Monday, June 6, 2011


Copyright 2011, InterAmerica, Inc.


In the mid-1960s a UFO terrified a small New Jersey town. On a clear and cold mid-winter night, the community was infiltrated and “beamed upon” by rays that shot downward from a brilliant and eerie object. Over the decades the event has seemed to have faded from view for reasons that remain very murky. There are those who are no doubt very happy about this. But a closer examination of the event today reveals it to be the most credible and exceptional “mass sighting” of a UFO anywhere in all of human history. The sheer number of highly credible individuals who reported the sighting astounds.

More significantly, the event was apparently photographed by the frightened. These extremely rare, little-seen images are controversial, and they are shown here.

Digging deeper this author has found records indicating that the US Government was concerned about ‘imposter military men’ that had infiltrated the community to suppress or dissuade them from reporting anything further on the incident. This may be another reason why this great mass UFO sighting is not so well known by the masses (or even many in the UFO research community.)

Finally, this author has also located and contacted an original witness from when the event occurred. In retirement he reluctantly confirms that the object that he saw (and remembers well, even 45 years later) was not of Earth.



On January 11, 1966 in Wanaque, New Jersey (located in Passaic County) a bizarre and disturbing event began to unfold over this town of less than ten thousand. Most of the activity took place around the Wanaque Dam and the community’s key water resources. The event lasted about two and a half hours (6:20-8:58 PM) and it was seen by dozens of individuals. The police were flooded with incoming reports on the aerial object from around a 20-mile radius.

The UFO was reported as:

- Very white but occasionally changing colors, including red, blue and green
- Exceedingly bright and shining, but not flickering or twinkling
- Much larger than any star, at times appearing to assume an irregular egg-shaped, fuzzy structure (and described as perhaps the size of about “10 bright stars clumped together”)
- Gliding “low and oddly” across the vast frozen and semi-frozen waters, seemingly in a deliberate “pattern” (described by some as a circular pattern and sometimes maneuvering side to side and up and down.)
- Flying as low as 250 fifty feet above to as high as 1000 feet above witnesses
- Moving at moderate to fast speeds in complete silence (with no sound of motor or engine) and occasionally hovering or floating for periods of time
- Finally, zooming out of view at extreme speed after its “survey” of the area

But by far and away the most amazing and important feature reported about the UFO is this:

During the duration of the sighting, the object would periodically shoot large beams of light from a porthole down towards the ice near the Wanaque Dam and the town’s reservoir and water resource facilities. The beams would then create holes in the ice as if they were burning through the freeze of winter with precision and ease! How mere “light” could do this (unless it was a laser or unknown energetic technology) is not understood. Sgt. Ben Thompson (see list of witnesses below) reported the UFO’s strange ability to suck together tree tops and to cause a rise in the reservoir’s water level.


Scores and scores of people from the town said that they saw parts of the event or the entire episode. These people include the Mayor, several Councilmen, numerous Law Enforcement personnel, the Reservoir Police and even a high-ranking Catholic nun.

This author has reviewed what little historical literature is available on the sighting. This includes a review of papers and other periodicals from 1966-1967 including: The New York Journal-American; the APRO Bulletin; NICAP Notes by Otto Binder, 1966; UFO Investigator Vol. III No. 6 Jan-Feb 1966 and area NJ and Tri-State newspapers (i.e. Newark News and the Star Ledger.) The list of key witnesses (included in brief interviews in newspapers at the time) are:

- Mayor Harry T. Wolfe and his Son Billy
- Councilmen Warren Hagstrom, Arthur Barton and John Shuttle
- Civil Defense Administrators Bentley Spencer and Richard Vrooman
- Chief of Police Floyd Elson
- Officer George Dyckman
- Patrolman Joe Cisco
- Sgt. Bobby Gordon (Pompton Lakes Police)
- Sgts. Ben Thompson and David Sisco
- Patrolmen Edward Nestor and Jack Wardlaw
- Reservoir Police & Personnel George Destito, Charles Theodora, Fred Steines
- The Mother Superior of a Local Convent

Other witnesses named in the Press at the time include two teenagers (Sloat and Melegrae) and Newark College of Engineering student John DiGiamoco as well as some of the wives and children of those listed above. It was reported that by night’s end, the Police Department had received “dozens” of phone call reports of the object from different locations and vantage points from surrounding areas. The early reports had apparently instigated town officials to convene at the Dam to see the sight for themselves. Of course not everyone saw all of the more spectacular aspects of the incident, with some only reporting less impressive “anomalies” depending on when they arrived, from where they viewed.


