PINE BUSH – Something is going on, and we have very little idea of what it is. That, perhaps, is the core mystery of the UFO phenomenon.
While there have been reports of lights and objects in the sky throughout recorded history, the modern era has brought a vast increase in the phenomenon, beginning with Ken Arnold's 1947 sighting of "Flying Saucers" near Mt. Rainier, Washington. Through the Atomic Age of the 1950s, to the 60s and beyond, odd flying phenomena were reported all over the US and the world beyond. In addition, people reported meeting alien creatures, and even being abducted by them, experimented on and then returned to normal life.
Skeptics have always had fun with all of this, and skepticism survives, because, at least so far, no aliens or alien craft have been captured and displayed to the hungry lenses of global media.
However, delve for a while into sightings, photographs and video recordings on YouTube and you come away scratching your head. Only so many things can be classified as birds, or other airplanes, or freakish weather phenomena. None of which describes what twelve airport employees saw hovering over Gate 17 at O'Hare Airport on November 7, 2006.
Pine Bush, then a very small place, became famous in the mid-1980s as sighting after sighting was reported of weird visual phenomena. Many sightings came from the West Searsville area, and particularly from the old Jewish Cemetery on Route 52.
In 1991, Ellen Crystal, published "Silent Invasion," which documented her eleven year investigation into the Pine Bush UFOs. In addition to lights in the sky, Pine Bush produced strange underground rumblngs and sightings of alien figures, even alien animals. For a while in the late 80s, going "UFO-ing" in Pine Bush became a popular pastime and Pine Bush's legend spread wide and far in the community of UFO believers, observers and non-believers. Several books have detailed the odd events in Pine Bush, including "The Pine Bush Phenomenon" by Vincent Polise, and "Night Siege" by Dr. J. Allen Hynek and Phillip Imbrogno, which covered the wider Hudson Valley sightings phenomena.
Literally hundreds of local residents, including police and firefighters, have reported strange and inexplicable occurrences. Many have reported the sound of mechanical drilling in the woods at night. Aircraft that seem to float silently through the trees in the darkness are another signature phenomenon from Pine Bush.
In 1993, the United Friends Observers Society was established by local area residents. It began as a research group, but morphed into more of a support group as more and more people came forward with sightings and reports of being abducted. Bill Wiand, described as "facilitator" of the society, notes that "Groups of people have experienced the same thing at the same time; for instance, one occurrence was when several residents woke up with wet, muddy feet."
Riding in tandem with our uneasy sense of the inexplicable involving UFOs, is the feeling that governments, lead by the US Federal Government, know much more about all this than they care to reveal. From the famous Roswell, New Mexico incident to others too numerous to go into here, governments around the world have dismissed or deflected sightings and claims.
Today, people who study UFOs are divided into three primary groups, when it comes to their explanations.
First, those who believe firmly that the phenomena involved alien beings from other star systems.
Second, a group — somewhat in retreat today — who feel the whole thing is an effect of the human mind, perhaps summoning up deep ancestral memories.
Third, a growing faction that thinks the "crafts" and assorted phenomena are the result of time travel and/or travel from another universe that co-exists with ours within the multi-verse.
Cosmological theories increasingly press the idea that the universe we see, with 200 billion galaxies, is but one universe in a much vaster entity encompassing millions, or billions of other universes, with varying physical laws, sizes and dimensional foundations.
Anything's possible, after all, and the UFO sightings keep coming in all shapes, sizes, speeds, colors, sounds and mysteries.
On Saturday April 30, please join the Pine Bush area community as we celebrate our history of being the UFO Capitol of the Northeast with a family fun day of activities throughout town. Activity information will be posted at the UFO HQ located at the cultural center on Main Street. Hope to see you there and bring lots of warm sunshine with you! For more info, visit www.ufopinebushfestival.com