UFO Landing in the Minnesota Arrowhead Area.
By Jerry Nelson,
MUFON Field Investigator
December 31, 2023
When I was a young Field investigator for The Mutual UFO Network, I sought out as many cases to investigate as I could. One winter, while my wife and I were on a vacation along the north shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota, we decided to stay at a really great place, “Dodges Log Lodges.” What a wonderful place to stay. Small log cabins right on the water of Lake Superior, complete with a fireplace in each cabin. Quiet and secluded it was one of our most favorite spots to vacation. One night while we were lounging, enjoying the fire and the company of each other. We found a local magazine in our cabin. Going through it we saw the normal tourist trap ads and local fare suggestions. We also found an ad from a Bigfoot Hunter. In the add this person mentioned, “If you have seen anything strange along the north shore” to please contact him at “this email.”
Well, of course, I was a new MUFON investigator, I saw this as an opportunity to get some cases in the local area that may not go through the normal MUFON channels. So, I answered the ad and told the “Hunter” that I was a new MUFON investigator and I was willing to help him and his team if he had any cases that would require my area of expertise. We exchanged emails back and forth and started to form a bond. About a week later, He gave me a call and told me about a case he was working on in the Arrowhead region of Minnesota. He mentioned there was a UFO component to it and asked if I wanted to investigate it. You didn’t have to ask me twice, I was in!
Of course, I knew I wasn’t “supposed” to investigate a case that was not already entered into the MUFON Case Management System or CMS. But I was new and I wanted to really start doing some investigations. I also knew that if it was a decent one, I could enter it into the CMS myself and let the Chief Investigator of the State know that I wanted the case. Our (Minnesota MUFON) Chief Investigator is an awesome guy, Bill McNeff. The man has been investigating UFO’s since 1952, truly a pillar in our community.
So off I went to the Arrowhead region of Minnesota to investigate a UFO sighting. The sighting itself was rather mundane, lights in the sky. But, these weren’t just lights, they were a cluster of lights that seemed to dance around each other or at least be part of something larger. The witness reported that the lights first appeared to come in like a comet then stop then break up into smaller light “orbs” that appeared to “dance” around each other. This happed twice about a month apart at the same time in the evening. This was interesting, obviously it seemed like someone was trying to get his attention. Something we still have no idea why?
I showed up at the appointed house and met the witness along with the Bigfoot Hunter that originally turned me onto this case. We sat down in the backyard and talked about the possible Bigfoot presence in the area (there is actually strong evidence of a bigfoot presence in that area, but I won’t get into that here). We then started talking about the sighting the witness had had a few days earlier. We went over what he saw, when he saw it, where he was looking, why he was outside to begin with, the things that should be asked when investigating. We went to the exact spot he filmed the lights, took measurements etc. After all that we sat down and went over the events one more time. This is something investigators should always do. It seems monotonous, but getting the witness to tell the story several times is actually quite useful. Usually, you dig out more details but at times, you can confirm if the person is trying to hoax you. Just remember, I was new to investigating so my technique was fairly rough. The following is a transcription of the recording I made about the lights in the sky. It did morph into something strange though. (I did edit the transcript for content, original recording is in my archives).
Witness: The first one was, uh, July 31st Friday at 10 p.m. and then the second one was August 24th, about the same time, about 10 p.m.
FI: So just walk me through what happened on the first one. Why you went outside, why you were looking where you’re doing.
Witness: You know, I always go out in the evenings when it’s a nice, warm summer night sitting on my front deck, uh, just listening to nature. Um, and all of a sudden, I looked up in the sky because I seen something on the corner of my eye. I looked at that direction to the south, and there it was. So, I turned on my phone and started recording it.
FI: And what was your first initial impression when you saw it?
Witness: Well, like I said in the video, I, I have no clue. It was very interesting and well worth recording because nobody would believe me if I explained it to him. Anyway, right? And I wouldn’t even know what to explain. Right? A bunch of orbs floating around.
FI: Okay, how long did that last as you were watching it before it disappeared? And how did it disappear both times?
Witness: At least a half an hour.
FI: And both times it just kind of blanked out when it was all done?
