Triangular UFO Sightings

BeardSprite

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I also seem to recall a video made by one of the retired scientists who worked on classified stuff demonstrating an antigravity effect achieved by running a lot of power through a simple coil, heating it to near red hot until it rose an inch or two into the air.

I certainly recall seeing, in the way back, a documentary featuring a bunch of sciency-engineer types from NASA or JPL or the like, trying to launch craft using laser beams.

Happily, the crucial bit is on Youtube!

Youtube link to video of science-dudes launching tiny spacecraft with lasers!

It gets interesting around the 2:20 mark :cool:

Their craft is tiny, though, and decidedly conical, rather than triangular. Also lasers are lasers, not anti-gravity, but it looks cool!

Especially when they
shoot down their own tiny ship!
 

BeardSprite

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Ok, so I secured a Kindle copy (I have more physical books than I can readily store already. A purge (to the charity shop down the road!) is long overdue...)) of 'Night Siege' by Hynek et al earlier, to learn more about the Hudson Valley Triangles, and have read the first 30 pages or so.

If that seems like slow going for 4 hours reading - I'm following along on Google Maps to try and get some idea of locations for the sightings.

Oh boy. It's exactly as turgid and lacking in rigor as I remember these sorts of books to be!

Any vestigial notions of Hynek being a respectable researcher of any sort are melting away with every page. Although I note the publication date is the year following his passing as a result of a brain tumor, so maybe I should cut him a little slack.

The turgid part, er, stands, though.

Some of the accounts covered so far can't be narrowed down to less than a town (a dispersed, sub-urban town in a heavily wooded area, at that) covering 126 sq km, whereas others can be rendered down to the precise road intersection!

This, the intersection of Route 120 and Route 133 near Millwood, NY, as shown in Google Street View!

Whilst it looks pleasant enough here in bright sunlight, on a dark March night with no other traffic around and unidentified lights looming overhead, I'm not sure I would have waited patiently for the light to turn green as the otherwise terrified witness did!

I'll stick with it for now. If I can get all the way through maybe I will start that thread I muttered about earlier.

Right now I should go to bed. Hey, maybe this'll re-boot my sleep paralysis (FT Forum link to SP thread/post)!

Nighty-night.
 

BS3

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Ok, so I secured a Kindle copy (I have more physical books than I can readily store already. A purge (to the charity shop down the road!) is long overdue...)) of 'Night Siege' by Hynek et al earlier, to learn more about the Hudson Valley Triangles, and have read the first 30 pages or so.

If that seems like slow going for 4 hours reading - I'm following along on Google Maps to try and get some idea of locations for the sightings.

Oh boy. It's exactly as turgid and lacking in rigor as I remember these sorts of books to be!

Any vestigial notions of Hynek being a respectable researcher of any sort are melting away with every page. Although I note the publication date is the year following his passing as a result of a brain tumor, so maybe I should cut him a little slack.

The turgid part, er, stands, though.

Some of the accounts covered so far can't be narrowed down to less than a town (a dispersed, sub-urban town in a heavily wooded area, at that) covering 126 sq km, whereas others can be rendered down to the precise road intersection!

This, the intersection of Route 120 and Route 133 near Millwood, NY, as shown in Google Street View!

Whilst it looks pleasant enough here in bright sunlight, on a dark March night with no other traffic around and unidentified lights looming overhead, I'm not sure I would have waited patiently for the light to turn green as the otherwise terrified witness did!

I'll stick with it for now. If I can get all the way through maybe I will start that thread I muttered about earlier.

Right now I should go to bed. Hey, maybe this'll re-boot my sleep paralysis (FT Forum link to SP thread/post)!

Nighty-night.

Yes, Night Siege isn't something that really enhances Hynek's posthumous reputation - he was already unwell during the first edition's composition, so I'm not sure what level of input he had. It's essentially a catalogue of sightings that sounds impressive on the surface but, with a little digging, issues quickly emerge. Neither does it have the entertainment value of, say, anything by Keel or even of Fuller's Incident at Exeter.

