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Physical Trace Recently Found Near Denver, North Carolina
Resembles Those Found On Manitoulin Island
- 11 years before!

For the past 40 years, I've been a UFO researcher, and during that time, I have witnessed many strange things. I've also had the opportunity to interview many credible witnesses -- such as police officers, lawyers, former military personnel and mine workers -- who have related to me some of the most incredible accounts I had ever heard. Some of my own relatives have come forward to report what they have seen. But of all the cases I've investigated, none has struck me more than that of the unusual physical traces which were discovered in mid-September 1990, near the small town of Spring Bay, located on Manitoulin Island. In 1994, I wrote an article entitled Manitoulin Island "Landing Traces" for The Canadian Ufologist, a now-defunct newsletter from MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) Ontario. I'm reporting the story here, publicly, for the first time.

The case first came to my attention in late October-early November 1990, a few weeks after I had reported a sighting of a UFO near the abandoned CFS (Canadian Forces Station) Falconbridge Radar Base. I was listening to an interview on Midday Q (local radio station Q92.7) with an investigative journalist from Reno, Nevada who wanted to open up a UFO museum and the female interviewer asked him: "What do you think about these big circles that have been found in wheat fields and actually, a couple were found just outside of Sudbury?" With great excitement, I called the station, got in touch with the woman, and she related the details to me, subsequently putting me in touch with one of the people who not only had been at the site, but had also taken photographs of the circles. When I met the man, he described to me what he had seen and said the photos had been taken a few days after the appearance of the circles. He handed me an envelope containing a strip of negatives which were later developed into four very clear photographs. As soon as I saw them, I was stunned! What I was looking at were not crop circles, but something entirely different -- two very unusual doughnut-shaped indentations on a gravel-covered rocky surface. I guess the term "crop circles" had come up because reports of such crop formations were prevalent in the news media at the time.

I gathered as much information as I could about the location of the site, the property owner's name and phone number and proceeded to make plans to go to the island sometime, the following Spring. On Saturday, June 8, 1991, I met and interviewed the property owner, the late Mr. Ivan McColeman at his home in Spring Bay. I remember asking him how he made the discovery:

"Well, I always go up to my property up there which is a hundred acres of ranch and I generally go up once a week to check it. I think it was in the latter part of September when I went up one morning around 10 o'clock and went into where they are now located, these circles, and I found them . . . I could see them before I even got to them . . . there was something there that wasn't there before. When I got within 20 feet, I noticed that the gravel which was always there and was packed very tight there, had been sucked right away in two different places and the diameter of both circles would be about 6 feet, I guess. And the gravel was sucked right away, right down to the bare rock. I looked at them for, I suppose, 15 or 20 minutes. I had no idea what they were, although I've heard about these markings from other places but this was the first one I had ever seen that I had found on my own property. But, as I say, I've heard of them in other locations but had never seen them. I saw pictures of them, not the same as this one; most of the pictures that I saw were perhaps in a field, not on bare rock like that."

Once the interview was over, I was given directions to the site. After driving ¼ mile west of Spring Bay, I got off the main road onto a dirt trail which led into the bush. When I got to the area, I was surprised to see only one circle, still clearly visible on the ground. The other one was completely covered with gravel, possibly due to the Spring runoff and rainfall.

The clearing where the circle was located looked to be about 80 to 90 feet in diameter, and completely surrounded by trees -- out of sight from anyone travelling on the main road. The ground consisted of a hard limestone surface covered by a 3/4 inch layer of gravel.

Waiting for us at the site was another witness, the late Donald Lanktree, long-time friend of Mr. McColeman. I set up my camcorder and as I was video taping the circle, I asked Mr. Lanktree about the approximate date when the circles were discovered. He replied:

"Well, I can't be sure of the dates but I remember it was shortly after the provincial elections. Mr. McColeman, the owner of the property, came down and asked me to go up with him and look at it. And we stood there and looked at it and he said: do you have any ideas? I said: Oh, yes, I think I realized what it was! You probably didn't support the present members in the provincial government and they're coming back to haunt you! We went home at that and I suggested to him that he phone the Recorder and have somebody come and take pictures of it. So, during the dinner time I couldn't be available and Ivan couldn't go, so my son Morris Lanktree came up with them and they took pictures and put it in the paper. But they weren't very clear. Other than that, we were up a few times afterwards and saw it."


