Monday, October 28, 2019

Lycoming County, PA UFO Flap of 1992


Williamsport, PA is no stranger to visitors, especially during the Little League World Series. However, back in February of 1992, there was a series of strange sightings over Williamsport from visitors that may not have come from this world.

“Were you among hundreds of area residents who appear to have experienced a close encounter with the ‘Galaxy’ last night?” the Williamsport Sun-Gazette asked in its Feb. 6, 1992, edition.

That’s because multiple unusual lights and objects were seen over the area from people as far north as Trout Run and as far south as Selinsgrove. Initial reports had some speculating that the lights were the product of a large military aircraft such as a C-5A, or “Galaxy.”

Stan Gordon, director of the state chapter of the Mutual UFO Network, said he received “a stack of letters 8 inches thick” about the sightings. He said most described the objects “as triangular or boomerang in shape.”

One witness reported seeing “four bright, white lines spaced far apart in a row and hearing a ‘rumbling’ sound.” Other witnesses said the objects “rumbled low enough over area homes to rattle the glass in some windows,” the newspaper reported.

An article about the incidents appeared in MUFON’s official publication, the “MUFON Journal.” MUFON investigator Samuel Greco, a retired Air Force officer, wrote that a “major UFO wave which had occurred about 1800 to 1900 hours in Williamsport, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania” on Feb. 5, 1992.

Greco said that “seven of these (sightings) had taken place in Williamsport or its suburbs. Two sightings were observed in or near the borough of Linden which is situated on Route 220 West. One took place near Cogan Station on Route 15 North.” He went on to say that persons from Union County, Lewisburg, Northumberland County and Selingsgrove also saw these unique visions.

Witnesses that saw these unusual lights were described by Greco as “working-class people” such as “managers, factory workers, mechanics, nursing assistant, home health service worker, hospital unit desk clerk, college student, housewives and retirees.” He furthered described them as being of “good character, honest, religious, sincere in what they said, not given to exaggeration, and they were able to describe what was seen clearly and factually.”

“They were not interested in telling their story for publicity or profit and they did not want their names released to the public. Their desire was simply to tell their story to someone knowledgeable about the UFO phenomenon,” Greco said.

That was the experience of the newspaper, whose reporter spoke to multiple witnesses who wanted to share what they saw but did not want their names in the paper.

Greco went on to explain that most of the incidents followed a similar pattern.

“First the sighting began while the witnesses were in the house attending to various household activities. Next a loud or heavy rumbling noise was heard over the house which shook or vibrated the house and rattled its windows. Then one of the witnesses would leave the house to investigate the cause of the noise and, having discovered the UFO in the evening sky, would call the other witnesses to view the object,” Greco said.

Gordon, who worked with Greco, agreed. He said in a recent telephone interview that “most witnesses tend to be persons not seeking publicity, and they tend to be credible people.”

These incidents had many of the same characteristics of UFOs seen over the Hudson Valley area of New York in the 1980s. Investigator Linda Zimmermann detailed the sightings in her 2013 book, “In the Night Sky.”

“The craft in the Hudson Valley were also very large triangular, boomerang-shaped craft,” Zimmermann said in a recent telephone interview. “But there is a very startling difference. Whereas the craft over the Hudson Valley would be silent, for some reason, the Williamsport ones were incredibly loud.”

Greco described it as “the rumble of a heavily loaded freight train, to the rumble of Niagara Falls, to the rumble of a snow plow plowing the street, or to the noise of a loud diesel engine truck.”

“The noise was unique in two aspects: first, when it was over the house it shook or vibrated the house and caused the windows to rattle; secondly, in all but one sighting, the witnesses did not hear a noise approaching until it was heard directly over the house,” she said, noting that was very curious.

“That is very unusual, and 99 percent of the stories describe the craft as silent,” Zimmermann said.

Zimmermann said the idea of it being a Galaxy military aircraft was impossible. An aircraft such as that could not hover over the homes like a helicopter could, she said.

“This does not mesh with what so many witnesses were saying was moving very slowly directly over their heads,” she said.

When asked if she had any idea about the origins of the craft, whether it be extraterrestial or extradimensional.

“I can’t say because both are possibilities. They are coming from somewhere, whether it be another part of the universe or another dimension. How can we say for sure?” Zimmermann said.

However, Zimmermann said that many people who experience that type of encounter go through a certain trauma.

“I ask witness how it has changed them. Some people are affected by it for the better, and others are not,” she said.

Greco agreed that this sort of encounter changes lives.

“Two persons who were non-UFO believers became believers,” Greco said. - Forwarded by the author, Don Smith

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