Just What Landed Near The Blake Family’s Home? The Mellon UFO Incident

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
September 2, 2022
Estimated Reading Time
13 min read
Posted in
UFOs, Close Encounters

A relatively little-known UFO encounter from the mid-1970s in Wisconsin is perhaps one of the most intriguing UFO landing encounters on record, and one that was seemingly corroborated by multiple other sightings of a strange object by many of the small town’s residents. It is also an encounter that, albeit briefly, captivated the nation, with many reporters and UFO investigators descending to the area.

A UFO in a forest clearing

Just what did the Blake family witness in 1975

Just what this object was and why it landed so close to the Blake family home remains a mystery. The Blakes themselves, however, were widely regarded as very credible witnesses, not least by the local police who attended the property following the Blakes’ report.

As we shall see, there were many other sightings around the same time, not just in Wisconsin, but also across the waters of Lake Superior in Ontario, Canada. Whether these sightings are connected or not is open to debate, but many of them share similar details, and would seemingly suggest a more coordinated mission of some kind on the part of whatever intelligence is behind these strange aerial vehicles.

“Something Out On The Road!”

The Blake family lived in a secluded property in the small town of Mellen in Wisconsin, a town that had a population of approximately 1000 people[1] It was around 9 pm on the evening of 13th March, 1975, the Bakers were at home, each going about their business. While Shirley Baker finished household chores, her husband, Philip, watched television in the living room. Their three sons, John, Jeff, and Monty were in their bedroom listening to the radio, while their teenage daughter, Jane, was rounding up their cats in order to put them in the garage for the night.

A depiction of a person watching a UFO

Jane Baker saw the UFO first

It was as Jane was making her way to the garage with the cats that the night suddenly began to grow lighter. After a moment, Jane realized that a light was coming from the direction of the small road that led to their secluded property. She went a little closer to see if she could see what the source of the light was. When she did, she was shocked. There, a little under 500 feet away from her, was a silver disc-shaped object with glowing red and green lights resting on the roadside.

On the top of the object was a dome that glowed yellow and lit up the road around it, while several bizarre noises appeared to emanate from the object. After several more moments of staring at this obscure object, she suddenly turned and ran back to the house. As she burst through the door, she yelled out that there was “something out on the road”. From her panicked tone, her parents knew that she had witnessed something strange, and they and Jane’s brothers ran to the front door to see for themselves what was taking place.

A Cautious Approach

As the family made their way outside, they spotted the object Jane had first seen only seconds earlier. John would later recall that it was like a “turtle-shaped dome with lights all around it” which appeared to be moving in a circle around the side of the object while the light from the dome section on the top made it appear as though it “had a halo above it”. The witnesses would later estimate that the object was approximately 12 feet across and around six feet in height.

John also recalled hearing the strange sounds. He would claim one was a buzzing or whirring-type sound that was similar to a blender. However, at the same time, there was a persistent banging that appeared to be coming from inside the object.

A typical street in Mellen

A typical street in Mellen

At this point, Philip began to approach the object so he could see exactly what it was and what was taking place causing Shirley to plead with him not to get any closer to the object than they already were. Philip, however, dismissed her concerns and continued forward. Whether coincidence or not, as he got closer to the strange disc the lights around the side of the object stopped and the yellow glow from the domed section dimmed. As the light dimmed, it appeared that on the top in front of the dome was an open hatch.

Philip continued forward, in spite of his wife’s continued pleas not to do so, certain that he would be able to look inside the craft if he could get a little closer. All the while the strange wind-like whirring sounds and banging noises continued. In fact, it was as he was listening to this cacophony of sounds, he suddenly made the decision to halt his advance and began to back away from this obscure object.

A Report To The Authorities

After having made his way back to the house, Philip quickly contacted the local police to report what he and his family had witnessed. It was as he was speaking on the telephone that a sudden, huge explosion-type sound shook the entire house, something that Philip would later describe as sounding “like something breaking the sound barrier”. The family once more ran to the door, discovering the object had disappeared.

Undersheriff George Ree arrived at the property a short time later. However, as the object had since left and there was no evidence that it had ever been there – in spite of the five witnesses – there was little he could do, and left a short time later.

Philip then gathered the family and issued instructions that it would be best if they didn’t speak about what they had seen, especially to other children at school. He knew all too well how they would be viewed within the community if word spread of what they claimed to have seen.

