Witnesses report object falling into Lake Mich.

July 12, 2013
Emergency personnel stand near the shoreline while rescue boats search the water.

Emergency personnel stand near the shoreline while rescue boats search the water.

Searchers call off search after 3 hours.

By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief.

20130712-010336.jpgSUMMIT TWP. — Searchers spent about three hours looking for an object that apparently fell out of the sky and into Lake Michigan Thursday night. Mason County sheriff deputies and Riverton Township Fire Dept. were called to the area of Montgomery Boulevard and Sunset Lane near the southern county line around 10 p.m. for what witnesses thought may have been an ultralight that had crashed.

Sheriff’s Sgt. John Mendham said, at the scene, that at least a dozen witnesses saw a “large black object crash into the lake.”

Mason County Sheriff’s Office marine patrol, along with Oceana County Sheriff’s Office marine patrol and the U.S. Coast Guard searched the water while Riverton firefighters and deputies from both counties searched the shoreline on foot and by all terrain vehicle.

The scene was surreal as the setting sun lingered, rescue boats and personnel conducted a search and cottagers sat around their fire pits.

At one point a Coast Guard helicopter came to the scene and searched a parameter of several miles along the shore.

Fire Chief Joe Cooper said he was skeptical that the object was an ultralight, which is a motor-powered parachute. He thought perhaps it was a Chinese lantern.

As of 12:45 a.m., when the search was called off, there were no reports of anyone missing.

Cooper said the fire department would most likely bring its ATV out to the beach again after sunrise.