead. After proceeding ten miles a companion light appeared some five miles to the westward. The passengers, who had by this time been aroused, gathered on the deck and watched these lights, which now began to flash at intervals.
On went the steamer and as she approached the light the passengers were obliged to hold up umbrellas and other objects to shade their eyes from the intense glare. So bright was it that Steward Walthew, over 30 years old, was enabled to read the Lord’s Prayer from the fine print of a Bible without his glasses. Suddenly a mountain of darkness seemed to arise between the boat and the light, but the blaze was flushed over it’s top. In a few moments the mountain sank backward and the lights were seen still too brilliant for the eye to endure. At just 3 a.m. by the captain’s watch, the lights flashed, there was terrible rumbling like a quadruple peal of thunder, and then the lights disappeared. Almost on the instant a tidal wave struck the ship and the phenomenon was over.
No one was able to explain the strange occurrence. The boat which was fifteen miles out of her course was an hour into arriving here. A commercial traveller named Dunn, who was on the boat, said that the glare was greater than two noon suns and that he really believed that the end of the world had come. The captain has made an official report of the phenomenon to the secretary of the company and these facts are taken from that report.


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2 Responses

  1. FamilyTwigs (Sheri Bush) says:

    I am a follower of UFO stuff, Earline. This is a great posting! Not a new phenomenon at all, is it? Sheri

  2. Norma says:

    Fantastic site Earline – I am surprised that UFO's were around as far back as 1895. First I ever heard mention was back in the late 30's and 40's/ A long time with no explanations.

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