Witness: Yep. Just like you turn off the switch. Gone. The second time when I recorded it, I didn’t see it come. It was already there when I walked out my door and looked in the same direction, just out of curiosity, not expecting to see the same thing again. The first one I seen a flash. It looked like a shooting star or a comet. But it stopped dead in the sky. And then I, that’s when I started recording it. Thought I was recording it. Turned out all I did was take a snapshot of it. That’s when the orbs actually separated at a great distance from the main orb. And that was the picture I showed you, where you could see them through the tree line in the woods.
FI: Okay, so when it came in, it was just one, one big, one mass white ball.
FI: And then it broke up when it stopped? How long was it in place before it kind of started breaking up and doing its thing?
Witness: I’d say only probably, maybe 30 seconds. And it was like, almost like it was pulsing. Okay. And then that’s when I seen all the other little orbs coming off of it and moving around and but basically staying in a in that vicinity.
FI: Okay. And then on the, on the picture you can actually see, I think you said about 10 or 12 orbs ish,
(I would show the picture at this point but it seems those in control have deleted the witness’s number from my phone. However, enjoy the video below)
Witness: I counted 11.
FI: You counted 11, okay.
Witness: As fast as they were moving around, there could have been more. There might have been nine, I don’t know.
FI: (OK So let me get this right) The first one came in like a shooting star, or it’s kind of like a flash or whatever. And then it stopped. It was a mass for about 30s ish. And then it started breaking up and these orbs were kind of dancing around or whatever in that one area, which we have no idea how big because it was like you said, a ways away. Distance.
Witness: Yep. Distance is unknown.
FI: And it was about that for about 30 minutes ish and then just blanked out.
FI: Okay. Uh, you went out at about 10:00, and you said you came in back inside. About what time?
Witness: 1030 ish.
FI: Okay. About 1030 ish, then. Um.
Here is some video footage of what the witness filmed with his camera.
After hearing the story again (and recording it with the witness’s permission) I asked one final questions, “Have you ever seen a UFO before?” That’s when this story took a turn…
The witness then started to describe an event that happened back in 1971 near a shack on his Parents land. The witness said they saw an extremely bright light come towards them. It was intensely bright. It stopped over the field, but it was so bright they couldn’t look at it. The two ran into the shack and tried to hide. The light was so bright and intense that it shown through the cracks and nail holes in the walls of the shack. Well, here is the transcript where we start to pick up this conversation.
FI: Have you ever seen a UFO? Other than that? (Referring to the “dancing lights”).
FI: Okay. Can you explain that to me?
Witness: Um, both the summer of 71 and the summer of 72nd July. With my best friend at our shack out in the woods, which was in a big open field behind my mom’s house.
FI: And where is that?
Witness: Just down the road, a mile and then a mile up a side road. Okay. All south and then about a mile. I guess that would be straight. Exactly straight north of the (removed for anonymity).
FI: Okay, here we go.
Bigfoot Hunter: We can go there if you have time.
FI: Sure, sure.
Witness: There’s still a spot on the ground that don’t grow grass from 1971.
FI: Wow. Okay, so tell me about.
Witness: That huge white, bright, super bright white light. We couldn’t even tell if it was actually sitting on the ground. It came in super fast. And then it was like it stopped over the field and then it either hovered or it was so bright you couldn’t look at it. We ran in the shack, locked the door, pulled the shades. And uh the, the light was so bright, it was actually coming through nail holes in the boards because we used old lumber. When we built the place, it was like little laser beams going right through the shack from the light from that, whatever it was.
FI: How far away is it from your shack?
Witness: It it was in the field and we were at my shack was right on the very edge of the field on the wood line. So I’d say it was probably from here to (the) Road, maybe at the most from here. (That distance was about 75-100 feet)
FI: Okay. Close. (Later examination of the “Circle” to where the shack was, we determined the distance to be roughly 50 feet.) And all you saw was white light. You couldn’t see it. You didn’t see it, it was just a bright white light, no noise, no nothing, no structure, no nothing.
Witness: Not that we could tell, but it gets worse.
Witness: The second time it came a year later. That was in 71.