The 24 March 1983 sighting I mentioned above is a case in point: obvious solutions leap out but are never explored, plus there are basic errors in the information too (Fleming is stated as living in "Croton Manor", which doesn't exist - possibly a confusion of Croton-on-Hudson and the Van Cortlandt Manor, which is situated in the village?)
 

BeardSprite

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Fleming is stated as living in "Croton Manor", which doesn't exist...

Heh, that's the part I got to that made me think 'what am I doing here, I should go to bed!'.

Van Cortlandt Manor is where Google Maps wants Croton Manor to be, if you search for it. I eventually accepted it was most likely there, Croton on Hudson or Crotonville, just south of C-o-H, probably a local name for somewhere in that 'triangle'. It's triangles, all the way down.

Glad it's not just me, re the book itself. I had been considering either or both of 'Silent Invasion' (Crystall) and 'Hudson Valley UFO's' (Zimmermann) to follow, but, well, perhaps not.
 
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BS3

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Heh, that's the part I got to that made me think 'what am I doing here, I should go to bed!'.

Van Cortlandt Manor is where Google Maps wants Croton Manor to be, if you search for it. I eventually accepted it was most likely there, Croton on Hudson or Crotonville, just south of C-o-H, probably a local name for somewhere in that 'triangle'. It's triangles, all the way down.

Glad it's not just me, re the book itself. I had been considering either or both of 'Silent Invasion' (Crystall) and 'Hudson Valley UFO's' (Zimmermann) to follow, but, well, perhaps not.

Silent Invasion is the one that started off the Pine Bush flap but by all accounts has a strong 'contactee' focus - that's putting it charitably. I haven't read it and am unlikely to.

Night Siege at least confines itself to a fairly dry if uncritical relation of the 'phenomenon' so is a good jumping off point for looking at why the Hudson Valley became a 'thing' - though I suppose it's all ancient ufological history now. I suppose it's of interest in establishing why 'triangles' became the dominant type of reported object after the 1980s, but seems to follow the usual pattern of beginning with clear and apparently unequivocal sightings of seemingly structured craft, proceeding to 'contact' claims and promised revelations, and ending up with dwindling groups of people chasing blurry lights in the sky. It's funny that exactly the same pattern happened at Warminster and in other flaps: either the 'phenomenon' is having an enormous joke at our expense, or...well.
 

Carl Grove

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Yes, Night Siege isn't something that really enhances Hynek's posthumous reputation - he was already unwell during the first edition's composition, so I'm not sure what level of input he had. It's essentially a catalogue of sightings that sounds impressive on the surface but, with a little digging, issues quickly emerge. Neither does it have the entertainment value of, say, anything by Keel or even of Fuller's Incident at Exeter.

The 24 March 1983 sighting I mentioned above is a case in point: obvious solutions leap out but are never explored, plus there are basic errors in the information too (Fleming is stated as living in "Croton Manor", which doesn't exist - possibly a confusion of Croton-on-Hudson and the Van Cortlandt Manor, which is situated in the village?)
I don't think Hynek had much input. Imbroglio did most of the research and writing up but the publishers decided that Hynek's name in the leading position on the front of the book would increase sales. I suspect they also encouraged an over dramatic approach to the subject. A pity, because there were several good cases amongst the second rate ones.
 

Carl Grove

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Silent Invasion is the one that started off the Pine Bush flap but by all accounts has a strong 'contactee' focus - that's putting it charitably. I haven't read it and am unlikely to.

Night Siege at least confines itself to a fairly dry if uncritical relation of the 'phenomenon' so is a good jumping off point for looking at why the Hudson Valley became a 'thing' - though I suppose it's all ancient ufological history now. I suppose it's of interest in establishing why 'triangles' became the dominant type of reported object after the 1980s, but seems to follow the usual pattern of beginning with clear and apparently unequivocal sightings of seemingly structured craft, proceeding to 'contact' claims and promised revelations, and ending up with dwindling groups of people chasing blurry lights in the sky. It's funny that exactly the same pattern happened at Warminster and in other flaps: either the 'phenomenon' is having an enormous joke at our expense, or...well.
The parallel with Warminster could be significant. The phenomena at the latter began with a lot of mysterious sounds and bangs and only later did sightings of odd things and contacts being made over the phone happen. It only came out decades later that Warminster had been chosen as one of the possible Regional Seats of government in the event of a nuclear war, so my guess is that when people started to hear the construction work going on (they likely used explosives to create the underground bunkers) a few fake sightings and mysterious phone calls to Shuttlewood the local journalist pushed the ET angle.
 