Key quotes about the event that I have found by combing though and culling reports from newspapers in the days following the event include:

Mayor Wolfe, who would characterize the whole thing by saying that “the phenomena was terribly strange.”

Officer George Dyckman: “I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.”

Reservoir employee Fred Steines stated: “A bolt of light shot down from it as if attracted to the water, like a beam emitted from a portal.”

Councilman Warren Hagstrom: “We got goose bumps all over when we saw where the hole was.”

Patrolman Joe Cisco (recorded on police radio): “Something landed in front of the dam. Something’s burning a hole in the ice! Something with a bright light on it, going up and down!”


The extraordinary and rare photograph featured at the top of this article is said to be an actual image taken of the Wanaque UFO. It appears to be emitting a downward beam of “structured” light.

The beam is large, dense and “engineered” (as shown in its extreme angularity.) You can view an enlargement of the UFO/Beam photo here:

Click here for full size photo

The light beam was said to have been “energetic” and could pierce or burn through the ice. Others saw the beam’s reflection on the ice and only that it was somehow impacting its surface. None of those who photographed the Wanaque UFO and beams wished to have their names publicly identified. Some of the photographs found their way to the late UFO researcher August C. Roberts.

Over 45 years after the original event, this author has located an original witness to Wanaque found mentioned in early-published reports. The witness (who prefers not to be publicly identified) replied it that though he is not 100% certain, it does appear “very similar” to what he has seen as a young man those many years ago.

Given the sheer number of highly reputable people who saw this event, it is inconceivable that more photographs were not taken. It is perhaps as great a mystery as the UFO itself: How could an event witnessed by scores of people for over two hours not have resulted in far more captured images of the craft? This is particularly odd given that many of the witnesses were law enforcement officials on patrol. This author has reason to believe that many Wanaque UFO photos (and perhaps film) were suppressed or remain in private, nervous hands to this very day.


Series of Five Photos Taken at Wanaque and Published by Dell

Click here for photos

Dell Publishing in NY (now Bantam/Random House) received a series of 5 black and white photos after the Wanaque event claiming to be of the craft and beam seen there. The submitter wished no acknowledgement and did not seek any compensation. Dell published the photos and, accompanying them, a very brief article in the 1967 issue of its publication, UFO Reports.

The photograph of the UFO and beam featured at the beginning of this article appears to be what could be yet another photo of this Dell series, but not included in the article. It appears similar to the fifth photo appearing in the Dell article, but it also reveals more view and detail (including an “interaction” between the water and the bottom of the beam.)

I am not aware of the location of the negatives (given they exist) nor the identity of the photographer/s who took these intriguing images. Though I cannot vouch for their authenticity, at least one of the witnesses contacted thought that there was a good similarity to what was seen at Wanaque (see interview below.)

They could though be “fakes” made after the event to simulate what had happened at Wanaque. Or perhaps they are of a similar event.

Or perhaps even still, they are genuine. They were sent to private researcher August Roberts and to Dell anonymously. They wanted to get them out, but perhaps feared potential retribution or unwanted attention. I intend on locating other of the known witnesses to see if they will or will not collaborate the photos as possible images of what was really seen at Wanaque.



This author has learned that unknown men posing as military officials descended upon Wanaque in the period after the sighting to intimidate and dissuade talk about the UFO. And the source for this is the U.S. Pentagon itself! Found buried in the defunct civilian UFO research organization’s publication APRO Bulletin (Jan-Feb, 1967) is a detailing of these “MIB” visits.

“Men dressed in uniforms or bearing credentials from government agencies have been silencing witnesses to the UFO at Wanaque. According to Pentagon spokesman Colonel George P. Freeman, ‘These men are not connected to the Air Force in any way.’ He cited a recent case in which the police officers and other witnesses at sightings in Wanaque, NJ and told them they had seen nothing and should not discuss the incident. Whoever he was, he wasn’t’ from the Air Force,’ Freeman stated.”

This helps to account for the lack of subsequent details or real investigation and the apparent absence of photographs of the event taken by those who would let their names be used.


