19971998199920002001200220032004200520062008 • 2009

Updated: 07/19/2010

Really Mysterious Pennsylvania. UFOs, Bigfoot & Other Weird Encounters Casebook One


Sightings Archive — 2001

The following incidents were among the sightings of alleged UFOs and the Unusual reported to researcher Stan Gordon throughout Pennsylvania and neighboring states (when available). These cases have come to Stan Gordon’s attention from various sources. Many sightings that have already been identified as natural or manmade in origin are not listed. Some of these reports are still being investigated.

January 9, 2001
Williamsport, PA

Two witnesses reported seeing two huge red ball like objects with a long neon blue trail. "The sky lit up for about a minute and suddenly two huge looking balls of fire flew over the mountain with long neon bright blue tails. They went rather slowly and were seen for about 5 minutes." (Via NUFORC)

February 2001
Rote, PA (Clinton County)

I received a second hand report of an alleged Bigfoot sighting which said to have occurred on a mountain, in this area recently. The hunter, who reportedly had the encounter, was said to have been frightened over the experience even though the creature was not hostile towards him.

February 16, 2001
Beaver County, PA

The Beaver County Times newspaper reports that a cougar (mountain lion) was reportedly seen by several residents in this area. The mountain lion has been declared extinct in this part of the country since the late 1800's. I have on file hundreds of alleged sightings of these big cats from all over Pennsylvania since that time. Both the typical tawny colored animal, as well as "black panthers" have been reported.

February 19, 2001
Irwin, PA

Witness was driving on Rt. 30 east, when he saw "two white headlights closely set, with two red lights at wingtip positions." This gave the witness the impression of a triangle moving through the sky. As emphasized by the observer, no silhouette was seen, on the lights. (Via NUFORC)

March 13, 2001
Penn Township (Westmoreland County, PA) Mystery Boom

On the evening of March 13, 2001, just after 9 P.M., a small section of Westmoreland County in the Southwestern part of Pennsylvania was jolted by a loud mystery boom. Residents from Level Green and Harrison City in Penn Township reported hearing and feeling what appeared to be an explosion. Emergency personnel responded to the area after Westmoreland County 911 began receiving, reports from local residents. The event reportedly caused local people to run outside, to see what had caused the jolt.

No natural gas leaks were found by the local, utility firm. The National Weather service in Pittsburgh did detect some lightning activity between 8 and 9 P.M. in the Pittsburgh area, but to my knowledge no active thunderstorms were occurring in that area at the time, I checked with the Penn Township Police the next morning, and no source had been determined for the boom.

I am posting this report for those who are interested in such matters, since in recent years we are hearing more and more of these accounts from widespread locations. I must point out that many times these booms are found to have logical explanations.

March 19, 2001
Zig-zagging Light Over Indiana County, Pennsylvania

On the evening of March 19, 2001, at approximately 7:50 P.M., a witness observed an odd light source in the-sky towards the South that was described as a "wide band of white light." This solid band of light began to move east. It then made a clockwise loop and it continued to rotate until it returned to the position where it had started the loop movement. At that point, the band suddenly changed and became just a white dot of steady light, which quickly turned to a red color. The red light began a series of about 10 to 12 zig-zagging maneuvers as it moved towards the SE. Suddenly, the red light vanished. At the time of the observation the sky was clear. The witness who was standing outside in his front yard, indicated that the entire sighting, lasted less than a minute. This sighting took place in the vicinity of the Homer City power station in Indiana County. UFO sightings have been active in this area ever since the power plant was constructed in the 1960's. I am awaiting more details on this report.

March 29, 2001
Apollo, PA

Upright shaft of light moving northwest "it looked like a tail of a comet without the head, but did not spread out. Looking through high power binoculars it had no distinct edges. It continued to travel until it faded from view. It could not have been a search light. There were some clouds but stars were also out." (Via NUFORC)

April 4, 2001
Low level diamond shaped object in Acme, PA

This UFO sighting occurred on April, 4, 2001, in a rural area of Acme, PA in Westmoreland County. I interviewed the witness the day after the incident, and have obtained additional information. The witness and her husband were watching TV. Suddenly her husband said that he saw a light in the woods behind the house, which appeared low to the ground. The wife went into the kitchen to get a better look, but could see nothing. She then went into the living room, and opened up the sliding doors which face the back of the house. Within seconds, a very large diamond shaped object appeared from directly over the house, and continued to move over the trees in the back woods.

