In early 1958 Michigan motorists began to report sightings of a "little blue man". The glowing figure, who looked like a spaceman from a science-fiction movie, would appear out of nowhere on rural roads, and then just as suddenly disappear. When startled motorists stopped to investigate, they could find no trace of him.
As time progressed, the sightings grew more fantastic. Some said the man appeared to be ten-feet high. Others thought he was only two-feet high. One motorist claimed he "ran faster than any human."
The police began to search for what, or who, was causing these sightings. Their search ended when three young men Jerry Sprague, Don Weiss, and LeRoy Schultz came forward and confessed. The young men explained how all the reports of flying saucers in the news had given them an idea for a prank. They created a costume consisting of long underwear, gloves, combat boots, a sheet with holes cut out for the eyes, and a football helmet to which they attached blinking lights. They then spray-painted the costume glow-in-the-dark blue (inspired by a song popular on the radio at the time, "Little Blue Man" by Betty Johnson). Sprague wore the costume, noting that "it was my underwear and I was the only one it would fit."
Sprague in costume
The trio staked out rural roads at night. Sprague would hide in a ditch, and when a motorist approached, he would leap out and run along the road to attract their attention before making a quick getaway by jumping into the trunk of the car driven by Weiss and Schultz. They did this on at least eight or ten nights, over a period of weeks.
The police let the pranksters off with a warning not to do it again.
Links and References