Orange Orbs over Southeastern Wisconsin

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

In the autumn of 2011, I was contacted by a woman who wishes to remain anonymous.  In October of that year, her, her Husband, and her 14 year-old son had a bizarre experience just outside of West Bend on Paradise Road while driving into the city. The three witnessed “three huge amber balls of light” hovering and dancing just above the tree tops of a field. She said they made no noise, and just slowly moved one in front of the other. She attempted to make a video recording with her smart phone but she didn’t have sufficient memory. They then witnessed the orbs disappear one-by-one as she tried to deleted unwanted files. She contacted me hoping I’d have had other reports, as she said numerous other cars as pulled over to watch with them.

What fascinated me about story is that she said she thought people coming from West Bend might believe the lights were actually over Washington County Memorial Park instead of a field. I was currently researching reports of alleged “ghost lights” in WCMP. I wondered if these were associated with the cemetery lights in anyway. The woman’s full correspondence as well as my own investigation into WCMP’s strange lights is recorded in full in my book Washington County Paranormal: A Wisconsin Legend Trip.

I myself witnessed a similar phenomena shortly after moving to West Bend in the summer of 2007. As I and my wife were walking up 5th Ave at dusk, I witnessed an amber orb of light high in the northern sky. It appeared above the Old Courthose Museum, but considering how high up it was it could have been much further away. It resembled a street light, but was much too high in the air. I watched it for probably 2 full minutes as we walked down the street. When we reached Decorah Ave, I pointed it out to my wife. The light never pulsated, moved, or appeared to get nearer or farther. A few seconds after I pointed it out it got dimmer and dimmer until it vanished. It was like it just lost energy. Much to my wife’s protest, I made us stand on the corner for another 5 minutes until I was sure the light wouldn’t return.

Since the book was published I’ve been made aware of a history of similar sightings in Washington and Ozaukee counties. All of the below information is from unless otherwise noted.

A straight line of opaque amber lights was witnessed flying low to the ground on 02-04-2004 by a “Michelle K.” She sighted these objects as she was leading Saukville via Hwy 33 headed towards West Bend. The objects were flying east. Here’s an excerpt from

As they hovered slowly near the road, the line of lights would slowly form right angles and perfect equliatteral triangles.  Once in triangle form the whole triangle appeared to rotate very slowly both clockwise and counterclockwise as the lights as a whole sowly moved northeast closer to the road and eventually right over the road.  I was so busy looking up, I did not realize until that time that all the other cars that were stoppped in the west bound lane were gone.  I then became afraid.  Since getting abducted by aliens was not on my schedule that day, I drove away west on HWY 33 fast.  As I did this, I lost sight of the lights that were directley overhead and now behind me.  But as I was tring to get one last look it seemed one of the lights blurred really fast away from the others.  But then I was out of range and could not tell for sure, it could have been becuase my vehicle was mov [sic]!

In August 2003 a poster named Brandon reported an incident where three large amber orbs were spotted flying over Lake Michigan from the a beach in Port Washington. The objects were observed by multiple people before “fizzle out or in a starburst manner, fly away” (whatever that means).

On April 30, 2000 the National UFO Reporting Center reported a “very bright fireball in the southern sky” just south of Port Washington.

On June 14, 1998 Bob Mueller reported a very bright orange flashing light low to the ground above his home in Port Washington.

An anonymous witness reported a Summer, 1972 sighting of a large “sun-like object” in the Meqoun-Cedarburg area, which his mother related to him. She’d witnessed it while driving to work.

Then today I stumbled upon a post made July 09, 2013 on A Man named Jeff K. posted several photos of a cluster of orange lights that he captured on July 2. Here’s an excerpt:

I saw 3 of these large bright orange orbs move slowly and silently across the sky last night. One would make a slow pass… 10 minutes perhaps… and then the other would follow. All coming from NE over the north beach, traveling SW over the Historic Lighthouse, then W over town and out west a bit before vanishing in the clouds. I’ve never seen anything like it. Each orb/light seem to have another orb/light that rotated along/under the perimeter. It was an incredible sight.

After sharing his story via my Ozaukee County Facebook page I received a report from a Ozaukee man named Shawn F. He posted the following:

Saw one close enough it looked like the size of a basket ball and was floating around in a tree around some power lines and then disappeared into the clouds. Made no sounds and was like a bubble with a glowing light source that seemed to look like a clear light bulb with an odd shaped filament that went from bright to dim like a kitchen dimmer switch. Seemed like it was a probe sent out from a UFO to collect energy from the lines.

