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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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