Discover more from The Observer
Catching Up with the Pine Bush, NY UFO Fair
The 'UFO Tourist' makes a pit stop in Pine Bush, NY to talk to the key players of the 13th Annual 'UFO Fair'
Number 3 in a series of UFO Tourism by Bernie O’Connor - email@example.com
LIVE FROM THE UFO CAPITOL OF THE NORTHEAST - The 13th Annual Pine Bush UFO Fair on June 3rd, 2023
The last two UFO themed events I covered celebrated single historical UFO incidents: the Kenneth Arnold sighting and the McMinnville photos. But how would you like to go to an event that celebrates an ongoing phenomenon? In fact, a localized phenomenon that dates back over 100 years? Then the small town of Pine Bush, located in the Hudson Valley of N.Y. is for you. Crawford Township, where Pine Bush is located, has been known as a “UFO Hotspot” for decades. And the UFO Fair is the fun tip of an enduring iceberg of paranormal mystery.
The exciting events of the day will include:
An extraterrestrial themed costume parade and “Best in Galaxy Alien Beauty Contest.”
A competition for prizes in the hilarious interactive game show, “You Bet Your Asteroid.”
All day free live music, entertainment and pop-up events.
Vendors selling out-of-this-world hand crafted goods and memorabilia.
Looking for the more serious side of the venue? First, visit the all-day free Community tent to meet MUFON representatives and local UFO/Paranormal experts. Then, plan on attending the Speaker’s Conference and Q&A session to be held at the Community Center immediately following the days activities.
Hi-Ho-UFO, Come to the Fair
To find out more about this exciting Fair, I reached out to the Crawford Township and Joan Miller, the Community Services Director, and Pine Bush resident who was kind enough to grant me an interview.
B. Good morning Joan, Thank you for your time.
JM. Thank you Bernie, I’m always happy to talk about our Fair.
B. This upcoming Fair will be its 13th outing, do you see interest in UFOs fading?
JM. Oh no, quite the contrary. Now that UFO files, videos and documents are being declassified, interest is growing in the phenomena and there is renewed interest in the Crawford area as well. One look at the TV line-up will reveal a host of alien-related shows. People feel freer to ask questions and more confident that they will receive real answers if they go looking for them.
B. Besides coming to have fun, some people are also coming looking for answers?
JM. The Pine Bush UFO Fair is a perfect safe space for the “true believers” and newly-interested truth seekers to connect with other like-minded people. Each year, the expert panel of authors and UFO speakers we feature, is a big draw for people who may have had their own UFO experience or are just looking for more information on the subject.
B. In a skeptical world, how do the good people of Crawford deal with such an unusual, shall I say, notoriety?
JM. Pine Bush residents feel pride in their ongoing association with UFOs. This public recognition of our unique heritage all started with the investigator and writer, Ellen Crystall, and her landmark book Silent Invasion. Then, Whitley Strieber’s best selling book, Communion was published and interest in the Crawford sightings grew astronomically, almost overnight!
B. Do you have to be interested in UFOs to enjoy the Fair?
JM. No, not really. Families come from all over, even other countries, just to enjoy strolling through the many vendors, indulging in delicious local food, listening to good music, playing alien-themed games and participating in contests. We welcome people of all backgrounds, no matter what galaxy they may be visiting from from. This is what makes Pine Bush a very special place.
B. It sounds like the community fully stands behind the Fair.
JM. We are proud to host this unique yearly celebration and we anticipate its positive growth in the future. We are, after all: “The UFO Capitol of the Northeast.”
B. And with those words, I can’t think of a better why to end this interview. Thank you again, Joan and best of luck with the Fair.
JM. Thank you, Bernie.
