Summer of ’65: UFO Sightings Reported Over Duluth


Fifty years ago — Aug. 14, 1965 — the DNT reports sightings of unidentified flying objects over Duluth. The article’s title, by the way is …

More UFO Sightings Reported Over Duluth

… which leads one to believe there was another story on the subject in previous days, but careful eyes couldn’t find one in the Aug. 1-13 editions.

The Aug. 14 article reads kind of like it was a weekly column that might run next to marriage announcements or property transactions.

Miss Kathy Skoglund of 2713 W. 2nd St. told The News-Tribune she and her friends saw an object “a little bigger than a star” moving slowly across the sky about 10:15 Friday.

Mrs. Joanne Johnson of 19 E. 13th St., said she watched a similar object over her home for about 15 minutes about 10:25. “It wasn’t moving in a straight path,” when it finally disappeared behind a cloud cover, she said.

The object Mrs. Carol McDougall, of 9223 Vinland St., saw was moving northwest and traveling in a downward, erratic path when it disappeared behind some trees. She first sighted it at 10:15 and watched it for 20 minutes.

Clarence Noel, of 731A Kelly Circle, an Air Force technical sergeant, estimated the object he saw about 10:45 was traveling about 800 miles an hour. “It was moving east to west and disappeared in a few seconds,” he said.

Mr. and Mrs. Henry B. Griffin reported seeing a star-like object in the skies about 11:05 p.m. Thursday.

Miss Minnesota Kisses Humphrey

Minnesota Miss Kisses Humphrey
Vice President Hubert Humphrey gets a kiss from Molly McGuire of Winona at a session of the third Nation Y-Teen Conference held in Washington. At right is Mary Hacking of Minneapolis. The Y-Teen meeting was addressed by Humphrey.–(AP Wirephoto.)

Mrs Jody Gumlia 1965

Championship and medalist trophies are held by Mrs. Jody Gumlia after winning the Arrowhead Women’s Golf Tournament crown Friday.


Paul Lundgren

about 9 years ago

UFO DNA: The Encyclopedia of UFO Sightings, has this listing:

4 August 1965 Duluth, St Louis Bay, Minnesota, USA USAF incident Nautical UFO. An object splashed down into St. Louis Bay. At about same time 7-10 UFOs were tracked by USAF and RCAF radar, moving at 9000mph, between 5,200 feet and 17,000 feet USCG investigation. An object was tracked by radar and sighted visually. One object was observed by several thousand military witnesses at a lake. Hynek rating: RV Vallee rating: MA2
... but the DNT doesn't contain an article that I can find about that particular incident.

Paul Lundgren

about 8 years ago

In 2002, Chuck Frederick wrote a piece in the Duluth News Tribune titled "Visitors from the Beyond." Below is the part related to 1965.

