Did a National Weather Service Meteorologist witness something other-worldly?
On the night of March 8th, 1994, Cindy Pravda is in her kitchen talking to her best friend over the phone. Suddenly, at 9:00pm, large orbs of light rise above the trees in her backyard and hover above the home. Pravda tells her friend, “I think I have UFOs in my backyard…”
Meanwhile, Jack Bushong, a National Weather Service operator on duty in Muskegon, Michigan, receives a call from the local police department. They’ve been bombarded with frantic calls for the last hour. People from all over the county say they see lights in the sky, and the police want Jack to use his radar to confirm the sightings.
Jack sweeps the sky with his equipment for a few moments, then spots something strange: Metallic objects flying in formation over Lake Michigan. He watches as the objects dart through the sky, shifting speeds and altitudes faster than any known human aircraft could maneuver — or any human pilot could survive, for that matter. All Jack can offer the police is confirmation that he does see what people are reporting. After his call with the police, Jack continues to watch the objects until his shift ends.
Local Muskegon Chronicle reporter Michael Walsh, who was in the newsroom as the reports of lights poured in, decides to obtain a copy of the 911 calls from March 8th. Every call, including Jack’s conversation with the police, is released to the media the following day. Overnight, the lights over Lake Michigan make global news, and Jack’s call is the center of the story — if a National Weather Service Operator saw something, it must be true!
Reporters and paranormal investigators pour into town in the following days, ruthlessly tracking down as many 911 callers as they can identify. Holly Graves, whose dramatic 911 account was recorded and played on TV and radio all over the country, is identified quickly. Officer Jeff Velthouse, who reported to the Graves home that night, is tracked down in the police department’s parking garage. Unbeknownst to them, they will spend the rest of their lives dodging journalists and researchers hungry for more details about their shared experience.
In the days that follow the sightings, back at the National Weather Service, Jack is pulled into his boss’ office amid the flurry of press. He’s given strict instructions not to publicly speculate on what he saw through his radar that night. Jack must remain silent about the incident as long as he works for the National Weather Service. A few months later, Jack is transferred to Georgia’s National Weather Service office.
Jack’s reputation as a scientist is dragged through the mud for decades, unable to formally elaborate on what he saw on March 8th or how he saw it. Now, almost 30 years later, Jack is retired from the National Weather Service and finally free to share his entire story. He returns to Michigan to investigate the night that changed his life forever.
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