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BS3

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The parallel with Warminster could be significant. The phenomena at the latter began with a lot of mysterious sounds and bangs and only later did sightings of odd things and contacts being made over the phone happen. It only came out decades later that Warminster had been chosen as one of the possible Regional Seats of government in the event of a nuclear war, so my guess is that when people started to hear the construction work going on (they likely used explosives to create the underground bunkers) so a few fake sightings and mysterious phone calls to Shuttlewood the local journalist pushed the ET angle.

That's really interesting. I don't think we've ever really plumbed the depths of how far the government will sink in exploiting these kind of phenomena - not so much in terms of covering up their 'reality', but more in terms of using people's Fortean beliefs as a smokescreen for completely earthly secrets.
 

BeardSprite

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Silent Invasion is the one that started off the Pine Bush flap but by all accounts has a strong 'contactee' focus - that's putting it charitably. I haven't read it and am unlikely to.

Having watched the video of the author's 1992 Chester NY sighting, and follow on discussion, I am also not inclined to be charitable (never describe something as 'directly overhead' when your video clearly shows it being occluded by a passing truck... Still an interesting sighting though, I have some thoughs. But it's not a triangle, so it'll have to go elsewhere :cool:). But, as I learned during my archaeology studies back in the day - we can't just rely on the sources we like the look of :D

I don't think Hynek had much input. Imbroglio did most of the research and writing up but the publishers decided that Hynek's name in the leading position on the front of the book would increase sales. I suspect they also encouraged an over dramatic approach to the subject. A pity, because there were several good cases amongst the second rate ones.

Seems reasonable - and I'm given to understand Imbroglio's reputation is not what it might be.

I think all the sightings/cases have merit - someone went to the trouble of reporting something.

It's just that the presentation, lack of consistency, repeated errors of geography (I'm upto 3-4 of those now, 50 pages out of 215 in), bogus appeals to authority and poorly constructed straw men are really making it hard to persevere with taking any of it seriously, never mind at face value.

Edit: Or do I mean "...taking any of it at face value, never mind seriously." Yeah, I think maybe I do!
 
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BS3

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Having watched the video of the author's 1992 Chester NY sighting, and follow on discussion, I am also not inclined to be charitable (never describe something as 'directly overhead' when your video clearly shows it being occluded by a passing truck... Still an interesting sighting though, I have some thoughs. But it's not a triangle, so it'll have to go elsewhere :cool:). But, as I learned during my archaeology studies back in the day - we can't just rely on the sources we like the look of :D



Seems reasonable - and I'm given to understand Imbroglio's reputation is not what it might be.

I think all the sightings/cases have merit - someone went to the trouble of reporting something.

It's just that the presentation, lack of consistency, repeated errors of geography (I'm upto 3-4 of those now, 50 pages out of 215 in), bogus appeals to authority and poorly constructed straw men are really making it hard to persevere with taking any of it seriously, never mind at face value.

The sighting that seems most interesting out of the initial batch in Night Siege is predictably enough the one in the Introduction, where Jim Cooke sees an object apparently interacting with the Croton Falls reservoir (there is, as you note, the usual appeal to authority straight away - "nothing in Jim Cooke's engineering or physics background could have prepared him"). But based on the presentation it's hard to analyse it in depth. We don't really hear much about Cooke, the astronomical conditions at the time of the sighting, etc etc.

Most of the other sightings could easily be microlights / ultralights with lighting; the quietness or faint engine noise, occasional movement of lights within the formation, and somewhat erratic movements all suggest it. There's a lot of additional unconvincing stuff about people getting a 'feeling' or 'message' from the object, but we saw exactly the same with the Phoenix Lights, which appear to have been earthly in origin. Come to think of it, we know from other cases that people have claimed 'telepathic contact' with the Zond IV reentry, a lightbulb suspended from a balloon (the SIUFOP hoax at Warminster) and so on, so I don't think this kind of stuff adds much to the Hudson Valley sightings either.
 

