Well, can you think of a better way to kick off a surprise birthday road trip? Dream-come-true fiancée (too mushy for a paranormal newsletter? Fine.) “See You on the Other Side” podcast producer & co-host Wendy Lynn Staats ‘abducted’ me for a weekend getaway of mysteries. Driving north through Wisconsin, we drove alongside the expansive Kettle Moraine State Forest in Eastern Wisconsin. The southern portion of this forest is where Bigfoot hunter Jay Bachochin lead me on two expeditions, each of which left me beyond words (check out his documentary, “Finding Jay” now free on Amazon Prime). So, already, I knew I was in a strange area. Little did I know, I was about to come face-to-face with a being that came from another world.
The first thing that really caught our attention on the drive was Dundee Mountain. Yes, a mountain peak in Wisconsin… not a common sight in the Midwest.
Within 10 minutes, we were at our destination… Benson’s Holiday Hide-A-Way, a small lakefront bar that appeared closed and possibly out of business at first blush, owing to a ‘For Sale’ sign that has been on the building for over a decade. Fortunately for us, the bar was open and we were the only revelers to go along with bar owner Bill Benson and dozens of alien figures of various sizes.
Quickly, I realized I was at ground zero of a UFO sighting hot spot. You would assume a small, lakefront bar like this would be inhabited by ‘salt of the earth,’ blue collar recreational fishermen, and that is likely still true, but the conversation tends to be about strange lights in the sky, frequently seen in the area of Dundee Mountain, like Devil’s Tower in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”
According to Benson, UFOs had been seen in the area for decades, even before he ran the bar. Crop circles have popped up in the area well before the phenomena took the media by storm in the early ‘90s. Within the last two decades, the bar and shoreline has been a great spot to set up a camera to wait and catch a glimpse of strange crafts flying through the sky, especially at sunset or shortly thereafter. He’s even got a well-worn photo album sporting dozens of unexplainable pictures taken on the premises. I must admit, many of them were very compelling.
Perhaps the landmark feature of this dive is hidden away in a foggy jar behind the bar. According to Benson, a man once entered the Holiday Hide-A-Way after discovering an alien corpse in a cave in Rosewell, New Mexico. Afraid of being on the government radar and it being confiscated, he decided the safest place to hide it was here in Bill’s bar. So, with word getting out that there is an alien body on site, has the government come calling? According to Benson, yes. A member of a government agency, perhaps the CIA, questioned him, asked to see the alien. The man took the jar into the next room, did his own examination and left, leaving the alien behind.
The greatest thing about how Benson tells a story is that he doesn’t go over-the-top, trying to convince or prove anything. “This is what happened,” plain and simple. Was the guy really a government official? Are those strange lights really UFOs? All he can do is report what he’s seen and repeat the stories he’s been told.
There’s never a bad time to swing by and see this place for yourself, but summer may be the best time as this becomes an absolute hot spot of enthusiasts of the unknown during the UFO Daze celebration. I know I’ve already got it on my calendar as I hope to attend the 32rd annual meeting in 2020.