Witness: 72. When it came, same big, bright white light. We couldn’t tell if it was landed in the field or if it was hovering or. But it kept getting like you could see it was actually moving towards our shack from whatever direction it was coming from. We didn’t notice it until the place lit up, so we didn’t see where it actually came from, and then it just sat there for the longest time. And pretty soon our shack started rumbling and shaking and banging and all kinds of weird (expletive). We were upstairs in our sleeping area, which is like a loft with a hatch door, and I had my brother on top of the hatch door, and me and my other buddy were on top of him holding that hatch door, because whatever was down there was just beating up on everything and slamming on that hatch door trying to get up there. And we could hear (expletive) breaking flying around. We don’t remember what happened after that. My brother passed out because he was scared to death. Literally. We go downstairs the next morning. Nothing’s disturbed. The front door is still locked. Had a big glass window and it wasn’t broken.
FI: And you could hear stuff breaking left and right down there?
Witness: We could hear the (expletive) flying around, breaking. Yeah. We had a car battery with two headlights. That was our lights upstairs. Well, they immediately went out when that noise started happening down there. But the next morning, the battery cables were still hooked up to the battery, the car battery. And we ran our (expletive) back to the house 90 miles an hour through that woods, which is about a quarter mile from my mom’s house. And I got on the tractor, went back out to the shack and mowed it down, and we never went back there again. So that was my personal encounter. And I had three different witnesses.
FI: Okay, so the witnesses that were there was your brother
Witness: My brother. Then the other two were my best friend the first year and my other best friend the second year.
FI: And what was their names?
Witness: (Names removed)
FI: You got their last names? Have you talked to him since then or?
Witness: (friend one) is dead. He committed suicide.
FI: Oh, that’s too bad, I’m sorry.
Witness: And (friend two) hasn’t talked to me in practically since that incident.
Witness: Yeah. I brought it up to him. He came to visit me about 15 years ago, and as soon as I brought it up, he jumped in his truck and took off. Really didn’t want to talk about it.
FI: It can definitely be traumatic, that’s for sure.
Witness: Then my brother (name removed). He’s the only one that you can actually talk to and interview. And he’d still… he ain’t going to forget about it, you know? He knows it. Okay, (inaudible) until he passed out. Okay. He never heard the banging and (expletive), but.
FI: I may give him a call if it’s if it’s okay with you. And I’ll have you talk to him first before I call him.
Witness: Call him right now. You can call him anytime you want. I’ll give you his phone number.
FI: Okay, let’s go ahead. Let’s give him a call. I’ll let. I’ll let you call because he’ll recognize your number, not mine.
(His brother did not answer his phone so we started talking again about what happened)
Witness: My brother (name removed) at the time was probably 12 years old, if even that. 10 or 12.
FI: Okay, so on the first one we’ll just get back to that one again. Um, so I think it either hovered or it landed over the field. Something like that. You guys went and ran into the shack…
Witness: It left a big burnt patch on the ground that’s still there to this day.
FI: We’ll check that out. Nothing grows there.
Witness: It might have been bigger at one point, but it’s still… you can plainly see the circle there okay, something did something.
FI: Yeah, we’ll definitely check that out. You don’t remember how long you were in the shack before the thing disappeared?
Witness: No. Both times we… Well, the first time with me and (friend #1), we ran in the shack and never… buried our heads under the pillow… I guess I don’t know, I don’t remember what we did? And then it was gone.
FI: Okay. And then on the second time.
Witness: Pretty much the same thing. Except for the thrashing around and banging. And, um, I still think it has something to do with (location removed). I think it was something spying on them down there, you know, watching them. And we had a perfect hiding spot for them to land in that field until we started using it, you know, built a shack there, right?
FI: I mean, the timeline, though, with all the thrashing. I mean, was it minutes or an hour?
Witness: No, it was maybe in minutes. Five minutes tops.
FI: Okay. And then all the thrashing just stopped, or you just don’t remember.
Witness: I don’t remember. That was 50 years ago. I don’t remember. I remember the whole shack was shaking because we built it on four trees. That was our corner post.
FI: Oh, okay.
Witness: And it was a two story shack. The first story was off the ground, probably four feet in. The second story was above that. Mm. So we had a good bird’s eye view looking at it out the window, but it was so white, bright light you couldn’t see. I mean, you couldn’t look at it, it was weird.
FI: So on the second time in 72 you weren’t able to see it either because it was too bright.
Witness: It was the same thing. Same thing, just too bright.
FI: And if you guys don’t remember anything from there.
FI: Anything unusual the following day as far as maybe marks on your body or how you felt, or.
