From left ti right: A photo of an alleged UFO sighting in East Setauket, a Holstville woman's sketch of a craft she says she saw near her home, and a photo of another alleged UFO, this time in Port Jefferson.

Editor’s note: Joseph Flammer is a field investigator with the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON).

Attendees to my lectures usually want to hear about Unidentified Flying Object events that allegedly occurred decades ago, but I like to steer their attention to more recent sightings, especially around Mount Misery on the Nassau-Suffolk border.

The haunting UFO incidents that typically make people in my audiences shudder include the reputed spaceship crash in Suffolk County’s Southaven County Park in Shirley in 1992, the alleged shoot-down of an alien craft over Moriches Bay off Center Moriches in 1989, and the supposed secretive UFO-linked Montauk Project thought-projection experiments at Camp Hero in Montauk in the 1970s and early 1980s. But I stress to people that UFO activity on Long Island is ongoing. It’s especially pronounced in the Melville-West Hills area, where new UFO cases are reported every year to the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) as UFO sightings, and where ghost are known to haunt unabashedly — a common trait of UFO hotbeds.

“The UFO was triangular with three bright lights, one at each tip, and it was moving towards Mount Misery,” recalls Emily Blinder, 64, of South Huntington, revisiting the exact spot where, she says, she saw a UFO on West Hills Road, after filing a sighting report about seeing the craft on a cold, dark January 2017 night. The report she filed with MUFON comes to me because I was one of the licensed MUFON Field Investigators covering the area.

“It was moving slowly over the trees,” Blinder continues. “It was only about 55 feet away.”

Curiously, Blinder says she spotted the unidentified aerial phenomenon near Walt Whitman’s birthplace in West Hills. The location is near the infamous West Hills Nature Preserve on Sweet Hollow Road, a place where Whitman often walked and where trails are named after him.

The preserve is located at the base of storied Mount Misery, a hill with a summit nearly 400 feet high and a base covering an area of about a mile in any direction. It is a place where UFOs were allegedly seen so regularly in the woods in the 1960s that John A. Keel devoted a whole chapter to the sightings and high strangeness in his 1975 book, Mothman Prophecies, and where ghosts and strange creatures reportedly appear to this day.

“I sat in my car at the stop sign and just watched the UFO,” says Blinder, a retired insurance customer service representative who admits feeling uneasy whenever she is near Mount Misery because, like a lot of people, she believes the woods are haunted. “Then I followed it as best I could, but it moved off to Mount Misery and was gone.”

Blinder describes the craft she saw for at least 30 seconds as having “no exhaust signature nor wings — and was silent.”

According to Cheryl Costa, who cowrote UFO Sightings Desk Reference: United States of America 2001-2015 with her wife Linda Miller Costa, Suffolk County led New York state in the number of UFO sightings during the 2001-2015 period, with a total of 554. Nassau County ranked fourth in the state, with a total of 276 reported sightings.

“An area with a larger population tends to have more sightings than a less populated area,” says Costa. “That’s how it usually works.”

Last year’s U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) release of three videos of Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets pursuing UFOs in 2015 may be the most alarming of all reported sightings. The DOD admitted that more than a dozen such UFO chases have occurred over the East Coast since 2015, and nobody knows what’s flying the objects or why.

People ask me if these UFOs are secretive government craft or alien in nature.

I tell them, “It’s not my job to say what they are, only to report that they’ve been seen.”

I’m hoping the government soon discloses the truth about what it knows so we can know, too. Not knowing is getting old.

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