The Phil and Lynn Martin Story
by Bruce Cornet, Ph.D.
Table of Contents
Description of Event
Note: The animated gif below is 470K, and will take a little time to download, but it will be worth it.
The title is catching, but the syntax is presumptive. Did witnesses actually see a physical object violate known laws of physics, not to mention common sense? Without additional data that would support the limited information from our senses more semantic uncertainty is in order.
The Martins live in Pine Bush, NY. On 4 June 1997 I met them at the U.F.O.S. (United Friends Observer Society) monthly meeting at the V.F.W. lodge in Pine Bush. They related this story, and later in 1998 took me to the site in order to show me where their sightings occurred. What they witnessed in August 1993 is extraordinary in several respects. Others have witnessed AOP in the Wallkill River Valley that descend from the sky towards the ground and seem to disappear at the point of contact with the ground (see The Illusion and 24 October 1994 event). But none of these sightings compares with what the Martins saw that night.
Location: County Line Farm, Ulster and Orange counties, NY.
Click on map for enlargement.
Simulation (below) is based on descriptions given by the Martins. The width or pan angle had to be reduced for reasons of gif size and complexity.
A daytime shot (below) of the locality was used for this animation. It was taken on the west side of the hill on which the County Line Farm buildings are located. You can see the drop-off to the west and the corn field over which the 4 September 1992 performance of the Manta Ray occurred ("Oh sure!"). The Shawangunk Mountain range can be seen in the distance.
Description of Event
As I listened they described how they had gone sky watching after hearing stories from friends about their sightings. They went to an overlook on Flury Road, which follows a north-south oriented ridge. At one location the road climbs up onto the east side of the ridge, and at one spot near the intersection with Bruyn Turnpike (Hoagerburgh Rd. on old maps) there is an unobstructed view of the valley to the east. From that location the towns of Wallkill and Walden can be seen. The overlook is about 3.75 miles due north of the AOP hotspot on the Owen's dairy farm.
In between those two towns there is a north-south oriented hill which sits in the middle of the valley, just west of the Wallkill River. On top of that hill there is a trailer park and camping grounds equipped for RV's. Bernhart Rd. to that park extends well in from the nearest major county road: Albany Post Rd. After initially travelling west, it makes a 90 degree turn to the north, from which it travels along the western side of the hill. A steep precipice develops along the west side of the road as the hill climbs in height to the north. There are several residential homes located along Bernhart Rd., but for the most part the hill is covered by undeveloped woodlands. In the valley surrounding the hill farm fields extend out in all directions.
As the Martins watched and waited for something to happen, they saw a single light descend and disappear from sight just to the south of the hill. It disappeared on the County Line Farm property. They were puzzled by this light, because it was clearly not an aircraft light. If an aircraft had tried to land where this AOP disappeared, it would have hit some large trees. They continued to watch, their interest now peaked. A little while later they saw another light do the same thing. It disappeared in nearly the same area. Then a third and fourth light descended and disappeared behind rows of trees, which encircle the County Line Farm. Their curiosity overcame their apprehension. They decided to take a closer look. They then drove to Bernhart Road, which was the closest public road to the location where they saw the AOP lights disappear.
They parked their car near the bend in Bernhart Rd., and walked into the woods. They had to trek through a narrow stretch of woods and cross a small creek in order to get to the fields where the lights had disappeared. When they reached the first field, they were on the County Line Farm. They didn't want to trespass any further without first getting permission from the farmer, so they waited by the edge of the forest, looking up at the hill in front of them. Most of the farm buildings and silo were located off to their left, while a large expanse of farm field lay before them.
Then out of nowhere it seemed many orb lights appeared and began descending towards the back side of the hill. They watched in total amazement as 10 to 12 lights converged on the hillside and disappeared. It happened so fast they couldn't be certain of the exact number, but they agreed that they saw at least ten lights and one very large set of lights descend behind the backside of the hill. Some of the lights had small red lights associated with them.