The object moved fast and in a steady manner, as it passed only about 150 feet overhead. The object was seen for only about 8 seconds, when it suddenly seemed to vanish just above the trees. The object was observed from underneath, and was described as a large solid diamond shaped object which made a humming sound as it passed overhead. At each corner, was a dim white non-blinking light. In the bottom center of the object, was a flat red non-blinking light. Immediately after the sighting, the wife and her husband drove towards the location where the object disappeared but saw nothing. The witness reported feeling very nervous and could not sleep well for a couple of days after the sighting. The witness also stated that every night for a month prior to this event, she had been feeding several raccoons which came from the woods. The day of the sighting was the first evening that the animals did not show up, however they returned the next night to feed.

I have also been attempting to obtain more information on another UFO sighting reported that same evening from Franklin, PA in Venango County. That sighting was reported to the National UFO Reporting Center. Another UFO sighting also reported that same evening from Westville, Indiana and posted on the NUFORC website, also describes an object possibly diamond shaped. UFO sighting continue to be reported from across Pennsylvania.

April 4, 2001
Franklin, PA

While patrolling the campgrounds where the witness works at 11:47 P.M. on April 4, 2001, the witness saw the same disc shaped object he had reported last summer July 1st, 2000. The disc was just over the tree line again, but a little farther away in the same area. It hovered in place for about 5 minutes, and then sped over ten miles to the west and hovered for another fifteen minutes." The witness stated "It then shot straight up, and I lost all sight of it." (Via NUFORC)

April 14, 2001
Reading PA

“This happened in the middle of the night (2:30 A.M.) on my Easter break from school. I was watching TV in my room when my TV flickered off then back on. I thought it was a storm because we were getting a lot of rain. I like to watch a storm so I got out of bed and went over to my window. I looked out and saw an oval shaped object hovering over the houses across the street.

"It had white pulsating lights. It went right then left, turned long-ways then just took off straight up into the sky. The whole thing only lasted around 30 seconds because the object was so fast. As far as I know, I'm the only one that saw it. It was really weird." (Via NUFORC)

April-May, 2001
Cambria County

Residents in this rural area have reported alleged sightings of Bigfoot in past years. A report came in that during the last snow of this season; a long trail of large footprints with a long stride was seen leading into a wooded area.

May 6, 2001
Claridge, PA

Around dusk, witnesses looking at the bright moon saw a black thin solid line, running from west to east across the middle of the moon. In about 15 seconds, this solid line (like a power line, but there are none in this area) began to gradually drop lower to the bottom of the moon and suddenly disappeared.

May 9, 2001
Chalk Hill, PA

UFO activity and other Fortean events, appear to be on the increase during April, and May, 2001, here in Pennsylvania. The following report was submitted by investigator Jim Brown.

Unknown Objects Sighted

The following report was received from a witness from Addison, Pa. regarding lights in the sky. An excerpt from his narrative follows:

"I was going west on Route 40 toward Chalk Hill, it was about 4:30.AM and I was going to work. I noticed what looked like a bright star toward the southwest. Then I saw it was moving slowly to the east. After a couple minutes it was off the south fairly high up in the sky and brighter. I stopped the car and watched it. There were actually three lights close together in a triangle form; they covered an area a little larger than a full moon in the sky. Each light was not round, it was more like a short line pointing in the direction they were moving and with distinct edges. The three were moving together with two on the outside leading and the one in the center following behind.

At first I thought it was one large object, but then all three stopped and remained motionless for about a minute. After this the one in the center moved between the other two and slowly continued to the east in the same manner as before. The other two remained in place. I watched the one continue to move east. It varied in brightness, getting brighter then dimmer. Each time it dimmed it became less noticeable until I could no longer see it. When I looked back to where the other two were before, they were gone. I don't know if they went out like the other one or what happened to them since I was looking at the single light and didn't see the other two actually disappear."

The witness is certain the object was not the moon since he said he also saw it in a different area of the sky. He also reports no sound, or other effects related to the sighting. I have been unable to confirm any aircraft, or other known objects visible in the area at the time of sighting. Investigation continues.

Investigator - J. Brown (jbrown@hhs.net)

May 15, 2001
Fayette and Washington County, PA

I received information that two Bigfoot sightings had reportedly occurred around the Brownsville and Fayette City areas within the last few days. A Bigfoot reportedly walked out on the road in front of a car.

May 20, 2001

A witness who is familiar with aircraft reported seeing an oddity in the sky. He reported seeing two contrails in the sky next to each other, one was white and the other black.