Witness: Nope, just Other than the fact that I got jumped on the tractor and went and mowed my me and my brother’s shack down to the ground, which and I can’t believe he never said a word about it. You’d think he’d have been pissed. Yeah.
FI: Okay. He didn’t wake up wearing anybody else’s shirt or anything, right?
FI: Okay. I know it’s a weird question I’m gonna ask.
Witness: None of them we’re on backwards, haha. We weren’t drinking.
FI: Yeah, it’s a good question.
Witness: We weren’t drinking.
FI: No drugs?
Witness: Nope. Don’t play that game.
After this conversation we were able to get a hold of the brother and he confirmed everything that the witness recounted. By the way, the brother did remember the shack shaking and things being thrown around and breaking in the lower level. This was turning into a very strange case indeed.
At this point we loaded everything up and went out to “take a look at the circle” on the other property. Luckily that same property was still in the family.
We walked out into the woods about a ½ of a mile. It had grown up significantly since the encounter back in 1972. Of course, like the Witness said, he hadn’t gone back out there since and had no intention of doing so either. This was actually the first time he had been back there since the incident. I felt honored that he would be willing to go back there for me after avoiding the area for so long.
Once we got out there it was obvious where this spot was. Although there was some growth, for the most part there was nothing in that spot. Like a knucklehead, I thought the walk was only going to be a short jaunt into the woods, so I had left all my equipment, camera, etc. back in my car before we went out. So, I looked around and took it all in. Took some pictures with my phone and called it a day. I would need to set up another day to come back out and do a better investigation so that is what I did.
Since I was a relatively new Field Investigator, I teamed up with a more seasoned Investigator. We decided we would go back out in a couple of weeks while it was relatively warm and do everything we needed to do. I set it up with the Bigfoot Hunter and the Witness. Of course, as luck would have it, the day we were going to go back out we got our first snow of the year. I was reluctant to go out since it was a significant drive to the location and the fact it was the fist snowfall of the year. A lot of people forget how to drive on snow so I didn’t want to deal with that. Not to mention that it would have been difficult to properly get soil samples etc., if everything weas wet. The incident happened 50 years ago, there was no reason to undergo undue risks. So, we postponed it…
The following summer we were able to get out there and start our investigation. We measured the circle (16-foot diameter), took soil samples, plant samples, both control and in each quadrant of the circle, took several pictures, and other measurements. The shack was obviously no longer there but the witness knew exactly where the shack used to stand. The shack itself was approx. 50 feet northwest from the circle. It was surreal to be in the exact same spot where this incident took place, I can’t imagine what the witness must have been thinking at this point.
After we completed our investigation of the area, we went back to the house of the property owner where we had a most interesting conversation with her. The witness was not the only family member to have encounters with this phenomenon. There were many strange occurrences that have happened in and around this property and associated with this family.
The property owner said that this phenomenon had been a part of her life for a very long time. The property owner said that she had once seen an extremely large craft that followed them one day while they were driving in their car for several miles. She did her best to hide that from her children at the time but they too saw the craft. It eventually took off, but it was strange that the craft would act this way.
She re-counted an instance back in the 1930’s where she and most of her family were out in the fields working (this was northwestern area of Wisconsin near Lake Superior. She had gone back to the farm house to make lunch for everyone. She also needed to use the restroom. When she got back and looked out a back window, she saw a craft hovering near the house. She could see people, or whomever, standing on a “deck” on the back side of this craft. They were waving to her as if to say hello or to get to come over to them. She has no idea what happened next, but the next thing she remembers is being in the house when the rest of the family came back and being scolded because she had not made lunch. Of course, she was completely confused but did not say anything about the craft for fear of reprisal (the 1930’s were a different time!). As a side note, when this encounter started, she had mentioned that she really needed to use the bathroom. She has no memory of actually using the restroom. However, when the family came back into the house, she no longer had the urge to relieve herself. Obviously, the ETs were kind enough to let her empty her bladder at some point. She has no recollection of ever doing so.