BS3

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Incidentally back to those ultralights. Most sources will talk about the police explanation of a group of 5-6 people in ultralights; a few will mention them operating out of a grass strip at Stormville, and some will mention an account of a witness actually following the 'triangle', 'boomerang', whatever, back to the airstrip. Occasionally you get mention of a group calling themselves the 'Stormville Flyers' claiming responsibility.

Although I assume the basics are true, I can't actually find a huge amount of detail on this. Night Siege dismisses it in about a paragraph on page 54. Wouldn't it have been good to see if any of these pilots could have been interviewed, even anonymously? Practically the only direct corroboration I can find is a letter in the following, where someone claims to have spoken to one of the hoaxers in question:

https://hvmag.com/publications/letters-to-the-editor-in-april-2015/

They owned small engine planes that had been equipped with oversized mufflers, and at night they would fly around the Hudson Valley in a “V” formation. Their typical flight would take a path towards the local cities, increasing in altitude as they got closer. This would give the illusion of an object hovering in place. He stated they would also, on cue, turn off all lights together to make it seem like they had vanished. The local police were aware of the club, and at times would wait at the airport for them to land. While the group was never arrested, since technically they never did anything wrong, law enforcement was not too happy with the volume of calls received after a flight.

The problem is that at present while the ultralight aircraft seem a good fit for the large 'boomerang' sightings that precipitated the Hudson Valley flap, there are the usual protestations from witnesses that they saw both the UFO and the planes and they could be easily distinguished. If someone could have made an effort to tie down the ultralight flights to dates and times that matched all the major sightings in early 1983, things might have been a bit simpler. I assume the dubious legality of the flights might have influenced the members of the group, if it existed, to keep quiet.
 

BeardSprite

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Incidentally back to those ultralights. Most sources will talk about the police explanation of a group of 5-6 people in ultralights; a few will mention them operating out of a grass strip at Stormville, and some will mention an account of a witness actually following the 'triangle', 'boomerang', whatever, back to the airstrip. Occasionally you get mention of a group calling themselves the 'Stormville Flyers' claiming responsibility.

Some of the sources I've encounterd on 't web mention 'The Stormville Flyers', and I got the general impression that most folks don't really think they where involved, and that the Flyers where happy to take 'credit' with a nod and a wink, rather than claim responsibility. I'll have a dig around later, see if I can post some links.

Ellen Crystall also mentions them in her 'after sighting chat' on the video of her 1992 sighting I talked about earlier.

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) might have something to say about the claim 'The Flyers' had done nothing wrong if they did perform nocturnal formation flights!

14 CFR Part 103.11 Daylight Operations:

(a) No person may operate an ultralight vehicle except between the hours of sunrise and sunset.
(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a) of this section, ultralight vehicles may be operated during the twilight periods 30 minutes before official sunrise and 30 minutes after official sunset or, in Alaska, during the period of civil twilight as defined in the Air Almanac, if:

(1) The vehicle is equipped with an operating anticollision light visible for at least 3 statute miles; and
(2) All operations are conducted in uncontrolled airspace.

I suspect they would only have avoided arrest because it would be an FAA matter, rather than a police one!

Edit: I am not a lawyer. This is not legal advice. This is just some stuff I pulled off the internet!
 

BS3

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Following up through an article on Skeptoid (I'm not a huge fan of the latter, but let's go with it for the time being) it looks like the key reference for the 'Stormville Flyers' story might be:

Garelik, G. "The Great Hudson Valley UFO Mystery." Discover Magazine. 1 Nov. 1984, November Issue: 18-23.

Here is a brief quote from Garelik's piece:

Several years ago, it seems, a few of the Stormville pilots begin practicing formation flying, first in daylight, then, as their skills improved, at night. Before long, other pilots joined them, and what began as loose groupings of planes became tight formations of aircraft with as little as 6 inches between wingtips.

...By early 1983, when local newspapers began printing stories about strange sightings and experiences, and television stations ran tapes of the mysterious lights in the sky, the pilots were incredulous, then amused

This suggests the flights predated the early 1983 sightings rather than being inspired by them.

