Wisconsin has its share of “capitals.” There are the semi-normal ones — Mercer, the Loon Capital of the World, and Park Falls, the Ruffed Grouse Capital — and the unusual ones: Mount Horeb, the Troll Capital of the World, and Norwalk, which has an indication proclaiming itself the Black Squirrel Capital (of what’s anybody’s guess).
However three cities — Belleville, Dundee and Elmwood — declare an extraterrestrial title: UFO Capital. Whereas it could seem to be a vacationer gimmick in the present day, the titles have roots in alleged sightings. And all three cities have annual UFO occasions to cement their standing.
This is a take a look at how their claims stack up, so as of first identified contact.
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Benson’s Hide-A-Way on Lengthy Lake close to Campbellsport is on the heart of this unincorporated city’s declare to fame. It even says it on the bar signal: UFO Headquarters.
Along with alien posters, inflatable inexperienced males and different paraphernalia, proprietor Invoice Benson has one thing he says people come from all over to see: an alien in a jar. Benson claims somebody discovered it in a cave close to Roswell, New Mexico, and gave it to him.
Benson’s curiosity within the paranormal started in 1947, when he stated a crop circle appeared close to his residence, according to Wisconsin Frights. He additionally stated he is seen unusual lights and objects within the sky.
Benson encourages patrons to share their very own UFO sightings, and he has a binder of photographs of them — some captured on close by Dundee Mountain, a kame that rises 250 ft above the encircling land and that some imagine is an epicenter for unusual exercise.
For greater than 30 years, Disguise-A-Manner has been internet hosting a UFO Daze occasion each July (July 17 this 12 months) to swap tales and hold look ahead to UFOs, which purportedly have been seen within the night time sky at previous occasions.
One of many first reported sightings on this small city about 35 miles west of Eau Claire was in 1975, when Elmwood Police Officer George Wheeler reported seeing a fiery pink ball the scale of a soccer subject streak throughout the sky.
Extra sightings adopted within the ensuing decade, together with one other by Wheeler in 1976. His second encounter was that — an encounter. In keeping with a 1976 Associated Press article, when Wheeler went to analyze what he thought was a fireplace on high of a hill, he discovered an object he described as a flaming orange object, 250 ft throughout and two tales excessive, hovering above the bottom.
Wheeler’s radio died as he reported the incident, and he was discovered barely aware, his automotive with burned-out spark plugs and factors. Wheeler stated a blue-white mild from the UFO struck him, giving him extreme complications a number of days later.
He wasn’t the one one to see or expertise one thing that night time. A resident close to the place Wheeler was discovered additionally reported seeing the fiery ball, and some individuals stated their tv units went out for 10 minutes round that point.
“There are a selection of indicators within the county the place different sightings have been made,” Pierce County useful resource agent Ed Hass instructed the Journal Sentinel in 1999.
The city celebrates its connection to the extraterrestrial with a UFO Days competition the final weekend in July.
Like Elmwood, this city’s claims of UFO sightings have police backing.
In January 1987, a number of individuals — together with legislation enforcement officers — on this small city on the Dane-Inexperienced county border reported seeing mysterious lights within the sky.
Don Schmitt and Richard Heiden, investigators from the J. Allen Hynek Middle for UFO Research, a privately funded UFO analysis group that was based by a Northwestern College astronomy professor, appeared into the incident. Schmitt and Heiden, who’re Wisconsin natives, concluded they had been “official sightings, primarily based on the credibility of the various witnesses, the shortage of air visitors within the space that night time and radar confirmations,” in accordance to a 1994 Milwaukee Sentinel article.
Schmitt instructed the Sentinel that an FAA station in Aurora, Illinois, picked up the objects on radar and tried to make voice contact however was unsuccessful.
Skeptics, together with an astronomer, stated the sighting was merely a star within the Orion constellation, which may seem totally different colours when it’s low on the horizon. However witnesses denied that declare.
“There was no approach in hell it was a star,” Glen Kazmar, a Belleville police officer who was one of many first to see the UFO, instructed the Sentinel in 1994.
There have been extra uncommon sightings over the following few months. The city leaned in to the sightings and now hosts UFO Days round Halloween yearly. The competition previously has included a parade, a saucer toss and an alien costume ball.
Manitowoc’s Sputnik encounter
Manitowoc had an precise encounter with one thing from area on Sept. 6, 1962, when a 20-pound piece of the Russian satellite tv for pc Sputnik IV crash-landed on the road outdoors the Rahr-West Artwork Museum. Police had been as soon as once more first on the scene to seek out the hunk of area junk. Manitowoc despatched it to NASA and the Smithsonian, which ultimately despatched it again to the Soviets. The museum has a reproduction inside. Exterior, a steel ring on Eighth Avenue close to Park Avenue marks the spot the place it was discovered. The city celebrates its brush with the area race with a competition, in fact. Sputnikfest, full with costume contests and an alien drop, is often held in September.