; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Monday, July 18, 2011

Close Encounter - Indian Point, NY Nuclear Reactor

A thirty-five-year-old New York State Power Authority police officer that worked as a security guard at the Indian Point nuclear reactor complex located on the Hudson River at Buchahan, New York just south of Peekskill, tells his incredible story:

The first interview took place at a restaurant in Peekskill late on the night of September 12, 1984 after the guards got off work. Six of the Indian Point security guards showed up, but, because of the lateness of the hour, we were able to talk in depth to only three at that time.

Carl talked to us for forty-five minutes that night and again for a similar length of time on October 5. The first interview was taped, but not the second. He said thee was certain information pertaining to security equipment that he did not want recorded.

Carl had worked, as a security officer for the Power Authority for three years and, before that, had been a New York State Police officer. It turned out he'd had two sightings at the reactor complex, the first on June 14 and the other July 24.

“I was on outside patrol at Indian Point Number Three,” he told us, describing the June 14 sighting. “It was approximately 10:15 at night, and I saw out in the distance a series of lights. We have a clear view for several miles in all directions.

“I saw these lights coming at me. They were white with a yellow hue. I watched them foe about ten minutes, and, at that time I estimated they were about a quarter of a mile form me. They were approaching form the northeast, going southwest, coming directly toward me.

“At that point, I looked over at the Con-Ed people (at the adjoining Consolidated-Edison nuclear power complex), and there were about ten of them looking at the same object. I got on the radio and called some of the other units to come out to my location to observe the object with me. I knew that it was something strange, and since it was getting so close, I wanted someone to come and assist me if I needed help. I didn't want to take any chances.”

Two other guards responded to his call.

“We all looked at this thing for approximately twenty minutes, and during that time I would say it hovered in one area for about fifteen minutes without moving,” Carl said.

The object consisted of ten or more lights arranged in a boomerang pattern. It appeared to be hovering about a quarter of a mile from one of the gates to the complex, and at that distance, they could not make out any shape.

“The lights were incredibly bright and they were steady,” Carl said. “It was hovering over the parking lot on the reactor grounds and over some buildings that have lights on twenty-four hours a day. These are bright security lights, and the lights on this object were at least ten times as bright.

“The building it was over is quite large eighty feet high-and this object dwarfed it.”

He estimated the object was at least 300 feet from one end to the other.

“Behind the lights was a dark mass,” he said. “I know this because a plane flew by in the distance and you could see the plane's lights quite clearly. When it passed close to the object, the object blocked out the lights of the plane, and a few seconds later the plane emerged from behind the other side of the object. So there was some type of huge dark mass behind the lights.”

Fifteen to twenty minutes later, the object moved off toward Peekskill. “When it started to move, it moved no more than ten miles an hour.”

Carl had no doubt that it was a solid object and not a formation of aircraft, partly because winds were gusting up to twenty-five knots an hour that night.

“No small plane could stay in formation with the wind that night.” He said, “The wind didn't faze these lights at all. When it hovered, it just stood there, I was in the service and I flew helicopters, and I know how hard it is to keep a formation with small planes. No way was this a formation of planes. I saw no hint of any standard lights that a plane would have, also, the lights wee much too intense for a small aircraft.

“When the object turned, it rotated as if it was lying on a wheel. It made a very slow, sharp, ninety-degree turn. The object always moved in the direction of the apex.”


July 24, 1984,

Carl then went on to tell about the night of July 24.

It all started with another security guard calling and saying, “Hey, here comes that UFO again!' With that being heard all over the air, everyone came running to see it. At that time, there were five of us, including two supervisors who also came out to see it.

“It approached form basically the same direction as before, and this time the lights were changing, First, they would all be yellow, then white, and then all turned blue. The lights were in a semicircle, and in the rear, pretty far back, was this red, blinking light,”

Stars were blocked from sight as the object moved between them and the guards.

“As the object approached the plant, I got about as close as 500 feet from it,” Carl said. “It looked like and ice cream cone. You could see it was a solid body about the size of three football fields. At this time, it was directly over our heads, and we were looking up at it. It was still moving, but very slowly. I could walk and keep up with it, so it mist have been going slower than five to ten miles an hour.”

