Strange UFO Sightings Reported
By John Phillips
Assistant Editor -Indiana Gazette

I was out shoveling the driveway Tuesday evening when I heard a strange noise, a noise kind of like what the refrigerator makes when it turns itself on - a drone.
It was blowing and cold and the lights were making tricks. My eyes were watering, so I can't be sure, but I thought I saw a large, oval-shaped object with greenish lights around its midsection come down in the field across the way. And then I couldn't see it.
I went into the house, got my flashlight and went back out into the night to investigate.
I had my gum boots on, but it was still hard going in the snow. By the time I got to where I thought I saw the thing come down, there was nothing there - nothing, that is, but a large depression in the snow where something heavy and ovoid had just been.
I hustled back to the house to get my camera, but the wind was howling and the snow was drifting and by the time I got back to that spot in the field, it had already almost entirely disappeared. Photos would show nothing, and I would be a fool to mention to anyone that I had apparently seen a UFO.
Which is all just a bunch of baloney, of course. I made it up, yeah, I did.
But it's a strange world, folks, and a lot of strange reports, press releases and such, come to us in the newsroom.
One such report, from Stan Gordon of Greensburg, found its way to my desk for some reason.
Gordon, a self-described researcher/investigator of UFOs, says that 2002 was an active year for UFO sightings and strange encounters across Pennsylvania.
According to Gordon's report, "Close observations of strange flying objects, reported encounters with mysterious creatures such as Bigfoot and giant birds, strange footprints and sounds, and odd ground markings were some of the oddities reported."
He says that some of the cases reported last year could be explained as bright meteors, automated searchlight displays and even the northern lights, but that also some strange incidents couldn't be explained.
A couple of those incidents were from our area.
On April 15, 2002, Gordon reports, two people traveling on Route 286 near Clarksburg observed an elongated object about the size of a passenger bus hovering at treetop level. The silent object's body appeared to be extremely wide, and it had a very bright light at the front.
In Derry Township (Westmoreland County) in September, members of a family reported observing a Bigfoot creature on two different occasions in a heavily wooded area.
On the afternoon of Sept. 27, a driver was traveling on a back road and heard a noise from the woods. The driver reportedly stopped the vehicle, thinking that some deer were approaching.
Not so, as you may have guessed. "At a distance of about 145 feet, the witness observed a tall man-like creature covered with long brown hair and arms that hung down to the knees.
"The creature was estimated to be about 8 feet tall and took long steps as it crossed a field. The driver watched as the creature crossed over a barbed-wire fence with no hesitation or break in stride."
Gordon says he measured the fence and the top was 44 inches off the ground.
According to Gordon, Pennsylvania has a long history of observations of strange animals, including Bigfoot, the Thunderbird (a giant bird), the eastern cougar, and the black panther. (We always heard about a black panther when we were kids, but we never knew anyone who saw one.)
Anyway, with the weather so bad and such, we might as well be out looking for Bigfoot. If you find him (or her) Gordon wants you to give him a call at (724) 838-7768 or e-mail him at
In the meantime, here's a news item that'll perk you up - Friday the 13th fell on a Thursday this month. Hoo-hah!
John Phillips is a Gazette assistant editor. He can be e-mailed at <>
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