A nice early source at least: if this was available at the time Night Siege was put together, it's surprising more effort wasn't put into looking at the light planes theory.
 

BS3

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See also Dick Ruhl's article, "The Westchester Sightings", in the APRO Bulletin reproduced on p 60 of that file onwards. Some good material there including a visit to the airstrip in question and an identification of at least one of the planes involved. The file also has a number of, shall we say, less sceptical articles by Imbrogno from International UFO Reporter.
 

BeardSprite

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Ok, this was the one I read that gave me the vibe that the Stormville Flyers where happy to take credit, but not actually claiming credit - upon looking again, maybe that's just how I read it:

Link to Grunge dot com article - Hudson Hoaxers is the section heading to look for.

And this is the link to the Ellen Crystall 1992 sighting.

It's not a triangle - the relevant part here is at 9:00 (WARNING - from 9:00 onwards the video has no proper picture, but it does flicker and stutter somewhat, which may have unwelcome effects on those that are sensitive to such things), where she talks about the Stormville Flyers. Shortly after that she'll describe her sighting as being 'directly overhead'.

If you skip back 7:50 you'll see the lights in the sky occluded by a passing truck, showing that they where not directly overhead - which means that as unidentified lights in the sky they could have been anywhere from 'just the other side of the highway' to being 'above some spot that's beyond the observeres horizon' (depending on their, also indeterminate, altitude above said spot).

I include this point not so much to undermine the sighting (at face value, the video seems pretty much to show a series of unidentified lights in the sky, which is what we're all here in this section of the forum for!) or the observer.

More as something to keep in mind when reading UFO accounts - one persons 'directly overhead' could be a rather looser definition than yours.

Certainly, one thing I am finding very gratifying about reading Night Siege, is the number of observers saying 'it was directly overhead, and as big as a football field'!

djeV9rm.png


A football field is 100 yards (92m) from goal line to goal line, and 53 yards wide (49m).

A C5 Galaxy is 75m (82 yards) long with a wingspan of 68m.

(Slight roundings of both sets of figures).

Close enough for someone who's in the grip of an alarming/stressful situation.
 
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BeardSprite

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Shortly after that she'll describe her sighting as being 'directly overhead'.

If you skip back 7:50 you'll see the lights in the sky occluded by a passing truck, showing that they where not directly overhead - which means that as unidentified lights in the sky they could have been anywhere from 'just the other side of the highway' to being 'above some spot that's beyond the observeres horizon' (depending on their, also indeterminate, altitude above said spot).

I include this point not so much to undermine the sighting (at face value, the video seems pretty much to show a series of unidentified lights in the sky, which is what we're all here in this section of the forum for!) or the observer.

More as something to keep in mind when reading UFO accounts - one persons 'directly overhead' could be a rather looser definition than yours.

Although having just gone back and listened to that again (it's been a couple of days) what's actually said is 'it passed right overhead'. Which it may well have done, before or after the events shown in the video.

So maybe it's me who needs to be mindful of whats being said/going on!
 

BS3

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Looking at some of the articles written at the time (particularly those by R. Perry Collins) there seemed to be an undercurrent of feeling that the 'Stormville Flyers' were a government-sponsored exercise to divert attention away from the 'real' UFOs.

A more interesting idea to me is that the whole thing might, just possibly, have been cooked up to divert attention from genuine experimental stuff that was due to start flying out of Stewart.
 

BeardSprite

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...to divert attention from genuine experimental stuff that was due to start flying out of Stewart.

Have you managed to find anything pertaining to experimental aircraft operating out of Stewart?

I've only seen that one 'throw away' remark that I mentioned in post #355 of this thread, despite looking for more.

Stewart only re-opened as a military base in 1983 (the previous one closed in 1970, the civilian airport continued to operate), C5's where only stationed there from July 1985 (though I'm quite sure they visited before that!), and I can't really understand why anyone would test classified aircraft projects over a state that is essentially one vast suburban neighbourhood, when they have bases in California, Arizona and Nevada with all but uninhabited deserts and mountains from horizon to horizon.
 