When asked about the weather conditions, he replied:

Partly cloudy, I was driving on [HWY] NN headed to West Bend from Grafton and actually turned around to observe it when I saw it start acting as if it knew I was in pursuit. It was about a year and a half ago [Approximately February 2012].

A skeptic named Theresa responded saying the images looked very much like Chinese lanterns, which have become extremely popular since the release of the 2010 Disney animated film Tangled.  That’s a reasonable explanation for the 2013 Port Washington sighting, considering it was so near the 4th of July. Chinese lanterns are considered an eco-friendly alternative to fireworks since they’re bio-degradable. It doesn’t however, explain many of the rest. I’d love to hear opinions. Are these misidentified objects? UFOs? Ghost Lights? I’d also definitely love to hear about any other sightings!

As an interesting aside, I spotted a strange object in the twilight skies of West Bend on July 4th, 2013 (ony the second possible UFO I’ve ever seen) at roughly 8:45pm. Both my wife and I spotted a dark parachute-shaped object silhouetted over the tree tops in a field across from Wallace Lake Road as we were headed into the city of West Bend on HWY 144. I turned around at a nearby business and returned to the spot we saw the object not 45 seconds later, and it was gone.

Tangled (2010)

Book Reading October 27!

Monday, October 15th, 2012
Cover Design by Charlie Hintz of Mental Shed Studios

I’ll be reading from Washington County Paranormal: A Wisconsin Legend Trip on Saturday, Oct 27th at the West Bend Community Memorial Library, from 10AM to 11am. There will be a short Q & A period afterward. I’ll also be selling and signing copies as well. The reading is free to attend, and there will be refreshments. What better way to spend the final Saturday before Halloween?


West Bend Daily News Interview

Saturday, April 14th, 2012

Yesterday I had an opportunity to be interviewed by West Bend Daily News report Linda McAlpine regarding the upcoming Downtown West Bend Ghost Walks. It was published in today’s edition of the paper.




Walk With Ghosts and Fund the Book

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012
West Bend Theatre

The rough draft of the book is complete and being sent to a few peers for their opinions. It won’t be long before it’s time to publish. “Washington County Paranormal: A Wisconsin Legend Trip” will be self-published. While self-publication allows one the most creative freedom while writing a book, 100% of the marketing and publication costs are the author’s.

In an attempt to raise or recooperate the initial money for publication I’ve decided to use some of the history and paranormal experiences I’ve researched to create Downtown West Bend’s first ever Ghost Walk. I’ve compiled a list of select dates on If none of those dates work for you, Ghost Walks on other dates are possible for groups of 4 or more. All the info you need can be found HERE. Thanks for following this little project of mine, and thanks in advance for helping it become a success!

-J. Nathan Couch

Why Journalism’s a Joke These Days: Wisconsin Sickness and the Girl Scouts

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

If you’ve not heard about Stacy Hintz, the West Bend mom who was fired from her position as a Girl Scouts troop leader over her involvement with her husband Charlie’s website Wisconsin Sickness, then you’ve probably been in a coma for the last several days. I’m not going to waste time writing down all the gory details. Every news source in Milwaukee and Madison has covered it, and the story’s gone international now thanks to HuffPost and the UK’s Daily Mail.

Google “Stacy Hintz Girl Scouts” and you get bombarded with various takes on the controversy. Many written by “professional journalists.” I’ve read dozens of articles about Stacy and the Scouts, and it reminds me why I didn’t pursue my journalism degree beyond the Associate level. Modern journalism (in America anyway) is an absolute joke. Journalism is intended to be a balanced, unbiased, presentation of facts: nothing more, nothing less. Almost every single story I’ve read, watched, or heard regarding this issue has been slanted one way or the other.  One source completely demonizes Stacy. The next makes her look like a martyr for the alternative scene.

This is the paragraph where I’m going to make everything you just read seem irrelevant by writing a completely biased view of this whole mess by defending Stacy, Charlie, and Wisconsin Sickness from those articles slanted against them. The only different is I’m not presenting this post as journalism. This post is an opinion piece and nothing more.

If you follow this site on Facebook or Twitter you likely know I’m a regular contributor at Wisconsin Sickness. In fact, one of the articles I wrote for them a couple of weeks ago is a footnote in this strange saga, simply because one paragraph jokes about porn and fireworks (though none of the news articles mention M-80s or bottle rockets).

What most of you don’t know is why I write Wisconsin Sickness. I assume most of you think I draw a paycheck. Hardly. I write there because Stacy and Charlie are wonderful people who have done nothing but support and promote my upcoming book every chance they’ve gotten.

