Tom’s Blog

When is it Time to Move On?

There are two things that are normally off-limits to discuss at work; politics and religion. I’m beginning to think the same thing about Facebook except with the addition of closed UFO cases. Today I got involved in a Facebook discussion, so to speak, involving a case I closed a year ago. The case was that of lights seen over Lake Erie for 10 straight nights near Euclid, Ohio. This is a case I put a lot of man-hours in and had the assistance of members from the Cleveland Ufology Project. There are times I think I’m still trying to get warm after spending 10 straight nights on the beach of Lake Erie in March of 2010.

The investigation began when a friend notified me of a news report on the local Fox affiliate describing an individual who seen a UFO for eight straight nights over Lake Erie. The events ballooned as quickly as a YouTube video going viral. No one filed an official report MUFON report so I decided to pick up the story myself by contacting the television  station broadcasting the report. The only thing I was able to do was leave a voicemail for a reporter who never returned my calls. Unexpected assistance came from an out-of-state MUFON State Director. He supplied me with the witnesses contact information.

On the drive to Euclid was able to make contact with the witness who described a series of events and had also just been recently contacted by SciFy Channel wanting to promote his story. Anyway as I arrived at the beach near his apartment he said the lights were just appearing. Just as I pulled in the parking lot he saw the lights. I jumped from my car and ran through a wooded area in the dark towards the beach. I had visions of being the first MUFON field investigator being killed by a head-on collision with a tree. Right as a step on the beach the lights were gone not to be seen again that night.

It took three freezing nights before lights reappeared I was able to capture them on video. The lights about the size of Venus would appear to hover, then move in a Southwest direction. These movements were consistent with the witnesses other observations. The witness claimed that a reporter for MSNBC had stated that nothing unusual had been seen in that region. But several characteristics stood out in the sighting. The lights always appeared in the same location of the sky, the lights would appear to hover, and then move rapidly to the Southwest toward Cleveland.

Multiple techniques were used during investigation. The first was a flight tracking website called Flightaware. With this website individuals can monitor flight traffic detailing the point of origin, destination, altitude, airspeed, flight number, and model of aircraft. For 10 days I stood on the beach by frozen Lake Erie. On the days when the weather was clear I was able not only to monitor the appearance of lights, but compare the appearance of the lights to commercial flight traffic in the region. There was not only a match, but it confirmed the lights were heading towards the witness making them appear to hover. It also showed the reason for the rapid motion to the Southwest with the air traffic turned perpendicular to the witness which also caused the lights to dim.

A pilot from Delta Airlines also confirmed the direction of flight traffic arriving from the West at Cleveland Hopkins Airport. The aircraft would swing out over the lake directly towards Euclid at an altitude of 5,000 feet then swing back the land in a Southwest direction at Hopkins Airport. Investigation did not stop there. Using the altitude 5,000 feet and an azimuth of 5° it placed the lights 11 miles away. This also matched the point the pilot said aircraft would begin to turn back toward Cleveland. As if that was not enough I also had two groups: one in Euclid in one on the other side of Cleveland near Lakewood. The lights were observed from two different locations simultaneously. The importance of the group in Lakewood was to confirm the final destination of the lights. The group in Lakewood positively identified the lights as air traffic landing at Cleveland Hopkins Airport. In summary there is approximately 200 pages of information relating to the conclusion of this case.

Now back to when is it time to move on. About six months ago an individual in that region who still would not believe the source of the lights was commercial air traffic. I made a mistake of responding to one of his posts on a blog. I said I would never do it again because too much time at been wasted on this case.

Well guess what? I did it again. Another individual claims to do investigation, but to my knowledge investigation requires legwork and not just citing selected comments taken out of context. He states that since MUFON investigators are volunteers we are unable to do a proper investigation. I hardly believe that is the case. So I wrote a post reiterating my techniques in which he responded with a mind numbing series of emails with comments taken from context.

So again I say I will not post any more comments or try to change these individuals’ minds. Why try to argue with someone who is content to post videos on YouTube and make comments on blogs rather than be a nonprofessional looking for an answer.

TW