They did their best to go to bed as normal a little later that evening. However, each lay secretly awake. The children, in particular, were more than afraid that these strange entities would return. And this time, they wouldn’t merely stay by the roadside before disappearing.

Unbeknown to the Baker family, however, was that George Ree didn’t think the family was crazy. In fact, as he made his way back from the Baker home, he kept going over what they had told him.

“No Reason To Disbelieve Him!”

The one thing that particularly struck Ree was how genuinely frightened the family had been. Furthermore, they were considered a model family of the community, and Mr. Baker was certainly not the type of person to make up such bizarre claims.

The undersheriff would later state that it was clear that Philip Baker was “very upset” by what he had seen. He was, though, “a pretty reliable, dependable person”. Ultimately, as bizarre as it did indeed sound, there was “no reason to disbelieve him”. Whether he saw a vehicle from another world, Ree wasn’t sure, but he believed that he most definitely did see something, as did his family. And by the time he had arrived at the station, that notion was made that much clearer to him.

Map of Wisconsin

Map of Wisconsin

He was immediately confronted with a barrage of reports that had come in from the public. There had been literally dozens of reports, one after another, after another, and were continuing to come in as Ree was there.

He requested one of the deputies to go outside with him and see if they could see what multiple residents of the public seemingly were. And only moments after having stepped outside of the station, they could indeed see a scene truly out of the ordinary.

As they looked toward the south, they could see an anomalous object moving northward. This was followed by a second, almost identical object which followed along the same course. The pair remained outside and watched these objects for close to thirty minutes. Then, even further to their amazement, a third object appeared in the sky, only this one was in the opposite direction, moving south from the north. And what’s more, this object was moving at a particularly low altitude.

Ree would recall that this third object had “all different colored lights on it” and appeared to move in a bizarre U-shape. As Ree and the deputy watched this apparent craft, he would communicate by radio with two of the police cars that were on routine patrol in the area. They too could see the curious objects.

The Encounter Of Police Officer Peter Drolson

One of those officers was Peter Drolson, who was near Lake Superior. [2] As he was watching and listening to the radio exchanges, Ree suddenly began speaking directly to him. After his radio burst into life, Ree’s voice came over telling him that the object was “going your way”. Drolson turned to the direction the apparent craft was approaching from, and confirmed that he could see it approaching. A moment later, his radio cut off.

A moment later, the object was directly over the top of Drolson, and he completely lit up in the light that shone down from it. Even though he was aware his radio had died he continued to report into it the events that were unfolding all around him – partly out of instinct and partly in the hope that he was still being heard. However, all he was greeted with in terms of a response was the harsh sound of static interference.

Lake Superior

Lake Superior

The light that bathed him was seemingly getting brighter. Then, as it passed over the top of him, the area around him slowly returned to normal. The entire episode – the from craft approaching his location to it moving off again into the distance – was likely no more than several seconds. It had felt, however, much longer.

This was simply the first of many encounters that evening involving the local police. The radio communications continued to go back and forth, with no less than ten of the deputies being involved in (relatively) close-up encounters, with some even giving chase to this bizarre craft. As the night unfolded, Ree continued to think back to what the Bakers had told him they had witnessed. It was almost certain that whatever they had witnessed, many people around the town had witnessed the same thing.

The sightings and reports would continue throughout the night, eventually coming to a stop as the morning neared.

The following day, young Jane Baker would venture out to the roadside where she had first seen the strange craft. To her utter shock, as she was doing so, she noticed what appeared to be the same object hovering near a swamp a short distance away. At the same time she noticed it, her dog began to whine and raise its paws to its ears, as if there was an uncomfortable sound that only it could hear.

Jane was keen to get closer to the object. However, when her dog refused to move, not wanting to do so alone, she turned and headed back to the house to inform her parents that the strange vehicle was back. By the time they had accompanied her to the swamp, though, it was no longer there.

However, it wouldn’t be the last the Bakers heard of this bizarre and unsettling UFO incident.

Sudden Interest From The Media

News of the sightings soon spread around the town, and ultimately, onto the pages of several newspapers. And while there had been many people of the town who had reported sightings, given that the Baker family had one of the closest and earliest encounters of the evening, many reporters would descend on their hidden away home for comment. This quickly progressed to people contacting them to appear on the radio or even television, all of which were not attractive offers to the Baker family.