I asked them if the lights could have stopped just above ground, and they said that was possible, but they didn't see any reflections from the lights off of nearby trees. They thought they would have seen some indication that the lights were just "hiding" behind the hill, rather than disappeared "into" the hill. The AOP lights did not slow in their descent as a conventional aircraft or helicopter would do coming in for a landing.
The animation above does not show the AOP actually going into the ground; it shows them disappearing out of sight behind the hill. And yet, based on topographic relief, there is not enough of a drop-off for the lights to become completely hidden from view - unless they actually penetrated the ground. But because the Martins did not actually see the AOP penetrate ground, we have to conditionally say that they "seemed" to disappear into the ground.
There was no vibration associated with the AOP disappearing into the ground. If the lights had been space junk on their last descent before impact, there should have been craters caused by at least some of the objects, especially the largest one. But there was no impact with solid ground, and no evidence that the objects were meteorites or space debris. The event was without associated sound, as would have been the case in either of those explanations. To assume that all those objects, if they were space junk, burned up completely just before impact is stretching the imagination. James Oberg, however, wrote a recent article on false perceptions caused by space debris re-entering the atmosphere (Space Vehicles Arrive -- But Whose?). But none of his references to anecdotal accounts closely compares with what the Martins saw, heard, and felt.
The Martins could not make out any distinctive shapes to the craft which produced the lights, which is typical of AOP where plasma lights envelop an object. The effect of the plasma blurs edge margins and makes solid objects behind them almost invisible. Paul Hill discusses this effect in his book: Unconventional Flying Objects, a scientific analysis.
Just before the AOPs disappeared from sight a huge set of lights caught their attention as it descended quickly behind the other AOP. It came from a more southerly direction (to their left). The Martins said it was probably the "mother" ship it was so big. It reminded them of some of the larger ships in Spielberg's movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, but its shape too was obscured by its bright plasma lights.
Stunned they collected their composure and began breathing normally again. They returned to their car shaking with excitement and disbelief. Lynn Martin said that as Phil began driving back towards Albany Post Rd. she looked behind them in the direction of where they saw the lights. She said she saw one of the lights rise up from behind the hill and hover. Perhaps it was checking to see if the Martins were still there (or to see who witnessed their intended covert arrival).
In 1992 Cornet did an extensive magnetic survey in the area. He discovered old long-abandoned mining pits with large trees growing in them at the northwestern end of the hill, next to the trailer park. Based on the anomalous magnetic readings he got for the hill, he suspected that colonial prospectors were digging for iron deposits. Loadstone and similar magnetic minerals can be found in Paleozoic granitic intrusions which run up and down the valley, becoming exposed at the surface in the southern part of the valley. Mt. Adam and Mt. Eve near Pine Island, NY, are examples of those intrusive formations at the surface. To the north, however, they become buried by younger Ordovician-age rocks.
To the south of Bernhart Rd. and a small creek is County Line Farm. It is located on another but smaller promontory, with the fields of the farm sloping away from the farmhouse, barns, and silo. The division between Ulster and Orange counties, New York, pass through this property, accounting for the farm's name. On 30 August 1993 Cornet did an extensive magnetic survey of that farm and its fields. Without knowing about the Martin's adventure, he conducted the survey less than a month after the AOP event. The date of this survey is important, because if there had been any temporary residual magnetic effects from the event, they may have been recorded.
Twenty eight stations (#376 - #403) of data were collected in a circle around the farm. Based on his measurements, a very large magnetic dipole* is located just south of where the AOP disappeared. It can be recognized by the closely-spaced contour lines which define an elliptical to elongate feature. Another smaller dipole is located at the northwestern end of the hill where all the old mining pits are located.
*All geomagnetic anomalies are dipoles, having a positive and negative polar end, like a magnet.
The map (below) shows geomagnetic anomalies in the valley. The area of interest is located in the center of the map.
When the magnetic anomalies are isolated and displayed by themselves, they form a distinctive pattern which runs up the center of the Wallkill River Valley (see map below). This map shows most of the anomalies as dipoles (red and white circular patterns enclosed by surrounding lines). However, not all anomalies appear to have both poles visible. That may be due to sampling error or because the dipole axis is nearly vertical, which would obscure one end of the magnetic pattern.