Carl said he and the other guards watched the object for about twenty minutes. All the time you could see the structure behind it.”

Only one of the three reactors was in operation, Carl said. “Ours was the only one working. This object picked the right one to fly over, and that's what got our supervisor worried. This thing got within thirty feet of the reactor.”

As on the night of June 14, there were winds gusting up to thirty knots an hour.

“We were all standing there with our mouths open,” Carl said. “We were in awe of it! If the thing stayed over us, the order was already given to get ready to shoot it down. We had shotguns and were waiting for the final word to fire on it.”

Another officer, who we'll call Milton, was on duty inside, watching TV monitors at a security console that allows him to aim cameras placed at strategic points around and outside the buildings.

“I received a call form Officer ---- and Officer ----, saying there was something in the sky, and I asked them what it was,” Milton told us. “They told me to swing my camera over in the direction where they saw this object.”

One of the cameras under his control was at the top of a ninety-five-foot-tall pole.

“I turned my camera in that direction, and I saw eight bright lights in a V shape, very wide, almost like half circle. They were at least as bright as the landing lights on a large jet. My supervisor and I panned the camera up and sown, and the object was very large, bigger than a football field.”

He said the object was so huge that he had to pan the camera nearly 180 degrees to scan it the entire object from front to back.

“It was one solid structure and very large. We had it on camera for about fifteen minutes. I was trying to think of some logical explanation for what it was, but I didn't know. Whatever it was, it was larger than a C-%A, which is the largest aircraft in the world and has a wingspan of 212 feet. This was much larger. It seemed very brazen. It acted like it didn't care who saw it.”

Still another officer, who was reluctant to be identified for fear of jeopardizing his job, said, “There was this series of lights in the shape of a boomerang, and behind it was this dark structure, and there were these two things on the bottom that looked like hollow spheres of some sort. They looked like portals that could open up and rockets or something could fly out of there. They were very dark. It was very low. It was so close I actually got scared looking at it.”

1. As the object approached the east gate of Reactor Number Three, the nuclear plant's security system shut down. Sensors that detect movement shut down, and the entire alarm system failed.

2. Inside the security console, the computer that controls all security and communications systems shut down.

3. At that time, the commander contacted Camp Smith, a New York National Guard base less than ten miles away, requesting identification of the object. No answer was given. A request was then made for an armed helicopter to shoot the object down. Before the command was given to launch the helicopter, the UFO moved away.

4. The next day, the commander of the security guards informed then that “nothing happened” and the event was to be forgotten.

5. The incident was witnessed by several plant workers as well as the security guards.

6. A number of area residents saw the object at the same time the plant guards did, and the Peekskill police received numerous calls about the UFO the same night.

7. A videotape of the object may exist, since all the security cameras automatically record everything they see and the tapes are kept for a certain period of time before being reused. However, authorities say no such tape exists.

8. All radio communications that night were also routinely recorded, but the tapes reportedly no longer exist.

9. In the days following the incident, officials of the U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission visited the plant, and the entire security setup underwent a shakeup.

Gerry Culliton, a reporter for radio station WVIP in Mt. Kisco, New York, did get and acknowledgment form Carl Patrick, of the plant's information office, that the sightings had occurred.

“He told me there definitely were sightings, “Culliton told us, “and he said the New York State Police did and investigation and arrested four Cessna pilots.”

However, Police records confirmed that no pilots were arrested. Culliton said he asked for a copy of the UFO incident report, but was told that “all security procedures and measures that are taken here are completely confidential to protect our own security.”... - Night Siege: The Hudson Valley UFO Sightings (J. Allen Hynek, Philip J. Imbrogno, and Bob Pratt)


The threat of UFOs compromising reactor security, as if the nuclear industry didn't have enough to deal with already, became a very real concern in 1984. Although of- ficials won't admit it, several researchers have information That New York 's Indian Point Reactor complex endured such a UFO problem during the long siege of sightings that happened throughout the state's Hudson Valley area. The portrayal of the event in this article is based primarily on the disclosures of unnamed sources.