According to a 1966 civilian UFO research organization NICAP report by John Pagano found by this author, on January 11, 1966 at 7:45 p.m. – on the very same day and at the very same time- as the Wanaque, NJ sighting, another, similar sighting was taking place in Myerstown, PA, about two hundred miles from Wanaque. A nurse and others together in a car saw a luminous disc, like one saucer inverted on top of another, at relatively close range as it hovered above the car. After about five minutes, the object suddenly accelerated and sped away. The precise timing of the two sightings at the same time, the “luminosity” of the object, its being seen at close range and hovering – as well as its abrupt acceleration away - are all uncannily reminiscent of Wanaque.



On October 15, 1966, less than a week after the original Wanaque sighting, Police Chief John Casazza with the Reservoir Force said that he and his friend Bob Dexter witnessed a strange sight in the air at about 10:40 at night behind some hills on the dam. According to an interview he conducted with early researcher Lloyd Mallan, he said, “it was shaped like an ellipse, but was flatter on the bottom and more round at the top. In length, it appeared three times larger than the Moon. It gave off kind of a light. White light. It was not flashing or blinking. Casazza send the craft was noiseless and moved slowly and then very fast out of view.

According to November 1966 issue of UFO Investigator from civilian research organization NICAP, later in the year in Wanaque (on October 10, 1966 at 9:15 PM) police officers observed a spherical object with a protrusion on one side emitting an extremely bright blinding light that lit up the terrain (environmental illumination.) The UFO hovered and moved around erratically at high speeds, making sharp turns and leaving a misty trail in its wake when it moved. Even the intervening decades Wanaque has had other similar aerial anomalies involving very brightly lit objects, including one the was reportedly filmed in 1992.



This author located and spoke with a first-hand witness to the event who was a young Wanaque man in 1966 who was mentioned in the news at the time. This witness, not wishing disruption or re-involvement four and a half decades hence, agreed to talk on the condition of anonymity. Excerpts of what he said recently to me are telling:

“I remember the thing very well. I still do not know what it was. I think about it from time to time, but it’s no use because it doesn’t bring me any closer to knowing what it was.”

“Maybe things that aren’t from here aren’t meant to be understood by us here.” He added, “ask anyone who will tell you , it was not a helicopter or something astronomical. It was…not…from our military or something we misidentified. It was a UFO, from somewhere else.”

“The beams or ray thing that came out from the bottom of the glob (globe?) was the thing that got to me. It made the light cut the ice out. It frightened us kids. And I’m sure the adults. Because we don’t have anything like that even today.”

“The adults didn’t really speak much about it after the initial thing that I could tell. I’d talk about it with my friends some time later and one of them told me that people came around to not say anything.”

(On the emailed alleged photo of the Wanaque UFO and beam): “I am not 100%. I saw it from a different perspective. And not that close up or with a camera lens. But it is very similar to certain times when I saw it. The beam or huge ray, it kind of changed shape and the main body had a haze . Now that you are mentioning it, I have always wondered why none of the adults there, like the police, released any photos. They had to have had them taken. And the Reservoir police had cameras too. It went on for so long-people could have gone and come back to get one.”

Perhaps additional witnesses will be found to help clarify the mysterious night all those years ago. Maybe they can recall if these images remind them of what they saw.


Though the US military denied having knowledge of the Wanaque affair, this is directly contradicted by Sgt Bobby Gordon of the Pompton Lakes Police Force, who was an eye-witness. About 15 minutes after the “main event” and the craft had left, Gordon said, he saw the abrupt and mysterious appearance of seven helicopters and 10 or so high-performance jets over the Wanaque Reservoir. Gordon believes that these overflights were no coincidental to the sightings of the strange UFO. Gordon said that he did not report this to the Air Force as he said “I had enough aggravation on my job, so that I don’ have to go outside to get it.”

1960s UFO researcher Llloyd Mallan conducted a private investigation of the incident. He called numbers of officials to see if they would lay claim to the overflight of US aircraft in the wake of the Wanaque sighting. The U.S. Navy, FAA, US Coast Guard, Wright Patterson Air Force Base and other Air Bases and the US Coast Guard all denied knowledge of any such flights. Mallan believed that the military scrambled to investigate and to learn more about a craft that was not their own.

