New York Skies (Cheryl Costa)

A Colonial UFO Sighting

Colonials and UFO’s

It was a clear summer evening in 1790. A settler in New York’s Schoharie County was sitting on the porch of his dwelling playing his fiddle. About 9 p.m., a bright shining light appeared in the northern sky with a great roar. He indicates that it grew in intensity until it would have outshown the noonday sun. The resident remarked that the light was so bright that he could have “… picked up pins in every corner.”

The German colonist said he saw what appeared to be a meteor passing west of him at a distance of about 250 yards and about 65 feet above the ground. He states that it kept close to the ground on the other side of the hollow. As the object moved over the countryside, it met with a rise of tall trees and as it did, it rose above them and continued on with the speed of galloping horse. When the object came upon the foot of a noted hill that the Indians called “Owelus Sowless,” it ascended as the ground rose and flew over the hill. The settler said that’s where he lost sight of it.

He describes “the meteor” as about 300 yards long. It had a snake-like shape, except that the apparent head “… resembled the root of a tree plucked up by force.” There was no appearance of a neck, and it was as thick as a young bull and tapered off like a serpent. Its appearance resembled “… a welding hot iron and sparking like it.”

He further stated that the intense heat warmed his entire house. He further reported that it left a stench similar to burning tar or sulfur that lingered for at least a another day.

The UFO observer was part of the first German settlement in Schoharie County. The settler swore out his story in the town of Carlisle on Aug. 23, 1823.  The account was in the records of The Historical and Philosophical Society of the State of New York.

Let’s review some contemporary September sightings in New York skies:

  • 14 Sept.: At 8:25 p.m., a Syracuse resident was in a shopping center parking lot and noticed three pinkish-red orbs, after a few moments, he watched them vanish.  A short while later the objects reappeared, and were then joined by a fourth bright orange fireball like orb.
  • 19 Sept.: At 2:17 p.m., in Flushing, a resident and son were taking a walk. They noticed a white roundish object silently “zoom” over them at great speed.  The craft made maneuvers beyond anything common to an airplane or helicopter. The object would move fast, then hover for a few moments, then dart to another location, pause, then move again, until it finally just “blinked out.”
  • 19 Sept.: At 8:10 p.m., a motorist was driving in Cicero and noted a very bright orange light in the northern sky. After arriving home, the motorist observed the object for a few more minutes getting closer and moving south. The object’s brightness disappeared, but the motorist watched a dark object pass over the area. The observer notes that aircraft do not fly at night without lights.
  • Sept. 20: At 10:41 a.m.. A New York City resident was waiting for a bus and noted a small, oval shaped cloud-like object fixed in the sky. Then the object began silently moving south very slowly but making occasional 90-degree turns to either side, always returning to its generally southerly course.
  • 20 Sept.: About 9:30 p.m., in Peconic, a married couple witnessed two pairs of bright red orbs in the northern sky traveling east. While they were watching, the two sets of orbs changed direction to the northeast. The observer reports that one pair of orbs was clearly following the other.


If you have a New York UFO sighting story to tell, I’d love to hear about it. All respondents’ names will be kept confidential. Email me at [email protected]

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