Wednesday, November 14, 2007

More From 1973

I alluded to the fact earlier that 1973 was a banner year for numerous interesting UFO reports around the USA. By the fall season I was learning of some impressive activity in Central New York and nearby.

On October 25, 1973 Syracuse radio station WHEN-AM reported an intriguing sighting witnessed the previous evening by no less than noted astronomer Terrance Dickinson, assistant director of Rochester's Strassburg Planetarium. Quoting from a transcript of that newscast:

"A Rochester astronomer says he sighted a formation of UFOs last night. Terry Dickinson. . .describes what he saw: 'A V-formation of lights, about the brightness of the planet Jupiter, that were moving together. I immediately turned the telescope onto them and I could see that, in addition to the four brilliant lights, there were smaller lights immediately beside the bright ones.'

"And Terry Dickinson says that after making checks with airports in the Rochester area, he's convinced that what he saw last night were UFOs."

In a later newscast, Dickinson admitted that he was very much the skeptic until his sighting, but changed his views after the experience.

1973, noteworthy for the Hickson-Parker UFO abduction in Pascagoula, Mississippi and reports of others, kept many researchers and journalists busy. I spoke at length with a Skaneateles, NY woman who awoke around 3:00 a.m. on October 12 and observed a "fiery Chinese dragon" shaped object in the sky that transformed into "a long whip shape" as it proceeded west. Then, on October 15, a Camillus, NY teenager and at least nine other witnesses watched two large, very bright lights appearing to be part of the same flashing object. At some point, a "ball" that blinked red, green and orange, with a circle of lights surrounding it, approached the first object. This second object stopped and hovered above the witnesses, and shortly the initial UFO flew directly above the second "as if they had merged" and both disappeared in different directions. On October 19 a witness in Constantia, NY viewed an object with green and red lights close to the waters of Oneida Lake. As he continued his observation, he saw it "skirt across" the water and it disappeared behind some trees. The UFO came to his attention initially because its brilliant lights reflected through his window.

Not even the Central NY winter could deter the steady flow of UFO reports. On December 7 I spoke with a Syracuse University law student who, with his girlfriend, a TV-radio major at S.U., experienced a bizarre object two nights previously. Observing from inside a dormitory, they watched as a diamond-shaped object, flat on the side, appeared over the campus. "Glowing lines" shooting from the thing helped define its shape. The witness further clarified that the object's color resembled that of a star, but sparks of red, yellow and green also exuded from it After watching the thing for 40-45 seconds, the witnesses watched it fly straight up in the sky and it disappeared quickly.

The national media's frenzy to report anything about UFOs encounters, true or not, resulted in considerable confusion at times. Following the Pascagoula fishermen abduction, James Lorenzen of the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization offered a statement to the effect that people were seeing UFOs despite national attention on the Watergate scandal and Middle East tensions -- but some in the press misinterpreted his words to imply that he was actually saying people were observing UFOs merely as a distraction from these national concerns.