July 20, 2001
Mineral Point, PA

A man was building a fire behind his house near a wooded area at about 11:30 P.M. He heard a noise in the woods and shined his flashlight in that direction. In the distance he saw a large dark animal which was then down on all fours, and was assumed to be a bear. The animal then looked at him, then stood uptight on two legs. The animal began to move into the woods keeping a good distance from the witness who was now following it. The man could never hit the creature with his light, he could only see a silhouette of its body, which gave the impression of being about 8 to 9 feet tail, furry, and blackish-brown in color. The animal appeared to be moving on two legs, and they kept quite a distance apart, yet moving at a relatively slow pace.

During the time that the man followed this animal, it appeared to be moving in an upright position until he lost sight of it in the heavier woods. This man believes that he had the creature in view, on and off for about ten minutes. After losing sight of the animal, the witness back tracked, and looking upward was startled to see something quite strange in the sky. About 500 feet away, he saw a large solid luminous triangular object with no individual lights. The observer estimated that the object was the size of a two story house. It appeared to be longer than wide. The object which was silent, was first observed at approximately 50 feet above the ground in a clearing. It then moved down slowly to about 20 feet, where it disappeared behind a thick part of the woods, and was no longer seen.

The witness says that while he has never seen a bear first hand, he assumes that it was a bear that he confronted. His wife disagrees since the animal walked upright for such a distance. This witness is aware that many people around his area have claimed to have seen a Bigfoot in past years. The object in the sky is another matter, it really startled the observer. The witness commented "For me to see two (unusual) things at the same time is really weird. This thing in the sky really amazed me."

July 21, 2001
Pittsburgh, PA

Daylight sighting of maneuvering object, I am awaiting more details.

July 23, 2001

Fireball reported over a large area of Pennsylvania and other states.

There were massive sighting reports from across Pennsylvania of a brilliant fireball which passed through the sky during daylight hours on the afternoon of July 23, 2001. My UFO Hotline began to ring shortly after the object passed over Westmoreland County at approximately 6:20 P.M. local time. My phone rang all night long, and through the next day with sighting reports and inquiries concerning this observation. During that time, I was in contact with many agencies and the public. I also spoke several times with Peter Davenport at the National UFO Reporting Center in Washington State, so we could update each other with the latest, information.

This sighting can likely be attributed to a bolide, an extremely brilliant fireball meteor which can be observed over a widespread geographical area, and at times, is accompanied by a sonic boom. In Pennsylvania, phone lines at 911 centers, TV stations, and newspaper offices were jammed by callers. Within a short time after the calls began I had information that reports were originating from across a wide section of the Keystone state and into Maryland. The NUFORC was also being swamped with calls including observations from other states. The descriptions were quite consistent with witnesses reporting a brilliant ball of fire of various colors, followed by a long flaming tail.

Near Williamsport, PA in Lycomming County, residents not only saw the fireball, but felt the sonic boom associated with it, residents reported a loud explosive sound that rattled their homes. My understanding is that the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) center in Lycomming County was activated that evening to help handle the calls from the alarmed residents.

During that evening I began to receive information that fire departments near Trout Run, PA in that same county were securing a reported burnt area in corn field. I was told that it was believed that there was "something there.”

Another caller had heard, that a meteorite had reportedly fallen at that location. It was later learned that personnel from the states Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) were also at the scene investigating. I made more inquiries, but there was no indication that any substantial physical evidence was actually found at that site. While much of the information I obtained while gathering this data seems legitimate, both a story that a large crater found in the field, and a rumor that NASA was coming to the scene to investigate, appear to be unfounded.

I did talk with some residents in Tioga County, just across the border from Lycomming County, who felt “the biggest explosion ever.” One man, a retired law enforcement officer said "this was the most horrendous damn noise." He had ever heard. He was in his house at the time and missed seeing the fireball. When he ran outside, he looked up to see "four small clouds in a row" and heard an odd whipping sound which lasted several seconds. Always equipped with a loaded camera, he hurried to set up to photograph the odd cloud formation which was dissipating quickly. He did manage to photograph one of the odd clouds.

I am unaware of any confirmed meteoric debris having been found in regard to this fireball. Some witnesses were intrigued by their observation; others were frightened by the incident. Hopefully the government will release any satellite imagery of this scientific event.

August 2, 2001
Mount Pleasant, PA

A mother and her 13 year old daughter were on a rural road outside of this community heading towards Route 31 when they reported seeing something odd in the sky. It was about 9:40 P.M. when the girl first saw the object, and pointed it out to her mother, who quickly pulled the car over. Nearly overhead, they describe a huge triangular object. The woman stated "I would estimate that if you took five jumbo jets on the ground and lined them up 3 in one row, two in the next, and one at the front, that would be the size of the thing on the ground. What I am trying to say is this was about 5 times the size of what a normal plane looks like in the sky, maybe bigger."

