On the evening of November 23, 1953, Lt. Felix Eugene Moncla Jr., pilot, and radar operator, Lt. Robert Wilson were scrambled in a F-89C Scorpion from Kinross AFB while on temporary assignment on the upper Michigan peninsula in pursuit of an unidentified “bogey”. Radar operators tracked the F-89 and the unknown blip until they merged in an apparent collision and then disappeared. The Scorpion’s last known position, according to this account, “…was about seventy miles off Keweenaw Point in upper Michigan, at an altitude of 8,000 feet, approximately 160 miles northwest of Soo Lock“.
The Air Force served up weak explanations such as Moncla suffered vertigo. The radar blips explained away as “phantom echos” from the plane. There is, also, the coincidence of another F-89C that crashed earlier in the day on a training mission from Truax Field, and the pilot, a Moncla friend. The F-89 introduced in the late forties was viewed reliable by 1953. The incident remains a mystery to this day.
The “Kinross Incident” takes quite a turn after Gordon Heath begins his personal research. Heath was born in Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada nine months after the incident on the other side of Lake Superior. The Canadian relates a pivotal trip as a child to the top of a hill with a man on the lake’s shore. The tale can be heard in this Out There interview. The researcher learned the man was Robert Wilson. Wilson revealed the F-89 disappearance was due to a UFO and he was the pilot. Heath’s experience is so deep and extensive he had DNA testing done. This personal odyssey is documented in “The Moncla Memories“. It’s hard to dismiss as confabulation or mental illness on Gord Heath’s part, the interviews and one hour documentary are fascinating!