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National UFO Reporting Center
Sighting Report
Occurred : 3/21/1966 21:00 (Entered as : 03/15/06 21:00)
Reported: 3/2/2006 10:05:21 AM 10:05
Posted: 3/11/2006
Location: Hillsdale, MI
Shape: Disk
Duration:1 hour?
Hillsdale Michigan, large metallic disc shaped object hovered for close to an hour.

I was a freshman at Hillsdale College living in a girls dorm which sat above the Arboretum. I don't know the exact date, but it was an evening when we were all studying for midterms. A student in a room that faced the Arboretum (actually looked over it - the tops of the trees were level with our windows) called us to her window to see a huge disc hovering over the tops of the trees. It was metallic looking, gold, and it had a red/orange light in the center and two blue/white lights on the sides. I assumed there was a fourth light on the side we couldn't see. It was perhaps 75 feet across and within a hundred yards of us. As we watched, it moved forward, then backward and eventually sideways and away from us maybe a mile or so. It then landed in a grassy clearing.

As I remember it, we called the Civil Defense, the police, and the boys' dorm. A man from the Civil Defense came up with us to watch it. We saw the boys run out of the dorm and down toward the object. We also saw a police car drive toward the object. As the boys and the car approached, the lights on the object went out. It was not seen again.

The next day, Dr. Hynek from Project Bluebook came out as did the TV and radio stations. Oddly, I don't recall that the officials spoke to the actual observers.

The sighting was labelled as marsh gas - an absurd conclusion as it there was no marsh and what we saw looked metallic and solid.

Many years later I read a Reader's Digest while waiting for a plane, and saw this story reported, so there may be more information there. I think the R.D. story was in the 80s, but it could have been the 90s.

((NUFORC Note: The sightings by many students at Hillsdale College constitute a celebrated case. This sighting is well described on pages 354-357 in "The Encyclopedia of UFO's," written by Ronald D. Story, and published by Dolphin Books in 1980. The section devoted to the Michigan sightings in March 1966 describe four sightings, on March 14, 17, 20, and 21, the last of which occurred near Hillsdale College, and which was witnessed, reportedly, by 87 students, as well as by Dean William Van Horn, who was the Director of Civil Defense for that college. The object observed hovered over a nearby swamp for an estimated two hours.

We have changed the date above to March 21, in order to reflect what we know about this case. PD))