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Date: April 1975
Location: Elmwood
County: Pierce

Source: From the book Out There by Howard Blum. Pages 187-188. 1991 Pocket Star Books.

Details of Incident:

It was silent. That was George Wheeler's first clue. Earlier that night, when he saw the huge ball of flame coming in over a hill from the northeast, he was certain it was a 747 about to crash. It was low in the night sky - too low, that was for sure - but the pilot was doing his best to steer it away from town. George, who had been a combat flyer in World War II, silently congratulated the pilot for his skill. Still, George was very worried; this wasn't going to be good at all. He was sitting in his squad car and he had a perfect view. The 747 off in the distance kept on getting lower and lower, its flames growing brighter and brighter until its orange glow overwhelmed the night sky. As the plane moved out of town, George tried to keep pace with it in his squad car. He wanted to be nearby when it went down; there was no doubt there would be people who would be needing his help.

He drove at high speed across the empty country road, trying to catch up with it. When the plane was nearly overhead, coming in really low, just moments from impact, its flames lighting up the horizon, George pulled into a ditch. He wanted to brace himself for the crash that was at hand. It was only as the plane moved directly above him, as its light and flames illuminated his squad car with the power of a spotlight, that George Wheeler realized something was very strange. The plane was absolutely silent. There was no whirr of engines, no grinding of landing gears. There was not a sound. And all at once something else, equally perplexing, became apparent. The plane wasn't near to crashing. It was on a steady course.

The flying object - the officer, shaken and shaky, was no longer sure it was a plane - began to fly toward the southside flats outside of town. George, his eyes fixed on an orange light as bold as the glow from an explosion, followed. When he caught up with it, the object was, to his amazement, hovering. The land here was flat, meadows and pastures fresh with spring grass, and the light from the object lit up the countryside. It was nighttime, close to 11:00 P.M., but the sky was as bright as high noon. George could see perfectly. He was scared, trembling even, but he got out of his squad car and took it all in.

The object was a craft of some kind. It was shaped like two cereal bowls put end to end and it was hovering about 1,500 feet above the ground. It was huge - at least the size of a football field. And it didn't make a sound.

George watched it for a while. Silhouetted against the sky, it was bright and silent and motionless. He felt as if he was seeing something that wasn't real, but of course he knew it was. That scared him even more. Then, without warning, the object took off at a tremendous speed. It would be incorrect, he would later insist, to describe the craft's acceleration as quick; it was instantaneous. Even more amazing, the craft began performing what appeared to be nothing less than acrobatics. It was, George decided, putting on an air show, and he was the sole audience. The craft would start out zooming along at this truly phenomenal speed, and all of a sudden it would begin turning at sharp ninety-degree angles, one after another, as though it was being driven by a stunt pilot. Someone was joyriding in the sky above Elmwood. George could only marvel. At last, it took off, flying silently toward the west at the same impossible speed. It was gone in an instant, and the night was once more dark.

That was the first time.

For the second sighting, see This UFO Report

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Date: Of Incident April 6-7, 1975
Location: Elmwood, Ellsworth and Maiden Rock

Source: St. Paul, MN Pioneer Press, April 8, 1975

Fear of UFO 'nearly paralyzes' policeman

An Elmwood, WI police officer said Monday he was "almost paralyzed with fear" by an unidentified flying object (UFO) spotted by many Pierce County residents late Sunday night and early Monday morning.

Officer George Wheeler said he was in his squad car on County Road PP outside Elmwood about 12:45 a.m. Monday when he noticed "a huge flaming object about the size of a football field or a 747".

"My first thoughts were that there was a 747 overhead and it was on fire and about to crash and wipe out the town of Elmwood," Wheeler said. He said when he observed the object moving rapidly across the sky toward the east he immediately dived for cover in a ditch. When he looked up, it was gone, but Wheeler said he drove east to higher ground and again observed what appeared to be a cigar-shaped, glowing object which seemed to have either blue flames or blue lights coming from the rear. The whole object had taken on a white, orangish glow, Wheeler said. "It seemed so unreal, this phenomenon, I could hardly believe it," said the 30-year police force veteran. He estimated its altitude as 2,000 feet and its speed as 15,000 to 18,000 miles an hour.

The UFO apparently was spotted first by the James Koehler family, who live 12 miles southeast of Ellsworth on Hwy. 10 near the Grange Hall. They said they spotted a large, luminous object in their yard that lit up their property and their neighbor's. The Koehlers said their 3-year-old daughter became very frightened, and the family quickly left for Mrs. Koehler's brother's house at 11:25 p.m. Sunday. Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to the Koehler home and later reported there was no evidence of the UFO but that dogs at the house were extremely nervous.

Sheriff Stanley Christiansen said he received numerous other calls about the UFO from people in the Elmwood, Ellsworth and Maiden Rock communities.

Nancy Theis, who lives two miles south of Ellsworth on County Road C, called the sheriff at 12:55 a.m. Monday to report a glowing UFO. Seven minutes later she called back, obviously frightened, and said there were two, the sheriff said. She called a while later and said she had spotted a total of four UFOs. That number was confirmed by sheriff's deputies who said they also spotted four objects. They said one was large, as described by Wheeler, and the other three were smaller.

All who observed the UFOs said there was no noise from the objects. So far, there has been no ready explanation for the UFOs, which have been reported in the area several times since last week. The Twin Cities office of the National Weather Service said it had no information which could explain the sightings and said nothing unusual turned up on the radar scopes. Prof. Sherman Schultz, a Macalester College astronomer, said descriptions of the objects have been poor and have not been of any value to investigators. He declined to speculate on what may have accounted for the sightings.


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