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Date: September 16, 1999
Location: Menomonie
County: Dunn

Source: UFO Roundup, Volume 4, Number 22

Details of Incident:

On Saturday, September 17, 1999, (Actually, it was September 16, 1999, which was a Thursday. - JA) the Dunn County Sheriff's Department received a number of calls from the town of Menomonie, Wisconsin (population 13,547), complaining about "unusual bright lights" in the sky.

A Dunn County deputy arrived in the town a short while later and also reported "unidentified lights" to the dispatcher.

Menomonie is on Wisconsin Highway 29 approximately 186 miles (297 kilometers) northwest of Madison, the state capital.

(In the story, UFO Editor Joseph Trainor adds: See the Eau Claire, Wis. Leader-Telegram for September 19, 1999. Many thanks to Richard Hendricks for this news story.)

Source: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Web Site

Family sees bright lights, moving colors in the sky

Last Updated: Sept. 16, 1999 at 7:37:41 p.m.

MENOMONIE, Wis. (AP) - James J. Emerson swears the strange configuration of lights he saw in the sky Thursday morning wasn't a reflection off a planet.

"It was changing colors in the air, from red to blue to yellow," he said. "It was going back and forth, side to side. Then it would shoot up, straight in the air, about a million miles an hour, then come back down and sit there and go side to side."

A few minutes later, Emerson said he saw a triangular shape that pulsated bright yellow, then die down and get dim.

Emerson, a 35-year-old construction worker, and his wife, Renee, called 911 to report the lights.

"I told the cops when I called them, I said, "I haven't been drinking. I'm not nuts. I'm not hallucinating,"' he said.

Dunn County Deputy Sheriff Rod Dicus investigated and reported seeing green, red and white lights in the sky south of Dunn County.

He got in his squad car and drove to the southeast portion of the county, trying to identify the object.

Dicus said after contemplating the situation and getting input from the Pepin County Sheriff's Department, he believes it may have been a reflection from planets low in the sky this time of year.

The Pepin County Sheriff's Department reported it was alerted by Dunn County of the colored lights shining down from the sky. A Pepin County deputy suggested the lights were reflections from the planet Venus.

Emerson disagreed.

"I guarantee you it wasn't. I don't see how a planet can change colors and turn red and yellow and blue," Emerson said. "I was kind of excited. I've never seen anything like it before."

Donald Cox, professor of physics at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, said reflections from planets are usually tiny spots, unless they are close to the horizon, which can sometimes cause images to break up.

But he doubted the planet-reflection theory.

"It sounds kind of nutty to me," he said.

And he doubted the colors came from flying saucers.

"I would say the chance is about zero, but that is a prejudice. When I see one, I will change my mind," Cox said.

Perhaps it was the northern lights or some reflections caused by swamp gases or some such thing, he said.

In the 1980s, Elmwood, located about 20 miles southwest Menomonie, had a number of reported sightings of unidentified flying objects and strange lights in the sky. The sightings spun off an annual village festival called UFO Days.

Source: National UFO Reporting Center

Forwarded from the Leader Telegram: A rural Menomonie couple and a Dunn Sheriffs Deputy watched an object in the sky early Thursday Morning. The object was round, and was going in circles changing colors from red to blue. About 1/2 hour later a second object appeared and was triangular in shape.

As the couple was getting ready for work they spotted an object in the morning sky. It was going in circles, back and forth. It was also changing colors from red to blue to yellow. About a half-hour later, the man reported seeing a second object right over the city of Menomonie. It would glow bright yellow and then die down and get dim. During the dim period the man could see the outline of a triangle. The Pepin County Police Department reported that they thought the lights were the reflections from the plants being low in the sky. After getting input from Pepin County, the Dunn County Police Department agreed with this assessment. The couple who reported this incident claims that in no way could this sighting have been plants. As reported in the Thursday Edition of the Leader Telegram--page 1A 09-16-99. This event happened near Elmwood Wisconsin.

((NUFORC Note: Following report submitted by Mr. Chad Lewis, State Director for Wisconsin for the Mutual UFO Network. Thank you, Chad!))

Post script to Leader Telegram article reporting strange object in sky witnessed by 3 people.

The paper did not report the whole story regarding the objects seen on 09/16/99 in Menomonie, WI. When the sheriff's officer responded to the call, he stayed and watched the object for approximately 10-15 minutes. During this time he stated that he had never seen anything like this before. He was so intrigued that he left to try and find the location of this object. The witness reported the first object to be 1/4 of the way up the horizon. The object was reported in the SE sky. The weather conditions of the evening were clear with no fog in the area. The witness also reported that he has seen planets many times before and stated that this was unlike anything he had seen either. The gentleman watched the object for nearly 40 minutes, until it seemed to just vanish. During this time it would change color form red to yellow to green at a very quick rate. He also reported that the object would shoot up into the air and fall back down at rapid speeds. The object also hovered over his farm area for several minutes at a time. When this witness called the sheriff again to report the second triangle object, also seen in the SE sky. The sheriff's office said they look into it and never contacted the witness again. The witness watched the second object "hover" over his farm are for nearly 10 minutes. This second object was yellow and triangle shaped. This object also just seemed to vanish. Neither object made any sound that could be heard by any of the witnesses. There was also no smell associated with the objects. The witness was very suprised to read that the officer who only hours before stated this was the strangest thing he had ever seen, had now turned aroung and claimed it must have been a planet. The sheriff's office have not returned any of my calls on this subject.

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