The summer of 1984 was a troublesome season for authorities at the Indian Point nuclear reactor complex in Buchanan, New York. Two UFO appearances, one of which was verified by Carl Patrick, director of nuclear information for the New York Power Authority (NYPA), and later documented by the press and the 1987 book Night Siege, apparently put the normally tight security of the plant to a severe test. The first event entailed the brief flyover of a huge craft, witnessed by three security policemen on June 14. That was followed ten days later by a UFO incident of unprecedented impact. It was one of hundreds of UFO sightings in the Hudson Valley, but one the nuclear workers won't soon forget. "Here comes that UFO again! " an Indian Point security guard is said to have yelled on the night of July 24, 1984, alerting other security personnel by way of the plant's internal communications system. A UFO, variously described as looking like "an ice cream cone " and "boomerang, " had lazily drifted over to Reactor #3-the only active reactor at the time-lingering about 300 feet above the domed construction for some ten minutes, sending security officials into an uproar. Now, six years later, the principal UFO researcher on the case admits that many aspects of the event remain confusing and undisclosed. And although he's still receiving information, Philip Imbrogno calls his own lengthy investigation "stagnant." "Every time new information comes up or I get a lead on something, I get very reluctant to deal with it again," said Imbrogno, who heads the science department at the Windward School in White Plains, New York. "The entire case has caused me quite a bit of pressure . . . The event would indicate that whatever appeared over there, our state-of-the-art technology in defense was unable to deal with it. " He suggests that from what his sources have said, a military aspect came into play. The Indian Point UFO represented an intolerable security breach. Military customers?

Imbrogno says that it is precisely that aspect which has had a lasting effect, and which has generated repercussions that continue to this day. But according to the New York Power Authority, which oversees the reactor complex, Indian Point itself has no direct military customers. Reactor #3 primarily services local and state facilities in New York City and Westchester County, including local school districts, the New York City subway systems and some of New York's trains. Most importantly, in Imbrogno's mind, are several military installations in and around Duchess County, which allegedly get their power from Indian Point. According to his sources, these are primarily satellite receiving stations, and "a number of other military operations of which we can only guess, " Imbrogno says. The official agency overseeing the reactor complex is the New York Power Authority, although Consolidated Edison has jurisdiction over Reactor #2 and is sold use of #3 for extensive transmissions to New York residential users and, perhaps, military facilities such as Camp Smith, an Air National Guard base located north of Peekskill. (Reactor #l is inactive.) It was NYPA whose officials apparently spent considerable human energy trying to dissuade Imbrogno from writing about the July 24 event, concerned he would release information vital to the plant's security. "I think other agencies were using (the NYPA) to harass me, " he said, noting that he was constantly subjected to their repetitive phone calls, threatening that he would be forced to appear at a hearing on the incident. (He was never subpoenaed, but Imbrogno subsequently, and perhaps coincidentally, was audited by the IRS four times.) The compulsion to publish was undeniable; of what may have been as many as 70 UFO witnesses among Indian Point personnel, a number quietly sought out Imbrogno, and on the condition of anonymity provided him with the vital facts which led to the production of Night Siege (co-written with Bob Pratt and J. Allen Hynek.) "My sources involve people who work in security for the plant and also people in secretarial and janitorial positions," he said.

"The only problem is that getting anything on paper- documentation, something official-is very, very hard, I have unofficial confirmation right now that a number of documents pertaining to the sighting do exist at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. " Normally, NRC records can be opened to the public under terms of the Freedom of Information Act, but when he in- quired, Imbrogno was informed that the documents were being held at the reactor complex, and as such were protected under national security regulations. "It's a joint sort of thing, " he said, "In other words, although the NRC is pretty open to the public, if they want to keep a document classified, they'll store it with another agency. I have an inside secretarial source who's actually seen the documents filed." The NYPA's Patrick denies that any such documentation exists, and dismisses the incident by claiming that all Hudson Valley UFO sightings were later identified as light aircraft, There was no videotape taken by on-site surveillance cameras, Patrick insists, or audio recording of oral communications, both pieces of evidence which Imbrogno strongly feels do exist and are being retained somewhere. According to Imbrogno's sources, a security shake-up ensued the very next day. "A number of agencies came in, including the NRC and military personnel, and they supposedly cleaned out everything. You have to remember that with nuclear reactors, you're only going to get 10 percent of the real story. They're overly terrified of bad publicity, and are really afraid of the anti-nuclear groups, which can cause trouble. Anything that happens is immediately covered up, including UFO sightings. "