Morris Lanktree stands beside one of the two perfectly shaped circles in a gravel pit on the property of Ivan McColeman, a resident in Spring Bay. The two circles about 10' x 10' round in diameter are indented in the dirt. The inside of the circles look like they have been swept clean except for a patch of dirt in the middle of the circle. The circles were discovered two weeks ago, although no one had been on the property recently. It makes one wonder how or who made the circles?

After the interview with Mr. Lanktree was done, I used the photographs as reference to pinpoint the location of the second circle, and cleared it off with a small broom. What I found amazing was the fact that when I swept the surface, the outline of the circle was clearly defined. The sand and gravel was somehow "stuck" to the surface of the limestone. In the centre of the circle, as well as on the outer edges, the sand and gravel was solidified, as if it were baked. Unlike the loose gravel on the rocky surface, which could easily be swept away with a broom, I had to use a scraper in order to remove some of the gravel and sand. There was nothing to indicate a glue-like residue or some other kind of adhesive compound on the ground.

Photos 1 and 2 show both circles individually. Note the central mound of gravel and sand. There is also evidence of rainfall, as indicated by the dry mud seen on the surface of the limestone at the edge of the circles.

Each doughnut-shaped indentation had a diameter of 108 inches (9 feet) and both were 16 feet apart, from centre to centre. As I stood back and looked at both circles, I got the impression that the gravel had somehow been blown away by something from above. Some of the witnesses used the term "sand-blasted effect" to describe the look of the circles at the time of their discovery.

Samples of sand and gravel were not taken, so it was impossible to determine what would cause the two to "stick" together and to the surface of the limestone. There was no evidence of scorching or magnetic anomalies, and I had no way of knowing whether or not radiation was present at the site -- In the past, radioactivity had been recorded at some landing sites.

Photos 3 & 4 show both circles, side by side. Note the man and the vehicle in the photographs, giving us an idea of the scale of the two doughnut-shaped indentations.

Although there wasn't much of a case for a UFO sighting, the physical landing trace is evidence enough that something unusual took place there. Adding to this are the numerous reports of UFO sightings coming from the island, including two other reports of physical landing traces that have not yet been investigated. I have collected a few newspaper articles pertaining to Manitoulin Island sightings of strange lights and mysterious flying objects dating back to at least 1975.

As I wrote in my report to MUFON Ontario, it is my personal opinion that if this were a hoax, it probably would have been located in a field somewhere, in full view, and made to resemble the crop circles found in England. Because of the prevalent news reports of crop circles on television and in the newspapers at that time, the hoaxers would have tried to do the same, not knowing at all what a physical landing trace would look like if it were done on solid rock and gravel.

When I returned to the site two years later, on September 7, 1992, the gravel and sand at the centre and at the edges of the circles was still in clumps. The last time I was there, in June 1998, there was no indication of there ever having been anything unusual on the ground. The gravel and sand was no longer sticking to the surface of the limestone.

More recently, in the November issue of the UFO Newsclipping Service to which I subscribe, there was an article dated September 5, 2001 featuring the photo seen below.

A truck ran over the unusual circle in the gravel before this picture was taken
... indentation in the ground was about 3/4" deep with no visible sign of its cause.

The following is quoted directly from the article:

"This may sound a little bit strange, but perfectly sane, very responsible people are wondering what caused that unusual circle in front of a business in the Denver Industrial Park last week.

Whether you believe in UFOs or not, someone or something did something in front of FabTech Industries last Wednesday night (August 29, 2001 -- MMD) that has people scratching their heads in wonderment. Sometime in the early evening, an almost-perfect 8-foot circle was made in the gravel drive in front of FabTech.

In the middle of the circle, the gravel was undisturbed, and also in a circle. It looked as though something hovered over the gravel, and with some kind of downburst, cleared out an area about 3/4 inch deep.

The area of cleared gravel had no sign of being touched by a person or any kind of tool, vehicle or instrument. It was as if something simply came out of the sky, cleared out a circle in the ground for whatever reason, and then left."

In Missouri, a long-time UFO investigator by the name of Ted Phillips has collected 4,000 UFO physical trace cases from 91 countries over a period of 30+ years. Under the guidance of the late Dr. J. Allen Hynek (former Project Blue Book Consultant and founder of the Center for UFO Studies in Evanston, Illinois), Ted began specializing in reports of physical landing traces left behind by landed UFOs. An accumulation of his research can be seen at:


For more information about this case and other UFO-related matters, please contact me by e-mail or by phone at: 705-670-2759.

Michel M. Deschamps
UFO Eyewitness/Researcher/Historian
Copyright 2002

No infringement intended. For educational purposes only.