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Take me to your leader

Aliens, kids and floats added up to a great day for UFO enthusiasts in Pine Bush, NY.

May 3, 2012

Like many of us, I have interest in a myriad of subjects. Gardening, nature, astronomy and ancient history top my list, but there is a subset of fascinating topics that creep into my thoughts on a consistent basis. Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster and the Bermuda Triangle are but a few of the themes that attract me. Truth be told, I have given a fair amount of attention to one area of interest over the others: UFOs.

My interest in all things flying saucer began in the 1980s (it’s a long story), peaked in the ‘90s and has held steady ever since. Just prior to moving to the Hudson Valley, I became aware that the region had experienced a bit of celebrity concerning UFO sightings (known as a “flap” in the vernacular) in the 1980s, and that there were several books written ( on the subject, including “Night Siege: The Hudson Valley UFO” written by world-famous researcher/author Dr. J. Allen Hynek.

Digging a little deeper revealed a bit of controversy surrounding a sleepy town very close to home, Pine Bush, NY, which attracted some media interest during the flap. With UFO sightings being reported throughout New York State, Pine Bush residents were suddenly noticing strange lights in the sky for months at a time, which eventually snagged some national attention, along with the prerequisite investigators, aficionados and conspiracy theorists.

Discovering this information clarified the Facebook posts I had come across announcing the “Pine Bush Area UFO Festival and Parade,” and I marked my calendar for the event, which promised lectures, slide shows, vendors, music and (yay!) a parade. A beautiful day provided the backdrop for this second annual salute to the Pine Bush sightings, and I joined the festivities eager to learn more. Festival organizer Susan Bellows Wiand was on hand to answer questions and dispense info, which I was eager to explore. Picking up a flyer for a monthly group meeting on the subject (, I chatted with some group members of the United Friends Observer Society (UFOS) took pictures and wandered the picturesque town before the parade passed by.