Charlie Hintz’s company Mental Shed Studios is solely responsible for this website and all the amazing graphics. Charlie learned about my book early on, back when I only had a Facebook page with 6 likes and a clip-art profile picture. He volunteered his design services, free of charge, simply because he was excited about my project and wanted to see it become a reality. I should point out I was a complete stranger to him at that point.

Charlie’s generosity and enthusiasm for my idea removed a HUGE obstacle for me. He not only provided me with a legitimate online home for my creative project (which I couldn’t have afforded otherwise) but he also got me excited about my own ideas. The least I could do is help him out by writing for Wisconsin Sickness. If you’ve heard Stacy defend Wisconsin Sickness by saying it’s a site dedicated to promote Wisconsin art, you can believe her. While I’m hesitant to call a book about ghost and monster sightings art, this project may have never gained the momentum it has without them.

I’ve also been in their home. Their house is no Satanic temple filled-to-bursting with skulls, pentagrams, and naked women. It contains them, two kids, and lots of love. You can bet your life they’ll be listed in the acknowledgments of my book when its printed later this year.

I understand why some people are freaking out. Not everyone loves loud music, femme fatals, and ghosts (all cornerstones of Wisconsin Sickness) and not everyone wants someone who does around their kids. I’m not getting into if the Girl Scouts had a valid reason to remove Stacy as troop leader. Everyone else on the Internet is already exploring that angle. What I really want to do is assure you Charlie and Stacy are good, amazing people. If you’ve seen or read anything contrary to that, it’s pure lies, or at the very least, the product of a judgmental and poorly informed journalist.  If Wisconsin Sickness upsets you, just don’t look at it. Thank you for your time.

-J. Nathan Couch


Two Investigations, Historical Research, and Strange Lights in West Bend

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Work on the project has not ceased. Between work on the book and various holiday obligations I’ve had scarce time to update this blog. I hope to return to regular updates starting tonight. This website is a wonderfully designed tool that should not be squandered.

Since I last posted I’ve been on two different paranormal investigations with my fellow Paranormal Investigation and Research Society members at locations to be featured in the book.  At the end of November we were at a location in Hartford (the name of the location will be released after we go over evidence with the client). I as well as another group member each had a personal experience. I had a glimpse of what I thought to be a small human apparition. The other felt as if she’d been touched  by an icy hand twice after asking the entity to do so.

A week ago tomorrow we visited the Healing Elements Day Spa in West Bend. The employees have been having unsettling encounters there for years. Objects have been seen moving seemingly on their own power, apparitions have been glimpsed, even some strange orbs of light caught changing direction in midair by security cameras. While there we found some very strange EMF readings, and in one room in particular our walkytalkies would malfunction so badly they’d have to be shut off.  There was a plethora of odd experiences, all of which will appear in the book. We’re still reviewing evidence, perhaps we captured something? A big “thank you” goes out to the folks at Healing Elements for sharing their story and letting PIRS investigate.

The rest of the work I’ve been doing on the book has been far less dramatic. I’ve been putting more of the first draft down on paper. Now that winter is here I’ve also begun historical research. I recently went to the Washington County Historical Society and found some very interesting facts regarding West Bend’s Washington House, as well as it’s creator Balthasar Goetter. I plan to make myself quiet the fixture in their research center over the coming months.

I’d also like to post a big “thank you” to everyone who’s been contacting me from this website. Citizens of the county continue to provide me with tips for possible haunts as well as their own experiences. For instance, I recently received a report of strange amber lights spotted floating over a field off Paradise Road in West Bend earlier this year.  The witness interpreted the sighting as a UFO encounter. What I found most interesting is her description matched my own personal sighting of an amber orb of a light in the night sky over West Bend in 2008. If anyone else has saw these lights, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Earlier this week I was contacted by a library assistant who’s been using my website as a source for a weekend occult seminar. A young class member discovered a website he found useful. The woman who contacted me asked if I’d include it here so that her student might know his hard work has been noticed. It has. Here’s the page entitled “Famous Haunted Houses.”

No Holiday for Ghost Writers

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

I’ve been juggling writing the first draft with various holiday responsibilities. On the home front we had a very nice Thanksgiving, we’ve begun Christmas shopping, and tomorrow I’ll be celebrating my 30th birthday.

