Kenmare ND - Upside Down Under

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Upside Down Under

By Marvin Baker, a new weekly column in The Kenmare News


From Roswell to Donnybrook...

Posted 1/16/18 (Tue)

There have been a number of news reports in recent weeks about research the Pentagon is doing on UFOs.

That shouldn’t be a big surprise to anyone, after all, Project Blue Book, an Air Force program to get information about UFO sightings, lasted more than 10 years.

Whether you believe it or not, ever since a “flying saucer” crashed outside of Roswell, N.M., in 1947, we’ve dealt with this mystery.

There have been tens of thousands of sightings over the years and ironically, none of them have turned up any little green men.

But here’s the reality of it. There have also been numerous sightings here in North Dakota, some of them that have been well documented by credible people.

In August 1966, a silvery dome-shaped saucer darted around the Donnybrook area and landed near town in the Des Lacs River Valley. Had I made that report, people would have thought I lost my mind.

But this sighting was documented by a U.S. Border Patrol officer. He made drawings and turned all his information over to Project Blue Book.

J. Allen Hynek, a physics professor at Northwestern University in Chicago, and one of the only civilians allowed access to Project Blue Book, came out to Donnybrook to investigate himself. He took photos of flattened areas of grass and scorched rocks. It remained in a classified file for 48 years.

In the early ‘50s, a flying saucer was sighted over Bismarck. The brand new Minot Air Force Base scrambled two fighter jets to intercept the visitor, but it was too much for the F3H Demon jets.

Again, a well documented case that leadership at the Minot AFB was aware of and one that prompted a major article in Reader’s Digest magazine.

In 1956, an orange object was sighted near Valley City. As law enforcement got closer to it, their police radios stopped working and after the UFO disappeared, the radios came back to life.

It could have been electromagnetic pulse, which nobody on Earth knew about in 1956, but is a military tool used today to paralyze the enemy’s electronic equipment.

The sighting couldn’t be explained, but too many people saw it to nullify the event.

Four objects forming a diamond pattern in the sky over Williston in 1960 was passed off as contradictory information and no conclusions were drawn, yet numerous people reported seeing the objects.

Betty and Barney Hill became famous in 1961 after they claimed they were abducted by aliens in the woods of New Hampshire.

Supposedly, a similar abduction occurred near Tower City to a young mother and her daughter as they traveled along Interstate 94. Unfortunately, that case has never been substantiated, but was widely reported.

Nearly all of the UFO sightings in North Dakota happened in the 1950s and 1960s. By 1972, the number of sightings dropped off the table.

Were aliens here? What did they seek out? One theory is they were looking for minerals to fuel their ships. However, Project Blue Book never confirmed that.

Occasionally, someone will phone in something bizarre that they’ve seen, but quite frankly, those calls don’t get the attention they did in 1960.

Bigfoot, swamp gas, reflections of light, meteors and even pranks are all listed as reasons to pass off UFO sightings.

But if you consider the big picture, look at what the United States has done since 1947 when that first sighting came from a crash in the New Mexico desert.

It was two years after the first atomic bombs exploded, the Air Force was created, we went to the moon, nuclear missiles were staged, we sent unmanned satellites into deep space and we have robots exploring Mars.

It’s entirely possible, but what would you do if you actually saw a flying saucer? Would you panic, would you be intrigued by it, would you try to run?

I’m not sure how I’d react. I drive by the spot near Donnybrook occasionally where the UFO landed in 1966 and when I think about it, the scenario scares me, probably because too much is unknown. Too much of it remains a mystery.

Some of us are photographers by trade and everyone else has a mobile phone on their hip with a camera. If they will shoot cellphone video of gang hits in Chicago, you’d think somebody would be bold enough to film a flying saucer.

Some have in the past, but nothing conclusive. There’s nothing, other than Roswell to draw from but the feds remain tight lipped to this day about that crash site.