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Art? Landing site for aliens? The Story Behind Milwaukee’s Cupertino Park Giant Metal Circle | WUWM 89.7 FM

By on March 25, 2022 0

If you’ve ever walked or biked along Lake Milwaukee, there are a few interesting sights to see.

talk about bubbler questioner Tom Roberts of Milwaukee came across something that made him stop. While biking through Cupertino Park in Bay View, he spotted something that caught his eye. And he asked:

I was recently at North Cupertino Park. What is the concrete/metal structure on the grass by the water? Art? Landing site for aliens?

Right away, the theory that it’s art was dismissed. There is no signage around the structure and it was not listed on any public art register.

But there was still the alien theory. To find out more, I spoke with Tea Krulos. He is a Milwaukee-based freelance journalist and author who writes on topics including subcultures, weird news, and the paranormal.

Krulos says, “It definitely looks like some sort of UFO landing pad. And it’s a great place if you want to land your UFO because it has a really nice view of Lake Michigan.”

A close up view of the concrete and metal structure of Milwaukee’s Cupertino Park.

Unfortunately, according to Krulos, this is not a known UFO landing site or location where aliens have been spotted. But while walking around the structure, he noticed a small shed nearby.

READ: Four Notable Wisconsin UFO Sightings to Uncover

“On the door there’s a sign that says it’s owned by the sewer district. They probably created this, not some alien race,” he says.

Bill Graffin is the public information officer for the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. Apparently, the structure is not supernatural at all.

“It’s an access shaft for the deep tunnel,” says Graffin. “The deep tunnel is 28.5 miles long. Most of it is 300 feet underground, there is a stretch about 165 feet underground.”

He goes on to say: “Originally for the construction of the tunnel, all the equipment was lowered, then because the tunnel is dug into the rock, it was all raised through the access shafts. There are several in the community. “

A few other similar manholes are located in Milwaukee – one is just north of American Family Field.

And another is in Baran Park near the Lincoln Village neighborhood, which isn’t too far from Cupertino Park.

Graffin says, “We serve 28 communities, so you can think of it as a tub with 28 faucets.

Since 1994, the tunnel has captured and cleaned almost every drop of water that has flowed into the regional sewer system.

Inside the Deep Tunnel, Milwaukee

Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewer District


Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewer District

The access shafts to the deep tunnel are rarely opened. Every 10 to 15 years, workers inspect for structural leaks or debris.

“It holds the water and stores it there until the treatment plants have the capacity to pump the water from the tunnel to the plant, clean it, and then pipe it to Lake Michigan,” he explains.

Manholes are rarely open. When they are, it is usually for routine tunnel inspections every 10 to 15 years. Then all access shafts are opened to evacuate deadly gases.

“You wouldn’t last very long if you went there without venting it,” he says.

LISTEN: What’s that smell when you drive over Milwaukee’s Hoan Bridge?

Question asker Roberts is a metallurgy and materials technology instructor at Milwaukee Area Technical College. At MATC, he teaches students studying anything from welding technology to mechanical design.

Roberts says, “I actually talked about the deep tunnel from time to time in several of my classes. I had no idea what it was.”

Next time you walk by the lake or come across something out of the ordinary, maybe it’s aliens or maybe it’s part of the water system. But it might hit closer to home than you think.

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