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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2002 > Nov > Nov 8

UFO Fever The Wisconsin Way

From: Stig Agermose <stig.agermose.nul>
Date: Fri, 08 Nov 2002 13:37:39 +0100
Archived: Fri, 08 Nov 2002 13:38:32 -0500
Subject: UFO Fever The Wisconsin Way


Source: Wisconsin State Journal

http://www.madison.com/wisconsinstatejournal/local/36265.php

Stig

***

Bar and patrons are open to UFOs

9:08 PM 11/06/02

Beth Williams, Wisconsin State Journal

**

DUNDEE - Despite the pictures of aliens with their green eyes
glowing eerily from behind the bar, the self-proclaimed UFO
headquarters is all about acceptance.

As the regular patrons filter into Benson's Hide-A-Way on Long
Lake at the edge of the Kettle Moraine State Forest, they bring
with them stories of UFO sightings, abductions, dimensional
portals, missing time, crop circles, beings from the center of
the Earth, government conspiracies and just about any other UFO
theory ever discussed.

And no one laughs, said owner Bill Benson.

"The reason we started the UFO thing was people had this to
share without being laughed at or scoffed at," Benson, 60, said.
"The big scoffers, if they see something, they're the more die-
 hard people."

Odds are decent that if someone spends time in the Dundee area,
about a 100 miles northeast of Madison, they will see something.

It all started with a crop circle on a nearby farm back in 1947,
Benson said. Since then, area residents have reported strange
lights in the sky and other mysteries.

Back in 1978, for example, Benson was driving a milk truck
between Plymouth and Kiel - a trip of about 13 miles.

"It took me an hour and 15 minutes to get there - and I don't
know why," said Benson, who isn't sure if he was abducted by
aliens.

Pulling his leg up onto the bar, he showed off a small red
circular scar on his ankle that he says he didn't have when he
got into that milk truck.

"It's never gone away," he said.

The bar, which Benson and his wife, Judy, have run for 22 years,
is covered in alien souvenirs brought by his customers from
around the world. Stuffed little green men in wizard-like capes,
alien street crossing signs, plastic gray aliens wearing
sunglasses, and posters of aliens with glow-in-the-dark eyes
cover the wall behind the bar.

Although there are sporadic sightings year-round, there's only
one night each year the locals can depend on a light show.
That's because local UFO guru Bob Kuehn uses his weekly radio
program on Fond du Lac's KFIZ- AM to ask the aliens nicely for a
performance on the third Saturday in July.

"That's how they know to show," Kuehn, 71, of Fond du Lac said.
"They only want to show once a year."

And just because the sightings occur outside the bar doesn't
mean they are booze-induced, Benson said.

"It could be a catalyst," he said. "But I don't know if it is.
Most of the people who go to watch for them don't overindulge."

Benson is quick to show visitors a videotape of this year's
performance, in which six small round lights apparently flitted
across the sky.

While Kuehn firmly believes that the lights were spacecraft
piloted by aliens, others really aren't sure what the lights
are.

"They never stop to tell us," Benson said. "Are they from here
or the center of the Earth? I don't know. All I do know is I've
seen the lights in the sky."


Shedding light on lights?

John Hoppe and his wife, Jennifer, say they saw the lights in
the sky this summer. The couple run a Web site,
www.ufowisconsin.com, out of their Sheboygan home to record
sightings across the state and Hoppe tries to investigate some
of them.

"We're trying to track UFOs over the state and see if there's a
pattern," he said. "Hopefully, we can figure out what's going
on. There's too much out there to say the phenomenon is not
real."

But they don't think the lights in the sky are necessarily
spaceships with E.T. at the helm. The Hoppes simply define UFOs
as unidentified flying objects - whatever they may be.

In July, while the lights in the sky held everyone's attention,
John Hoppe and a friend took off in a car to see if they could
find the source. Finally, in a remote fire lane in the woods,
two men chased them away.

When Hoppe and his friend returned the next morning, they found
candles and plastic bags - which, with the darkness of the
forest, could have been made to appear like UFOs to the people
standing across the lake at a lower elevation, Hoppe said.

But he still isn't entirely sure what the lights were.

"You listen to the locals out here," Hoppe said. "They have
unique stories so obviously they have been seeing something."

In a few cases, Hoppe has been able to identify some of the
lights in the sky. For example, he discovered that a UFO spotted
in Beaver Dam a couple of years ago was a delta-wing kite with a
light on it.


Research: 'A career killer'

Enthusiastic amateurs, the Hoppes aren't paid for their work and
getting professional researchers to devote their time to UFOs
isn't easy.

"It's a career killer," said Colm Kelleher, deputy administrator
of the National Institute of Discovery Science, a privately
funded group based in Las Vegas that scientifically investigates
aerial phenomena.

Kelleher, who holds a doctorate in biochemistry from the
University of Dublin, said scientists often shy away from UFO
research because of fear their work won't be taken seriously and
they'll be thought of as crazy.

Believing in UFOs and even the possibility of extraterrestrial
life doesn't make anyone crazy, said psychologist Al Harrison,
and society can generally accept both those ideas.

"The big jump is when you say they're here. That's what freaks
people out," said Davis, a psychology professor at the
University of California-Davis who has studied why people
believe in UFOs and the effects extraterrestrial life would have
on humanity.

Studies haven't really been able to find many differences
between those who believe in UFOs and those that don't, he said.
People of all intelligence levels and backgrounds believe.

"There are all kinds of people on both sides of the fence," he
said.


Basking in Belleville

But still believing in UFOs can be a stigma of sorts.

"I'd rather not be known as the UFO Capital, but that's my own
personal preference," Belleville Village President Jo Ann
Therkelsen said. "I don't think the chamber would want to give
up the title."

The village, on the Dane and Green County line, got the nickname
after a series of sightings in 1987. They still hold an annual
UFO Day festival, but Therkelsen said it's really just become a
community event with an out-of-this-world theme.

"I don't really think we're looking for UFOs anymore," she said.
indentBut according to the Hoppes' data, based on reports to
their Web site, Dane County is still one of Wisconsin's UFO hot
spots often coming up in the top three counties for reported
sightings.

And as the banner on their Web site proclaims, Wisconsin has
more UFO sightings than any other state except New Mexico,
according to the Air Force's Project Blue Book, which studied
UFOs from 1947 to 1969. indent"It seems to be a good time to see
a UFO," John Hoppe said. "So if you can't sleep, go outside. You
might see a UFO."

**

Copyright =A9, Madison Newspapers, Inc.


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