UFO Sightings In NY | Balloons
New York was abuzz on Wednesday with speculation that the little green men had landed when thousands of people looked up to the sky at what they believed to be UFOs. But the mysterious objects that hovered over the West Side of the Big Apple have turned out to be nothing other than wayward party balloons from a school in Mount Vernon. Traffic had ground to a halt and pedestrians stopped in their tracks to look skyward at the cluster of dots hovering overhead. Angela Freeman, headteacher of the Milestone School in Westchester said she was astonished at all the attention her decorations caused: 'It was just a freak thing. Frankly, I'm shocked by it'. The cluster of balloons were apparently inadvertently launched when a parent bought the balloons in for a celebration at the suburban school. 'The kids had an engagement party for a teacher, and a mother brought four dozen balloons, and she's coming through the door. It is very windy in Mount Vernon. Suddenly, 12 of the balloons let loose,' Freeman explained. The shiny balloons which were meant for language arts teacher Andrea Crapara were released at around 1pm. The first 'UFO' sighting was just thirty minutes later. NYPD revealed that the sightings prompted several 911 calls and brought parts of the Chelsea district to a complete standstill. Meteorologist Brian Ciemnecki from the National Weather Service said that wind conditions could very well have taken the cluster of silver and white balloons on the course to Manhattan. Veteran UFO spotters had come forward even before the school balloon explanation and were cynical that the object floating in the sky would be unexplained. Peter Davenport, director of the National UFO Reporting Center in Washington DC said at the time: 'It had the flavour of a cluster of balloons in my opinion'. Police and the Federal Aviation Authority were deluged with calls and despite mounting an investigation were unable to ascertain what it was. Within minutes of the first sighting on Wednesday, pictures posted onto microblogging site Twitter and video on YouTube showed a number of tiny silver dots floating around 5,000ft above 23rd St and Eighth Avenue. Most people were sceptical that the objects were extra terrestrial life, yet remained transfixed nonetheless. Witness Daniel Calhoun, 52, said: ‘Common sense says it wasn't a UFO. Common sense says it was a plane or a balloon, but this thing stopped everyone in the street for two blocks. 'Any New Yorker will tell you, that alone is extraordinary.’ Joseph Torres, 49, said: ‘It's been hovering there for a while. I'm just kind of baffled. How can it be ordinary? There is something going on.’ Witness Pete Bryant, 32, added: ‘I saw five or six lights shining in the sky. There was no way that thing was a balloon. ‘There was something weird about it. Light just doesn't reflect off balloons like that.’ Some blog posts linked the sighting to a book published by a retired US Air Force officer which said that October 13, the very day the sighting happened, would witness ‘a massive UFO display over the world's principal cities'. Stanley A. Fulham said in his book ‘Challenges of Change’ that aliens will neither land nor communicate on that date and claimed they are ‘aware from eons of experience with other planets in similar conditions their sudden intervention would cause fear and panic'. Other witnesses said the sighting was a ‘real Superman moment’, after the comic book hero who lived in New York. Tim Powell, 28 , said it was ‘the most bizarre thing I've ever seen. 'It looked like a jellyfish made of lights that just hovered in the sky like it wanted to be seen,’ he said. ‘I was half expecting the aliens to beam down and introduce themselves.’ The FAA was unable to find anything abnormal or offer an explanation as to what had happened. Spokesman Jim Peters said technicians double-checked their radar settings but nothing was amiss. He had also not been informed of any weather balloons due to be in the area. ‘Nothing that we can account for would prompt this kind of response,’ he said. It has been some time since New York had a UFO scare, although in May a strange object was reported over the skies of New Jersey. Residents of Somerville and Bridgewater called the police when they saw the long cylindrical object hurtling through the sky - which looked and sounded like an aeroplane.