Speaking of Speakers – This year: The Chronicles of Abduction
This year’s featured guest Speakers will be: Travis Walton, Kathleen Marden, Dr. Bill Wiand, a local Hudson Valley UFO expert and Abductee. As a special guest, Tom Reed, who will recount his abduction during the Labor Day 1969 UFO Incident that occurred on the night of September 1, 1969 in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. Over 250 people reported witnessing UFO activity and the incident has been deemed a “significantly historic and true event” by the Great Barrington Historical Society and Massachusetts’ historians. Tickets are $45.00 each and can be purchased online at: pinebushmuseum.com/2022-ufo-speaker-conference/.
One of this his year’s featured guest speaker is returning for her 10th time: Linda Zimmermann.
The only words that can be used to describe Linda is that that she is truly a Renaissance Woman. Linda is a research scientist turned award winning Author with over 30 books to her credit. Her lecture schedule has included the Smithsonian, West Point, Gettysburg, Mensa along with many TV appearances and radio shows. In 2021, Hudson Valley magazine named her Best Author of the year and was also voted Best Radio Personality in 2020 along with cohost, Mike Worden by the same magazine. Click here to read Linda’s complete bio.
Luckily, Linda took some time off from her busy schedule to grant me an interview.
B. First off, thank you again Linda for agreeing to be interviewed for my article. This opportunity is very exciting for me.
LZ. Thank you Bernie, glad to be here.
B. What will you be speaking about at the upcoming Fair?
LZ. I’m planning on talking about the best UFO cases from the last 100 years in the Hudson Valley.
B. What has been your experiences in taking part in many of the Pine Bush UFO Fests? Do people openly share their UFO experiences with you and do you do follow-up investigations with these leads?
LZ. The UFO Fairs have been wonderful opportunities to meet witnesses and hear their stories. I always come away with a stack of brief reports and contact info, which I then follow up on, speaking with the people to get all of the details. Some of the best cases I’ve worked on were the result of meeting people in Pine Bush.
B. You’re originally from the Hudson Valley, have you ever had any UFO sightings close to home?
LZ. A friend and I were driving through Washingtonville in July 1988 when we saw a massive, silent, V-shaped craft. Gave us goose bumps to watch it slowly glide across the sky.
B. Have you ever had a particularity dramatic UFO experience?
LZ. The most intense sighting occurred in December 1979 with a few friends, starting in Nanuet, NY. Someone several miles away called and said to run outside as something strange was headed our direction. We did, and saw 3 white/yellowish balls—couldn’t see a structure, just the bright light. I suggested we hop in the car and follow them. Long story short, we eventually caught up with them over Lake Tiorati in Harriman State Park, where the three lights came together in a bright blue-green flash, and became one object! It lowered slowly to the top of a hill and just pulsed its blue light. At this point, a cop came by and told us to get out of there quick, and he took off, too!
B. After looking into more than 100 years of UFO activity in the Hudson Valley area, and knowing what you know, how do you deal with skeptics?
LZ. I’ll say that even if you dismiss every post-WWII UFO report as secret military craft, there are still hundreds of reports before planes were even flying at night. The wave of 1909 (see Hudson Valley UFOs: The Best Evidence), is so important to set the precedent that massive, lighted craft were hovering over our area, and then moving away at a tremendous speed. We simply did not have aircraft capable of doing that, and no explanations for those early sightings have ever been found. Invariably, skeptics never even heard of the 1909 wave. They have also not interviewed hundreds of credible witnesses, so I don’t waste much time on skeptics who haven’t done any research.
B. What advice can you give to someone who has yet to have a UFO sighting? How should they prepare themselves for it?
LZ. Get a lawn chair and a blanket and find a spot that has a good view of the sky and sit and wait. I always suggest people try Pine Bush, as things have been occurring there for decades. But the entire Hudson Valley has been a hotspot for over 100 years, so any good, dark sky location is worth a try. Have patience and don’t give up! And, of course, if there’s suddenly a wave of reports from a specific location, get there asap! There is no way to prepare yourself for a completely new and bizarre experience, and everyone reacts differently—everything from elation to abject terror.
