Go Back Report # 280


Meteorite Seen Plunging into Lake Michigan Here

       A streaking, white object believed to be a meteorite was spotted last night falling into Lake Michigan by a Bendix Corp, Lakeshore division plant guard. The guard, Ellis Williamson, reported the white, but "not too bright" falling object to the Berrien County sheriff’s department at 10:32 p. m.

       Williamson said the object appeared to be falling from a northeasterly direction, but moved more slowly than a meteorite would.

       He thought it was an airplane.

       Berrien Deputy Jon Nichols, radio dispatcher, sent two squad cars to the Lake Michigan shoreline along Red Arrow Highway south of St. Joseph. Cpl. Don Jewell and Deputy Nigel Krickhahn scanned the lake for any sign of wreckage or flames but found none.      


       Nichols called the U. S. Coast Guard and South Bend Airport officials to report the sighting.

A South Bend Airport control tower official confirmed the meteorite sighting. He also reported seeing the object fall from the sky northwest of South Bend.

       Local Coast Guard officials termed the object a meteor, according to Nichols.

       Guard Williamson said the object appeared to fall into the lake about due west of the plant near Maiden Lane and the Red Arrow Highway. He said he had no idea of how far off it hit.

       "It was faster than a flare, slower than a meteor," said Williamson.

       He said he had seen meteors before. The object he saw last night had no streaking tail and was falling slower than most meteors, said Williamson.  


       Authorities said no estimates were available on the meteor's route from sky to earth. There were no reports of it landing anywhere. "It was a good-sized object," Williamson said.

       Williamson was sitting at his office desk and observed the meteorite through a window.

Two News–Palladium employees, returning from a basketball game in Decatur, also reported spotting the large, bright, falling object.

       Photographer John Hadley and linotype operator Herbert Hein said they observed the object falling toward Lake Michigan. They were about six miles east of Hartford at the time.

       "It was the biggest one I've ever seen," Hein said.

       "It looked almost like a Roman candle," Hadley chimed in.

       Meteorites can range in size from a tiny stone no larger than a marble, experts say, to many thousands of pounds. The largest known meteorite was found in southwest Africa and weighs 132,000 pounds. A 79,200 pound meteorite, found in Greenland, is now on display in New York.

       A larger crater in Arizona, southwest of Winslow, is believed to have been made by a meteorite which experts say would have weighed millions of tons.                                       

This reference: Benton Harbor News-Palladium, 15 February 1964. With thanks to my friend Nadine for the article.

Other original reference: St. Joseph, Mich., Herald-Press, 15 February 1964.    

UFOCAT PRN - 76789

UFOCAT URN – NONE  Benton Harbor News-Palladium, 15 February 1964

UFOCAT URN – NONE  St. Joseph, Mich., Herald-Press, 15 February 1964

UFOCAT URN – 76789 Invisible Residents by Ivan T. Sanderson, p. 226, © 1970      

North America – United States, Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin

Lake Michigan  Latitude 44-00-00 N, Longitude 87-00-00 W (D-M-S)

Benton Harbor Latitude 42-07-00 N, Longitude 86-27-15 W [Michigan] (Newspaper- above)

St. Joseph        Latitude 42-06-35 N, Longitude 86-28-48 W [Michigan] (Newspaper)

Decatur            Latitude 42-06-29 N, Longitude 85-58-28 W [Michigan]

South Bend      Latitude 41-41-00 N, Longitude 86-15-00 W [Indiana]

Hartford           Latitude 43-19-04 N, Longitude 88-22-44 W [Wisconsin]

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 41.87 N, Longitude 87.65 W (D.%) 


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