Gabe Torres directed Unsolved Mysteries‘ new UFO episode, Something in the Sky, about a mysterious event witnessed by over 300 people in Michigan in 1994. At the heart of the story is Jack Bushong, a retired meteorologist who has spent decades haunted by what he saw on his radar screen that night.
“This was Jack’s journey, Jack Bushong. And it was a little different than a lot of our stories that we normally do, because we kind of let Jack go on a journey that we followed him on, as opposed to us as documentarians and filmmakers getting the interviews,” Torres, who also directed episodes of the original Unsolved Mysteries series, told MovieMaker. “In this episode, which is very different, Jack was doing the interviews. He was meeting people, and that was a very different kind of storytelling for us. But it was great because this was an incredibly personal story to Jack.”
As Bushong explains in the episode, he was working the night shift at the National Weather Service that night in 1994 when he got a call from a police officer who was investigating several UFO sightings that had been called in by local residents. When Bushong checked the radar in the areas where the sightings were reported, he saw evidence of what appeared to be unidentified objects flying in the sky — and he didn’t think they could be explained away as just swamp gas or some other anomaly related to air temperature. But in the weeks after his UFO sighting, Bushong says his colleagues at the NWS began to treat him differently.
“He was someone who was, as you saw, a young man just at the beginning of his life, the beginning of his career, just married, and this happened to him,” Torres said of Bushong. “The powers that be at the Weather Service sought to keep him quiet for whatever reasons. We can make our choices, whether it was they didn’t want embarrassment, people thinking the weather service was a UFO-hunting service, or whether there was something else going on at higher levels of the government that really wanted to keep this quiet. And he was transferred. He really couldn’t talk about all this and keep his job with the weather service for all these years. And now being retired, he’s able to revisit this story that’s haunted him for so many years, and go back to Michigan, and meet the people who actually saw it.”
The National Weather Service did not immediately respond to MovieMaker‘s request for comment regarding Bushong’s story.
Ultimately, Bushong was transferred to a different NWS station in Georgia, and he still went on to have a long and successful career as a meteorologist. But now that he’s retired, Bushong can finally seek answers to the questions that have “haunted him for years” — and Torres and the Unsolved Mysteries team were happy to help connect him with other people who had seen the same UFOs that night.
“These people were his ground confirmation, and he never got to talk to them, and it’s haunted him for years. He had mountains of research that he brought and shared with us, and now has his opportunity to finally make that connection from what he saw on his radar screen that night to the people who were the ground confirmation, the actual witnesses to the event that were there,” Torres said. “There were 300 people who saw that UFO that night in Michigan. It’s one of the largest mass UFO experiences in history, and being able to tell the story is wonderful.”
Torres and Bushong believe there are more people who saw the UFOs that night, and they still want to hear from them.
“There were pilots coming out of O’Hare [airport] that night who saw it from another perspective on a commercial aircraft. We touch on that a little bit. We don’t know who those pilots are, and we want to hear from these people, and we want to hear from other witnesses,” Torres said.
If you or someone you know saw UFOs over Michigan in 1994, submit a tip to Unsolved Mysteries at unsolved.com.
The first three episodes of Unsolved Mysteries Vol. 3 are out now on Netflix, with more episodes dropping on Oct. 25 and Nov. 1.
Main Image: A still from Unsolved Mysteries episode Something in the Sky, courtesy of Netflix.