Mongo UFO sighting


Francis Ridge (State Director), Linda Dahl kemper, Bruce Engstrom,

Robert Taylor, Roger Sugden, John Timmerman (CUFOS).

ANALYSIS BY: Dr. Richard Haines


Mongo, IN, is located approximately 40 miles NNW of Fort Wayne, approximately 5 miles from the Michigan border. The prime witness (referred to as JK) was an area fire supervisor for the Forest Management Division, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, residing in Jackson, MI. DB was the firefighter from Howell, MI who took the pictures. FB: Cass City, MI, retired, Michigan Department of Natural Resources. One of the witnesses was a retired Michigan State Trooper from Carroll, MI. Another was a retiree from the U.S. Postal Service. The latter did not think the object was a UFO. There was one other witness, six in all. The sighting was brief, estimated at 1-3 minutes. Six men, all retirees from age 45 on up, were sitting around a campfire at the Trading Post Campgrounds at Mongo, IN, on Wednesday, August 31st,1994. The time was approximately 8:30 PM, Indiana time; 9:30 PM Michigan time (EDT).


The UFO Filter Center at Mt. Vernon, IN (also HQ for the Indiana Group, MUFON) received the initial report on 10/07/94, by phone. FIT Linda Dahlkemper had called me (State Director) at 11:00 AM. On the 21st, UFOFC received blow-ups of two photos, #8 and #9, drawings by the prime witness, and some news clippings. The photos were impressive. Although the images were small and taken at night, one photo looked very much like the famous Trindade Island photo. I attempted contact with Jeff Sainio, Photo Analyst, left message on his recorder.

At approximately 10:00 AM, on 10/22, I conducted a taped telephone interview with the prime witness (JK). A letter and six Form 1's were sent to the prime witness. I requested witness send copy of photos to me AND Jeff Sainio. The following are notes taken from the phone conversation:

JK: "Off to the southwest it looked like the moon, glowing through the treetops, and it was low. I said, 'that can't be the moon', 'cause we are in the last phase. (Moon not visible anyway). Then it started moving.Then it moved right out from behind the trees into an open area near a road and hovered toward us. And it was clear as can be. It was a flying saucer, just that vivid. The object glided into our area at a shallow angle, turned toward us and began to hover. Standing still, the white glow turned transparent. It looked like a white strobe light on the top of the dome. A bright red flash of light under the bottom flashed 3 or 4 times like a strobe and it disappeared to the south and east very quickly, within 2 seconds."

Before it had gone they got at least four good pictures. One of the individuals who was taking pictures around the campfire that night hada Vivitar fully automatic 35mm camera, loaded with 400 ASA color film.He was instructed to grab his camera and shoot. He had been out West with a fire crew, fighting fires and had taken pictures out there. The lens was standard, not telephoto.

Mongo Frame 4 - Original Verson

Prime witness met and talked with two hunters the following day at 10:30 AM EDT. They had been en route to the campground from Ft. Wayne, IN, and when they were 1/2 mile south of Mongo they spotted a white object move in front and to the east at low level at a high rate of speed. This was at the same time of 2130 EDT. .

Newspaper accounts show at least two other good witnesses (the Martins) testifying that this was no blimp. Reports of a blimp (Family Channel) in area. Finally, a man, his wife, and two daughters saw the same or similar object at Hamilton, IN, and took videos. Their sighting was at 8:45 PM and a little over 20 miles SE of Mongo. The object was less than 100' upand there was no sound. Although some of video was erased, the object in one scene is large, pear shaped, and definitely not a conventional object.

The blow-ups of the Mongo object were received on October 21st and were cropped negatives #8 & #9. JK had another pair of negatives at the time of the interview, #4 & #5. After making prints from #8 & #9a few days prior to this interview, he had swapped negatives with the cameraowner.

The witness says the first photos are more distinct. "You are going to be more impressed with the ones I just got yesterday," he said. Negatives #6 & #7 reportedly did not show the UFO. The blow-ups andprints were made on a department store customer-operated Kodak machine called "Create-A-Print".

Photo #8 shows object (moving west to east in downward course) with illuminated leaves in the foreground due to camera flash. Photo #9 is similar, w/o flash, object still moving west to east and downward. Camera flash had been turned off for #9.

In the first two photos the object had come closer and reportedly looked like a "fried egg".

I requested that he fill out a Form 1 and try to get the others (5)to do the same. Six Form 1's were provided.

A drawing was supplied with the blow-ups of negatives #8 & #9, and witness states that this is what the UFO looked like, as it was very bright and coming in, first like the moon. Object had panels that could be seen when the object was due south. He says drawing/photos don't do justice to the actual event. There was absolutely no noise. Three dogs did not react in any way.

He was out hunting the next day and actually saw the Family Channel Blimp that others had reported. "There is no way in hell (that) we saw a blimp that night."

The object they saw and photographed on the 31st was no further than 1/4 mile away, and from 500' high to as low as 100' at one point. Witness then states the object was more vivid when first coming in. Apparently the object was receding on subsequent shots. At first he thought the object to be a bright meteor. It didn't take long for them to realize that the object was not a meteor. In negative #4 & #5 you "can see a distinct line right around the center", he said.

On 10/23/94 I ran an EZC Skyplot (computer check) for 8:30 PM, for the Fort Wayne latitude and longitude. Jupiter was in the SW, as well as Venus, Saturn in the SE, Moon not visible. A note and copies of prints #4 &#5 were received from the prime witness informing me that photo copies had been mailed also to MUFON's Photo Analyst, Jeff Sainio.

The following day a letter, copy of the current investigator's activity log, telephone report, drawing, Form 8, EZC Skyplot, and map of NE Indiana, were sent to Jeff Sainio. Copies of photos to Sainio were shipped direct from witness.

