Go Back Report # 242


Flying Log?    

       Mrs. Erwin Riley, a summer resident at Two Harbors, Minnesota, reported that at about 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 14, 1961, she saw an object about the size of an ore-carrier (a large ship) skid into the water of Lake Superior about a mile from shore where it bobbed on the surface. She summoned a neighbor, Jack Ray. Ray, using binoculars, could see an object but couldn't make out what it was.

       The Lake County Sheriff was called but it was beginning to get dark and he could barely make out an object between swells. Thinking that it might be something dropped by an aircraft participating in AF exercises Saturday, Sheriff Falk called the Air Force and Coast Guard.

       Shortly after he left the area, according to Mrs. Riley, the object rose into the air and traveled in a southeasterly direction "at about the speed of a car traveling on the highway." Coast Guard and air search Sunday morning found only a four-foot floating log.

       E. R. Grummett, who forwarded this report, says that floating logs are fairly common in this area where they occasionally break away from log booms being floated to the paper mills at Ashland, Wisconsin. He informs us further that there are no ore boats under 600 feet in length operating on the lakes anymore and offers the opinion that no floating log could be mistaken for an object the size of an ore boat a mile offshore.

       A clipping from the Duluth (Minnesota) News Tribune for 19 October quotes a letter from Mrs. John P. Vanicky of Hurley, Wisconsin, in which she tells of sighting the same or a similar object, except that her sighting took place on the 15th, or Sunday. She said she was driving home from Marquette with her sister, Mrs. Norine Gribble, when they first sighted the object in the air. They thought it was a jet plane at first and kept watching it. It was traveling too slow for a jet, however, and looked like a huge cigar with no lights. It was a "sort of brownish color," they said. Fire seemed to be streaming from the rear end of it which faded into a white streak. The time was between 5 and 5:30 p.m. at dusk, and it was traveling in a southeasterly direction. They stopped the car and watched it for about 20 minutes until it finally disappeared from sight. The white streak it left was visible for a much longer time. Mrs. Vanicky said that the explanation of a four-foot-long log did not satisfy her.

       In this instance we may have two similar sightings on two different days or the same or two objects on one day--take your choice. However, inasmuch as the object seen by Mrs. Riley was observed as it landed in the lake, we have this comment: We can accept the log explanation if someone can explain what the deuce the log was doing in the air in the first place. Mrs. Riley indicates that the object "or log" was not in free fall, but rather was "landing" or controlled. It later took off---smarter than the average log, we'll wager.                                                              
This reference: The A.P.R.O. Bulletin, November 1961, p. 3     

UFOCAT PRN 76779 [Time: 1700]

UFOCAT URN – 152157 The A.P.R.O. Bulletin, November 1961, p. 3

UFOCAT URN – 076779 Invisible Residents by Ivan T. Sanderson, p. 226, © 1970    

UFOCAT PRN 67588 [Time: 1215]

UFOCAT URN – 067588 The M-Files: True Reports of Minnesota’s Unexplained Phenomena by

                                        Jay Rath, p. 50, © 1998

UFOCAT URN – 179525 *U* UFO Computer Database by Larry Hatch, # 06120, © 2002      

North America – United States, Minnesota

Two Harbors                Latitude 47-01-22 N, Longitude 91-40-14 W (D-M-S)

Lake Superior              Latitude 47-30-00 N, Longitude 99-00-00 W

Note: The second sighting is inland and not water related, therefore the latitude & longitude were left out.-CF-

Reference: The National Gazetteer of the United States of America, prepared by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, Washington, D.C., 1990.  

UFO location (UFOCAT) Latitude 47.02 N, Longitude 91.40 W (D.%)

                                     Latitude 47.00 N, Longitude 91.65 W [URN 179525] 


Print this Page