And some of skeptical inclination have offered up several ill-conceived and far-reaching “answers” or solutions to the true nature of the Wanaque sightings. Though few if any proffer a hoax explanation, some have said it was:

A Balloon

McGuire AFB in Wrightstown speculated it was a weather balloon that traveled from Kennedy International Airport, which the Pentagon initially agreed with. Later McGuire said it was not and the Pentagon offered a new explanation

Venus and Jupiter

The Pentagon later offered that these planets were in alignment creating a strange effect

Helicopters or other Aircraft

Stewart AFB in Newburgh, NY said it was a helicopter with a powerful beacon on a night mission. They later “soft-pedaled” on this explanation, likely realizing all of the other conflicting “real reasons” given for the sighting by other officials

Ball Lightning

“Ball lightning” was offered as an explanation to Wanaque when the question was posed to arch-skeptic Phil Klass by a researcher. But ball lightning is a very rare form of lightning. It can appear white, spherical and luminous and even pierce window pane. However the duration of the phenomenon is typically no longer that two minutes –not two hours like the sighting at Wanaque. And ball lighting forms are typically no more than eight inches. At the extreme outset they have been seen briefly at a meter or so in diameter- but not several feet in diameter, as at Wanaque. And the craft at Wanaque remained “formed” with fuzzy “structure” whereas ball lighting rather quickly “peters out” into nothingness. And ball lightning cannot float, dart, travel in circles and up and down in a pattern. Lastly, ball lightning cannot shoot sharp beams out of itself, emitting beam-like structures. As a 10 year old boy, this author experienced ball lightning. My mother was on one side of the living room and I on the other. A terrific summer storm was raging. Then, out of nowhere, a “energy ball” of light about the size of a small fist pierced through our picture window and streaked in an instant to a light socket, which sparked and burned. No way was this like Wanaque.

Every single witness ever contacted disagrees with all of these “explanations.” All say that none in any way account for what was viewed at relatively close range for a long time. They insist that it was not a manmade craft (it was silent and blinding, making impossible maneuvers) or a celestial body (though it was the size of “10 stars”) nor was it ball lightening (though it shot from its underside strange, large and powerful light beams.


We have learned many things about Wanaque:

One truth is that there was very little meaningful investigation done at the time about this astounding aerial encounter. Project Blue Book and the Air Force did nothing substantial, if at all. Military or intelligence did not make contact with witnesses to conduct in-depth interviews and to perform on-site investigations (at least that we know of.) No one was officially dispatched to technically evaluate the UFO beam’s impact on the ice. No water samples were taken, no deep-freeze divers were ordered down, and no radiation testing was conducted. Indeed the only ones that seemed interested were media, and then only briefly. And it was largely local coverage with limited follow-up and no real independent investigative reporting. It even had limited mention in the UFO press. It gets no mention at all in most all of the major UFO encyclopedias today for instance.

The other truth learned is that very large numbers of very credible people reported very identical things at the very same time. None of them has ever gained or sought any fame or reward for telling their piece of what they know.

And what else is known is that pictures that had to have been taken were never made openly public. Those that may have, as show here, unfortunately have no provenance. Others may have been suppressed or confiscated. The reason that this is so (and that even today why many are reticent to discuss the event in detail) is that some in the community were intimidated by real or imposter military authorities who warned them not to say much.

Finally we learn that if the craft that visited and brought rays down upon Wanaque was not military, nor any type of craft made by people, and not a stellar or atmospheric aberration. It hovered and maneuvered silently at will in a deliberate pattern. It was intelligently controlled. It blinded with its intense white and colored lights. It was amorphous, changing fuzzily from structure to energetic glob. It shot forth with precision some form of unusual light energy capable of piercing and carving winter ice. It entranced those who saw it. And then it left in a near instant. It was out of everyone’s vision. But it would forever emblazon everyone’s mind with the sight of the unearthly.

Indeed this “weirdness at Wanaque” was so alien that one can only conclude that it was just that…Alien.


  1. I grew up about 5 miles from Wanaque and wasn't aware of this case until a year or so ago. I was 6 when it happened. Don't remember any mention of it while living in the area. It's obviously a great case and the lack of attention it's gotten is odd.

    There's a mountain ridge that separated my home town with the reservoir. From the top of that ridge you can easily see the Manhattan skyline to the southeast, so on the one hand it's close to NYC yet oddly remote because of the geography. The area is also a bit under 20 miles from the Indian Point nuke plant, which was the central point of the famous Hudson Valley case about 20 years later.

