Steve Hammons is the author of two novels about a U.S. Government and military joint-service research team investigating unusual phenomena. MISSION INTO LIGHT and the sequel LIGHT'S HAND introduce readers to the ten women and men of the "Joint Reconnaissance Study Group" and their exciting adventures exploring the unknown. Both novels are available from the Barnes & Noble Web site, bn.com, and other booksellers worldwide. visit Steve Hammon's website at jointreconstudygroup.blogspot.com/.
UFO Hoax Leads to Arrest of New Jersey Men. Source: gothamist.com
The recent UFO hoax in New Jersey could be educational in several ways.
We might try to understand the thinking of the two men who have admitted to the hoax. We might also learn more about the complex overall situation related to UFOs.
The two men who launched helium-filled balloons with common road flares attached to them did it because, according to Associated Press reports, they wanted "to debunk so-called UFO experts."
Chris Russo, 29, and Joe Rudy, 28, will be charged with disorderly conduct, according to the Morris County prosecutor. The men launched the balloons in January and February, triggering "UFO" sightings.
Dozens of residents called police, distracting officers from serious public safety duties. The flares could have caused fires and also "interfered with air traffic," the AP quoted prosecutor Robert Bianchi as saying.
It could be argued that motorists could have been distracted and this could have led to serious traffic accidents.
This hoax is not unique. In April 2008, a very similar case occurred in Phoenix, Arizona, the site of the March 13, 1997, "Phoenix lights" UFO incident.
PHOENIX LIGHTS RETURN?
On April 22, 2008, the AP carried a story about mysterious lights seen by residents.
"Red colored lights that formed a square and then a triangle were seen floating over north Phoenix. The lights were visible for about 13 minutes around 8 p.m. Monday," the AP reported.
According to witnesses, the lights then moved to the east. Phoenix TV and radio stations as well as the daily newspaper posted video and photos on their Web sites the following morning.
Anne Ryman, a reporter for the Phoenix daily newspaper, witnessed the lights too, it was reported. One witness says he saw three jets flying in the direction of the unusual lights, according to the newspaper.
A local TV station reported, "Phoenix police and media outlets were flooded with calls Monday night" after residents saw the strange lights.
Another TV station said that officials from the small Deer Valley Airport in north Phoenix "saw the lights approximately 4 miles south of the airport and that the lights were rising as they watched."
Luke Air Force Base officials told news media representatives that none of their jets were in the sky that night.
Personnel at the main airport, Sky Harbor International, could not explain the lights, according to news reports.
The FAA and Phoenix Police were contacted by the news media and also were not able to explain the lights.
According to various news reports, dozens of people saw the red lights and stated they appeared to be in a diamond shape, changing to a square shape.
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