It began in March, 1966 , with a sighting over a farm in Dexter.
Lights were seen hovering and then zipping across the sky. Reports came in from all over the area. One Washtenaw County sheriff deputy was quoted as calling the objects, whatever they were, “the weirdest things I’ve ever seen.”
The official explanation — flares caused by the burning of gases bubbling up from the area’s swamps — was unsatisfactory to many of those involved. Then-congressman Gerald Ford called for a congressional investigation. It never happened.
It wasn’t long before that UFO mania had swept the nation. UFO reports were pouring in from all over the country. This was the era that sparked Hollywood’s love-affair with aliens, leading to blockbusters like E.T. the Extra Terrestrial and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Walter Cronkite anchored a 1966 CBS report titled, “UFO: Friend, Foe or Fantasy?” which featured the Dexter incident.
But after the UFO fever subsided, after the Hollywood productions made their millions, after NASA's moon program closed for good—in short, after America moved on — the question remained: what really happened in Dexter that March?