UFO Evidence Chautauqua Lake

published by the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, Copyright 1964

August 11, 1958; Chautauqua Lake, N.Y.

Time: 9:15 to 10:30 p.m.

Observers: Fred C. Fair, Ph.D., and Gary Phillips.

Dr. Fair, a retired professor of Engineering, New York University, submitted the following log of observations of aerial phenomena. He and Gary Phillips were using a survey transit to observe the altitude and azimuth of certain stars.

  1. A white light was observed moving across the sky to the right and away from the observers. When the transit telescope was sighted on the moving light, possibly a minute had elapsed since it was first observed. At first only one white light was seen, then a second was noted, then a third and finally a fourth light, all four being more or less in line, and each separated by an angular distance of about 2 degrees. It is the opinion of both observers that when the first of the four lights was seen, that there were no other moving lights in the vicinity. Which does not mean that the objects were not in the sky, but that they were not emitting visible light at that time. Shortly after watching all four lights with the naked eye, the third light became about ten times as bright as the others, becoming brighter than Jupiter which was in the same sky area. The other three lights at this time were about as bright as a second magnitude star. A few seconds later this third light rather suddenly dimmed until it was the faintest of the four lights. Due to the narrow field of view of a surveyor’s transit telescope, it is rather difficult to locate and follow a rapidly moving object. By the time that Gary made his first observation through the telescope the moving lights had traveled from Northwest to Southwest, passing close to Jupiter. Gary made the statement that the objects were Flying Saucers, and that the telescope showed that what appeared to be a single light to the naked eye was several lights, and that there was a red light above the others. When Dr. Fair took his turn to observe the lights, three of the objects had already disappeared behind trees to the south. The very brief glance that Dr. Fair had showed several white lights, he thought there were five, and he observed a faint red light to the rear and above the white ones.
  2. Fifteen minutes later, while in a boat on Lake Chautauqua, while looking for    meteors, a single white light was seen in the southeast sky traveling from south to north. The light slowly and continuously varied intensity, fluctuating from 5th to 3rd magnitude, but the time of the cycle was irregular, but of more than three-second duration per cycle. For several seconds the light appeared to be stationary and when it resumed its motion it was traveling in a direction opposite to when first observed. Total time of observation of this light was about five minutes. As it receded in the south it became too faint to be further seen. At about this time a jet trail, making an arc of about 180 degrees was observed in a tighter radius than that described by the first four objects, but following essentially the same course. At the head of the jet trail Gary saw a red glow, possibly the exhaust from the jet.
  3. Still later a different type of lighting was seen close to the horizon in the western sky. We were still out on the lake at the time. A bright, rapidly blinking red and white light moved rapidly from right to left. Soon a similar blinking red and white light was seen to the right of this light, moving from right to left. It was fainter than the other which could have been due to being farther away. When the two lights passed each other they were separated by a vertical angle of about 2 or 3 degrees.
  4. After returning to the transit on shore, star observations were resumed but in a few minutes were interrupted to again observe a white light in the northwest traveling rapidly from west to north. The telescope showed this light to be similar to the first objects. Dr. Fair noted in particular that the five white lights were not arranged in a straight line, but appeared as though spaced on the circumference of an oval.[Emphasis added]. Again, a red light was noted above and slightly to the rear of the white lights. This was followed with the telescope until it disappeared behind some nearby trees. Gary who noticed this object first saw only two white lights. Probably fifteen seconds elapsed before Dr. Fair was sighted on the object and observed that there were five white lights.No vapor trail was observed behind any of the sighted objects.

Ghost Hunt at Local Business

Just a few miles from my own home and overlooking Chautauqua Lake stands a building high atop a hill shaded by a row of trees. Set back away from Route 394 it has sat for many years watching all those that pass by. A converted farmhouse from the late 1700’s the structure seems sound even after all these years. A large veranda and entryway, the newest editions to this impressive building, blend seamlessly into the original farmhouse. Seams meeting tightly, beams solid, floors creak only slightly as you walk across them. And within these walls many people have thrived through the years. Yet, late at night when the lights are turned low and the sound of cars passing along the interstate dies down you can feel something thrumming through the woodwork. A feeling of dread, possibly it is only a slight uneasiness which courses through you as you finish the night’s work. It could be a feeling of being watched as you toil, or a slight brush against your clothing as if someone had just passed. Unnervingly you finish your work and check the building one last time before you lock the doors tight. If you knew the building well you would know that you were not alone and that as the tumbler in the lock falls home you had left someone inside. As for who that someone is no one has positively known but they have always been there. As sure as the structure has stood all of these years so has a silent figure walked within the walls. 

I had previously talked to the new owner on the phone about what he had experienced and what he thought was going on. To keep the initial ghost hunt as sterile as possibly I opted for him to not tell me what had happened already but just to give me an idea of what to expect. I knew something had occurred and that he was not prepared for what he had gotten himself into when he bought the building. You could hear the uncertainty in his voice about telling me what had happened. After a couple more phone calls and a few missed appointments the ghost hunt was finally on. On a cool Thursday night just as fall was creeping into the air I pulled onto the private road that leads up to the building. My partner and I parked the car and got out to stretch our legs. Even as the cars passed on the Interstate and 394 there was little light to see by. We had gotten there a little early for our meeting and started to discuss what we were expecting of this hunt. Seeing as we knew nothing of what had happened we decided to switch our conversation to other things. Finally a car pulled up and it was the owner, whom I had never met, and he guided us over to the building. Introductions completed he rummaged around in his trunk for some candles to illuminate the building so that we would not trip over anything.