12/04/94. 8:30 AM. Found message on answering system. Jeff Sainio needed some information, unclear. Tried several times to contact him, to no avail.

12/06/94. Letter to Jeff Sainio in reference to his recorded message on telephone answering system. I suggested a form letter be used to let people know if he received materials and to make additional simple requests. No answer.

12/22/94. Received a phone call from prime witness at approximately 8:45 PM. He advised me that Jeff Sainio had called him earlier, about 5:00PM, and stated that he had NOT received any photos! The witness was supposed to make up a new set and send them again. I advised against it, not faulting Mr. Sainio, but something in the system, possibly mail tampering. However,there appeared to be a major flaw in communications. This was too important a case. Prime witness was to make new copies of two of the photos (from the only two negatives he had in his possession) and send them to me. I would then submit them by certified mail to an analyst.

12/23/94. Mark Rodeghier returned my call from the previous evening.I asked who else would be appropriate for an analysis. (It had been two months since we submitted photos and materials to Sainio). He suggested two others. I decided to go with Richard Haines. A letter was also drafted to Jeff Sainio, describing our actions and the reason behind them, since he was expecting JK to send the photos all over again. Computer copies of the letter were submitted to Walt Andrus & Mark Rodeghier.

12/27/94. 5x7 copies of Photo #4 & 5 (one regular and one blow-up each) received from primary witness. Awaiting response from Richard Haines. Four days later it came. He requested (1) positive prints, (2) original negatives, and all particulars. Securing original negatives could have been difficult. The primary witness had two of the four negatives but I was afraid he might be reluctant to turn them over to us. It is MUFON policy NOT to secure and mail original negatives.

It was a New Year. On the 3rd, I sent Haines a letter and all current material, including two prints and two blow-ups (of two of the four 35mm shots), submitted via certified mail, signed receipt requested. Copy of letter sent to MUFON & CUFOS.

01/09/95. Received completed Form 1 from D.B., a retired fire officer. On the 17th Dr. Haines received the the Jan 3rd mailing. Took two weeks! Was our mail really being tampered with, or is this simply the US Postal Service?

02/21/95. Letter from Richard Haines dated 10 Feb requested negatives and other information. Says case warranted further study.

02/22/95. Contacted primary witness by phone, told him about letter from Haines. Sent letter to primary witness and Haines, outlining plan to send half of the original negs first, await safe return, then send other half. To make copy of negs first. Plan was accepted. Two of the original negs (strip containing same) were on the way to Haines, certified mail, signed receipt requested. At 9:00 PM I contacted Jeff Sainio at a new number. Got OK to send two prints (not enlarged) to QUADTECH, Attn: Jeff Sainio in Sussex, WI. He was to call me when he got them.

02/26/95 2:45 PM. Contacted primary witness. Told him I finally contacted Jeff. PW was sending negs of two photos to Haines & two uncropped photos to Sainio. I sent letter to Haines: (2) negs on the way, strip of four connected frames, 6,7,8,9.

03/07/95. Four pages of Q/A notes via phone by Haines w/DB. Haines requested series of overlapping color photos at same location where originals were taken. Should be daylight photos. Work was progressing.

03/29/95. Call from Dr. Haines. Needed county map or topo map with big scale, possibly 5 miles. Also requested info from hunters, who they were,would they file reports, etc. In particular, where were they in relation to the others and in what direction did they see the UFO from beginning to end.

03/30/95. Letter to JK requesting series of overlapping photos of sky sector. Material from Jeff Sainio, along with (in his own words) "Photoanalysis (sort of)", stating that the "tiny images give little to work with" and "witness testimony of shape and flashing lights gives a close match with the balloon (theory)."

04/03/95. 10:40 AM. Received call from primary witness. During the first week in May they would use the same camera and take overlapping pictures from exact site. Names and ID of two hunters was unknown, but their position was noted.

04/20/95. Mark returned my call from previous day. Was checking on blimp flights. Would get John Timmerman to do it. Requested zerox of photos. Sent letter, photos, and Sainio material to Rodeghier.

04/23/95. John Timmerman called. Would help on Mongo case. Requested information on sighting and photos. I sent complete accumulated file designated for CUFOS. Had primary witness send photo copies.

04/26/95. Letter to FI Bruce Engstrom at New Haven (near Fort Wayne) requesting his group aid Timmerman in investigation.

05/11/95. Primary witness and the original photographer took a series of daylight photos for Dr. Richard Haines, to provide a panoramic view of the sky from the same vantage point as the night UFO photos taken August31, 1994. Dr. Haines would use these, and the large-scale map being provided,to plot the object's position during its flight and be used to make other calculations regarding each of the four photos.

05/17/95. Got a call from John Timmerman of CUFOS. He had made arrangements to meet with the two men on Friday, May 19th, to get whatever information, photos of sky sector, and maps, etc. I advised him that it was very important we are able to rule out the blimp explanation. He was checking into flights by FAMILY CHANNEL and VIRGIN LIGHTSHIP. Witness reports rule out blimps, in particular the speed of flight and rapid acceleration. However, it would be good to know that there were no blimps in the area that evening. If there were blimp flights on the 31st in that area it would create a problem for analysts, nonetheless. It was interesting that one of the witnesses DID see and report a blimp the very next day.

07/20/95. Information from blimp manufacturer submitted by Dr. Haines. This was descriptive information, not flight schedules. Also, note mentioned Dr. Haines had just received second (best) set of negatives.

Undated. Memo from John Timmerman. No word from McDonald Company in Toronto. Sent photo of Virgin Lightship to Dr. Haines for dimension ration comparisons with the Mongo object.

09/14/95. One final attempt to contact newspaper man and his wife (the Martins') who also saw the object or similar one. To no avail.

09/28/95. Investigation concluded.

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