Case File: Hudson River UFO
Location: Hudson River Valley, New York
Date: March 17, 1983 to 1989
Description: The craft is described as an immense "Black Manta" space craft as large as a football field covered in lights.
History: More than five-thousand people have seen unidentified flying objects over the cities in the Hudson River Valley of New York during the 1980s. Some of the cities include: Brewster, Millwood, Stormville, and Yorktown. On the night of March 17, 1983, deputy Dennis Sant saw a large, dark grey metallic object over his home next to Interstate 84 near Brewster, New York; he described it as "a city of lights." He and his son followed the object until they reached their backyard. A few miles away, traffic along I-84 was brought to a stop when motorists got out of their cars to look at the large, unknown flying object.
A week later on March 24, officer Andi Sandhoff was working a routine patrol when she saw a series of lights in the sky. At first, she assumed that it was a plane. However, as she got a better look at the object, she realized that it was too large to be a plane. It had several white, green, and red lights on it. The object seemed to stop above her car. She noted that no sounds came from the object. She decided to follow the object until it disappeared over the hills.
That same night, computer engineer Ed Burns was on the Taconic Parkway near Millwood when he began experiencing static on his radio. Seconds later, he looked up and saw a large object, about the size of a football field. He also noted that there was no noise emitting from the object. He pulled off the side of the road and watched it, along with other motorists.
The eyewitness reports suggested that the object was slowly moving north over the Hudson River Valley. The local police in Yorktown received countless calls from people reporting the shape. Two officers who saw it together gave different descriptions at the same time. Officer Kevin Soravilla described it as a large shape with several lights, but his partner, William Wolf, described it as a series of small planes flying in tight formation.
Some began to suspect that the UFO sightings were a hoax, believing that the large object was actually several small planes flying together. However, sightings continued to pour in throughout the area in the following months. In Summer 1983, air traffic controller Anthony Capaldi saw the "object" flying nearby over Stormville. Looking more closely, he noticed that it was actually six planes flying together. He did note, however, that the previous eyewitnesses should have been able to tell if it was a series of planes because of the noise coming from the aircraft. Since several eyewitnesses reported hearing no noise, it would seem that the "planes in tight formation" theory would be an unlikely explanation.
On July 24, 1984, Bruster resident Bob Pasouli took a home video of a strange object flying overhead. According to video experts, it appears that it is one large object and not several small objects.
Background: The Hudson River Valley was named for Seventeenth Century English explorer Henry Hudson who first explored the region in 1609. It is located forty-miles north of Manhattan. Most of its residents are upscale professionals and retirees.
Investigations: This case has been investigated by UFO expert Philip Imbrogno who noted that sightings of a singular large craft and that of small planes have been seen on separate nights. Some of the sightings occurred on nights where the alleged "hoaxer" aircraft were not flying.
As of yet, the pilots of the planes have not been publicly identified. When asked by Unsolved Mysteries to recreate their maneuvers, they refused, citing FAA regulations that they allegedly broke at the time.
Extra Notes: This case originally ran on the September 16, 1992 episode. It was also featured on the ninth episode of the Unsolved Mysteries podcast, which was released on April 14, 2021.
Results: Unsolved. In the 2021 podcast, Pete Bertine described his sighting, which occurred during the mid-1980s while he attended an all-boys boarding school in Katonah, New York. He and several other students witnessed a massive silent "structure" hovering above their school. It was as wide as several football fields. UFO expert Linda Zimmerman analyzed his sighting and compared it to the other UFO sightings in the Hudson River Valley during the 1980s.
- Hudson River UFO at Unsolved.com
- Strange Sights Brighten The Night Skies Upstate - August 25, 1984
- UFO or planes in formation - the debate continues - August 6, 1988
- Filming 'Unsolved Mysteries' - Fall premiere airs scene shot in Congers - September 16, 1992
- Will the Hudson Valley catch another UFO wave? - January 25, 2019
- UFO Swarms Of The Hudson Valley - February 24, 2021