June 10-07

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2007: June: June 10-07
Mystery over Lake Superior    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo courtesy of aeronautics.ru

Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Sunday, June 10, 2007 - 08:28 am:

The history of Lake Superior includes some legendary events which we have examined over the years here on the Pasty Cam, like the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald or the City of Bangor incident, or the drowning of Douglass Houghton. Today's Shoebox Memory looks back to 1953 when two young pilots were lost in a mission which remains an unexplained mystery.

There were actually 2 Scorpion F-89 jets (like the one above) lost in Novemeber 1953 within five hours of each other. Both were based out of Truax Field in Madison, Wisconsin. The first crashed in a marshy area near Lake Wingra in Wisconsin. The second F-89 was on temporary assignment at Kinross Airbase near Sault Ste. Marie, and had been scrambled to intercept a mystery aircraft spotted over Lake Superior. In the course of its mission, the F-89 disappeared from radar about 70 miles off the point of the Keweenaw Peninsula.

There has been much coverage, discussion, and speculation about the "Kinross Incident", especially since an announcement by a mysterious "Great Lakes Dive Company" in 2005 claiming that it had discovered the wreckage of the jet. Here are some good links for those who want to know more, including pictures and newspaper articles:

The Kinross Incident by Gord Heath

3 articles by Dirk Vander Ploeg:

New Evidence: the Kinross UFO Incident

1953 Kinross F-89 May Have Crashed Head-On with UFO

Discovery of Downed F-89 Scorpion and Unknown Object is Probably a Hoax!
(This is the most recent article, in the March 2007 American Chronicle)

There are certainly more questions than answers in all of this research and reporting. Perhaps someday the mystery will be solved with the discovery and positive identification of the lost airmen.

I just paused while typing these words, and looked out over Lake Superior through our picture window, down beyond the dunes. The surface is very calm and still this morning, as smooth as glass - a rare occurance for this awesome body of water. It's like a moment of silence for all of those who have lost their lives in her icy waters.

Our thanks to Jeremy Rowe of Calumet for bringing the Kinross Incident to our attention in the production of his music CD "Where the Truth Lies"

Have a good week :o)
Margaret, Amarillo TX (Margaret) on Sunday, June 10, 2007 - 08:41 am:

I had a friend who flew with her husband on a preaching assignment. They never returned as their plane went down over Superior. They were both young and it was a shame to lose them.This happened in the late 60s/early 70s.

By Paul Roberts (Grizzlyadams) on Sunday, June 10, 2007 - 11:22 am:

I've done a little more digging and found this link:


Very interesting! I love the history of this lake/area. Although sometimes sad (as has been evidenced by the pictures from the last couple days) it is still a very unique histroy and it's always interesting to hear this kind of stuff!

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Sunday, June 10, 2007 - 01:22 pm:

I eluded to this a few days ago when Charlie first mentioned what the Shoebox was going to be. It's kind of a weird story to say the least. There is a website out there claiming to have sonar images of a "disc-like" shaped object on the bottom of the Lake with skidmarks showing where it landed; I highly doubt the validity of the images or the story in general, but it makes for a good conspiracy plot!!

Before 2001, the good Dr. had never been to the Keweenaw or Upper Michigan in general. Being that her minor was history, she is now hooked on the history of the copper country. She already has a grocery list of places for us to visit and photograph when we're there in July/August.

47 days now, but who's counting?? ;-)

By Jodie Hagan (Jodiehagan) on Sunday, June 10, 2007 - 04:08 pm:

Maybe the plane got hit by a meteorite.

By Ken Scheibach (Kscheibach) on Sunday, June 10, 2007 - 05:42 pm:

Wow does this photo and the stories bring back memories. My Dad was stationed at Kinross in 1953 and we lived in Brimley. After that we were at Truax in Madison for a short time and finally ended up in Oscoda at Wurtsmith AFB for duration. The F-89 Scorpion was the 1st jet I could recognize as a small kid. It's wing pods were the distinguishing feature. I am afraid the photo of my sister and me, in the cockpit of a Scorpion, is long lost. Too bad you have to get old to treasure such things. I do remember discussion of several crashes where my dad was involved in recovery but never any talk of UFO's.