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BeardSprite

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Night Siege making it real hard for me to continue right now...

"I saw it for maybe one second. It definitely wasn't a plane because it had a shape".

I can't even.
 
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Have you managed to find anything pertaining to experimental aircraft operating out of Stewart?

I've only seen that one 'throw away' remark that I mentioned in post #355 of this thread, despite looking for more.

Stewart only re-opened as a military base in 1983 (the previous one closed in 1970, the civilian airport continued to operate), C5's where only stationed there from July 1985 (though I'm quite sure they visited before that!), and I can't really understand why anyone would test classified aircraft projects over a state that is essentially one vast suburban neighbourhood, when they have bases in California, Arizona and Nevada with all but uninhabited deserts and mountains from horizon to horizon.

Not on the experimental side of things, though there are references to the proposals to develop a Marine Corps Reserve presence there. Anyway as you said there are far better places to test things - unless you are specifically looking to fly over urban areas for whatever reason.

I suppose the only thing that puzzles me slightly is why the 'flap' was allowed to rumble on so long once the perpetrators were identified, unless of course by that point local residents were ready to identify almost any light in the sky as a 'UFO'. Perhaps it just wasn't causing that much of a headache for the local police as UFO proponents were trying to make out.
 

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why the 'flap' was allowed to rumble on so long once the perpetrators were identified...

Even all this time later, I'm not sure they have been.

Despite all the errors of geography, lack of rigor, assumptions, bare faced bias and weird non-sequiturs, the sighting details from Night Seige don't paint an entirely consistent picture.

First of all, I'm going to assume all reports made are genuine, in so much as the authors came into possession of the information presented.

A lot of the accounts start out very similar - with a set of 5-7 lights, described as white green and red. The lights appear to be some distance away, with no associated noise, with a hint of structure behind them, 'the size of a football field'.

The lights hover or move very slowly, then are suddenly overhead (at about this point many witnesses begin to become fearful/alarmed) and the lights either change colour (red, green, yellow and blue come up a lot), turn sharply and speed away, disappear behind trees only to re-appear in the distance a short time later and a few miles away (often corroborated by another sighting from another witness elsewhere).

I contend that these types of sightings are low flying C5's - these sightings are often along stretches of roads, from moving vehicles (motor vehicle engine noise might mask aircraft noise entirely, or render it to the 'soft hum' that is reported by some).

The Hudson Valley area is heavily wooded (and whilst the trees may have changed a lot over the past 40 years, I've no reason to suspect the overall character of the landscape and its trees has changed that much), so apart from along the roads and from highground (the area is quite hilly), there will not be that many unobstructed vistas over which to track the objects for long periods.

I put the fear/alarm/agitation/feeling of being observed down to a combination of adrenaline, arriving at the conclusion that something out of the ordinary is occuring ('The Oz Factor'), it being after dark (I have not yet read any daylight accounts, if indeed there are any), the witness being either alone or having children with them.

Where witnesses entertain the notion that it might be aircraft, they universally point to a single large craft 'larger than anything they know of', and reject the idea of small craft in formation for any number of reasons, including - lights too close and movement too rigid to be more than one craft, wrong sound, too much wind, too dark/dangerous for that, beyond human ability to fly that close and smooth.

How much any of these elements is down to the individual witness observations or consistent enquiry/coaxing/coaching from the authors (who apparently interviewed many/most of the witnesses in the book) is impossible to know becasue I'm halfway through and there's been no discussion of the methods employed for such interviews, or transcripts (edited or otherwise) from the interviews (again with the lack of rigor).

The only aspect that really can't be accounted for is the reports of the lights changing colour (often as they pass overhead/close by), and I put this down to this being the point where one or more of the collision/position/navigation lights (red for left, ventral and dorsal, green for right), or local atmospheric conditions affecting the lights - look up C5's at night on Youtube - in some video's the white lights appear shifted towards yellow or blue.

Sadly, very little information is given about atmospheric conditions or the weather at the times of sightings. (Further lack of rigor).

So those sorts of sightings I'd contend are C5's.