They couldn't see the color or the actual surface of the object, but they saw dozens of bright white lights (formed in rows) that covered the object. The woman pointed out that the two lights that would make the back corners were either not as bright, or smaller than the other lights, since they were harder to see. In between some of the white lights were about 10 orange lights which appeared to be sporadically spaced, in the from of the object was a bright flashing orange light. It is believed that this light was not at the front tip, but possibly a row or so behind in the tip of the triangle. The rows of white lights were in straight lines, not a v-shape. The entire object made a triangle. The driver got out of the car watching the object move very quietly in a south-westerly direction. The object remained silent during the few minutes that it was observed. The mother has attended many air shows and is very familiar with many civilian and military aircraft. This witness stated "I have never seen anything like this in my life."

September 1, 2001
Ligonier, PA

This evening a witness reported a UFO sighting from a location on Rt. 259 about 5 miles from Route 30, The witness says he observed a Lear jet with a vapor trail in the distance heading north over the Derry ridge. Towards the west the witness saw what was thought to be another Lear jet heading eastward. The witness observed this sight for a few minutes, then realized that what he thought was the eastbound jet, now appeared to be hovering over the ridge. The witness says “This wasn't a shimmering light or flashing, but what appeared as a metallic object that was not parallel with the ground, but appeared at an angle of nose down about 60 degrees and doing nothing to maintain that position."

September 2, 2001
Irwin, PA

At about 9:15 p.m. two bright star like objects were observed. One of the objects moved from the east to the north, the other came out of the north and moved east. These objects made a long sweeping arc, passing each other, then kept going through the sky, and disappeared from sight.

September 5, 2001
Johnstown, PA-Cambria County

Witnesses reported seeing several odd objects in the sky around 7:30 P.M. Some of the objects were described as similar to a silver cone with a bright yellow light on it. The objects moved too slow for a jet. They estimated seeing 5 objects within about a 10 minute period.

Slippery Rock, P A-Butler County

At about 9 P.M., witness saw a series of 10 round white lights in a row moving across the sky. The lights appeared starlike with a glow and were evenly spaced. The silent lights moved upward from the horizon at about a 45 degree angle, and began break formation.

September 6, 2001
East Coast

During the early morning hours apparently around 5:30-6 AM. this date, witnesses along the East Coast, reported a fiery object moving across the sky. In an AP story carried in the September 7, 2001 edition of the Greensburg, PA Tribune-Review, the object was identified by the U.S. Space Command as re-entering space debris from an old Russian rocket.

September 11, 2001
New Castle, PA-Lawrence County

At 5:30 A.M. two witnesses were looking towards the clear southeast sky, when they noticed an object moving quickly from the west towards the ESE. The silent object appeared to be elliptical in shape, outlined completely by a series of lights that were red-orange in color. The object appeared to be larger than a bus. The altitude of the object was estimated to be between 3,000 to 5,000 feet. As the object moved above the observers, it suddenly changed it's orientation, not the direction however. This was observed for about 45 seconds.

September 25, 2001
South Greensburg, PA-Westmoreland County
Giant Bird Report

This past Wednesday, I received an interesting sighting report. A 19 year old witness claims to have seen a huge bird in South Greensburg, located in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. The actual observation occurred on Tuesday evening, September 25, 2001. I conducted an in depth interview with the witness by phone. On Thursday, Dennis Smeltzer, an associate researcher with a serious interest in ornithology, went to the location of the sighting, and interviewed the witness.

The sighting occurred at about 7:30 P.M. local time, when it was beginning to turn dark. The witness was outside at the time, and was close to Route 119, which is a major highway. The witness was observing the trucks and cars passing by when his attention was drawn upwards by a sound "like flags flapping in a I thunderstorm." He observed a huge bird which appeared to be black, or very dark grayish-brown. The witness was startled at the wingspan of the creature, which he estimated to be between 10 and 15 feet.

The bird's head was estimated to be about 3 feet long, about as large as a small dog. When the bird was first observed, the witness stated, "I wouldn't say it was flapping it's wings gracefully, but almost horrifically flapping it's wings very slowly, then gliding above the passing big rig trucks." The creature seemed to be following the truck traffic, passing overhead at about 50 to 60 feet.