  2. Hi Frank-

    Well what a very small world! And it is very odd that the case has been somewhat "buried." The witness I talked with was somewhat reluctant, and it definitely left an indelible impression on him. Maybe the rest of the townsfolk feel as he did that even after all these years they still do not have any idea what they saw. To continue to consider it just brings frustration...

    Anthony Bragalia

  3. Haha, well I haven't thought much about this for a long time but now that you mention it . . .

    The area was also home to a then active Nike missile base located near Campgaw Mountain which was just 5 miles east of the reservoir.

    I ginned up a map of the area:

  4. Great report Anthony!

    I too never heard of the Wanaque N.J. mass sighting! What a fascinating multiple witness account! That water surely had significant meaning to the craft.

    Those helos and jets were searching for something shortly after the sighting no matter that the military denied sending anyone up.

    And the photos, what few exist in public, are excellent! I can imagine how startling it would be to see that, with the light beam cutting through the ice, in person.

    ~ Susan

  5. If the event occurred in January 1966, the photos should have appeared in the press within a matter of days. They ought not to have taken over a year before first appearing in a magazine. It makes no sense.

    Likewise the extra photo, not included with the Dell pics, looks too artificial, probably a fake, and was photographed later, to add to the 'story'.

    I suspect none of these photos have anything to do with the sighting, particularly as the identity of the photographer is unknown.

  6. Oh, CDA! Please read the article again.

    The anonymous photos (as well as the lack of any others) shows that there was either a suppression of such images, or people were simply to fearful to get involved. Did you not read where the Pentagon was concerned about people posing as officers and intimidating witnesses?

    August Roberts received the photos within weeks of the event. He elected to hold them until he learned more. So your comment, to me, is meaningless. The Zapruder film was not shown until 11 years after it was shot!

    And your cries of "fake" are equally and utterly meaningless. I grant that they could be, but a "CDA say-so" is laughable as "evidence" of fraud. You have to do way better that that Christopher!

    Anthony Bragalia

  7. Interesting. Especially since the Great Northeast Blackout occurred just two months earlier on November 9, 1965. I believe there were reports of strange lights in the sky above some of the region’s hydroelectric power plants (i.e., dams) just before and at the start of the blackout.

  8. “Men dressed in uniforms or bearing credentials from government agencies have been silencing witnesses to the UFO at Wanaque. According to Pentagon spokesman Colonel George P. Freeman, ‘These men are not connected to the Air Force in any way.’ He cited a recent case in which the police officers and other witnesses at sightings in Wanaque, NJ and told them they had seen nothing and should not discuss the incident. Whoever he was, he wasn’t’ from the Air Force,’ Freeman stated.”

    Wasn't the interviewer John Keel? Not the best source for accurate information.

    "This witness, not wishing disruption or re-involvement four and a half decades hence, agreed to talk on the condition of anonymity."

    Interesting that you would rely on an anonymous source. I came across a quote on such matters:

    Al Neuharth (founder of USA Today) said:
    "It's so simple. Most anonymous sources often tell more than they know. Reporters who are allowed to use such sources sometimes write more than they hear. Editors too often let them get away with it. Result: Fiction gets mixed with fact."

  9. There are some problems with this photo. It was supposedly taken at night, yet the forest is sharp and fairly well exposed. This would require a tripod and a long exposure. The reservoir is dark, yet it was supposed to be covered with ice. (The ground under the trees appears to be covered with snow, however, so at least it was approximately the right time of year.)

    There are actually two clear beams of light, which are more transparent at the bottom than the top, yet which do not seem to diminish in intensity nearly as much as they should as they spread out. The beams seem to simply end rather than illuminating the reservoir - in fact, the darkest part of the picture is directly beneath the beams. The left side of the craft is indistinct and does not match the right side, yet there is little evidence of motion blur, indicating a short exposure or a static subject (more likely the latter given this is supposed to be a night shot and it has a properly-exposed background.)

    On the whole it looks like a fake produced by dodging a print (using an opaque or partially transparent object to reduce exposure in a defined area of photographic paper.) There is a faint line coming form the 4 o'clock position on the craft which may be the support wire used to hold the cutout used to do the dodging.

  10. Hi WH-

    Thanks for your review of the photo. Of course, as I have pointed out repeatedly, I am not "wed" to their authenticity.

