The Examiner has an update on the “UFOs over Lake Erie” story. Ohio Mutual Ufo Network’s field investigator Tom Wertman concluded that what many people were calling UFOs were just incoming jet lights from Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport.
So much media interested sprouted from the original claims made by Ohio resident Eugene Erlikh. Good thing MUFON is alive and well and doing their thing!
Full source: Examiner
Roger Marsh – The Examiner
The objects reported nightly over Lake Erie skies at Euclid, Ohio, are incoming jet traffic from Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport, according to Ohio Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) Field Investigator Tom Wertman.
Wertman was reached by telephone late Thursday for a final disposition on the case.
Euclid, OH, resident Eugene Erlikh, 20, originally reported unusual objects out over Lake Erie that were appearing in the same spot night after night. The story was picked up by Fox News, Cleveland; and also by MSNBC.
The network stories brought the case to the attention of Ohio MUFON and Wertman was assigned to move to the site and have a look for himself.
Wertman, like many other ufologists who called or wrote to the UFO Examiner on this case were suspicious of the case from the beginning. The suspicion, they say, is when a sighting repeats itself in the same spot over many nights. Ufologists seem to agree that sightings like this generally have a natural or manmade ending.
Wertman specifically tracked lights from the same area where Erlikh says he was seeing lights. The two even spoke on the telephone, with Wertman outside and nearby. Erlikh was talking on the telephone from inside his high rise apartment.
“I was with him on the phone the other night,” Wertman said, “and he described the exact same lights that we were both looking at. As each object came out, we matched the same time frames. He even went back at the end of the night and reviewed the three major sightings of the night. And all three were a match. The only difference was our watches, but the time frames were the same.”
After Wertman was sure that the lights he was seeing were the same that Erlikh was seeing, his investigation began.
Wertman began comparing the movement of the lights to incoming air traffic at Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport. In addition, Wertman was using a computer to track incoming flights in real time.
On one of those evenings, Wertman and Erlikh had agreed on the three objects.
Wertman said the first object was a flight coming in from Chicago.
“Once spotted over Lake Erie, the object stayed relatively stationary for about two minutes,” Wertman said, “then a second light popped up at thumb’s length (if held at arm’s length) from the first one. The flight tracking software was then showing a second flight coming in behind the first.”
The data from the flight tracking web site was matching what Wertman was seeing.
“The first object appeared at about 8:40 p.m.. The light appeared in the northwest at 300 degrees at approximately 5 degrees above the horizon. It was a short time later – one to two minutes later – a second object appeared beside the first one. And holding my thumb at arm’s length – the two objects were a thumb’s width apart.”
“The intensity of the second light was the same as the first. The web site used to track the air traffic showed two aircraft in that same area. The first was coming from Chicago. A short time later a third light appeared. One of the first lights was moving, getting dim, and moving toward the southwest. The second light was still stationary and it gave the appearance of hovering. It appeared to be stationary or hovering for about 3 to 4 minutes.”
Cleveland airport is southwest of Erlikh’s location.
“The web site was now showing that the first plane from Chicago would land then at 8:44 p.m. The second aircraft landed at 8:49 p.m. That was evidently the two planes that were close together.”
Each object moved from the lake area to the southwest and toward the airport, matching the arrival time of the flights.
Wertman said he is marking this one – case closed. “It’s air traffic for Cleveland-Hopkins,” Wertman said. “The flights take a swing out over the lake where they can, at times, appear to be stationary. Then they move, one by one, to the southwest and into position to land – and right on time – according to the flight data available on the web.”
Can someone mistake lights in a night sky for something anomalous? Happens all the time, according to ufologists.
Wertman said he was talking with Erlikh during one of the investigation evenings, when Erlikh shouted, “Did you see that? An F-16 just flew over my building.”
But Wertman, standing just outside Erlikh’s building, had seen what had just gone over his building at between 1,500 to 2,000 feet above the building. “I corrected him and told him it was a small business jet. Most likely landing at nearby Burke Lakefront Airport.”