If you were one of the thousands of Putnam County residents who called in to emergency services in the early to mid 1980s to report seeing a boomerang shaped aircraft the size of two football fields hovering in the night sky, then historical author turned UFO researcher Linda Zimmermann wants to speak with you.
“I’m looking for more people, particularly those who have never given their stories before,” Zimmerman said. “There are so many people who have kept silent for decades because of the ridicule factor.”
Zimmermann, who resides to the north and across the river in Orange County, is hoping anyone who lives in the Hudson Valley region who has seen a UFO or believes they have had an encounter with an extraterrestrial being, or had any other unexplained experience, will tell their story as part of a documentary she is working on with filmmakers Felix and Sarah Oliverio of Big Guy Productions titled, “In the Night Sky: I Recall a UFO.”
Zimmermann began her professional career as a research chemist.
“It puts you in the frame of mind to examine evidence,” Zimmermann said of her scientific background. “But when the science you know doesn’t explain what people have seen, there is a gap there that I want the answers to fill.”
Before turning her focus to UFOs, Zimmermann has written about local history for several decades, including an award-winning book titled, “Rockland County Century of History.” She also has penned, “Hudson Valley Haunts,” detailing 92 historical sites that have some “spooky” stories connected with them.
While she had watched television shows on UFO sightings, her interest was piqued when a friend of a friend introduced her to a man who said he has had unexplainable incidents dating back to his childhood, in which he has seen egg-shaped lights and then loses hours of his life that he cannot recall. As an adult, he woke from one of these experiences with tiny gouges in his neck and legs.
Zimmermann later learned that his children had similar experiences, as well as his 83-year-old mother, who recalls the first time it happening back in 1937.
“He was incredibly credible,” she said. “I was covered in goose bumps. He believed it was like his family had been marked with each generation having these inexplicable experiences.”
With the 1980s incident in Putnam and northern Westchester Counties, policemen, firemen, town officials and dozens of guards at the Indian Point nuclear power plant reported seeing the large aircraft.
“A police officer lends enormous credibility,” she said of a now-retiredYorktownpolice officer who spoke profusely 30 years ago about what he had seen.
There were skeptics, of course, who believed it might have been some kind of blimp, but that would not explain the details of eyewitness accounts, Zimmerman said.
“When you listen to the descriptions, that something the size of two football fields would hover or go faster than any jet, it’s hard to say it could be something from our own military…it’s hard to say that we have all of that technology,” Zimmermann said. “You don’t have to say it’s aliens from another planet, but clearly it’s inexplicable.”
If nothing else, Zimmermann hopes to bring some comfort and ease to those people who have harbored these experiences in their own minds for many years.
“There is something special about meeting someone else who also has had these experiences. You don’t feel so alienated. No pun intended,” Zimmermann said. “We have enough to deal with in our lives. Maybe they can find some answers. Maybe they can realize they aren’t alone.”
When asked if that might be what the extraterrestrial beings are searching for, too, Zimmerman laughed and said that might be the case.
Community members who would like to contact Zimmermann can friend her Facebook page by searching for “Night Sky UFO”, or by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org or by sending her letter atP.O. Box 192,Blooming GroveNY10914.