One afternoon in April 1961 at his chicken farm in Eagle River, Wisconsin, Joe Simonton’s lunch was interrupted by a noise that sounded like a jet engine over his house. Simonton hurried out to his yard to see what was up, and observed a craft, which he described as a “huge, big thing…coming straight down, just like an elevator.” It looked like “two washbowls turned face to face.” 1 Walking around the object, Simonton noticed an opening through which he could see three normal-looking (albeit short, at about 5 feet) men inside the craft. They were dressed in blue turtleneck knit get-ups with small knit caps made of the same material.
A hatch opened on top of the craft and out popped one of the little men with a jug in one hand; with his other hand the little guy made a gesture like he was thirsty. Simonton accepted the jug and went down into his basement to fill it up, then brought it back, having to stand on his toes to reach up and hand the jug back. The little man saluted as if to say farewell and Simonton saluted back, which is probably what most of us would do if saluted by a little man from a far-off land. While all this saluting was going on, Simonton observed one of the little guys inside cooking something that looked like pancakes on a flameless grill, the latest in Martian technology.
Simonton made a gesture of putting food to his mouth to show he wanted to try one of the pancakes, so the little man handed a few to Joe, then the hatch closed and the saucer took off. As Simonton stood in stunned disbelief, he figured he might as well sample one of the cakes, which he described as “hot and greasy” and not all that great tasting. “If that was their food, then God help them, because I took a bite of one of ‘em and it tasted like a piece of cardboard.” Sad!
While some pegged him as a crackpot, those who knew Simonton considered him as a no-nonsense kind of guy, among them a local judge, Frank W. Carter, who was a member of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP). Carter sent a sample of a Simonton’s pancakes to NICAP’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., and afterwards Dr. J. Allen Hynek of Project Blue Book traveled to Eagle River to look into the case. Initially Hynek was dubious about Simonton’s claims, basically because they sounded so outlandish, although Simonton remained consistent whenever he related his story, and there was no evidence he was trying to profit from it, or to make a name for himself. One of the pancakes was afterwards sent to an Air Force lab where analysis described the contents as “fat, starch, buckwheat hulls, wheat bran and soybean hulls” and that it appeared to be “an ordinary pancake of terrestrial origin.” 2
This article was a bit of a bastardization of an entry authored by Greg Bishop that is featured in A is for Adamski: The Golden Age of the UFO Contactees available now while supplies last from your finer internet booksellers.
1 Lorenzen, Coral and Jim. 1967. Flying Saucer Occupants. Signet (p. 130).
2 Clark, Jerome, 1996. The UFO Encyclopedia Volume 3 (pp. 168-175), Omnigraphics, Inc