However, at least according to their later claims, the most unsettling visitors to their home in the weeks and months following the UFO encounter were the strange men who claimed they worked for an unknown military department who appeared to be prying into their personal activities as much as the UFO sighting itself.

The family resisted all calls for attention, and eventually, life began to return to normal. The Baker family, though, wouldn’t forget about that strange night in March 1975. And while they avoided attention at the time, they would, years later, speak about the encounter in a more controlled and contemplative setting.

John Baker, who was just a young boy at the time of the sighting, would claim that he believes that what they witnessed “probably” was extraterrestrials. And what’s more, it is his belief that the minerals that reside in the Penokee Hills of the region “might be what attracts them”.

Other Sightings Around The Same Time

While there were multiple witnesses to the sighting in Mellen, there were many sightings around the same time. [3] Just under two weeks before the UFO sightings in Mellen, at around 8 pm on 2nd March in Elmwood, the Forster family were traveling in their car when a mysterious object descended out of the sky and toward the road. The family later recalled that the object was disc-shaped and appeared to be white in color with lights around the edge. They estimated it was approximately the same size as their car and that it appeared to have some kind of landing gear on its underside. Fearing a collision, the driver instinctively began sounding the car horn and did so repeatedly. Several moments later, the object rose into the sky and disappeared.

Six nights later, at around the same time at 8:30 pm on 8th March on the other side of Lake Superior in Stayner, Ontario, Canada, an anonymous witness, and their two daughters were driving along Highway 26 when they spotted a very similar object. They spotted the object moving overhead, claiming it was a circular object with red lights around the outside. It was, the report states, moving relatively slowly and remained absolutely silent. It eventually passed over the top of their vehicle and disappeared into the distance.

Whether or not there is a connection, ten days later in Hamilton, Ontario, a picture of a disc-shaped object with a domed top was captured. [4] The object also looks remarkably similar to the object witnessed by the Baker family only days previously. You can see that picture below.

Possible Interaction On Highway A

At around 2 am in Wausau, Wisconsin, Rod Seagraves and Mike Lewandowski – both 18 years old – were driving toward Athens along Highway A when they suddenly began experiencing interference on their CB radio. As they were contemplating what the problem was, Mike suddenly spotted an odd-shaped object approximately 1500 feet ahead of them. It was a round, disc shape with a particularly flat underside and with a domed section on top. It appeared to be just above the surface of the ground and was a glowing, silver-grey color.

They continued on with their journey, but the night was about to turn decidedly stranger.

Around five minutes after they had passed the strange object, they saw what seemed to be a tree, or at least its trunk, at the side of the road, approximately seven feet in height. However, as they passed it, Mike believed that he saw it moving. After driving for another hour, at around 3 am they pulled the car over behind a restaurant so they could rest. However, when they awoke a little after 6:30 am, the car was in a completely different part of the parking lot.

What’s more, each of them was covered with dirt and when they inspected their fuel, almost a quarter of what they should have had left was gone. They were perplexed as to what had happened and why they had no memory of it. They contemplated whether they had decided to return to the spot on the road where they had seen the strange objects, and if they had, what had happened that caused them to have no memory of it?

A Number Of UFO Sightings Around Wisconsin

There are also many other, less-known accounts. And if we look at 1975 alone, we can find several intriguing sightings in the state of Wisconsin. Perhaps one of the most intriguing of those occurred on a road between Mukwonago and Genesee at around 9 pm on 15th February when a courting couple witnessed a bizarre boomerang-shaped object while driving along the otherwise quiet highway. [5] The couple was making their way along I-43 to a restaurant on the outskirts of Milwaukee after the witness had picked up his girlfriend from the University of Wisconsin where she attended.

It was as they were making their way along the road that they first spotted a small white dot moving in the sky ahead of them. It appeared to be at a relatively low altitude and looked very much like the searchlight of a helicopter. It didn’t take them long to realize that the light was heading in their direction, and the closer they got to it, the more details were revealed. As opposed to just one light they could now make out multiple lights that appeared to be in a V-formation. By the time they were almost under the lights, they could see they were part of a huge boomerang-shaped object – so large that it “blotted out the stars” as it passed overhead.

At this point, the witness brought the vehicle to a stop. They both opened their doors and leaned out to get a better view. The object had come to a stop directly over them. Then, moments later, the lights began moving wildly, suggesting to the witness that some kind of maneuver was taking place. After around 30 seconds, this bizarre display came to a stop and the craft suddenly began to move away from them, eventually turning away from the main road and heading out over fields and farmland.

