The Performance
Bruce Cornet, Ph.D.

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On 29 April 1993 a very unlikely and unexpected event occurred while the Sightings television camera crew and Director John Jopson were taping a segment for a show on the Pine Bush UFO phenomenon with Ellen Crystall (Ph.D. in music) and Bruce Cornet (Ph.D. in geology). While six unidentified craft (seen only as lights) performed for their cameras, a seventh stealth craft hovered silently across the field in front of them. During photoanalysis after the event, its lights were discovered positioned halfway between the ground and the tops of adjacent trees, while another observation craft was found on the ground, having gone unnoticed behind them. Neither Cornet nor Crystall were prepared for what would occur that night, just after sunset, before seven witnesses.

Within this report unidentified structured craft are called UFOs. This term as used here in no way implies that the object in question was being piloted by non-humans or manufactured on another planet. Until it can be demonstrated that the technology described herein was produced elsewhere, or until the pilot(s) step forward and identify themselves, what is presented in this report could fall within the extreme range of human aeronautical technology involving yet undisclosed military hardware. I think we all must keep an open mind about what was observed and recorded that night, because of the following reasons:

  1. The unusual nature of this performance and the technology revealed;
  2. The military mindset, which is normally against parading its new, secret high-tech stealth technology before civilian cameras, let alone before professional cameras for a television show; and
  3. The existence of private investigators, called Interceptors (e.g. Steve Douglass of Intercepts at, who actively pursue sightings of advanced military aircraft at their own risk and expense, and who attempt to obtain videos of them, an activity which supports the military mindset of secrecy and non-disclosure.
If there is foreign technology involved in this performance, recognition of that depends entirely on the evidence recorded (and presented here), and on how it is interpreted.

The Pine Bush UFO phenomenon is most active in, but not restricted to, a twenty square mile area in southeastern New York State, U.S.A. The area of investigation containing the small towns of Montgomery, Walden, Wallkill, and Pine Bush, in Orange and Ulster counties, NY. The Pine Bush hotspot is located in the western half of the Hudson River Valley UFO Corridor (Figure 1) , made famous by Dr. Allen Hynek and Phil Imbrogno in their 1987 book, Night Siege, the Hudson Valley sightings (Figure 2). Crystall's book, Silent Invasion (Figure 3), about the Pine Bush phenomenon, came out in 1991, less than a year before Cornet had his first sightings of this phenomenon. More recently, a cover story, written by editor Lynn Hazelwood on Pine Bush and Hudson Valley UFOs, appeared in the October 1997 issue of Hudson Valley magazine (Figure 4). This article describes the investigations of Cornet, Crystall, Hartwell, Imbrogno, and Lay.

(Figure 1)

(Figure 2)

(Figure 3)

(Figure 4)

Crystall makes the statement in her book that she witnessed what appeared to be a conventional single-engine plane transform into something else. She describes how pilots can occasionally be seen performing "stunts", such as quick stops in midair without falling, flying at speeds well below the stall speeds for fixed-wing aircraft, and apparent landings in farm fields, rarely with any daytime trace evidence for such landings. She illustrates unusual "pod" marks in a field next to the Jewish Cemetery on Rte. 52, where she claims she had seen a triangular-shaped craft land the night before. She describes one witness who said she saw an airplane the size of a Boeing 747 "land" in a farm field, where it disappeared behind a low hill. On 24 September 1992 I photographed a large spiralling orange ball of plasma light gradually transform into what resembled and sounded like a small single engine airplane with headlight and running lights (to be documented elsewhere). Careful graphic analysis of this transformation proved that it was not a conventional aircraft, but something capable of creating the illusion of an aircraft. In Volume 2 of my website (Link to Vol 2) I illustrate pictures of a large flying object that silently lifted off from a nearby farm field ( ../bcornet/Vol_2/Plate_03.html), flew in a large Omega-shaped loop above us, and then descended slowly in a counter-clockwise spiral into a forested area where no large clearings exist for such a landing (../bcornet/Vol_2/Plate_04.html). This performance was witnessed by six people on 24 October 1994 at 9:26 pm, and took four and a half minutes to complete. The witnesses included George Filer, Director of New Jersey MUFON.