She also recalled an event that I won’t soon forget. She had awoken one night and walked out into her kitchen. In the kitchen were several small beings. She wasn’t able to see who the beings were as they were wearing some sort of hooded cloak. She was never able to see their faces. She did however, see a small child, in a basket of sorts, on her kitchen table. She was told that it was her child. The ET’s stepped back and let her examine the child as if they were wanted to see how she would react. The child was described as having large blue eyes and small frail looking body/arms and a larger than usual head with stringy hair. The next thing she knew she was walking out of the bathroom. Confused the only thing she could think of was “Where is my child?” She ran around the house looking for the child, in closets, under beds etc. Her family was very confused as to why she would even do this. They didn’t have any other children other than those that were present and accounted for. She insisted there was another child somewhere and continued to search. Finally, after some time, she gave up the search and went about her business and never spoke of it again.
After we spoke, we went inside in her kitchen. I was able to stand directly next to the table as she described the height of the beings. It was so surreal to imagine these beings. I could almost picture them in my mind. Four of them surrounding here while she examined this mystery child.
We lost the property owner few years ago. My condolences to her children. I only spoke with her a few times, but I found her to be a wonderful and kind woman and mother. She shall be missed. R.I.P.
Back to our original story…
After that most interesting and strange conversation we packed up equipment and samples and headed home. I sent the samples to the MUFON Lab in Missouri and waited. A few weeks later I received an e-mail with the results. Unfortunately, there wasn’t that much to report. It had been 50 years since this incident took place. That is a long time for weather and nature to start taking over. But if you will recall, the witness did mention a few things. 1. The ground was burnt where the object landed/hovered. 2. The witness has not been back there in almost 50 years. The results of the soil sample only showed, at the deeper levels (8-9 inches), that there was a higher level of carbonite. Carbonite will form only in high heat situations. There were no forest fires in the area in the past 50 years. There weren’t any lightning strikes that could cover an entire 16-foot circle area. That devoid area, at the deeper levels, had been subjected to a very high heat source. Was this the Object that landed or hovered near that shack? How long had that object actually been there? 5 minutes? 20 minutes? Longer? Was the witness taken aboard the craft and if so, why? Or where they (the witnesses) just in the wrong place at the wrong time?
Some of these questions could be answered if the witnesses were to undergo hypnosis by a qualified and MUFON Vetted Hypnotherapists. However, I caution those who wish to seek out hypnotherapy as an investigative tool. Even if the witness is more then willing to undergo hypnosis. Although Hypnotherapy usually allows a person to remember more details of an event or to even break through some mental block to remember certain details, the consequences are permanent. By this I mean, once you remember something under hypnosis, it will stick with you. That memory is now a part of you and you will most likely never forget it. The brain has a way of protecting ourselves from ourselves. It is possible that the experience could have been quite traumatic and the ETs are being kind by making you forget it ever happened? That doesn’t absolve the ETs from what they’ve done (if that is the case) but it does show some level of compassion on their part. If you choose hypnotherapy as a means to recover forgotten memories, then do so at your own risk. That’s all I have to say about that.
Our findings didn’t make us take pause, we were pretty much expecting what we got. After all, it had been almost 50 years since this happened. We were hopeful, but alas, we got what we got from the soil samples:
This incident having occurred out doors and the number of weather and other things that can effect such a location make it difficult to find any anomalies that can point to exactly what might contribute to the 6.0 t0 6.4 range of this soil. These findings are presented to the Investigator on this case who’s purview it is to finalize the determination of this case. I have included a reference and a statement for consideration of the amounts of Carbonate found in the deeper soil samples. There could be many more reasons for the high levels as the bacteria on their own can produce trace amounts.
The lower PH is consistent with the lack of plant growth in the area. Cause could be from the pine needles in the area, but that doesn’t explain why it would only be in the 16 foot diameter circle. The higher levels of carbonate in the deeper levels is also consistent with that lack of growth. Could have been caused by higher heat source, over 2000 degrees F. Consistent with a forest fire. But again, there were no forest fires in the area.
This case as a very fascinating, compelling, and complicated case. The witness does not want to undergo hypnotherapy so we may never recover any other memories. I am ok with this as I mentioned, Hypnotherapy can be permanent. The wishes of the witness must trump the wishes and desires of the investigator. Remember, we are here to investigate cases, not traumatize witnesses because of our own curiosity. This must be well understood and the cornerstone of any investigator. We are not the Justice System, as much as we want to know the answers, we don’t need to know the answers. We certainly can’t force an unwilling participant to tell us everything. No matter how well intentioned we might be, we must always keep the mental wellbeing of the witness in mind.