In between I’ve worked on pieces for the Poplar Inn and UW-WC. I’ve done additional interviews and research on the Schauer Art and Activity Center and Old West Bend City Hall. The most exciting news to report is I’ve finally tracked down a UFO encounter here in West Bend, and it’s one helluva exciting story. I’ll be contacting the individual shortly to arrange an interview for the book. I’ve also recently conducted an exciting investigation for the book with my fellow Paranormal Investigation and Research Society members. I’ll be posting about that investigation in detail following our reveal with the client.

In non-paranormal news, I’m working on several interviews for Wisconsin Sickness. I’m currently working an interview the gorgeous women of the Brew City Bombshells burlesque dancers. In early December I’ll be meeting with Sir Pinkerton Xyloma of Dead Man’s Carnival, an insanely entertaining circus-inspired neo-vaudeville act.


The Book As Of Now

Monday, November 7th, 2011

When I first decided to write this book I wasn’t sure if there was enough content out there. Though I had lived in the county since 2007, I had heard very little about the local legends and haunts. So, I made the scope of the book very broad. If it was paranormal and it happened in Washington County, I would consider putting it in the book.

Now that I’m nearing the 100 page mark of the first draft the book is taking shape. As everything sits at the moment, Washington County Paranormal will be a sort of legend tripper’s guide. The focus of the book will be businesses or public places. Locations that I can publish directions to without betraying the privacy of any individual. Of course, the book will be much more than a collection of a couple of paragraphs, a map, and some vague driving directions. A full essay on each location will proceed these travel aids, of course. This will be a book you read first, and use after.

However this leaves me with an interesting problem. So many people have sent me information regarding haunted homes. The wonderful woman I met at the West Bend Community Memorial Library who told me about the ghost who lifted an overturned lawn-mower from off her. The young lady who’s home was haunted by the spirit of a crying infant. The man who’s home was haunted by poltergeists that loved playing with his child’s toys.  These are stories that I want to include, that should be included. What to do? I’m considering an essay in which I condense these “haunted house” stories, or if there is room, an entire “Directions Not Included” chapter in back devoted to haunted houses.

One thing is certain, though. I enjoy hearing about all of these paranormal experiences immensely, whether they be at a business, a county park, or a private residence. Do continue to share your experiences with me. While I can’t guarantee it will be used in the book, I can guarantee that I am honored to receive it, and thrilled to read it.

P.S. I’ve been taken on as contributing writer at Wisconsin Sickness. My first article is up. They sent me down to Milwaukee to review The M.U.T.E.S. and Angry Young Men, LTD’s “Night of the Living Dead: The Puppet Show.” You can read the review here.

Long Dead Prostitutes, Halloween Haunts, and Podcasts… More.

Monday, October 17th, 2011

I’ve written a first draft of the Tally Ho piece. Me and the rest of P.I.R.S. have investigated the little Hartford bar several times. The owners and the staff are certainly convinced it’s haunted, and I tend to think that as well. There is something about the place that lends credibility to the claims of those who work there. While we’ve not captured any evidence, I’m anxious to return there down the road.

The Tally Ho is supposedly haunted by the ghost of a young lady named Emily, who worked there when the bar was a brothel. Her story is a very involved, tragic story. I’ll be going into much more detail about the case and all of P.I.R.S.’s personal experiences in the book.

I’ve been extremely busy helping the Washington County Historical Society get ready for their annual “Ghosts of Washington County” Halloween fundraiser. The Old Sheriff’s Residence and Jail gets turned into a Halloween haunted house. Props and gore-covered actors (like me) will lurk in every corner, waiting to scare you for a good cause. Sunday was the first day of decorating. The windows are now blacked out, making the awesome old building darker than usual. Next we’ll be putting out props, creepy lighting, and turning the Courthouse square into a zombie-filled graveyard. The event takes place October 21-22. Please tell all your friends! Visit this site’s Events page to find out how to reserve a spot! The event isn’t sold out, but I do warn against procrastination. There is always so much demand people do get turned away, much to the Historical Society’s dismay. Don’t hesitate, contact the Society today.

I also have a few speaking dates coming up. Next week I’ll be on the newest episode of Paranormal Wisconsin’s podcast. The episode will be available to download sometime after Oct. 18 2011. Also I’ll be doing a program called “Ghosts Outside Your Door” at the West Bend Community Memorial Library at 10am, Oct. 29th (free admission). I’ll be discussing the book project and my research.

Ghosts of Washington County 2011

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

I’m just posting a quick blog to clear up some confusion. “Ghosts of Washington County” is not sold out. Plenty of time to make reservations! The Old Sheriff’s Residence and Jail will be turned into a haunted house complete with actors, props and lots of (fake?) blood.

I’ll be one of the actors! Visit my event’s page to learn more about making reservations!

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