One of the more out-of-this-world stories explored in Netflix’s Unsolved Mysteries Volume 3 arrives in the second episode, titled “Something in the Sky.” On the night of March 8, 1994, hundreds of people called 911 to report strange lights hovering in the sky over Lake Michigan, all giving eerily similar eyewitness accounts of what appeared to be UFOs. “I don’t know if you guys do anything on UFOs at all, but I got the real one,” one caller said in a 1994 dispatch recording, per Michigan’s MLive. Added another, “They’re out there. They ain’t airplanes.”
Unsolved Mysteries interviewed witnesses to provide more first-hand accounts of the unexplained event. Among them is National Weather Service (NWS) meteorologist Jack Bushong, who previously shared his version of events with a local Michigan CBS affiliate in September 2020. He was manning the NWS’ Muskegon office solo that night when he spotted an object “coasting at about 100 miles per hour” on the radar. Meanwhile, an Ottawa County officer called him to ask what he was seeing on his radar.
As Bushong watched the object, he said that it came to a sudden stop and began hovering. “And then it shot up, about 5,000 feet, then 10,000 feet I was getting it, just straight up,” he described. “At this point, the police officer was saying that he was seeing the same thing with that same object.”
That’s when he says he spotted a triangle of objects flying in geometric patterns near the Lake Michigan shoreline. The objects multiplied in number, and over the course of about two hours, Bushong watched a large cluster of stationary objects with others moving slowly between them. The meteorologist later called Muskegon County Airport’s FAA control tower to see if they had observed anything similar. According to Bushong, the air traffic controller also claimed to have spotted three aircrafts without transponder codes flying in formation in the distance.
Bushong isn’t the only witness who’s publicly shared what they saw that night over the course of the nearly three decades that have since passed. In March 2019, Cindy Pravda told the Detroit Free Press that she observed four lights in the sky that looked like “full moons” over the line of trees behind her horse pasture. At the time, she told a friend on the phone that she had “UFOs in the backyard,” something she still believes to be true today.
“I watched them for half an hour. Where I’m facing them, the one on the far left moved off. It moved to the highway and then came back in the same position,” she recalled. “The one to the right was gone in [the] blink of an eye and then, eventually, everything disappeared quickly.”
Fearing public ridicule, many witnesses didn’t come forward for years, but couple Daryl and Holly Graves, along with their son, Joey, told reporters in 1994 that they personally witnessed lights in the sky over Holland at about 9:30 p.m. on March 8.
“I saw six lights out the window above the barn across the street,” Joey told the Free Press at the time. “I got up and went to the sofa and looked up at the sky. They were red and white and moving.”
As the Chicago Tribune reported in 1995, researchers were able to rule out explanations of any of the objects being a small plane, gas, a blimp, weather balloon, satellite, shooting stars, military aircraft, or debris. As the Michigan UFO sightings’ inclusion on Unsolved Mysteries would suggest, authorities have yet to explain the origin of the mysterious lights in the sky. Whether related or not, the U.S. Department of Defense has since released a report confirming what they refer to as “unidentified aerial phenomena.”