    That said, let me address your points:

    In January in the Northeast US (I am guessing you are from the UK with your use of the the word "dodgy") both moving and still water and bodies of water can be in various states of "freeze". Some water can be "slushy", some water can appear solid but really be just a very thin crust of ice, some water is partially frozen, and still other bodies of water in winter are as solid as a rock and many inches thick. One thing is certain, at night, it is very difficult to determine the existence or extent of water, or ice, or ice-water, especially at a distance.

    The possible 'support wire' you see, I do not. I see a faint scratch perhaps of some sort from a half-century old photo. Even if it were a wire, I can't see how it would be able to 'support' the structure given its position and thinness.

    Your mentions of motion blur, the craft being indistinct, etc.. - we must bear in mind that this image was taken by a likely hurried and excited person, shivering from exposure. The camera used was likely an inexpensive one made in 1965 or likely prior using home-use black and white film. This was of course common equipment for suburban Americans at the time. But the quality had drawbacks and photos from this time lack clarity that causes difficulty in any kind analysis.

    More importantly, as the witness mentioned, "The beam, or huge ray, it kind of changed shape and the main body had a haze." I believe that these kind of characteristics may account for your concerns about blur and the craft's lack of distinct edge. There may even be a plasma or ionization phenomena associated with the craft.

    Anthony Bragalia

  11. The lack of photos is easily explainable. I was 21 at the time and owned a camera. The popular films at that time were Kodak color slide and print films with ASA's of 64 and 100. They produced excellent pics on bright sunny days, but were useless at night.

    In northern IL where I live, at that time and date it would have been totally dark outside. Any picture attempt would require a tripod and a time exposure. With a moving object, the time exposure would produce nothing but a blur.

    And why didn't someone get a camera? Years ago I and 5 other people witnessed a UFO on a bright sunny day outside my house. Not for one second did any of us consider leaving to get a camera. And risk missing the most amazing sight of our lives? You're kidding, right?

    Thanks for the report AJB.


  12. This case is all brand new to me....
    I just can't believe I've never heard or read about it.
    I am so very intrigued by this story....This should be big news....It's outstanding...there's another one too I had not heard about...the Bob White case....but this was a real find....

  13. Another case with a largish number (35) of witnesses over a period of several hours, but in this case on 3 CONSECUTIVE DAYS was the Rev Gill case in Papua in June 1959.

    Again no pictures taken, although the sightings occurred, in part, during early evening in summer. At one time Rev. Gill went in to dinner with the UFO still hovering over the mission station! And humanoid figures were seen as well.

    Beats anything at Wanaque.

  14. Here is one of several links on the Bob White case that I had mentioned...
    I'm sure some of you are probably familiar with it...

  15. I had that UFO Reports magazine at the time. I always wondered why I never heard about this case more!

  16. BWG wrote: "The lack of photos is easily explainable. I was 21 at the time and owned a camera. The popular films at that time were Kodak color slide and print films with ASA's of 64 and 100. They produced excellent pics on bright sunny days, but were useless at night."

    But this was likely b&w film. TriX at ASA 400 was available. The image is cropped since it doesn't conform to any common film-size aspect ratio. The closest commonly used would be a 35mm camera. Of course, it could be cropped severely and originate from a medium format Brownie, but TriX was available in that size film, too.

    Tony wrote: "I am guessing you are from the UK with your use of the the word "dodgy""

    'Dodge and Burn' is standard darkroom practice. By 'dodge' EH means a portion of the negative received less light from the enlarger because something (usually one's hand or a piece of cardboard on a stick) was put between the image and the enlarger's light in order to enhance contrast by keeping the part dodged lighter than the parts of the image not dodged.

    I agree with you that the mark EH refers to is likely a scratch. No way to come close to certainty considering the quality of the image available.



  17. Tony wrote: "On October 15, 1966, less than a week after the original Wanaque sighting..."

    This seems to be an error. Do you mean January 15?

    EH wrote: "The reservoir is dark, yet it was supposed to be covered with ice"

    The photo could be of the Oct 10 sighting (which Tony refers to in his article), not January's.

    Here's the AP, dateline Wanaque, Oct 11, 1966:

    "Sgt Ben Thompson of the Wanaque Resevoir Police said...the object maneuvered, stirring up brush, and water in the resevoir."

  18. You may contact me at,I saw the thing you speak of Im 52 yrs old I was 8 at the time and grew up across the street, from Raymond dam.

