Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Windsor Incident

In journalism the mid to late summer is sometimes referred to as "Silly Season". Mostly because the dog days of summer tend to offer up few major news stories and so serious media sometimes turns to something frivilous to hold reader interest. So what sort of stories will the press dredge up? Bigfoot sightings, Men In Black, and UFO sightings are all ripe for this time of year. And mostly fun.

Stories about Roswell are big right now, there's an expedition getting ready to hunt Sasquatch in the upper peninsula of Michigan, and the Australians are excited about a half ton squid that has washed up on Ocean Beach.

In 1995, while living in Detroit, I remember turning on my radio in the morning and hearing that something had crashed in Windsor. Apparently a fireball had been seen over Ohio and travelled over Michigan before crashing into a trailer park there. Later that morning, a second story followed where a representative from emergency services told the press a craft had been found in the wreckage. He later denied this, claiming to have been joking at the time. By late afternoon the radio stopped broadcasting information about the story. News of the fireball was played down and the fires in the trailer park were instead attributed to arson.

I don't know what happened, but such a story was grist for Silly Season. It should have been plastered everywhere. And while CNN and few other sources gave mention to the incident, it received none of the attention one would have expected. It amazingly whispered into nothingness.

Some UFO enthusiasts have started calling this "The Windsor Incident"
One website even has a blurred videoclip.

Most Detroiters I talk to scratch their heads when I bring this up.

It was Silly Season, after all, and we all know what sort of stories play in Silly Season.




18 comments:

Jon said...

Fire+Trailer Park=Meth Lab

Stewart Sternberg said...

Yes, except that wouldn't explain the fireball that people were tracing all the way from the sky over Ohio. And you'll notice the charge was arson, which meant a deliberate firesetting. And finally, trailerpark=methlab? Now that's a little discriminatory against the poor. Besides, it was in Windsor, not Detroit.

Lucas Pederson said...

Wierd. When I was about the age of six, living up in northern Minessota at my grandparent's place, which I would later find out was built on an old Native American burial ground, which is a story all in itself, we noticed white lights one night, like orbs whizzing and swirling in the sky across the road. Across the gravel road is a marsh our farmer nieghbor owned. There are high trees there at the edge of the road. The lgihts, or what we came to call orbs were above these trees, swirrling and zipping around, like crazed fire flies. We didn't see any beams acsending into the sky, so that took flashlights out of the equation. My grandfather took out his camcorder and video taped the phenomenon. Later, there was nothing on the tape besides the dark nightscape. It was rather eerie to watch, knowing we had all seen the white orbs. My mom, my grandparents, my aunt, my sister and my self. We had all seen these things. It had been late July when it happened. I'll never forget it.
Great post, it brought back a lot of memories. Later.

Fab said...

It is weird what gets in the news today or what passes as journalism in the summer.

Beside the point, but I'll share it anyway: yesterday I read that a father in Australia wanted to register his son for a school and that the principle refused because of their last name: Hell. Little 6-year old Max Hell wasn't allowed. It would upset the other children. (Eventhough because of his Austrian ancestors it means 'light' in German). Although sad for the boy, I thought "is this newsworthy?"

Fab said...

It's not as if his first name is Damon.

Charles Gramlich said...

Didn't Kornbluth once write a pretty famous story called "Silly Season." I didn't realize until now it was based on an actual journalistic term. It was a great story, btw.

miller580 said...

This reminds me of when I was kid. Me and my brother Pete camped out in the backyard so we could look out at the stars. (we had met a real astronaut the day before at school). Anyway, we saw a ufo. We were really freaked out. My older brother didn’t believe us. He said we needed proof. So I got my dad’s camera and we sat out the next night. The ufo came back and I got a picture. We took it to our dad. He believed us so he called an army captain. The next day, two guys in black suits came over. they were going to take the picture and erase our memories, but Greg confessed that he was making the ufo with his flashlight. So they confiscated the flashlight and the picture, then something flashed bright...like a thousand camera bulbs at once. It’s really weird how all these repressed memories comeback with a simple trigger.