B. I just finished your last UFO book, Animal Reactions to UFOs, and it’s five stars all around! This is the first book to cover this topic in great detail, what inspired you to write it?
LV. Of all the interviews I’ve had with witness over the years, I can’t count how many accounts began with, “I heard my dog barking” or “My horses, livestock or cat(s) were upset and began acting up in a very strange manner. So I went outside to check on them I saw this thing in the sky…” “Then it dawned on me that animals are really perfect UFO witnesses. They are unaffected by the media, can’t make things up, and are not influenced by fame or money. Animals react in a totally honest manner to the outside stimuli we interpret as UFOs. These natural reactions are very important clues that support the fact that something unusual was going on at the time of a sighting. We need to pay more attention to these totally reliable witnesses.
B. Thank you Linda for sharing your experience and insights with our readers. I also see you are a dedicated Ghost Hunter. Can we do a follow-up interview on your paranormal adventures?
LZ. Absolutely! Anytime.
B. Best of luck with your talk at the Fair and I hope you uncover some exciting new cases to investigate. Meanwhile, how can people get in touch with you?
LZ. Thank you, Bernie, my email is the best way to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org. And people can always visit my website for updates and information: gotozim.com - or follow me on Facebook: Hudson Valley UFOs
In the Night Sky: I Recall a UFO Documentary
Linda’s first of four books on UFOs—In the Night Sky—was made into a now, hard-to-find, award winning documentary: In the Night Sky: I Recall a UFO. But the video’s producer and director, Felix Olivieri has graciously posted it on the Paperwelder, YouTube channel. Watch it here for free:
Follow Felix’s Facebook page here.
Western Connecticut UFO Conference 2022 - Linda Zimmermann “Hudson Valley Sightings: 40 Years Later”
The Life in Pine Bush Documentary
Linda, Travis Walton, Dr. Wiand, and the UFO Fair can also be seen in this short (but fantastic) documentary: supercluster.com/editorial/life-in-pine-bush
“Keep your eyes on the skies and never stop searching...” Vinny Polise – Author and founder of the Pine Bush UFO Hotline
Beginning early in 1990, Vinny made almost daily evening trips from his home in New Jersey to the dark back roads of Pine Bush N.Y. in pursuit of the elusive UFO phenomenon. He can be considered one of the early investigative pioneers of Pine Bush. After he did this for 14 years, he published his book: The Pine Bush Phenomenon. In it, he showcased the many photos and videos he made of countless strange lights in the skies over Crawford. He also documented the many paranormal events he experienced during that time. Ones he still can’t explain to this day. I contacted Vinny through his hotline website.
B. Thank you for speaking with me Vinny. I read your book and really enjoyed it. How did it come about?
VP. In 2005, I self published The Pine Bush Phenomenon which was a culmination of the many diary entries I kept over the years of all the unusual events I have witnessed in the fields of Orange County. I have always lived in NJ, and currently reside near the Ramapo mountains, where a famous UFO incident occurred in 1966. It is documented that a UFO created a hole in the ice on the Wanaque Reservoir. It was also reported that the military arrived on the scene shortly thereafter. They thought that something had crashed into the reservoir, but no debris or craft was ever recovered.”
B. How did you become interested in the Pine Bush UFO story, and have you ever had any dramatic sightings in the area?
VP. I learned of the phenomenon when I was a teenager after reading Ellen Crystal's book Silent Invasion. Once my interest was peaked, I started driving over an hour from my home in NJ to Pine Bush almost every night in the hopes I would witness some of the activity I read about.
It’s is a very active place, not just for UFO’s but paranormal activity as well. After spending over 30 years there, I can say that I have witnessed what most people would claim doesn't or can’t possibly exist. The only dramatic sighting I can tell you about would be the one I had In 1995. My friend and I watched a huge “unidentified object" rise up out of the ground, float well above the tree line and then we watched it disappear back into the ground. It truly was an experience I will remember for the rest of my life! Oddly enough though, most of my experiences in Pine Bush were more paranormal in nature. Like this one near the ground and ones in the wooded areas.