Other sightings describe only red or green lights in the triangle or 'boomerang' configuration, or circles of lights, or a pattern like 'a ferris wheel in the sky'. Others include beams of lights pointed at the ground - like searchlights (again, this effect can be seen on a few C5 at night video's, either pointing down, or towards the observer, often with visible haze in the atmosephere), but some are red 'searchlights' and/or have smaller objects/lights emerge from them that behave independ ently, or the beams appear to 'scan around' as if actually searching for something.

I have no idea what to make of those sightings, and whilst a few might be C5's or other aircraft at odd angles or in unusual or obscured conditions, I don't think it's be very many.

As to police responses - I get the distinct feeling so far that for the most part it's mainly driven by disinterest, the usual 'folks be crazy, drunk or high' eyerolling and nervousness due to not knowing how to handle something outside their comfort zone/training/expertise as more and more people demand answers/action of them.

The FAA just seems to be rigidly abiding by the party line of 'UFO's? They don't exist, pal'.

The couple of denials attributed to either the Air National Guard (there has been one mention of a call made to Stewart so far) or the Airforce (I think there was one contact made with them so far - I'll have to check again) smack very much of 'well, yes, we've got stuff going on, but we're not about to tell you about it' or a smirking 'nope, not one of ours' becasuse whilst they know full well whats up there, it technically belongs to a different military branch, it's the middle of the night, they're bored rigid, and dicking the civvies around is a welcome diversion.

Still, plenty more accounts to get through, if I can face continuing after that last clanger!
 
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The Hudson Valley area is heavily wooded (and whilst the trees may have changed a lot over the past 40 years, I've no reason to suspect the overall character of the landscape and its trees has changed that much), so apart from along the roads and from highground (the area is quite hilly), there will not be that many unobstructed vistas over which to track the objects for long periods.

This brings me onto a more specific point. The two most impressive reports among that early batch (January - October 1983) are probably those by Monique O'Driscoll and by Cooke; apparently unequivocal sightings of large, structured objects. Yet look at them closely and questions start to emerge.

Take the Cooke sighting. The witness is driving eastward along Croton Falls Road at 2AM and approaches the Croton Falls reservoir (all this can easily be followed on Street View these days). He notices "lights in the trees" that then "dropped down too quickly" to be a plane, and then "hovered above the trees". So, the lights are viewed through the trees, but then appear above them? Street View shows that the trees (mature enough to be there in 1983) are up to the road at this point until you get to an open view of the reservoir itself - to see the lights as 'above the trees', they'd have to be over you in the first place.

Cooke then sees that "the lights were off, and all I could see was a dark mass behind the trees". So - he's seeing a "dark mass", through a fairly thick belt of trees - of which it's elsewhere said that they "blocked his view" - at 2AM? How exactly?

I'm not saying that these points are insurmountable, but minor inconsistencies and problems in things like how the object was first spotted do suggest that Cooke's memory has at the very least been elaborated. And this throws the rest of the sighting into doubt. The investigators could have cleared this up by getting Cooke to estimate angles of elevation or explaining how he saw a dark object under these conditions, but it looks like they didn't even try.
 

BeardSprite

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I'm not saying that these points are insurmountable, but minor inconsistencies and problems in things like how the object was first spotted do suggest that Cooke's memory has at the very least been elaborated. And this throws the rest of the sighting into doubt. The investigators could have cleared this up by getting Cooke to estimate angles of elevation or explaining how he saw a dark object under these conditions, but it looks like they didn't even try.

This. All of this!

I find myself frequently muttering 'How did you establish that? Did you ask them to clarify/define/elaborate that? Show your work!'.

Even just a paragraph or two about how they conducted their interviews, if they used a standard set of questions, a consistent approach to coaxing more info/detail and a note with each account about how long agter the event each interview/account was taken. Ideally with an appendix of, at minimum, half a dozen transcripts showing how these interviews where done.

But despite all the letters before and after the authors names, no, none of that.
 

BS3

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This. All of this!

I find myself frequently muttering 'How did you establish that? Did you ask them to clarify/define/elaborate that? Show your work!'.