By Julie from Novi (Geeper) on Sunday, June 10, 2007 - 09:36 pm:

Around 1969, 1970 or 1971 we had a UFO sighting from Sandy Lake, down near Twin Lakes. It would have been in the summer. I was only a child but I recall that we were out on our dock late in the evening, well after dark. We were facing west and we saw red lights in the outline of a saucer not far above the tree line on the other side of the lake. Just red lights. And as we watched, they went out. There are no buildings on the west side of the lake. I believe that there were articles in the paper following this sighting which I believe was unexplained. I don't recall the exact year. Does anyone else recall anything about this?

By Marianne Y (Marianne) on Sunday, June 10, 2007 - 10:07 pm:

This is certainly an interesting mystery. I read some about it around a year ago, I think, in either the Houghton or the Marquette paper, & I was intrigued then.

I must admit, this time around, I read the links, and I am not sure which side to believe, or if the truth lies somewhere else. The guy who claims it's a hoax doesn't lay down really concrete enough reasons, at least to me, to prove that it is a hoax. In fact, if I remember correctly, he keeps saying that he thinks or he believes; he never out right says it is a hoax. On the other hand, a number of the UFO sightings have turned out to be hoaxes, or meteorites or experimental military planes, or whatever. Honestly, they could be anything, or they could have simply been an optical illusion. I don't remember what the weather was like at the time of the crash. I also don't know what they claim the water depth is where they think the wreckage is.

On the other hand, I understand that the competition among the underwater salvage guys is really fierce, so I am not sure that we could honestly believe that any of them are telling the whole truth & nothing but the truth. They seem to be too busy protecting "their finds".

If they could get the real GPS coordinates, they could send down a mini-sub to check out what is supposed to be the wreckage, something like they did when they got the bell off the Edmund Fitzgerald. I feel sorry for the families of the missing pilots! I do love good mysteries, though!

By David Hiltunen (Davidcorrytontn) on Sunday, June 10, 2007 - 10:16 pm:

To say you have seen a U.F.O. is a touchy subject.
I'll stick my neck out and tell you that I have.The last one was Thanksgiving night around midnight in 1988 in Casco Twp.MI.Only afew miles from Selfridge A.N.G. It was low flying east to west, as big as a football field,and had no sound of any kind,gone in 6 seconds, was the shape of a triangle.I know it would turn the religious world upside down to find out the Earth is not the center of the universe.What's left for the young children of today to shock their parents with other then to have a mixed marriage with a being not of this world?

By Marianne Y (Marianne) on Sunday, June 10, 2007 - 10:35 pm:

David, that sounds like it could have been one of the Stealth jets that are now active in the military fleet? I totally believe that you saw something. The question to me is was it truly a UFO (you could say it was simply because you did not know what it was), but was there a normal explanation for it, like a highly experimental military plane (you were close to Selfridge), or a meteor, or whatever? Weren't the Stealth bombers & fighters still highly experimental back in 1988?

I don't know about you, but I've been intrigued by what used to be called Area 51, which has now moved to Nevada, I think.

It's more fun to call them UFO's because the people seeing them don't know what they are, so they really are Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO's) to the viewers, and that makes it all seem even more mysterious! :-)

BTW, there have been reported UFO sightings in the not so distant past, I think both near Chicago O'Hare Airport & in the Rocky Mountains. It turned out that the Rocky Mountain one, that scared a lot of people who happened to see it, was documented to be simply a piece of space trash from a Russian rocket or satellite, if I remember correctly. :-)

By Gary S (Shrub31) on Sunday, June 10, 2007 - 11:03 pm:

Does anyone in the Dollar Bay area remember Cindy Smith who graduated from Dollar Bay High School in 1967? I was a friend of her when I was attending MTU from '64' - '68' and lost contact with her in the early 70's. The last that I remember is that she married someone in England (or at least that is what I was informed of).

I think that her sister was Debby (not sure however) but cannot find out anything about her either.

