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The 1988 Lake Erie Coast Guard Close Encounter

Updated on January 22, 2013
NASA captures an image of Lake Erie from space as sunlight reflects off the water.
NASA captures an image of Lake Erie from space as sunlight reflects off the water. | Source

Ohio has had a long history with UFOs and extraterrestrials. It’s said that the police chase scene in “Encounters of the Third Kind” was inspired by a real sighting in that state.

However, nothing prepared a family for what they were to experience on one cold evening in March.

The Barkers

On March 4th in 1988, Henry and Sheila Baker had decided to take their three kids out for dinner. They lived near the shore of Lake Erie, and as they drove along the shoreline of the Great Lake, Sheila noticed something strange hovering over the icy surface with the bright moon.

It looked like a gunmetal football of epic proportions. It was larger than the Goodyear Blimp and brilliant white lights shone from either end.

Soon, Henry pulled over, and the couple got out of the car to get a closer look.

It rocked back and forth on an invisible axis in the sky for a while. Soon, it tipped towards the shore and began descending for it.

Afraid for their safety, the Bakers fled back to their car, started it up and drove home.

Lake Erie

However, they could still see it from one of their windows. As they watched, it continued sinking towards the iced over surface of the lake. Along its bottom, red and blue lights began flashing.

Worried, Sheila called the police. After some conversation, the police referred her to the Coast Guard, no doubt because they weren’t sure of what to do.

The Air Force had stopped investigating UFO phenomenon in 1969, and no protocol was put in place for law enforcement to follow, after all.

Again, they watched the strange craft over the lake. Five or six brilliant yellow triangular ships shot from the large one’s center, and darted around, as if exploring. Eventually, they slowed to hover around the original craft, their points directed heavenward.

Slowly, they all began drifting towards the nearby nuclear power plant.

At a loss, Sheila again picked up the phone, this time to call the Coast Guard.

A Boston Whaler
A Boston Whaler | Source

The Coast Guard Arrives

Thanks to Sheila’s report, Seaman James Power arrived with Petty Officer John Knaub. With them, they brought a Boston Whaler on which to investigate the strange phenomenon.

On their craft, the two men took the Bakers out on the lake.

All around them, ice cracked and shifted with abnormal force. The craft above seemed to be driving the agitation of water and ice as it continued to descend. However, if anyone had expected to hear engines, they would be let down.

Whatever propelled the massive craft and its small companions was completely silent.

As the large ship landed, one of the smaller ones rushed at the whaler. Before it hit, it veered to the east and up before resting by the original craft.

As they watched, red, yellow and blue lights suddenly surged from the craft, and the white light bled red. Again, the triangles appeared before it all vanished.

The moon shone alone in the sky and the ice grew silent in the water around them.

Official Report

In addition to the sheer drama of the experience, this event is truly unique for two reasons:

  • The Coast Guard took a written, unclassified account of events
  • No plausible reason was ever determined for what happened

To this day, there’s still no reason for what happened. There are military eye witnesses, as well as two more independent witnesses who had seen the triangle shaped ships in addition to the Bakers.

There were no military tests being preformed at that time, and the craft were nothing like anything the technology of the time could offer.

More Sightings

There have been several more sightings of UFOs over Lake Erie. Some go so far as to call it a UFO hot spot.

The videos captured have been very compelling, and the mainstream media has covered these events on quite a few different occasions. Although some may be cases of misidentification, many of them are impossible to explain.

Quite a few sightings have been corroborated by people who don’t know each other, and several have caught the exact same footage from different vantage points on the shore, at the same time.

Whatever the lights are over Lake Erie, they add to the area’s mystique and add credence to the lake’s name.

Have you been to Lake Erie?

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    • sparkster profile image

      Sparkster Publishing 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      This place is very intriguing. There is one university or college who have released video footage they caught of a mysterious shining orb over Lake Erie. It was traveling at a tenth of the speed of light!

    • carlajbehr profile image

      Carla J Behr 4 years ago from NW PA

      Very interesting! It's amazing that we always associate UFO's with Area 59. Things like this do happen here.

    • ESPeck1919 profile image
      Author

      ESPeck1919 4 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      It really is. I'd like to check it out in person, one day. There have been sightings of a monster in that lake, which just adds to it.

      That video sounds really interesting! Wonder if it's up on youtube somewhere.

    • ESPeck1919 profile image
      Author

      ESPeck1919 4 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      Thank you!

      Yes, that area does seem to be a hot spot for that kind of stuff. It makes me very curious about what's drawing them.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Interesting! We only live about 2 hours south of Lake Erie and I have never heard of this. I wonder what else is out there.

    • ESPeck1919 profile image
      Author

      ESPeck1919 4 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      It is pretty wild. It seems that part of the country is really active when it comes to UFOs and related occurrences. :)

    • sparkster profile image

      Sparkster Publishing 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      I did provide a link to the university/college footage before for someone else but it seems to be quite difficult to find now. Oh how they love to suppress this information.

    • ESPeck1919 profile image
      Author

      ESPeck1919 4 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      Aw, so true. Very frustrating. Thanks for mentioning it, though! :)

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Nicole Canfield 4 years ago from the Ether

      Yes, they visit us more than most people know. Some of them are even living among us and have incarnated here. Awesome hub. Thanks!

    • ESPeck1919 profile image
      Author

      ESPeck1919 4 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      Thank you for reading! There is certainly a lot more go on than most of us realize.

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