When locations of AOP activity are plotted on that map (yellow numbered circles), they correspond with geomagnetic anomalies. The reason for this correspondence is unclear, unless whoever is linked to them requires something special about their geologic make-up.
No yellow circle is indicated on the map where the County Line Farm is located, because the map was created before the Martins reported their story. When geomagnetic map is superimposed upon the topographic map (illustrated at the top of this report), the significance of this area becomes apparent.
Click on map for enlargement.
If the geomagnetic anomalies are caused by magnetic iron deposits within granitic intrusions, then an association between most AOP activity on the map and granitic intrusions is implied. Why would there be such an association? There are several possible reasons:
1) AOP lights are really Earth lights, and there is some unusual and as yet unexplained phenomenon occurring between the atmosphere and iron-rich deposits in the ground.
2) If the AOP represent intelligently controlled craft using an unknown or poorly understood source of energy, the use of iron-bearing (mildly magnetic) granitic intrusions for underground dwellings might be due to structurally- and electromagnetically- desired qualities of that rock as wall material for underground chambers. One could argue that surrounding fissile black shales of the Ordovician Snake Hill Formation make notoriously poor wall material due to their poor tensile strength in planes of cleavage. Therefore, the preferred type of rock in the valley for excavation would be the granitic masses.
3) Entrances to underground dwellings are intentionally located where geomagnetic anomalies occur at the surface as a means of camouflage. If the brightening of a plasma envelope around an AOP has something to do with opening a portal to an underground chamber, there may be residual effects that can be detected magnetically. The association of entrances with natural geomagnetic patterns could be for both physical and psychological camouflage, given the propensity of humans to accept "rational" or acceptable explanations over an explanation which would challenge dogma and beliefs.
Therefore, if any one or more of the above explanations are correct, then why did all those AOP disappear in a region where there are no magnetic anomalies? Enough local magnetic measurements were taken to be able to identify a magnetic anomaly there if one exists. Or could there be another explanation?
There is an enormous magnetic dipole just to the south of the County Line Farm, and a very small intense anomaly just to the northwest of the farm. Is it possible that the AOP caused a temporary reversal in local surface magnetism when they passed through the ground (if they passed through rock as opposed to passing through a dimensional portal)? Or could this be evidence that the associations indicated in the anomaly map above are the equivalent to a mother bird feigning injury to lure potential predators away from the nest? Not all granitic masses in the valley contain magnetic minerals. Perhaps the nest is really located where there are no significant surface pointers.
The Martins witnessed an extraordinary and rare event, which is unique among anecdotal reports coming out of the Pine Bush region. Several explanations are given for "why this location" of AOP disappearance. The explanation that seems to hold the most promise of being correct takes into consideration all the known facts. Although we do not know what those AOP represent, there is no known natural explanation for the event (given that the Martins are telling the truth). Earth lights tend to be associated with active fault zones, but the Wallkill River Valley is one of the most quiet areas seismically, the last major tectonic activity occurring more than 250 million years ago. There was no electrical storm that night which could account for ball lightning either.
AOP in the area appear to be associated with natural magnetic anomalies, indicating either 1) we have insufficient data to understand what is happening, or 2) the answer is obvious, but difficult to accept because of its implications. The fact that the AOP lights brightened just before disappearing below line-of-sight might be a clue to the physics involved in their disappearance. The fact that so many AOP disappeared in this one area at one time, including a very large AOP (larger than most witnesses have seen in the area), favors the nest hypothesis. All the other areas might be mere decoys.
Hill, Paul R., 1995. Unconventional flying objects, a scientific analysis, Hampton Roads Publishing Co., Inc., Charlotesville, VA.
Oberg, Jim, 1999. Space Vehicles Arrive -- But Whose?, www.space.com/area51/spacejunk_991105.html.
Copyright © 1999 Sirius Onion Works
Last modified: October 23, 2005