Today Paranormal Muskegon visited with Jack Bushong Jr. to talk about his part in the March 8, 1994 Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon incident, which gained worldwide attention and which Muskegon played a very significant part. Jack grew up in Muskegon and knew from an early age that he wanted to be a meteorologist, having always been interested in the weather, astronomy, and science. He received a bachelor’s degree in Meteorology from Florida State University in 1988 and was 29 years old when he working at the National Weather Service in Muskegon. After leaving the weather service here, he was a hydro-meteorologist in Georgia. He retired in 2016, after an illustrious career with numerous awards and promotions. Jack has also worked as an actor and professional photographer. He and his wife, Joy, live in Atlanta, Georgia.
While Jack has been pretty quiet about this for many years, he decided to come forward recently after the government’s admission that there were indeed objects being seen that were unexplainable, including the release of videos taken by military pilots. With this admission about UFOS, Jack felt this was vindication for what he had seen on radar. Thirty 30 years later, no adequate explanation has been offered to account for this incident and it continues to be of interest to both investigators and the general public alike.
On March 8, 1994, hundreds of people along the Lake Michigan shores witnessed unexplained multicolored orbs moving erratically across the sky. This incident, known in UFO circles as a “flap” became one of the most widespread UFO sightings in history, owing to the multiple witnesses, including police officers, as well as being tracked on radar at the same time. Jack Bushong, Jr., then a meteorological intern at the National Weather Service located in Muskegon inadvertently involved with this case when he began to receive phone calls from police departments who wanted to know if they were picking up anything on radar about these strange lights that could be seen as far south as the Indiana border. After receiving calls from approximately 60 people and not knowing what to make of all this, Ottawa County dispatch contacted the National Weather Service station in Muskegon to see if they were picking up anything on radar.
It all began around 9:30 p.m. when police dispatches in Ottawa County began being inundated about this inexplicable phenomenon involving multicolored lights. The lights, described as looking like “Christmas lights” by some, moving erratically and at high speeds; were seen by around 300 people along the lakeshore from Holland to Muskegon. They appeared to be attached to solid objects, flying erratically, sometimes in triangular formation, other times in clusters. They were observed by people on the ground, including several polices officers, as well as being tracked simultaneously in real-time by the NOAA through the National Weather Station in Muskegon. In addition, several airline pilots also observed the lights when in route to Chicago. The National Weather service confirmed the presence of these objects as well and that they were not planes.
They indeed were and according to Jack Bushong Jr., these lights were like nothing he had ever seen before. It was his incredulous reactions and descriptions of what he was seeing while talking to dispatch that were recorded on tape that quickly gained worldwide attention. The recording, which Jack did not know had been recorded, is quite compelling as you can hear that his is perplexed by what he is seeing. Mike Walsh, Muskegon Attorney was instrumental in obtaining the radar tape through the Freedom of Information act and if it was not for his investigative work, this case might have been forgotten or swept under the rug, either by accident or design. On the tape, Jack says in response to 911 asking if they had anything unusual, he states; “Nothing but the usual ground clutter,”…so he was aware that it was different. Jack was not a “newbie” by any means, even though he was an intern. He knew his stuff and had trained himself to look at objects on radar. At one point he states, “yeah, there is something big down there. That’s really strange….it looks like a big blob. One minute it was there, the next pass it was gone. Then at one point, he says very excitedly…OH MY GOD! WHAT IS THIS! He states they are strong returns and that it is not precipitation. He later states there were now three in triangular formation. At another point he states these three or four “blobs were large, half a thumb nail on the scope and that planes were like little pinpoints on the radar by comparison. He then says he has never seen anything like this. At another point he states in reference to 911 one maybe its energy; “This energy moves.” They were at an altitude between 5,000 and 12,000 feet, flying at a high rate of speed in erratic motion. He later called to confirm that he was actually talking to the Sheriff’s department to make sure it was not a hoax. I have investigated over 100 UFO cases in Michigan for MUFON and while I have never investigated this particular case, I am of the opinion that even if you didn’t have hundreds of people seeing these lights; the dispatch tape alone would be enough to show that something truly unknown was flying over Michigan that night. Having listened to the tape, it gave me chills to hear his shocked reaction. You could tell he was truly perplexed by all of this, it was not normal and these weren’t planes.
We are fortunate that Jack has come forward again to talk about this case, as it is significant. He says even though 30 years has passed since the incident, he is still not sure what these objects were, although he does have some theories. He just knows that they were not planes. , Jack said he was quite surprised at the turnout at his lecture. He had expected about 20 people. Over 100 people showed up at the Norton Shores branch of the Muskegon Area District Library to hear him speak. It’s obvious that people are still interested in this case and still want to know what these objects were. It also shows the compelling and unusual nature of this event; an event in which Muskegon played a significant part; has not faded into the past. Perhaps someday we will have some answers to the UFO question. Jack’s speaking about this is one way to continue to keep the dialog open to the possibility of us not being alone in the universe as given the size of the universe and the multitude of stars within it; an extraterrestrial component is always a possibility. Hopefully this event will continue to be investigated and that witnesses will come forward to tell their own stories about it. Our thanks to Jack for sitting down and talking with the Paranormal Muskegon Team. You can see the presentation Jack made at the Norton Branch of the Muskegon Area District Library in the video below. If you woud like to connect with Jack, CLICK ON HIS FACEBOOK PAGE TO FOLLOW HIM.