Inside the phantasmagorical attraction known as House on the Rock, where the Old Gods meet in American Gods season 2.
A hidden UFO base, an annual festival of tinfoil hat enthusiasts, and an extraterrestrial visitor who drops by from a distant star system to catch Green Bay Packers games. UFO bar owner Bill Benson and other residents of this small Wisconsin town have been experiencing strange things for decades, the least of which is the alien activity.
According to data from the National UFO Reporting Center, Wisconsin ranks 23rd for UFO sightings in the United States. An unknown object witnessed in rural Barron, WI in 1934 inspired Coral Lorenzen to pioneer UFO research. And there are three individual UFO festivals held around the state every year in locations known to have an unusually high number of UFO sightings.
Of those three places, one area in particular is perhaps the most peculiar.
Dundee, Wisconsin with Dundee Mountain rising in the distance
UFOs Over UFO Daze
On the evening of July 17, 2004, a crowd was gathered at a tavern on the shore of Long Lake in Dundee, Wisconsin for the annual UFO Daze festival hosted by local UFO researcher Bill Benson. UFO enthusiasts have been gathering here by the hundreds to share their experiences and hoping to spot something strange in the sky since 1988. But this particular night would be different.
When the hot and humid summer day gave way to night, many of the day’s visitors remained to see if anything unusual would show up in the night sky. It was near midnight when excited murmurings from the crowd turned all eyes to the sky.
Something was coming.
“What I remember first about the experience was the bluish green light,” attendee Noah Voss wrote in his book UFO Wisconsin. “From the absentee stars I observe what seems to be perhaps a triangle shape.”
The object passed low and silent over the crowd with a Y-shaped pattern of lights, and disappeared over the tree line.
Spheres of light filmed over Long Lake by UFO Daze attendees on July 22, 2002
Whatever it was the crowd at UFO Daze witnessed that night, it was not an isolated incident. Mysterious orbs of flashing lights and strange objects in the sky are not uncommon in the area, and have turned more than a few skeptics into believers.
There is a long history of unexplained sightings over Long Lake and nearby Dundee Mountain, and Bill Benson is eager to share it with anyone who asks.
Benson’s UFO Headquarters
Benson’s UFO headquarters on the shore of Long Lake
Bill’s extraterrestrial-themed tavern, Benson’s Hide-a-Way, may be the only place in Wisconsin where you can report a UFO sighting, see an alien in a jar, and get a killer fish fry on a Friday night. Alien posters, UFO models, tinfoil hats, and inflatable little green men adorn the interior. There is a scrapbook at the bar full of glowing circles set against a black backdrop – unidentified flying objects photographed in the area by Bill’s friend Tim Hildebrandt, who spent many nights with his cameras on the summit of Dundee Mountain capturing those images.
Benson’s is located in the heart of the picturesque Kettle Moraine State Forest, an area known for hiking, camping, and fishing. It seems an unlikely setting for flying saucers and alien abductions. Nevertheless, decades of strange happenings have lead locals to proclaim it the “UFO Capital of the World.”
Visitors have come from around the globe to get a glimpse of something otherworldly hovering over the rural community, and they congregate at the Hide-a-Way.
Bill Benson’s collection of UFO photos, including a crop circle that appeared in the reeds in Long Lake in 1995.
Bill’s unusual interest began in the late 1940s, he said in a recent interview. When he was a child, crop circles appeared in an oat field about four miles from his home. The farm was owned by relatives of Bill’s in an area near Dundee known as the jersey flats.
Later, during his time serving in the US military in Vietnam, he personally witnessed a large bright light moving unnaturally in the distant sky while on guard duty one night.
“I saw a strange orange light dancing off in right angles, flashing quickly, twisting and moving around rapidly,” he told the Fond du Lac Reporter in 1993.
But for Bill, the seminal moment came in 1985 when a circular object hovering near his neighbor’s farm on Vista Drive kept frightening the cows out of the pasture and into the barn. Another neighbor witnessed the event from his car while driving down the road.
This incident prompted Benson, along with his friend and radio personality Robert “UFO Bob” Kuehn, who claimed to maintain ongoing telepathic communication with an extraterrestrial named Eveata from the Plaidian star system (Eveata liked to visit and catch Green Bay Packers games), to hold the first UFO Daze gathering as a safe place for others who had similar experiences to share their stories.
A triangular object filmed over Long Lake by UFO Daze attendees on July 17, 2004
Over the years, locals have reported glowing orbs hovering over the summit of Dundee Mountain, sometimes being chased by US Air Force jet craft or helicopters. In 1995 a crop circle inexplicably appeared in the reeds near Benson’s. Formations of lights have been seen over the lake, and even flickering from the depths beneath.
It’s been more than 30 years since the first UFO Daze, and it is still a popular excuse to craft intricate tinfoil hats. Benson’s enthusiasm for the subject matter is known worldwide.
Attendees of the 30th annual UFO Daze in their tinfoil hats. July 21, 2018
Timeline of Key Dundee UFO Incidents
1947: A crop circle appears in an oat field on the Ludwig farm
1985: Multiple witnesses see a circular object hovering over a pasture and scaring a herd of cows
1988: Bill Benson and UFO Bob host the first ever UFO Daze
1995: A crop circle formed by flattened and interwoven reeds appears in a marshy area of Long Lake near Benson’s Hide-a-Way
1998: Bill Benson and 5 others witness a large orange ball hovering over Dundee Mountain. It vanishes when 4 fighter jets suddenly fly in after it.
2000: UFO Daze attendees witness two pyramid-shaped objects over Long Lake that join together into a diamond shape and tumble off silently through the sky
2002: UFO Daze attendees witness 6 glowing and flashing amber spheres in the sky
2004: UFO Daze attendees witness a triangular craft move over their heads with a Y-shaped light pattern on the underside
Something Under Dundee Mountain
Dundee Mountain looms high above the tree line at the southern end of Long lake. Gouged from the earth by the last glaciers to tear through the area, the “mountain” is actually a 270-foot high moulin kame formation made up of sediment left behind by the glaciers when they retreated over 10,000 years ago. And, depending on who you ask, it may be the source of the area’s mysterious activity.
Long before the modern sightings around Dundee Mountain, it seems Native Americans were well aware of it’s unusual properties.
“They called it ‘Spirit Hill,’” Bill said in a 2008 interview with the Fond du Lac Reporter. “There’s been strange things forever out here.”
But what exactly does the ominous mound of dirt have to do with the unusual occurrences in the area?
Bill doesn’t pretend to have the answers. He has no idea why Dundee is the center of so much strange activity. But he does seem to believe Dundee Mountain may be the source of it.
“Something is under there,” he told a reporter in 2016.
But what it is, exactly, not even Bill claims to know.
Have you had a UFO sighting or other strange experience around Dundee and Long Lake? Share it in the comments below or send a message.
This was originally posted on Wisconsin Frights as Dundee UFOs: Alien Encounters and Benson’s UFO Headquarters in the Kettle Moraine