With all of the equipment ready my partner and I ventured into the building. Walking through the front door and into the building which was still being renovated I was struck by the history that I knew had taken place there. Straight ahead was a flight of stairs and to the right a bar area with a long wooden bar that stretched to the end of the room. The owner motioned to the bar so that we could look at the blueprints of the place so that we would have a better idea of what we were walking through. It was then that he bid us farewell and walked outside so that he could wait for us to complete our initial tour and observations. My partner and I knew nothing of what we were walking into. No idea of what had taken place in the walls, only a rough estimate of the buildings layout, a tape recorder, EMF detector, and a flashlight were the only things we were armed with. We started off and walked into the kitchen area, which is located to the right as you face the stairs. It was eerily dark in there and the flashlight only shone a small patch. As we walked through the building we passed building materials and old equipment. Shadows stretched along the walls and there was no noise save for my partner’s and my heavy breathing.

As we walked through the building looking into every room we sensed nothing. Gutted bathrooms with plaster and porcelain gritting under our shoes were clean. The storage rooms and walk in coolers, which we dared not enter in case the doors closed were clean. No readings were recorded in the basement covered in cobwebs and smelling of earth and moisture. Upstairs on the second floor where the carpet felt nice compared to the hardwood we felt nothing. This was how the rest of the visit commenced. Room upon room and corner upon corner examined and nothing. I was beginning to feel like someone was putting me on when we finally got back to the bar. I suggested we go back through only with the flashlight and the 35mm camera so I could get some photos of the place. We walked it all over again and still felt nothing. Back in the kitchen area my partner and I stood shoulder to shoulder in the doorway when a scratching noise fell on our ears. My partner instantly shone the flashlight on the ceiling but could not discern where the noise was coming from. Straight ahead was where I went to looking at the backdoor, which led outside and into the darkness. It sounded like something was scratching at the door rattling it in its hinges. As for if something was trying to get out or in I could not tell. As we stood for a while taking it all in the noise stopped and did not come back. All was silent again. I took the rest of my photos as we walked through the rest of the structure trying to pick up on feelings and temperature changes except nothing else occurred. As we continued I told my partner that the noise sounded to me like a dog was trying to get in after it had gone outside to relieve itself. He nodded saying that could have been what it was but he still was not sure what he heard and where it came from. There were no feelings, cold spots, noises, or anything else supernatural as we wrapped things up. I was disappointed but I knew that I would be back and that the owner had a few stories for me while we waited for his friend to show up with a video they had taken a week prior.

The owner greeted us at the door and asked us how things had gone while we walked out onto the veranda and sat on the bench. I reported to him what we had experienced and then pressed him to tell us what he had seen and felt while he readied the place to open. It was then under the bright lanterns that encircled the veranda that he related to us his experiences with the other side.

It was early in the morning when the owner, James, was supposed to be at the building with William, a friend who was helping him mow the lawn. James had told William that he could not be there before 9:30 and to start without him. As he unloaded his equipment he happened to look up at the wraparound porch and at a man walking along the windows. The man slowly walked from window to window reappearing each time, as he was lost from sight. William assumed that it was James and that he had gotten there early until the man came into view. It was neither James nor anyone that looked even close to anyone that was supposed to be in the building. With lawnmower clenched firmly under hand William watched as the figure passed from one window and out of sight. Later he said that it was the longest half hour that he had to wait.

Under those bright porch lights with the structure looming up out of the darkness above us James still seemed uncomfortable. The click in his throat as his mouth went dry allowed me to understand how deeply these experiences affected him. It seemed as though he expected something to appear all of a sudden in front of us because he kept looking at the building unconsciously checking the windows for a figure that did not belong. He even commented that the building was unusually “quiet” that evening. Supposing this is why my partner and I had felt nothing I hoped that the next time we came to this place that there would be more for us to observe. Even though he said it was unusually quiet James seemed as though he was waiting for the house to pounce and unleash a spectral image or two. Nothing did happen but I found myself checking those windows, not in hope that there would be something there, but hoping that I could catch it watching me before its icy cold stare could pierce my very soul.

The evening was not entirely wasted for my partner and I accompanied James and Sam, the man who took the video, back to James’ house to watch what they had caught on tape. The digital camera that they used had a night vision setting so that they could take video in the complete darkness. I have no idea what I expected but as I sat down with a cold soda in my hand I began to get more and more interested. What the video showed was the building in complete darkness and the three of them huddled in a corner waiting and watching. Passing the time away they started to talk about incidental things the weather, friends, and people stranded on desert isles. What happened next none of them could have guessed. On the view screen small orbs started to appear. They danced and flew through the air like large transparent fireflies. First one very faint one and then a few brighter ones until there was a whole symphony of flying embers. Moving to the stairwell they shot a few flying here and there and then oddly disappearing from sight. It was not until the female in the group said that they were just dust or bugs that something happened. The orbs started coming out of the woodwork and traveling up the stairs to the second floor. Up and over the banister and along the steps themselves to a point high above. When the cameraman finally asked them to slow down so they could have a better look they did. The orb would hang in the air a split second longer and then jet up the stairs for some unknown purpose. It happened again when he asked a second time.

Alone this video may have seemed to be an orchestrated hoax but the reaction to the video as James and Sam watched made me believe them. Even the orbs themselves could be laughed away under certain circumstances but watching them fly about with a mind of their own following the stairs as if they were once again human made me wonder if what I was seeing was the real deal. Although the ghost hunt concluded and no strong evidence gathered I believed that everything they told me was true. To this day I cannot explain the noise at the back door but alone that proves nothing. If ghosts do walk there they walk alone waiting to reveal themselves once again upon the world.