B. Why and when did you come up with the idea for a UFO Hotline and how is it funded?
VP. The UFO hotline idea came to me about 5 years ago. So many people in NY and NJ were trying to contact me to share their stories. By creating the hotline I have not only been able to receive accounts from people in these areas, but from all over the United States as well. It is independently funded, and I am happy to put the money into it to hear other's accounts whether it's in Pine Bush or other places in the country. If any of The Observer’s readers has had a UFO or paranormal experience, I invite them to reach out to me, 24/7/365, the number is (845) 940-5000. Callers can leave a voicemail message or send a text if they prefer.
B. How busy is the Hotline? All year long or only seasonally?
VP. Recently, it’s not been as active as it has been in the past. I feel this is because there has been an overall decrease in UFO sightings in the Pine Bush area, with the land development and all up there. However, there tends to be more active sightings in the spring and summer months when the weather is nicer and more people are outdoors. The cold northeast winter months tend to keep even the most die-hard skywatchers indoors.
B. Do you do a follow-up investigation to each call? And do you have a team to help you, and what do you do with the final reports?
VP. I follow up on every call and report I get. I do most of the research myself, however I do have a couple of people who I share the information with and can help me if needed. When the calls and emails, through my site come in, I respond as quickly as possible to gather all the information I need to validate whether the claim is real or a hoax. With today's social media it is easier to research the details of the potential sightings and get more information on whether others may have witnessed it as well. If the call is 100% credible then I will take the ride and check it out myself. All of the credible reports are documented with the permission of the individual and kept for future references.
B. Does your Hotline also collect reports of other types of paranormal activity?
VP. Yes, the Hotline is not only just for UFO sightings but any paranormal activity people have witnessed. I welcome anyone who has witnessed any sightings or activity with regards to ghosts, Bigfoot, cryptids, or any other paranormal activity to call the hotline and share their story with me.
B. Where do you get the videos you post on your YouTube Channel; The Pine Bush UFO Phenomenon?
VP. All of the videos posted on the YouTube Channel have been taken by me, during my investigations. They are all videos taken in the Northern NJ and Hudson Valley area.
B. Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?”
VP. I could ramble on and on about Pine Bush and its surrounding areas. It will always hold a special place in my heart. It has taught me to have an open mind and to understand there are things on and around this planet that we will never understand. Pine Bush is a unique area that beneath its surface holds a key to this UFO/paranormal puzzle that we may or may not ever figure out. If you ever have the time and want a great skywatch area with the hopes to see something out of this world, Pine Bush, NY is the place to visit!
B. Thank you Vinny, I really appreciate you sharing your time with me today and...wait, is that a phone I hear ringing?
VP. Yes it is Bernie, sorry, got to go!
The Pine Bush UFO HOT LINE: 1-845-940-5000 - Call or text 24/7/365. Find them online at pinebushufo.com, or email: email@example.com. Follow Vinny on Facebook: The Pine Bush UFO Phenomenon or YouTube: The Pine Bush UFO Phenomenon.
Ultimately, all mysteries lead to The Pine Bush UFO and Paranormal Museum
If you can’t make it to Pine Bush for this year’s fair, don’t worry, you can always catch-up on Crawford Township’s many mysteries by visiting this Museum. It’s open year-round, and features lectures by noted authors and conducts special guide tours into the inherent weirdness of Pine Bush. I contacted the Museum and it’s Director, Lance Hollowell and he generously consented to an interview.
B. Good afternoon Lance, thank you for speaking with me today.
LH. More then happy to, Bernie.