  19. I grew up in Wanaque. My father was a volunteer fireman for the Wanaque Fire Dept. The fireman were burning Christmas trees in the sandpit the night the object appeared over the resevoir. The sandpit was located across from the dam (about 1/2 mile away over dry land. My dad and the other firemen saw the object. Officer Cisco and my father we great friends and my siblings and I grew up listening to the ufo stories. I spoke to my dad today and he says that he was not aware of any type of cover up. You may contact me at

  20. I came across these posts out of curiosity just surfing around because I was at one of the sightings mentioned in this article. Specifically, I was at one of the Oct 1966 sightings with two friends while taking a break from college studies. We had read about the sightings the day before and went to the reservoir area in the early evening just to see what was going on - but never expecting to see anything. It was a clear brisk night with the stars clearly visible. We were parked on the shoulder of Greenwood Lake Tpke north of the Skyline Dr intersection that is directly adjacent to the reservoir in Ringwood, which borders on Wanaque. There were people in other cars parked along the shoulder obviously there for the same reason - to see if any UFOs showed up.

    We had been there for about 20-30 minutes just sitting in the car listening to the radio when we heard some parked car doors open and close and heard a girl scream (not very loud though). We got out of the car to see what was going on and didn't see anything at first (the road was winding and heavily treed). After about 10 seconds or so we saw a spherical light that was maybe 4-5 feet in diameter about 20 feet moving into sight above the tree line. The light was fluorescent colored but not as bright as a fluorsecent light bulb. It's shape wass well defined, not fuzzy, it made no sound, did not flicker, and did not change color. It moved in a direct line south toward Wanaque at maybe between 5-10mph. We watched it until it passed over a long area of trees where we could no longer see it. Please note that this object had no resemblance to the picture of the UFO with the beam shown in this article.

    I didn't think what we saw was a big deal because of the size of the object and that it could not possibly be manned. Many years later I saw the movie Close Encounters that showed those small white spheres. That was a shock because what we saw was very similar to those white spheres with regard to size and light intensity. We did not see swamp gas or a baloon or anything I've read that would explain it. I saved the newspaper article that covered the Wanaque sighting with an account of the sightings and interviews with local authorities who also witnessed the object. If anyone has a genuine interest in the newspaper article I'll email it to you... send request to

  21. Thanks so much for this information Anonymous! It really helps to corroborate others who reported seeing a similar thing...I will email you privately as I would most certainly love to read the article..


  22. I and my wife, after reading of reports in all the papers, drove to the reservoir on what turned out to be the day after the LAST reported event. While driving around the reservoir ( perhaps 20 miles) we saw several military radar vehicles parked on the perimeter.
    As I remember, they were 2 1/2 ton types.

    This was just a few months after the Canadian military involvment with two UFo vehicles, traveling in the air and then underwater down into the Maine coast ( on tracks)
    retired US and Canadian military.

  23. I received the following email from with his request that I post it for him.

    "Anonymous I Lived there during that time you seemed to
    See close to What I saw we lived in Morse Lakes
    In 1966 It was 11:00 pm we were sleeping and the whole back yard lit up like ball park lites before ballpark lites we stuck our heads out the window looked up and something was hovering above us about 200 feet no noise and no lite shining down but lit up like day lite me and my wife were young than and didn't take it serious. We laughed and said that must be one of those UFO there talking about once we said that it's all we remembered like many others never thought Camera odd.I am email you this because I can not get on site for some reason I would appreciate if you could put this on that site if any others saw what I saw
    Thanks RWP"

  24. Thanks Anonymous for adding to the growing list of people who saw a UFO during that time at Wanaque. Every new account from witnesses who were there helps to give us a more complete picture. And I too wish more had used their cameras...


  25. For Joe Cisco, one of the U.F.O.witnesses on the list; I use to play ,'Ghost Riders in the Sky' and 'Mister Spaceman' every Friday night at Patricks/Rohdes Ringwood Inn .R.I.P. Joe and thanks for the weekly beer and shot of J.D. you bought me!

  26. I lived on Magee Rd and Was walking my dog when I saw three round white lights come from Windbeam Mt. No sound, the first one passed the second one sent a light down that lit up my picnic area I ran to get my husband when the third one passed and they were gone. I remember people with telescopes and cameras
    parked on Westbrook Rd around the reservoir

  27. Hi Anonymous who knew Joe Cisco...

    Did Joe ever discuss his UFO experience or those of others? Did he ever mention pictures of the UFO having been taken? What do you think of the ones featured in this article?


