On March 8, 1994, more than 300 people in West Michigan, United States, reported seeing numerous UFOs. The objects were characterized as five or six cylindrical or circular objects with blue, red, white, and green lights, flickering like Christmas lights. The popular “Unsolved Mysteries” series on Netflix recently centered on this particular incident that continues to haunt witnesses.
According to Chicago Tribune, in 42 counties in Michigan, there were over 300 witnesses (including Muskegon, Ottawa, Berrien and Allegan counties). The sightings were noted by police and a National Weather Service radar at Muskegon County Airport after being reported to 911. From Ludington south to the Indiana border, approximately 200 miles of Lake Michigan’s shoreline was covered in the eerie lights.
Many explanations are put forward in “Unsolved Mysteries” Volume 3 to account for the sighting, including aliens, military aircraft, and natural phenomena like the northern lights. Additionally, the audience hears from individuals who were present and gave comparable accounts of what they saw.
Documentary Filmmaker Jeremy Corbell also shares his thoughts on the 1994 Lakeshore event. He states: “Decades of analysis has ruled out as many possibilities of the mundane as has ever been thought of. So what flew and hovered over Lake Michigan that night? Who was controlling these advanced UFO machines? Where were they from? And what did they want?”
“For those of you curious about the modern UFO presence – this should all sound familiar to many of the current UFO sightings and encounters of today. UFOs performing ‘impossible’ maneuvers and interfacing with water,” Corbell wrote.
Most accounts indicate that the event lasted at least fifteen minutes. The objects were followed as they traveled south and southwest toward Chicago. This event was not a singular aberration. Later, a MUFON spokeswoman Virginia Tilly told reporters that the network received UFO reports from Ludington south to the Indiana state line: an average of ten to fifteen calls each day. However, this incident was unquestionably the most widely covered.
Where did it start?
At around 9:30 p.m., on March 8, 1994, Daryl and Holly Graves and their son Joey told reporters they had seen lights in the sky over Holland. Joey Graves, who spoke to the Free Press in 1994 said he saw six lights out the window above the barn across the street. “They were red and white and moving,” he explained. (Source)
According to Bill Konkolesky, Michigan State Director of MUFON, they had never seen a large UFO (reported sighting) wave since March 1966. He further stated that the flying objects reported in 1994 are characterized as “unexplained” and the sightings remain a mystery.
The interactions between Jeff Velthouse, a police officer in Holland, Michigan, and Jack Bushong, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Office in Muskegon County, may represent some of the greatest data to look at.
The conversation between Velthouse and Bushong was published in 1995 by The Free Press. According to Velthouse, the witnesses saw five to six objects, some of which were cylinder-shaped and had blue, red, white, and green lights. Bushong said: “There were three and sometimes four blips, and they weren’t planes. Planes show as pinpoints on the scope, these were the size of half a thumbnail. They were from 5 to 12,000 feet at times, moving all over the place. Three were moving toward Chicago. I never saw anything like it before, not even when I’m doing severe weather.”
Meteorologist Jack Bushong ceased speaking to the media shortly after the day of these sightings and did not bring up the March 8th event again for many years. He confided in friends and colleagues that he genuinely believed he might lose his job for discussing the incident in public. Fortunately, that did not occur, and he went on to get promoted and win prizes for his forecast accuracy. He remained employed by the NWS up until a few years ago, when he retired.
After retiring from the NWS, Bushong acknowledged his sighting of the 1994 Lake Michigan. While featured in Unsolved Mysteries volume 3, episode 2, “Something in the Sky,” he described what he had seen and recorded as “an extreme technology that seems like it is hundreds of years advanced… more advanced than what we have.”
Bushong shared details that he had withheld from the press after the initial incident in a separate interview with News Channel 3 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He explained how he had manually operated the radar equipment and followed the movement of the objects by utilizing the antenna “like a spotlight.” According to him, they “jumped” upward by five or ten thousand feet at a time, causing him to hustle to get a hold on them again. Prior to losing sight of the objects, they also “blinked” a fair distance horizontally. He could tell from the relative magnitude of the radar responses that the objects were much larger than any commercial airplane.
In Unsolved Mysteries volume 3, episode 2, “Something in the Sky,” Bushong said that seeing that the American government was seriously considering the possibility of UFOs caused him to reexamine his personal UFO encounter. Bushong intends to professionally publish his information in an open-source format in addition to serving as the star witness of Unsolved Mysteries’ inquiry into the Michigan UFO Event in 1994.
Unfortunately, the only videos of the Lakeshore incident that were captured by private individuals simply showed a few specks of light in the sky, as is so common with UFO reports. This fact gives those with a skeptical mindset room to propose other, more commonplace explanations for what was seen over Lake Michigan in March 1994.