Even just a paragraph or two about how they conducted their interviews, if they used a standard set of questions, a consistent approach to coaxing more info/detail and a note with each account about how long agter the event each interview/account was taken. Ideally with an appendix of, at minimum, half a dozen transcripts showing how these interviews where done.

But despite all the letters before and after the authors names, no, none of that.

From memory, I think Imbrogno fielded the phone calls to CUFOS about the sightings; I'm not sure what Pratt's involvement was, but as a journalist maybe he did the writing up. A lot has been written about Imbrogno's reputation in the past few years but he undoubtedly had some astronomical knowledge, for example, so should have been in a position to do such basic stuff as eliminate stars, planets etc, and show his workings. I've not seen much evidence of the latter in Night Siege (though in fairness a book aimed at the mass market might cut most of that out).

You would hope that follow up visits to the location with the witness were conducted: again, I haven't seen much evidence of this though it doesn't mean they didn't happen. I just hope the whole thing wasn't done using telephone interviews.
 

marhawkman

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Ok, this was the one I read that gave me the vibe that the Stormville Flyers where happy to take credit, but not actually claiming credit - upon looking again, maybe that's just how I read it:

Link to Grunge dot com article - Hudson Hoaxers is the section heading to look for.

And this is the link to the Ellen Crystall 1992 sighting.

It's not a triangle - the relevant part here is at 9:00 (WARNING - from 9:00 onwards the video has no proper picture, but it does flicker and stutter somewhat, which may have unwelcome effects on those that are sensitive to such things), where she talks about the Stormville Flyers. Shortly after that she'll describe her sighting as being 'directly overhead'.

If you skip back 7:50 you'll see the lights in the sky occluded by a passing truck, showing that they where not directly overhead - which means that as unidentified lights in the sky they could have been anywhere from 'just the other side of the highway' to being 'above some spot that's beyond the observeres horizon' (depending on their, also indeterminate, altitude above said spot).

I include this point not so much to undermine the sighting (at face value, the video seems pretty much to show a series of unidentified lights in the sky, which is what we're all here in this section of the forum for!) or the observer.

More as something to keep in mind when reading UFO accounts - one persons 'directly overhead' could be a rather looser definition than yours.

Certainly, one thing I am finding very gratifying about reading Night Siege, is the number of observers saying 'it was directly overhead, and as big as a football field'!

djeV9rm.png


A football field is 100 yards (92m) from goal line to goal line, and 53 yards wide (49m).

A C5 Galaxy is 75m (82 yards) long with a wingspan of 68m.

(Slight roundings of both sets of figures).

Close enough for someone who's in the grip of an alarming/stressful situation.
C-5s can do surprisingly low airspeeds too. Especially when empty.
 

RaM

Justified & Ancient
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Took shelter from a massive rain shower in a C5 once, it was like being in a cathedral never been in anything so big that moved.
 

marhawkman

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Took shelter from a massive rain shower in a C5 once, it was like being in a cathedral never been in anything so big that moved.
Oh yeah, I was a passenger in one once. it's like sitting in a small building that moves. Also as a cargo plane it's kinda amusing that the seats are literally strapped down as if they're cargo pallets. Much roomier than a standard commercial flight.
 

BS3

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ruhl.jpeg


For visual reference, this is one of the images of the aircraft (small Cessnas) in formation taken by the APRO investigator, Ruhl. Quite impressive and gives a good idea what at least some of the witnesses were looking at.

Here's how Ruhl described the object before realising he was looking at planes, immediately before 'staking out' Stormville airstrip:

Thursday night Petracca and I arrived at Route 1-84 at 9:30 p.m. in time to see a brilliant white wedge-shaped object floating and turning in the sky. We could hardly believe what we were seeing. We felt that this was not a formation of planes, not the way this object moved and seemed to hover. The lights were too rigid on the turns. They suddenly turned all red and as they continued to turn we saw multi-colored lights. I braked the car and we jumped out holding our 7Xl5X30 binoculars. Even through the binoculars we thought we were observing a genuine UFO.
 

RaM

Justified & Ancient
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If it was light aircraft or microlights then they must have put some practice and skill into
It as formation flying at night is not for the
faint hearted.
Also it's worth remembering that almost any 3 lights will form a triangle of some sort.
 
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