Go Back Report # 257



A series of New Jersey police sightings after a reported disc landing in a reservoir -- important because police and several newspapers openly rejected an attempted "hoax" explanation.

The action began on September 15. At 5 p.m., two shiny discs were seen over Oradell, N.J. At 6 p.m., two shiny, round UFOs were sighted by former Navy flying officer J. J. McVickers just across the state line. At 7:50, NICAP member Victor Cipolla saw a glowing object descend toward Oradell, and other witnesses saw it dart back and forth near the reservoir. At 7:55, three teen-aged boys saw a bright, oval-shaped object land in the reservoir with a loud splash. A man working nearby also heard the splash, according to police. After a moment the strange device took off, climbed silently at high speed.

As McGuire AFB began an investigation, new reports came in. On September 21, four Hawthorne police officers watched a device with two beam-like headlights hover over a quarry. Officer George Jediny, in a report to NICAP, said the UFO -- which he sketched as a disc -- seemed to revolve. The quarry night watchman, Wm. Stocks, said the UFO had also appeared the night before. When he drove a Jeep nearer to check up, the object maneuvered to keep out of the headlights. (Similar reaction often reported.)

Just after midnight, September 24, the same or a similar device was seen over the quarry by over a dozen Hawthorne police officers and the chief reporter of the N. J. State Press, George Della Penta. When a police-car spotlight was pointed up at the UFO, it began to move. Before it left, Mr. Della Penta shot 18 feet of color film. (Analysis not completed.)

Later, Oradell police received a letter signed "The Bergenfield Pranksters," purporting to be from some boys who said they faked the sightings with aluminum-coated model aircraft supported by helium balloons. This was promptly rejected by the police and newspapers that checked the facts, among them:

The Newark Evening News, Science Writer Philip Del Vecchio: "It would have been impossible for them (the Bergen County boys) to put their model planes so high that they could be seen in Hawthorne... No object such as they could have put together could have moved at the lightning speeds attributed to the UFO. The light... could not have been produced by amateurs. This newspaper makes an appeal to other residents ...with the assurance that reports will be treated with dignity.

The Hawthorne Observer, rebuking those who accepted an unsigned letter from a town miles away, said it was time to treat the reports seriously.

The Riverdale Sunday Trend: "Suppose the real hoax is the letter purporting to explain the whole thing?"

The Hawthorne News Record: "To imply so flippantly that our police officers spent almost half an hour looking at a balloon and then watched it speed away at an incredible rate -- all in quite an opposite direction from Oradell--is insulting."

The Newark Sunday News: "Flying saucers are still a big mystery...are seen with great regularity by sane and logical inhabitants of the planet Earth. What they are and where they come from and what their mission is has not yet been satisfactorily explained."

Regardless of the final outcome, these New Jersey sightings have shown that an increasing number of newspapers no longer accept quick brush-off answers to sightings by competent witnesses.

This reference: UFO Investigator (NICAP), Vol. 11, No. 6, October/November 1962, pp. 3-4.

With thanks to the Donald E. Keyhoe Archives.

NOTE: There are many more references to the 15ths sighting, but only three have a reference to the water. I have highlighted these in yellow below.-CF-

UFOCAT PRN - 35880 [DOS: 09-15-1962]

UFOCAT URN 035880 UFO Investigator, publication of NICAP, November 1962, p. 3

UFOCAT URN 035886 The UFO Evidence 1, Richard Hall, p. 152, 1964

UFOCAT URN 035887 Anatomy of a Phenomenon by Jacques Vallee, p. 140, 1965

UFOCAT URN 069648 UFO Investigator, publication of NICAP, March 1968, p. 5

UFOCAT URN 035883 A Century of Landings (N=923) by J. Vallee, # 547, 1969

UFOCAT URN 035881 Data-Net Report, May 1970

UFOCAT URN 035882 Computerized Catalog (N=3076), #3070 by Jacques Vallee, no date

UFOCAT URN 165212 *U* UFO Computer Database by Larry Hatch, # XXXXXX, 2002

UFOCAT PRN - 35885 [DOS: 09-15-1962]

UFOCAT URN 035885 UFO Investigator (NICAP), Vol. 11, No. 6, October/November 1962,

pp. 3-4

UFOCAT PRN - 35886 [DOS: 09-??-1962]

UFOCAT URN 087829 Piece for a Jig-Saw by Leonard Cramp, p. 252, 1966

UFOCAT PRN 35888 [DOS: 09-15-1962]

UFOCAT URN 035878 UFO Investigator (NICAP), Vol. 11, No. 6, October/November 1962

pp. 3-4

UFOCAT PRN 35888 [DOS: 09-??-1962]

UFOCAT URN 087830 Piece for a Jig-Saw by Leonard Cramp, p. 252, 1966

North America United States, New Jersey, Bergen

Oradell Latitude 40-57-31 N, Longitude 74-02-14 W (D-M-S)

Westwood Latitude 40-59-28 N, Longitude 74-01-59 W

Harrington Park Latitude 40-59-01 N, Longitude 73-58-49 W

Hawthorne Latitude 40-56-57 N, Longitude 74-09-15 W

This reference: The National Gazetteer of the United States of America, prepared by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, Washington, D.C., 1990.

Note: There are many different latitude and longitudes assigned in UFOCAT, so rather than present a meaningless list, I will give only the U.S. governments coordinates for the Oradell Reservoir.-CF-

Oradell Reservoir Latitude 40-57-22 N, Longitude 74-01-44 W (D-M-S)

Reference: http://geonames.usgs.gov/redirect.html


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