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Location: West Searsville Rd. just south of dog-leg bend at entrance to new housing development on hill.  Panoramic view below shows landscape looking to the east.  West Searsville Rd. is visible in the foreground (middle of picture).  Pictures taken from house on hill top.

Click on panoramic view for enlargement.

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Focus right:

Location of parked van and observation point.

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Two craft (AOP) were spotted that evening between 11:14 pm and 11:30 pm.  One flew directly over the location where Cornet and Hartwell parked their van.  Their location and the approximate flight paths of the craft are indicated on the composite satellite image below:

Click on image for link to high resolution satellite images.

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First Craft

The first AOP was spotted to the east at 11:14 pm.  It brightened two lights to the extent that an aura or halo was created around them.

Looking to east near treetop level.

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The craft was so low to the ground that its lights were partially blocked by tree branches in the foreground.  The tree branches are highlighted in the image below, illuminated by the bright lights.

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As the first craft approached the observers, it turned down the intensity of its headlights just before turning south.  As it flew south additional lights came on along its side, giving the craft the appearance of a Boeing 747 with its several rows of windows up front.  But no Boeing 747 landed at Stewart airport that night, and no commercial aircraft was scheduled to land within the hour of the sighting.

Second Craft

The second craft flew directly towards and over Cornet and Hartwell at 11:30 pm.  At first Cornet thought it was a conventional jetliner, but noted differences in its lights.  As the craft flew over them, it turned on beams of light coming from two bright lights at the outboard margins of its fuselage.  These lights are positioned just inside the outermost running lights, and are not landing lights.  Landing lights on conventional aircraft are positioned much closer to the midline so that the pilot and copilot can have the runway in front of them illuminated.  Landing lights positioned out at the wingtips are illogical and impractical, because they leave the runway directly in front of the aircraft dark.  Bright lights at the lateral extremities are a distinct characteristic of anomalous craft witnessed in the Pine Bush area.  Therefore, the lights on the Manta Ray are called HEADLIGHTS, not landing lights.

The Manta Ray Reveals Rotating Headlights

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Comparison of Manta Ray lights for September 1992 and May 2000 sightings indicate similar shape and pattern of lights.

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Typically, conventional aircraft are made partly visible by their navigation lights and strobes.

Comparison of Manta Ray lights to those of a conventional jetliner indicates significant differences even though there is general similarity (possibly indicating deliberate mimicry).

Mimicry: Zool. The superficial resemblance which some animals exhibit to other animals or to the natural objects among which they live, thereby securing concealment, protection, or the like (Webster, 1961).

Strobes on conventional jetliners and non-stealth aircraft are bright enough to reflect off of portions of the fuselage.  The belly strobe on the jetliner above (left) reflects off of the engine pods, while the strobe on the Manta Ray does not, indicating either shielding and/or the absence of protruding engine pods.

Strobes reflect off of engine pods on conventional jetliners.

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Identification of lights and reflections using an overlay of Boeing 767 with September 1 jetliner (from above images).

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Copyright 2000 Sirius Onion Works.

This page was last edited 09/01/2005