On November 23, 1953, one of the great mysteries of UFOs began, as an Air Defense Command Ground Intercept radar controller at Truax AFB in Madison, Wisconsin received a radar blip of an unknown object over Lake Michigan. An F-89-C Scorpion was immediately dispatched from Kincross Air Force Base to locate the target. 1st Lieutenant Felix Moncla, Jr. piloted the jet, with 2nd Lieutenant R. Wilson operating the radar.
Object Streaks over Lake Superior:
The Scorpion jet began to approach the unknown flier, but as it did, the UFO began to change its course. Moncla was flying at approximately 500 mph as it neared the UFO. Radar man Wilson was unable to accurately track the UFO, and ground control picked up the info, relaying it back to the Scorpion.
Jet Closes on UFO:
Moncla finally brought his jet to the exact spot of the UFO, but as he did, radar operators at Truax saw both blips as one. For a moment, it was expected that Moncla had gone over or under the UFO, causing the united blip, and that two blips would soon be seen again. But suddenly, the one blip faded, as no radar return was registered. Attempts to contact Moncla from ground control were unsuccessful.
Search & Rescue Dispatched:
Radar operators marked the last radar return as seventy miles off of Keweenaw Point in the upper part of Michigan. The plane and UFO were marked as 8,000 feet altitude when they both vanished. A search and rescue team, the 433rd Fighter Interceptor Squadron, was immediately summoned, but after an expansive, overnight search not a trace of the Scorpion or UFO was found.
First Official Statement:
The first official statement of the incident would be released by Norton Air Force Flying Safety Division. After what was obviously a
superficial overview of the case, they issued this statement:
... "the pilot probably suffered from vertigo and crashed into the lake."
Officially, there was no indication that Moncla suffered from vertigo, a very unlikely condition for a pilot, and also he was flying by his instruments, and not using a sight and search approach.
Air Force Theories:
Efforts by the Air Force to divert any attention from a UFO explanation were immediate. They claimed that there was a Canadian DC-3 in the area, and that this was what the Scorpion was chasing, but the Canadian Air Force denied this claim. U.S. officials then claimed that a RCAF jet was in the area, but this was also negated by the Canadians. U.S. officials also claimed that the Scorpion may have exploded.
No Indication of Crash:
The problem with the crash theory is that if the Scorpion had exploded, it is very likely that some debris would have been found.
But, the search found no metal fragments, oil slicks... nothing that would indicate there had been a crash. Interestingly enough,
government records listed the crash as an accident, nothing more.
Case Still Unexplained:
Off the record, those close to the case believed that the loss of the Scorpion was a direct result of an encounter with the unknown
object, clearly seen on radar. In recent months, the Michigan Diving Company has made assertions that they may have found the jet and the UFO, but this finding is still being investigated. See my update on the Kincross Dive Results