Fact Or Fiction: UFO Sighting in Midland Park
It was a summer night in August 1967. I was at a baseball camp in Loch Sheldrake, N.Y., working to improve my game skills due to an off year at college baseball. On this particular late night I was watching the office for the Camp Director, when my sister called the office phone and told me in a frightened voice that she and two friends were riding around in a car, on a completely clear night, had just watched a UFO hovering over Prospect Street in Midland Park in the area by Otten's Store for a lengthy period.
It was around 9:30pm on a Saturday. The UFO was not saucer shaped, she said, but with windows and very bright lights shining out, maybe 200 feet off the ground at most. She was scared and didn't know what to do. I suggested telling our Dad, who was on Desk duty at the Police Department that night.
She and her friends headed over to the MPPD and my father (with our uncle Bill Wagner present at the time) was very skeptical, wanting to know if they'd been drinking. They said yes, only a little, but this was no joke! My uncle was far less dismissive, "look at their faces, Bob!" he blurted out.
As told to me, the girls watched this slow moving object heading in the direction of Hawthorne-Paterson, as if paralleling Goffle Road out of town, so they decided to follow it. Not sure of which route they'd have taken, maybe Goffle Road toward Paterson or Route 208 North through Wyckoff, but in any case they followed it to the base of North Haledon "High Mountain" whose flat "top" may not have been accessible by car, so they abandoned this "tracking" and went back.
End of story? NO WAY. It seems that three days later, Tuesday, reports of the incident showed up — not on TV or radio, mind you, nothing for the public — but on the Midland Park PD Teletype! My Dad, who was a Lieutenant in the department at the time and still skeptical of the "story," read the report and immediately apologized to my sister for ever having doubted her sincerity on this event.
What the Teletype Report apparently said was that an unknown "object" hovered over the top of High Mountain and proceeded to set parts of that bare field on fire. Some local firefighting units, including at least one helicopter as I recall the telling of it, were sent to the area to extinguish these fires. Years later, two firefighters told her, face-to-face, they were part of the units who had fought that 1967 "blaze".
What do you think: Fact or Fiction? Did you witness the UFO of 1967 or heard about it back in the day? Or is this a creative writing piece? What do you think? Tell Us In The Comments!
Author Bob VanDerClock is a UFO researcher who has given more than 100 lectures on UFO sightings across the country, including at the Roswell UFO Museum and Research Center in New Mexico. He has also been published in FATE Magazine.