An 'irregularity'

Imbrogno further alleges that shortly after the UFO infringement, a crack in the reactor's casing was discovered. The public didn't hear about such a situation until a year later; the NYPA's Patrick denied any "crack, " although he did recall a time when Reactor #2 may have developed an "irregularity. " Imbrogno says, "[Indian Point officials] made a public statement that operations were not affected, that everything was normal. But I've been told by several people that they lost power, the security system dropped, and the reactor controls went crazy. Apparently it was caused by the UFO." No way, says the NYPA. "Any implication that the sightings of these [light aircraft] in any way affected Reactor #3 is false", Patrick said. Imbrogno's sources indicate otherwise. Supposedly, a mass of sophisticated, high-accuracy tracking equipment was installed at the complex, enabling security to quickly generate a computer image of whatever aircraft might be affecting the equipment. Apparently such problems are still going on. Patrick would not comment on what kinds of security equipment protect Indian Point, but stressed that nothing new has been installed since the incident. Imbrogno is also suspicious that the armed security forces at the site may have had reason to attempt firing on the craft, again an allegation flatly refuted by the NYPA. "I know a number of helicopters with rocket launchers were sent up and followed the craft for some distance," Imbrogno commented, citing his anonymous sources for the info. "When these helicopters went on their way, the object moved off and started crossing the Hudson, and disappeared up north." Officials will not talk to Imbrogno, nor answer his letters, he says. UFO spoke with Cliff Spieler, vice president at the New York Power Authority. He, like Patrick, basically dismisses the entire affair. "Having looked into this thing and living two miles from Indian Point, think the UFO reports are nonsense, " he said. "[All Hudson Valley UFO sightings] are linked to small planes flying out of Duchess County." At one time, officials speaking for Indian Point made their position quite clear to Imbrogno, "They said, 'you can cooperate with us, or you don't have to cooperate with us. If you don't cooperate with us, you have to face the consequences, because you are dealing in an area of national security. The incident that took place over there involved national security because it was a breach of security at a nuclear reactor.' But they weren't ready to say who was breaching security!" In considering the "who," Imbrogno took in a number of hypotheses, including the possibility that the incident was an elaborate test flight of a secret military craft, such as the B-2 Stealth bomber, or a covertly-planned contingency test of the plant's security operations, carried out under the guise of a UFO overflight.

Nothing is impossible, he'll admit. But the most tenable answer, he feels, is that the UFO was an extraterrestrial craft. "I don't think our government could be so bold with a craft of the kind that appeared at Indian Point," he said. "Talking to these security people, and looking into their eyes," his voice trailed, " . . . they tell a story of this one cop who got up on the roof below the UFO, and the thing started moving a little bit. He pulled out his gun, looked at it, then put the gun back in his holster and ducked! . . . The people who were telling these stories are not familiar with the UFO literature. If I really wanted to go into this, with no fear of what would happen to me, I'm sure there's an incredible story here. I am still being given information about certain things going on there-In the nighttime, people seeing little creatures coming through the walls of the casing on the reactor, and military personnel indicating 'we're aware of these creatures and we don't care if they're from outer space-shoot 'em!' . . . On a newscast on Channel 7 in New York, they were interviewing one guy, and he said, 'I saw it going over the reactor! I think they're sucking the power from it! That's what they're doing!' But a civilization that has this type of vehicle- any intelligence, whatever it is-I'm sure doesn't need nuclear energy."

Ed. Note: In a letter to UFO shortly after this article was written, Imbrogno added to his remarks. "It is hard to believe that people like John Lear and Bill Cooper are revealing 'top secret' information with little or no repercussions. I just poked my nose a little too deep into an area of national security and got my ears pinned back for it. My next step is to approach this in a legal way by asking for an investigation (preferably by a member of Congress) to find out how and why the security at this government reactor was violated and why information is being withheld." - Vicki Cooper, UFO Magazine

NOTE: I realized that Philip J. Imbrogno has recently been 'called out' for his apparent falsification of credentials...but the total research in the book "Night Siege: The Hudson Valley UFO Sightings" should not be discounted...Lon