UFO Conjectures

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Ann Arbor “Swamp Gas” Sightings of 1966

In March 1966, Frank Mannor of Dexter, Michigan and his son saw and reported a strange object hovering over a field on their farm.

At about the same time, a group of Hillsdale College students also saw a strange object outside their dorm windows.

Dexter, Michigan is about 10 miles northwest of Ann Arbor, and was (and is) a lake area.

Hillsdale, Michigan is about 70 miles southwest of Dexter.

J. Allen Hynek, at a press conference about the sightings, suggested the sightings were of swamp gas, and the rest is history, as many of you know.

Here’s a scan of the Hillsdale paper about the Mannor sighting. The paper misspelled Mr. Mannor’s name: Manor [sic].


Time magazine, as was its won’t of the time, scoffed at the sightings:


And here are drawings by the mother of 12 year-old Susan Merrill of Hillsdale who also reported seeing some flying objects that same week:


There was a plethora of sightings in Michigan that week of March 20th; in Detroit, Nankin and Taylor Townships, and several other places.

One RRRGroup member covered the Dexter sightings for The Detroit News.

The objects seen and reported by both Mannors and the Hillsdale students were not swamp gas, as J. Allen Hynek came to acknowledge eventually.

But what were they?

Our sister blog – Forensic Ufology – will evaluate these sightings.

More newspaper clippings from the 1966 episodes can be seen, in their totality, at our UFO web-site – http://ufos.homestead.com