UFO about 100 feet across The Date: Feb. 13, 1965 The Incident: University of Minnesota Duluth instructors Donald Jackson and Bill McEwen, as well as McEwen's wife, were on their way to the state curling matches in Hibbing when they saw an unidentified flying object in the night sky. About 100 feet across and descending, the object was about five miles east of the Hibbing-Chisholm municipal airport, off Minnesota Highway 37. The Duluthians reported what they saw to the airport's flight service station, which notified the air base in Duluth. The Freaky: A highway patrol officer from Walker reported a similar object within half a minute of the instructors' report. Boy spots buzzing red ball The Date: Aug. 4, 1965 The Incident: Already in bed, 8-year-old Dennis Johnson of Duluth suddenly bolted upright at the sound of a loud buzzing. "I went to the window and saw a red-ball-like thing over the neighbor's house," the boy told a News-Tribune reporter. The object made a whirring sound and headed toward Superior Street. "On the back of the red ball was a flap-like tail that was silver and glowed," the boy said. He called for his father to look out the family's front window, at 1722 Jefferson St. James Johnson told reporters he didn't see anything but said he heard a car "with a different kind of muffler." The Freaky: More than 50 Minneapolis police and Hennepin County sheriff's officers reported UFOs over the Twin Cities the same night, according to Associated Press reports. The next day, an Air Force spokesman in Washington, D.C., said a variety of meteoric showers were probably to blame for the rash of sightings. An official denial The Date: Aug. 5, 1965 The Incident: Duluth Air Base officials publicly denied their planes had taken off to look for flying saucers. The Freaky: Although sightings had been reported in the Midwest and in the Southwest, reports of UFOs in the Duluth area hadn't been recorded until after the air base's official public statement. Retired Brig. Gen. Raymond T. Klosowski, the former commander of Duluth's 148th Fighter Wing, said this month that such denials were common for the air base back then. "There was no standard policy, but it happened often enough," he said. Aircraft from the base were scrambled, or sent into the air, on UFO calls one or two times every three or four years, Klosowski said. "Most of the time the calls could be explained," he said. "One time we chased a weather balloon. The sun was reflecting off it. But it was moving so slow, it was easy to catch. "I only had one scramble like that myself," Klosowski said. "That turned out to be a goofy reflection off a lighthouse in Ashland. "A lot of pilots, when they went on calls like that, they were real reluctant to get into the newspaper," he said. "No one wants to be in the paper for something like that." 'There it is!' The Date: Aug. 6, 1965 The Incident: Breathless, a Superior man called Coast Guard officials just after midnight. He had seen a UFO splash into the water near the former Interstate Bridge. The craft was underwater, the man said. He could see it. He offered to take authorities to the exact spot. They went, according to reports in the morning News-Tribune. "There it is!" The unidentified Superiorite shouted, pointing at the water. The Freaky: "He was the only one who could see anything," a Coast Guardsman said. Later in the day, Duluth air base officials termed recent reports of UFOs "unqualified." They denied Air Force planes were scrambled to look for saucers. Temperature inversions reflect radar beams and produce radar returns similar to an actual object, one air base official said, explaining blips that had been spotted on radar screens and reported. News pages now missing The Date: Aug. 7, 1965 The Incident: Thousands of Duluthians stood in the streets and gawked as air base planes vainly chased unidentified flying objects across Lake Superior, according to newsman Frank Edwards's 1966 book "Flying Saucers -- Serious Business." The UFOs, as many as 10 of them, flew in a V-formation at about 9,000 mph, according to United Press International, which cited the Air Force Radar Base in the Keewenaw Peninsula of Michigan as its source. The Air Force planes couldn't keep up and were easily outdistanced, the reports said. The next morning, news of the UFOs and of the Air Force's unsuccessful chase dominated the front page of the Duluth News-Tribune. A headline screamed, `Thousands See Flying Objects -- Jets Chase UFOs Over Duluth Area.' The Freaky: That front page of the News-Tribune is now missing from the microfilm archives not only in the newspaper's library, but in the main Duluth Public Library and at the library at the University of Minnesota Duluth. But that happens from time to time, right? "That's the first time I've ever seen it," UMD business reference librarian Jim Vileta said. "The men in black are probably involved here. They must have taken the page." There's probably a more logical explanation. The microfilm reels at all three libraries were produced by the same ProQuest Co. of Ann Arbor, Mich. A ProQuest spokesman said it's rare for a page to be missed, but does happen. In this instance, the mistake was likely reproduced for all three customers. The coincidence that the missing page just happens to be the one containing the story of the UFO sighting fuels suspicions of conspiracy. Duluth video producer Don Hansen searched for the front page back in 1987. "From what I can gather, this was a major sighting. But it appears to have been expunged from the record," Hansen said. "That page is gone from every single source I could think of. They were thorough, whoever 'they' are."

Paul Lundgren

about 8 years ago

So, the last part of that mentions the front page of the Aug. 8, 1965, edition of the Duluth News Tribune contained a headline that screamed: "Thousands See Flying Objects -- Jets Chase UFOs Over Duluth Area," but the page is missing from the microfilm archives. 

Well, it turns out the front page of that paper is in the bound edition I have. Here's a link to the post:

Summer of ’65: Weather Pushes Folk Festival to Armory

Instead of a screaming headline, it looks more like a slow news day without any mention of UFOs.


about 8 years ago

A search for "Duluth" at this link provides interesting reports.

Sightings from the 1960s

Paul Lundgren

about 8 years ago

I forgot about the video from the Aug. 12, 2009 sighting on St. Louis Bay near Billings Park in Superior.


about 5 years ago

You know, about the time this post was being posted, I saw something strange in the sky. I had been living in the Gary neighborhood for about three years and was heading home from work. I remember turning into the trailer park, right by Stowe school, and seeing something red hovering in the sky. I stopped my car as I was about halfway into the park and I just stared at the red ball in the sky. It was small but like a fire red. When I got home I tried to get anybody I could to look at it but by that time it had disappeared. I remember calling my mom to look out her windows in West Duluth to see if I was the only one seeing it ... she could not see anything. I also recall asking others around the area and people I knew if they had seen it. Nobody did ... but I am not making this up ... it still boggles me.
Then just over a year ago, my daughter and I were going to Morgan Park for softball when there was something in the sky that followed us. It was moving extremely fast and erratically. It would go so far and then stop ... we would catch up and it would take off ... then we turned into Morgan Park and the craft hovered over the second entrance. It was so high in the sky that all we could see were lights ... yet it was low enough to be noticed. In no way could it have been an airplane due to the erratic behavior. Once we drove underneath it, the craft took off extremely fast. My daughter and I were a little scared because the craft was massive and really fast.

Ken Scheffler

about 5 years ago

Could you remove the video of the 2009 "sighting"? It's really just one of those joke videos that tries to make you pay close attention and then "surprises" the viewer with a loud noise. These things should be banned.

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