The witnesses got back in the car and set off once more, keeping their eye on the moving aerial vehicle. As they were doing so, a sudden bright flash of white light lit up the car and everything around them. It had clearly come from the object and appeared to be similar to a searchlight beam, only a flash of it. The lights of the object began to flash randomly again before the object continued on into the night sky. It remained visible for around half an hour but was clearly moving away from them. The sighting remains a complete mystery.

Further Sightings Of Round Disc-Like Craft

According to an account submitted to the National UFO Reporting Center, around a month after the Blake family’s encounter, at around 2 am on 15th April in Onalaska, a witness along with their parents saw a strange object hovering overhead. They described this anomalous object as being saucer shape and dark bronze in color with a domed section on the top. In this domed part were “white glowing portals” while around the outside of the craft itself were multi-colored “blinking” lights. They watched the craft for several minutes before it suddenly shot off and disappeared out of sight with no build-up or warning.

Exactly a month later, on the afternoon of 15th May in Holmen, two friends were sitting on the pier when a disc-shaped object suddenly came into view and hovered over the water. The craft had a domed part on the top side which remained still while the bottom part of the object revolved. Every now and then a white flash of light flashed from the craft and there was a quiet but noticeable “whirring” sound. After several moments, the object began to spin faster and faster until it eventually shot off into the distance. Much to their surprise, when they checked their watch, two hours had passed, even though, to them, the encounter lasted no more than several minutes.

A particular intriguing incident occurred around two weeks later on the afternoon of 1st June in the city of Milwaukee. [6] On the day in question, the main witness – who was 9 years old at the time – was playing football with friends on the field at the back of their houses when they noticed something strange appear in the sky. The group watched it for some time, uncertain of what it was, but realizing it was something strange. Eventually, everyone returned home for dinner, except, that it is, the main witness, who by now had become completely enthralled with what the object was. As he stood watching it, he noticed that it appeared to be changing shape, although he would later state was more like it was solid one moment and then faded from existence the next. When it had disappeared, the witness returned home. However, he and his friends would not talk of the sighting again, and the sighting remains without an explanation.

A similar sighting occurred at a little after 3 am on 1st August in Port Washington [7] when a young mother and her son were driving back home.

A Case That Will Likely Remain A Mystery

As we can see, while the Blake UFO encounter was perhaps one of the most dramatic UFO encounters of Wisconsin in 1975, it was far from the only one. It is also interesting that a great number of other UFO encounters around this time share very similar details – a disc-shaped craft with a domed top, lights around the outside, and appeared to be moving at relatively low altitude, in the case of the Blake family, the craft even landed.

Whether these sightings share connections or not remains unknown. And where they, and the Blakes’ encounter fits into the overall big picture of the UFO and Alien Question remains to be seen. Might the state’s location to some of the Great Lakes of North America explain why the state is a hot spot for UFO activity? Might these curious crafts use these ancient water networks to discreetly traverse the country, and indeed the planet?

Just what the Blake family saw that evening in March 1975 remains unknown. That they saw something out of the ordinary, however, is almost certain.

Check out the short video below which looks at recent UFO sightings in Wisconsin.



1 Mellen UFO Sighting, NICAP Report http://www.nicap.org/anreact/ar-750314.htm
2 The Bizarre Case of the Blake Family UFO Encounter and UFO Invasion Over Wisconsin, Brent Swancer, Mysterious Universe https://mysteriousuniverse.org/2022/08/The-Bizarre-Case-of-the-Blake-Family-UFO-Encounter-and-UFO-Invasion-Over-Wisconsin/
3 1975 UFO Chronology, NICAP http://www.ignaciodarnaude.com/avistamientos_ovnis/Casos%20OVNI%201975,NICAP.htm
4 UFO Picture, Hamilton, 18 March 1975, NICAP http://www.nicap.org/can75.htm
5 Detailed sighting of Boomerang Shaped silent craft in Wisconsin in mid-70’s, National UFO Reporting Center https://nuforc.org/webreports/reports/044/S44746.html
6 The hovercraft that watched our game, National UFO Reporting Center https://nuforc.org/webreports/reports/029/S29216.html
7 Enormous red-orange glowing craft rural area of WI, National UFO Reporting Center https://nuforc.org/webreports/reports/109/S109264.html

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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