Kate S said...

Hmm... I wonder how many people have already used this in a story...

Lucas, maybe what you saw was this? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ball_lightning

Who knows.

Stewart Sternberg said...

Charles, I remember the story you're talking about, but can't remember the details. Silly Season was probably greater when media wasn't electronic and twenty four hours. I suspect some editors may have made stuff up around the turn of the centuries, especially in the more rural areas, to sell papers. Maybe not made stuff up, but listened to people they would not otherwise have listened to.

Lucas, while I would never question someone, I shudder when people start talking about orbs. One woman I knew, who claims to have seen them on an almost regular basis, made me a stoned skeptic. As for your experience, I can't offer explanation.

Fab I read that story and considered posting it on the blog. It astonished me. I wonder if a kid named Adolph Hitler would have trouble getting into a yeshiva.

Wow..Jim...I believe you. I have no idea if I believe in them or not, but I know people see strange things. When I first lived up by Port Sanilac, I would have to drive home by Lake Huron. One night I saw something over the lake and even contacted the sheriff to report it. I'm not saying it was anything..but it surprised and shocked me.

See...Kate is a healthy skeptic. As am I. I saw something. Don't know what it was. Reported it. And shrug when people ask me. And when the M.I.B. come to my house after reading this comment, I'll deny it with a smile.

DonkeyBlog said...

Interesting that these things always seem to happen in Trailer Parks?

Regarding giant squids, I know of a marine biologist PhD candidate doing some research a few years ago in Newfoundland. He was studying the big buggers, and at the end of his studies, aqcuired one which he and some fellow researchers decided to cook-up in honoiur of their superviser. They had visions of calamari rings the size of car tyres, but in the event, no one could eat them 'cause they are such a deep-dwelling species that their blood is 90-odd% ammonium. Those crazy academics!

Donnetta Lee said...

Our local evening news in Florida had a breaking story. A couple got married this evening in a ballpark. I looked at Hubby and said, "Guess there wasn't too much that was newsworthy this evening." Pickings are slim.

What, you don't believe in UFOs?

Donnetta

EA Monroe said...

Stewart, thanks for the visit today. You have an interesting blog and I need to come back and visit, learn and participate! I'd love to see your abandoned relic photos from your area of the country!

miller580 said...

I was in a strange mood earlier when I posted my comments. I was kidding. But I musta been too subtle. I thought for sure somone would get it and have a laugh. I guess I been watching too many youtube clips of the Family Guy. I described a plot line from the brady bunch. The one where greg uses a flashlight to create a ufo and Peter and Bobby take a picture. Sorry. I thought it was obvious. Like I said I was in a strange mood and I was going for laughs.

Stewart Sternberg said...

Ummm...the I believe you was sarcastic, Jim. However, the second part of the comment in response to your Brady Bunch story was true. Brady Bunch. Eh?

Hey!!! Donkey!!!! Yeah, there's nothing worse than a bunch of squids sitting around, drinking, and getting stupid.

Donetta, you're leaving out that the couple getting married were aliens.

Thanks EA, I'll probably go on a picture hunt later this month. EA has some great pictures on her blog, I'd recommend people follow the link from her comment and check them out.

Sidney said...

I bought a British UFO magazine called "Beyond" the other day at Barnes and Noble. The clerk looked at me a little funny, but hey, UFOs are just fun to read about and magazines are expensive. I couldn't afford that and an issue of "Skeptic".

miller580 said...

Like I said strange mood. I guess that includes the loss of the ability to detect sarcasm. I need to wake up.

Stewart Sternberg said...

Jim, you have every right to be in a strange mood.

Sydney, yes...this time of year people need a little release, a bit of fluff...we want to be frightened, shocked, amazed.

Lana Gramlich said...

This was 13 years ago today. I know this because my ex & I saw this fireball, too, although we didn't have cloudy skies. The fireball was so bright it turned night into day in our neighborhood. It was just amazing & burned long enough for us to go outside & watch it from the street.
Ironically I was just looking up info on it & this blog post of yours came up. *Twilight Zone music*