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Look up to the skies, Madisonians. Something’s out there.

A Wisconsin legislator is concerned about UFOs. Madison might have been visited plenty already.

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The earliest recorded UFO sighting in Wisconsin dates back to 1897. | Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Glenn Grothman believes.

A US representative from Wisconsin’s 6th congressional district, Grothman, pursuing a lifelong interest, has just proposed legislation establishing a federal clearinghouse to collect and report sightings of Unidentified Flying Objects (now termed Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena, or UAPs).

“Since I was a child, unidentified objects in our airspace has been a topic of interest,” Grothman said, who wrote the bill with Rep. Robert Garcia of California. He continued, “With the majority of Americans believing that the government has suppressed information on UAPs, our bipartisan effort highlights our need for transparency from the federal government regarding UAPs to better protect the safety and security of American citizens.”

Dane County’s citizens have seen their fair share of UAP activity, and you can file a report of your own if you see one.

One well-known local sighting was in 1987. An article from the Sheboygan Press stated, “Dane County has had the highest concentration of such sightings in the country recently.” Some were skeptical of these alien visits. In the same article UW-Madison astronomy professor Mark Slovak remarked, “Why would they visit? Unless they’re lost, bored, or whatever.”

That same year in Belleville, police officer Glen Kazmar and his friend Jeff Furseth saw a tight cluster of flashing lights that remained motionless in the sky. The two called the Dane County Sheriff’s office asking if anyone had reported the object.

They drove to the highest vantage point they could find (west on Highway 69 and then up Quarry Road), and the lights still didn’t move. Kazmar described them as a “close-knit cluster of red, blue, and white lights.”

A Dane County sheriff’s deputy from Verona and a deputy from Green County joined them on the hill. Awe-struck, they didn’t know what to make of it. “I keep an open mind on stuff like that,” Kazmar said after.

The earliest recorded UAP sighting in Wisconsin dates back to 1897 when witnesses in Ashland reported seeing a cigar-shaped object in the sky. People have been looking up ever since.

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The historic Washburn Observatory on the UW-Madison campus was completed in 1881. | Photo via Wikimedia Commons

You, too, can look up at UW-Madison’s Washburn Observatory.

On the first and third Wednesday of each month, and every Wednesday June through August (weather permitting), the UW-Madison Astronomy Department offers free public observing. Hosted by UW-Madison astronomy graduate students, the viewing sessions are informal. No lectures or tours are given, but maybe a visitation will transpire.

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