Meteorologist’s Account of 1994 Michigan UFO Sightings (with Audio)
Article by Will Haenni September 3, 2020 (wwmt.com)
• In 1994, Jack Bushong was a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Muskegon, Michigan, north of Chicago on the eastern edge of Lake Michigan. On the night of March 8, 1994, Bushong was manning the office alone. He received a telephone call from a police dispatcher in nearby Ottawa County who had been fielding reports of strange lights in the sky. The officer asked if Bushong had seen anything on radar.
• Bushong went over to the radar screen and began waving its beam back and forth across Ottawa County looking for any objects. “You could pretty much use it like a spotlight,” Bushong said describing the radar at the time. An object did appear on radar returns. “It started as one,” he said. “The object was coasting at about 100 miles per hour.” Then the object stopped and started hovering. “And then it shot up, about 5,000 feet, then 10,000 feet I was getting it, just straight up,” Bushong said. “At this point, the police officer was saying that he was seeing the same thing with that same object.” “It was almost as if, it was like it was saying to me, ‘hey, I know you can see me,” said Bushong. “[It] got up to about 30, 40 thousand feet, and finally I saw it.”
• Bushong then describes seeing a triangle of objects on radar, oriented vertically, before they finally spread out in the horizontal. “One that’s closest to the radar, so it would look bigger, and then there were two more,” he said. “One on the shore of Lake Michigan, and the other inland a little bit. They were all separated by about 20 miles.” One of the objects would zip about 20 miles away before the others followed in a geometric pattern. “I either saw them hovering or they were jumping at a high rate of speed over to the next spot. Then there were two other spots jumping to get back into the same triangle, and they kept doing this,” Bushong said. “They were just moving so fast… I really had little time to describe where they were before they had moved and jumped again.” This continued until the three, and at times four, UFOs made it over southern Lake Michigan, where he observed dozens more. For about two hours, Bushong watched the cluster of stationary objects, with some of them slowly moving in between others.
• This fascinating conversation between Bushong and the dispatcher was recorded, and has been released by the Michigan chapter of the Mutual UFO Network. (listen to the 23 minute conversation in the YouTube below)
• Bushong also spoke to an air traffic controller at the Muskegon County Airport control tower who confirmed three aircraft in formation in the distance, that didn’t have any transponder codes. The UFOs topped off close to 60,000 feet at times, so it couldn’t have been ‘ground clutter’, when radar beams bend down towards the surface of the earth, echoing back returns from objects close to the ground.
• In March 2019, the 25th anniversary of the incident, Cindy Pravda of Grand Haven shared her account of that night in 1884 with the local television news. Over one hundred people reported seeing strange lights in the sky.
• Bushong said he was initially prohibited from speaking to the media. “NWS didn’t want to become the UFO reporting center for the United States, so that’s really why they really had to duck and cover for this one,” he said. Over the years, Bushong has faced ridicule for his account, but has become more comfortable speaking about it after the U.S. Department of Defense released videos confirming what it says are “unidentified aerial phenomena.” The March 8, 1994 sightings are still labeled as “unexplained” according to the Michigan chapter of the Mutual UFO Network, the world’s largest civilian UFO research organization.
• Shortly after the 1994 sightings, the National Weather Service renovated and “modernized” its offices in Muskegon. They permanently removed the radar facility.
KALAMAZOO, Mich. — “They were just moving so fast, and two more started coming into play there. I really had little time to describe where they
were before they had moved and jumped again,” said Jack Bushong, a retired meteorologist describing what he saw on radar the night of March 8, 1994.
Bushong spent his career working for the National Weather Service. On the night of March 8, 1994, he was manning the National Weather Service office by himself in Muskegon on a cold but routine night. The NWS no longer has an office or radar there after the government forecasting agency went through modernization and reorganization in the mid-90s.
The phone rang and Bushong answered to find an Ottawa County dispatcher on the other line who had been fielding reports of strange lights in the sky. They called the National Weather Service to see if anything was showing up on weather radar.
It turns out, over 100 people reported witnessing the strange lights in the sky. Cindy Pravda, who lives in Grand Haven, shared her account with News Channel 3 in March of 2019 on the 25th anniversary of one of of Michigan’s most famous UFO sightings.
That’s when Bushong took manual control of the Muskegon radar, and began waving its beam back and forth across Ottawa County looking for any objects. The conversation between Bushong and the dispatcher was recorded, which the Michigan chapter of the Mutual UFO Network has shared online.
That night, there weren’t any thunderstorms to track on radar, but rather, something else.
“You could pretty much use it like a spotlight,” Bushong said when describing the operation of the radar at the time. “I had two cranks to bring it up or down, or side to side. You pretty much sent it out searching for weather: any type of rain, sleet snow; or hail is what we were usually looking for when we took it off of automatic mode.”
23:12 minute audio of 911 calls on UFO sightings in Holland, MI, 1994 (‘Mutual UFO Network’ YouTube)
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