On April 18, 1961, at 11 a.m., Joe Simonton, a sixty-year-old chicken farmer of Eagle River, Wisconsin, allegedly witnessed the landing of a UFO in his yard. This is probably one of the most controversial cases we have ever investigated, and in the diverse spectrum of United States saucer groups it has aroused considerable suspicion, controversy, charges and countercharges, so that the truth seems almost indiscernible.
The original story is basically this. At 11 A.M. that morning, Simonton was startled by a strange loud noise outside and above his farmhouse. He stepped to the window and was surprised to see a silvery object coming down vertically in his yard. He approached the object (with no fear), whereupon a hatch in the upper portion opened and he saw three dark-skinned men inside. One of them handed him a silvery jug with two handles, made a motion like drinking, apparently indicating that he wanted water. Simonton took the jug, filled it and handed it back. Looking into the object, he saw a man "cooking" on some kind of flameless cooking appliance. There were several small, perforated, cookie-like objects beside the griddle and Simonton motioned that he wanted one, whereupon one of the men handed four of them to him. Then the object took off at a 45° angle and was gone in just a few seconds. As it left, pine trees near the takeoff path bowed over, apparently as a result of air turbulence as the object went over.
Although APRO had good representation in Wisconsin, we weren’t fast enough to obtain one" of the controversial "cookies," Joe Simonton, who had eaten one, said tasted like cardboard. A UFO research group obtained one, as did Dr. J. Alien Hynek, the Air Force's consulting astrophysicist.
After several days of much exploitation of the incident by news media, the UFO group announced that the affair had had too much publicity, and they did not intend to analyze the "cookie." On May 3 Simonton told United Press International that if "it happened again, I don't think I'd tell anybody about it." The same wire story quoted the UFO group statement which said that organization planned no further action and had more important things to investigate.
The most recent word on this affair comes from an APRO member in Minnesota who claims that one analysis with which he is familiar yielded the information that the cookie was made of corn and wheat flour as well as other well-known familiar ingredients, but that the exact origin of the certain type of wheat was not known. This is another case somewhat similar (where the occupants are concerned) to others, including the Playa del Rey Kehoe encounter.
The "men" involved were small, about 5 feet tall, had dark hair and skin, wore dark blue knit outfits with turtleneck tops, and knit helmets similar to those worn under headpieces. They had no beards or were clean-shaven. The whole episode lasted about five minutes and Simonton observed a few details of the inside of the craft It was dull black, instrument panels included, he said, somewhat like wrought iron. One of the occupants appeared to be cooking, and stacked beside the appliance on which he "cooked" were some of the cookies. One man took care of getting the water, and the other stayed at the instrument board. The two who were cooking and watching the instruments did not look around. Just after Simonton obtained the cookies, the man hooked a line or belt into a hook in his clothing near the waist, the hatch closed and the object rose to 20 feet above the ground, then took off straight south.
The object itself appeared "like two washbowls turned face to face." The sound Simonton heard before coming out of his house was like "knobby tires on a wet pavement." The craft hovered a short distance (probably only a few inches) off the ground, all during the episode. The hatch was about 30 inches wide and about 6 feet high. All this, Simonton admitted, was guesswork.