  28. Back in 66' folks didn't have camera's in every pocket. They were big and bulky and put away and used for special occasions by the average person. I know the PD or Reservoir PD did not carry around camera's at the time. Also only a professional camera back then would have captured any kind of night photo regardless of the brightness of the object. I grew up in Wanaque and remember all this very well.

  29. Hi -
    Actually the department did issue cameras. They were not in the cop cars but the cops could check one out.

  30. I lived in Wanaque for 33 years. Although I was not born when this happened I have seen things in the sky and strange creatures I could not explain. There is a so called vortex in Wanaque were these beings come through. The vortex is a few miles wide and the portal can open anywhere between.

  31. Anyone have any clear pictures or negatives of the UFO and or picture of the UFO beaming a light down on the ice? How is it that there are no actual real photos around? I doubt they all have been taken by the military or so called men in black.


  33. I saw a similar object in S.E. night sky in the 1960's over Media Pa. I too was a young boy. About 30 people were watching it for 30 or so min. Then a couple of FBI or CIA agents came, and told us we were looking at weather phenomenon, and go back in our houses. And like magic, we did.

  34. Hello Anthony,
    The article on the Wanque UFO was great. It brought back many memories of a bunch of us guys going to Jersey to see this UFO that a few of my friends witnessed the night before (Jan 11, 1966) at the Wanaque Reservoir in New Jersey.
    What happened was on the day of January 11, 1966 a few of my friends played hooky to go skiing at Holiday mountain in the Catskills. On their way home, they go off of I 287 to get something to eat. Ray, the driver decided he would take a what he thought was a short cut home through Harriman State Park. Well you guessed it, he somehow made a wrong turn and wound up in north Jersey.
    They said they were going south on Sloatsburg Rd and just as the came to the intersection of Greenwood Lake Turnpike, just hanging a few feet over the reservoir was this glowing what they described as a flying saucer just hanging over the ice shooting down what they said was some kind of a light beam to the ice.They said they weren't the only ones who saw this, there were two other cars pulled over watching this thing just hovering over the ice and directing a beam of light into it.
    That's when Ray, made a U turn and got the hell out of there.
    When they got back home to Yonkers (New York) Pete called me to tell me about what had happen to them. I would have never believed him if it wasn't for the eleven PM news cast that night. The reporter came on to tell about a number of people whom witnessed a UFO around the Wanque Reservoir earlier that evening. As soon as I heard that I called my friend Mickey and asked if he would drive up to Wanque after school and that I would pay for the gas and tolls. He was OK.
    The next day right after school Mickey, Ray, John (Ray and John were the two guys who saw the UFO the night before) and myself made the hour trip to Wanaque. As we started coming down Sloatsburg Road, we started to see a lot of cars pulled over to the side of the road. We lucked out and found a spot and parked the car and started to walk with the rest of the crowd towards the reservoir. We didn't get too far when we were stopped by Military Police!
    They had erected a barrier and directed every back to their cars and leave immediately or the vehicles would be impounded. As we started walking back, I could see beyond the roadblock were a number of military vehicles and personnel and they were from both the army and air force.
    Unfortunately, we never got to see the UFO or the spot where Ray saw it beam down and melt the ice. But it was an experience I will never forget.
    Again, thanks Anthony for bringing back some crazy memories.
    Frank R. Santariga

  35. I stumbled on this Wanaque ordeal searching for anything on a UFO sighting In High Crest Lake in West Milford. As a young 8 yr old boy, I observed something similar in the sky in the north part of the lake near the old lodge. I thought it was some cool helicopter or something, then realized it was not making any noise. I remember seeing lights along the lower edge changing colors and rotating at times. I never saw any light coming out of the bottom shining down. It appeared to vary in shape. I probably watched it for maybe 30 seconds and then ran like hell to the house to tell my family. They ran outside and saw it for an instant and it disappeared. I can't remember exactly when this occurred but I think it was in the fall of 1966, late afternoon/early evening. I never knew anyone else in the area that saw the same thing. The one thing I do remember was that the newspaper, I think it was the Paterson Morning Call, did report in the following days about numerous sightings and officials were saying it was a weather balloon but I know this was no balloon.