In March 1994, hundreds of people called 911 to report eerie lights above Lake Michigan, including everyone from police officers to pilots.
On March 8, 1994, a meteorologist in Muskegon, Michigan named Jack Bushong received a strange call from a 911 dispatcher in a nearby county. The dispatcher told him that dozens of people had been calling about mysterious lights they were seeing in the sky over Lake Michigan. The dispatcher asked Bushong to check the radar and see if it was some kind of bizarre weather event.
“Witnesses are seeing five or six objects, some cylindrically shaped, circles with blue, red, white, and green lights,” the dispatcher told Bushong. “We’ve had reports from south Holland and over in northern Allegan County. Lots of lights moving all over the place.”
What Bushong saw would forever change his life, as well as the lives of some 300 witnesses on the ground.
The so-called 1994 Lake Michigan UFO Incident, during which hundreds of people reported seeing inexplicable objects in the night sky stands as one of the most curious UFO sightings in American history. On that spring night, hundreds of witnesses — campers, people inside their homes, police officers, and pilots — reported seeing the same thing: a string of lights in the sky, almost like Christmas tree lights splayed across the inky darkness.
Meanwhile, things got even weirder once Bushong studied his radar screen. There, a single object caught his eye, moving at a speed of about 100 miles per hour. It zigged and zagged, shooting up tens of thousands of feet as Bushong watched in awe.
As the 911 dispatcher on the line confirmed that they were seeing the same thing, the object on Bushong’s radar screen went still and then flew up, and he had the eerie feeling that it knew he was watching. “It was almost as if, it was like it was saying to me, ‘Hey, I know you can see me,'” he later recalled.
Then, Bushong started noticing more objects like it.
On the ground, other witnesses watched the lights for up to half an hour. The lights changed colors between white and green and red. They sometimes clustered together or broke off into small groups.
Bushong remembers seeing a triangle of objects on his radar screen, and two pilots who spotted the objects later described them as “very bright [and] cylindrical” entities that were moving at a “phenomenal rate of speed” as they flew above Michigan’s sprawl of lakes.
But to this day, the 1994 Lake Michigan UFO Incident remains unexplained. And it’s not the first time that something strange and inexplicable has happened over the Great Lakes.
Learn more about the Lake Michigan UFO Incident and the theories behind it. Then, explore the first entry in our UFO series, the Kelly-Hopkinsville encounter, as well as the next entry, the Ariel School sighting.