Rick Atristain, Director of Virginia MUFON, told me that he is convinced something unusual is occurring in this rural farm valley, because he witnessed a similar anomalous event on 5 October 1994 at approximately 7:40 pm. On that night he and his friend Mark saw what they thought was a conventional aircraft approaching their position on West Searsville Rd. This observation station was located 75 to 100 yards south of Hill Avenue, and was the most popular spot for UFO enthusiasts to gather. He spotted the lights about five to eight miles away to the northeast. He saw the typical night lights and strobes of a conventional jetliner. Stewart airport, located at Newburgh, NY (Figure 1), is on the other side of the valley, 8.9 miles to the southeast. Commercial jets flying in or out of Stewart commonly traverse this area. Most people who come looking for UFOs are surprised by the amount of high altitude airtraffic in the night sky. But on this particular night Atristain watched in horror as what appeared to be a low flying aircraft suddenly exploded into a shower of blue and green sparks, similar to an exploding roman candle but much larger, and then vanished from sight. He turned to his friend stunned and amazed, and asked him if he saw what he had just witnessed. His friend said he did, and as they talked about what they had seen, they realized that there was no sound or delayed boom of an explosion related to the light show (even fireworks from across the valley can be heard in that location), no descent of debris to the ground, and no subsequent ground fire. But what disturbed them the most was the fact that Atristain saw this happen to the northeast about 30-35 degrees above the horizon, while his friend saw it happen at the same altitude, but in an entirely different direction - about 45 degrees north of where Atristain had seen it happen. Two simultaneous silent explosions of aircraft? This happened in the month of October, not on the 4th of July. Such is the illusion and deception of the Pine Bush phenomenon.

In Great Britain there are reported phenomena of ghost plane sightings, such as a WWII C47 Dakota that crashed in Bleaklow, and the Wellington bomber that crashed in Hope valley in 1943. Skeptics tell us that this phenomenon is nothing but the result of an over-active imagination, common to 4% of the people. But in the cases from Great Britain the witnesses had no prior knowledge that crashes had occurred there, and therefore no knowledge of what types of planes crashed. In the case of Rick Atristain and his friend, how can one explain a double hallucination - in two different directions, unless some outside controlling agent is involved? Psychologists are sometimes too quick to label something a group hallucination when they have no other credible explanation. But the treatment of facts is commonly a function of one's belief system as in the case of the Arizona lights over Phoenix on 13 March 1997, which the skeptics say were nothing more than military flares, despite eye witness reports of very large structured craft near or above the City of Phoenix.

In the Wallkill River valley, where the UFO hotspot occurs, there were two WWII airstrips for pilot training. One was near Montgomery, NY, to the southeast, and has since been converted to a golf course, while the other is about 2.5 miles northwest of Wallkill, NY, and is being used by the military as a special training area. But it is not being used as an airstrip; its light colored runways are not marked by tire tracks from landing airplanes. Stewart airport, originally a combined U.S. Army and Air Force base, is now a commercial international airport also. Giant C5s occasionally fly in and out of that airport on practice missions, and the B2 bomber and F117 stealth fighter have been seen landing there. DC9s, Boeing 707s and 767s, business jets (such as the Rockwell Sabreliner) and commuter turboprops (such as Shorts, de Havellands, and CASA Aviocars) frequent that airport now. Thus, there is a long history of aircraft flights over this area of the Wallkill River valley, raising the possibility of ghost plane sightings, if indeed such things truly occur. But if one can photograph this phenomenon, then can it still be called an hallucination? And if it can be photographed, who is responsible for the illusion?

With this brief background on the phenomenon and area, I will get back to my report on "The Performance". For additional information on the Pine Bush phenomenon, please go to my website at Different types of paranormal phenomena have been witnessed and experienced in this area. However, ever since Ellen Crystall had her encounter with alleged extraterrestrial craft and ETs back in the early 1980s, many people have assumed that the phenomenon is being caused by extraterrestrials, despite the fact that people around the country have taken similar pictures of "Tesla" orbs or globes near cemeteries, in open fields, and even in homes (see The Ghost Web). Because of publicity this area is currently considered by many to be one of the most active paranormal/UFO hotspots in North America. Crystall even claims that there is an underground alien base in the valley underneath the hotspot, and that we are experiencing a Silent Invasion. I investigated her claim, and found anomalous magnetic activity originating underground. But this phenomenon is much more complicated than a simple nuts-and-bolts physical explanation.

Currently the area is unusually quiet after a three year period of intense activity (mid-1992 to mid-1995), which had its peak around 7 January 1993, when Mars was closest to Earth (perigee).

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