B. Lets talk about the history of the UFO Fair first, I understand you were involved almost from the beginning of it.
LH. The group that originally produced the UFO Fair came together around 2009. They conceived of this event to highlight the UFO activity that Pine Bush was known for and also to promote local businesses. The UFO Fair was spearheaded by Organizing Director, Sue Wiand, who communicated with the town businesses and community groups. Her husband, Bill Wiand developed the educational portion of the event, as he had vast knowledge of the UFO activity in the Hudson Valley. Curtis Johnson and Lynn Inglima lent their producing skills by gathering event elements and cultivating local sponsorship's. Additionally, Michelle Filer came on as Creative Director and provided many artistic paintings and designs throughout the town. Filer tied together the UFO and alien theme that brought the whole township together.
B. How easy was it to get people and businesses, in other words the movers and shakers of the town on board for the first event back in 2010?
LH. According to Sue Wiand, the morning of the first fair was very different from its afternoon closing. Town businesses and administration, though positive and supportive, were unsure of what to expect from the first-year event. By the time the day drew to a close, the excitement was felt across the town by all, as they knew the team had successfully created an amazing event. Sue smiled when she noted that Town of Crawford Police Chief Blasko, approached her at the end of the event and eagerly asked, “So you’re doing this again next year, right?”
B. How did the Pine Bush UFO & Paranormal Museum come about?
LH. As a special events producer, I came on board to create an Alien Escape Room for the Fair. But the more I learned about the history of the area, the idea of a museum like attraction evolved. It was so successful that the Town of Crawford decided to make it a permanent Tourist destination. So here we are right on Main Street.
B. What type of exhibits do you feature?
LH. All our exhibits are chosen by our Advisory Committee which is made up by local UFO/Paranormal experts. Authorities such as Linda Zimmermann, Dr. Bill Wiand and numerous MUFON representatives investigate and vet each proposed exhibit. We not only feature Pine Bush events, but we go far afield as the whole of the Hudson Valley and up though all of the New England states.
B. Are any exhibits more popular than others?
LH. Not really. We get such a wide variety of visitors coming through here, that we get many different reactions. Often during our guided tours or lectures, people open up and share their unique experiences with the unknown. It gets quite lively at times. Sometimes these conversations can lead to follow-up investigations by our Advisory Committee.
B. Thank you Lance, is there anything else you would like to share with our audience today?
LH. Yes, Pine Bush is such an amazing place. Like no other, really. The community as a whole recognizes and embraces the local phenomenon. Furthermore, everyone respects the claims of other community members that may have had a brush with the unknown.
B. Thank you Lance, here’s to Pine Bush!
Check out the Museum’s website for tour information and special events like this one on May 20th – Mason Winfield: Little People & Puckwudgies in N.Y. And make sure when you visit to take advantage of their Alien Abduction Photo-op!
If you’re in Pine Bush and you see something unusual and want to speak to someone face-to-face about it, these folks are here for you:
United Friends Observer Society (UFOS) Support Group: This local community group sponsors a witness support group. As they state: “This is our 30th year (2023) of providing support to the UFO community in the Pine Bush, NY area. We offer a safe and friendly environment where folks come to share stories/sightings and experiences as it relates to UFOs, UAPs and all things paranormal.” For more information on the group, visit their Facebook Support Group or call (845)744-3143.
More Pine Bush Fair Fun
The New York Post’s visit to the 2016 Annual UFO Fest:
Recap of the 2021 Festival:
Night Siege The Hudson Valley UFO Sightings by Dr. J. Allen Hynek and Philip J. Imbrogno with Bob Pratt
Hudson Valley UFOS: The Best Evidence by Linda Zimmermann
When visiting Pine Bush, don’t pass up the Cup and Saucer Classic Diner. Not only do they serve good ol’ down home comfort food, but it’s also very Flying Saucer friendly.
“When will people learn not to fear the truth, but to fearlessly pursue it?” -Ellen Crystall, Silent Invasion (1991).
Listen to one of Ellen’s electronic musical compositions, Dreamlife (Permission to Remember):