Cindy's parents were fantastic people and I became closer to them (especially her mother) than I did with my own parents in Muskegon. They lived at the old WWII explosives plant just outside of Dollar Bay

If anyone has any information on Cindy I would sure appreciate it.

Gary S.

By Russell E. Emmons (Russemmons) on Monday, June 11, 2007 - 12:12 am:

DaveinCorryton: As for the mixed marriage thing! How do we know this isn't already going on for a long time? We know there are a lot of "weird" people out there. How many times have we all heard someone say "that persons spouse is really strange, like outa this world strange"! Many adopted people don't really know where they originated!
Superman is from Krypton! etc.
Gee I'm starting to sound like Rod Serling!

By George L. (Yooperinct) on Monday, June 11, 2007 - 09:36 am:

Julie from Novi - we had a similar sighting one summer evening 1971 driving from Calumet back to the old Coast Guard station next to McLain - about halfway back there's a hill that provides a great view of the lake. Three very bright white lights appeared in the clear night sky approx 1 mile offshore, maybe 3000 ft altitude. We were stunned and shut the car off to observe; there was absolutely no sound and the object(s) were motionless, and on an angle. If it was one object it would have been approx 100 or more yards in length. Watched for 4-5 minutes before they went out one by one. Definitely not conventional aircraft, flares, reflections or anything of the sort. Nothing I can think of could "hang" motionless and soundless in the air like that for that length of time. Never forgot the incident to say the least.

By jeremy rowe (Rowejm51) on Monday, June 11, 2007 - 12:50 pm:

Who knows what really happened... as for me I want to believe that it was a UFO that the plane collided with. I was so intrigued by this that I wrote the song "Where The Truth Lies" about aliens leaving their planet in search of life on another planet. In the song they come into our atmosphere and collide with the jet. The end of the song portrays them sinking to the bottom... I know it sounds wierd but check out the song... www.myspace.com/jeremyrowe and you can see.... . but really it is no different than us finding the most recent planet which apparently has the most earth-like characteristics of any that we've found..... maybe some day we will have the technology to explore these planets and who knows.... maybe our craft could end up at the bottom of one of their lakes, and one of the beings there will write a song about it... haha????

By kosk in Toronto (Koskintoronto) on Tuesday, June 12, 2007 - 08:03 am:

Jeremy--You're right. It is an intriguing story--and one I had never
heard about before Sunday's Pasty Cam Notes. And who knows,
maybe someone out there has already "written" something about
aliens from Earth? Thanks to you, this middle-aged school teacher
has found her way on to my space for the first time in her life!

By David Hiltunen (Davidcorrytontn) on Tuesday, June 12, 2007 - 11:18 pm:

I was just out star gazen must be a billion stars out tonight.A billion is alot.If you made a billion dollars last year,you would make about 414 dollars every second of every day all year long,if my math is right just off the top of my head.But as I was looking up at the stars just afew minutes ago it must of been a satellite I saw going south to north.Very high up no flashing lights. A plane was going west to east much lower with lights,but this I saw was moving very fast.Or I wonder if it was the space shuttle? Aren't they up there somewhere?

By Marianne Y (Marianne) on Tuesday, June 12, 2007 - 11:31 pm:

Yes, the space shuttle is up there, but it is docked at the space station. And, NASA just added 2 days to their stay so they can try to repair the insulation cloth or whatever it is, that is sticking out between tiles on the shuttle. That will likely require a spacewalk or use of a robotic arm. I would be surprised if you saw the shuttle when it is docked on the space station.

But, you might well have seen a satellite, or something. We used to live in Houston, and we could watch the Apollo & other manned space flights go back, when they flew over. Those things moved across the horizon fast & sometimes almost looked like a shooting star. NASA would post the schedule of when they would be visible where.

I was really into NASA stuff, taking all the heavy math & science courses in high school & college, hoping to be an astronaut one day. I somehow didn't find out until later that they were only accepting guys back then. :-(

By jeremy rowe (Rowejm51) on Wednesday, June 13, 2007 - 05:49 pm:

Interesting fact... at one given time the most stars a person can see in the sky is about 2000..

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