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An unidentified flying object (UFO) was seen by several area residents on the
evening of October 21. It was first reported to the Herald office about 9
p.m. by Alan and Marty Dikkers who saw the object from their home on Grant Street.
The boys mother, Pat Kielas, was on her way to the grocery store when she heard a noise and saw the strange lights. She called her sons who then tried to follow the object but lost it as it headed west out of town.
Alan Dikkers drew the above sketch of the object to put it in perspective with the surroundings. A distinct outline was not visible but the size could be estimated by the lights. There were red blinking lights and white stationary ones. It was flying low, just above tree-top level, and made a sound comparable to a helicopter or low plane.
The Edward Groops, who live near Svea, also witnessed an object. Rev. Groop, pastor of the Svea Lutheran Church, said his wife returned home in the car about 8:30 and saw the object. She honked the horn to get the attention of her husband and son who came out to watch the strange object.
They described the wingless flying object as being about 100 yards long with green and red lights at the back, a series of three white square window lights near the center and a large white light at the front. He said it was moving slowly and made little or no noise.
Calls to local law enforcement agencies and airports have revealed no concrete answers as to exactly what the object was, or if there were more than one UFO. Talk around the high school, where several students compared their sightings, was that it was a group of helicopters that were transporting something and got lost. That report is also unconfirmed.
Source: e-mail submission from Alan Dikkers (firstname.lastname@example.org) who was mentioned in the article.
Thanks for your clarification, Alan!
That turned out to be a blimp. A low-flying blimp. I remember that night. Martin and I ran outside, and hovering over west Ellsworth housetops was a giant object that sounded like several helicopters flying together. We called the local airports, and they all denied anything was there at all. Perhaps they just didn't know about it, or care about it.
Another family saw it, the Groops, from Hagar City - Eric, and his dad, Pastor Groop. They saw the pilot's station on the bottom, and the five red and white lights.
It was a blimp.
Alan Dikkers: 1980 eye witness. 6/01/98
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