The bird flew about 150 feet down the road towards a wooded area. The bird spread it's wings, showing the witness how massive it was, as it swooped down on a dead tree near a billboard. This fellow continued to watch as it dropped slowly, yet forcefully, and saw the bird ruffle it's feathers, and saw it's head move around. After several seconds the bird rose from the tree, and gave the man the impression, that the tree would bow and break from the apparent weight. The bird then flew out of view towards another wooded area. The entire siqhting lasted around a minute and a half. Immediately after the occurrence, this man ran to a local business to ask if anyone saw what he observed. He also approached a woman who was nearby, but she didn't see it either. The witness was upset that apparently no one else has reported this creature.

Smeltzer looked around the area of the tree where the bird was reported to have landed, but no evidence could be found. It's Smeltzer's impression that the witness is not fabricating and is describing to the best of his ability what he observed. The witness appears familiar with the great blue heron, vulture, and eagle, and is certain that this is not what he saw.

Additional Pennsylvania Thunderbird Reports

As as result of my recent report on a possible Thunderbird sighting in Southwest Pennsylvania, I was contacted by Craig Heinselman, a fellow researcher who has done some excellent work concerning crypto zoological matters. Craig advised me that he has received information on three other possible Thunderbird sightings from the Keystone state of recent date.

Craig has given me permission to share this information, which is from a write up for a publication which he co-edits called, The North American BioFortean Review, http://www.herper.corn/NABR.html. Craig has also written a detailed article on the Thunderbird mystery which can be accessed at: http://www.cryptozoology.com.

June 13,2001- "A resident of the town of Greensville, PA reported seeing a large bird the size of a small airplane from his living room. Greensville is a small town that lies near the border of Ohio and about half-way between Erie and Pittsburgh. The witness, Ray (please note, the witnesses actual name is not used as he has asked for anonymity) upon further inquiry during a phone interview on June 15, 2001, was able to flesh out the report as. Ray described the bird as fully feathered a dark brown or black color. The back of the wings was a grayish-black. The body was not bulky and the overall appearance was not like any bird he had ever seen. As the house lies near Little Shedango Stream and the house overlooks a small pond and woodlands, Ray was extremely familiar with the birds and other wildlife in the area including bald eagles, vultures and storks.

Ray stated that the bird flew in from the South at a distance of 200-300 yards from the window and landed on a large tree beside the small pond. As it flew in he saw a shadow first and thought it was an ultra light aircraft that are used in the area by some neighbors. The bird landed and remained on the tree for 15-20 minutes, and then took off again to the South. Ray estimated that the wingspan was equivalent to some of the ultra lights he has seen in the area, around 15 feet of wingspan and upwards of 5 feet of body size.

Ray during the interview made a passing mention as well of a neighbor that although not familiar with the wildlife of the area reported to his wife about a large bird ,she had seen on June 14, 2001. The bird was described as "the biggest bird I ever saw" and bigger than a stork. Again the bird was a blackish color."

The third report comes from July 6,2001 out of Erie County. This July report came to Craig's attention from a letter printed in the UK based magazine Fortean Times. Craig states in his article "Although corroboration from the witness has yet to be made and more details of the report discovered, the basic description is similar to the Greenville sightings and suggests the same type of bird was seen. Robin Swope, the witness, reported a large bird flying out from near a mausoleum as she cut the grass. It flew by some high tension wires and was estimated to be 15-17 feet in wingspan." The color was described as: "...It was dark grey with little or no neck, and a circle of black under it's head, Its beak was very thin and long, about a foot in length..."

Craig Heinselman, cites the following sources in his article from which this information was taken.

Hall, Mark; Natural Mysteries, 2nd Revised Edition, MAHP ~ Minneapolis, 1991

Hall Mark; Thunderbirds-the Living Legends!, 2nd Edition, MAHP, Minneapolis, 1994

Ray (anonymous name) interview June 15,2001 and e-mail correspondence June/July 2001

Swope, Robin; Letter entitled Thunderbird Sighting?, Fortean Times No. 148, August, 2001

October 2, 2001
Pennsylvania-Ohio area

At approximately 7:45 P.M., many witnesses over a widespread area reported a huge fireball moving fast across the sky. I first began to receive reports near the P.A. / N.Y. border, then reports began to come in from numerous other locations in Pennsylvania. One observer described the object as'' a large orange-red ball of fire as bright as the moon," followed by a luminous tail. I received a response from the U.S. Space Command indicating that there was no re-entry of space debris during this time. The object appears to have been that of a fireball meteor.

October 6, 2001
Clearfield, PA

The PA Bigfoot Society (PBS) reported that two men while spotting for deer, claimed to have seen 2 huge hairy Bigfoot creatures. The men were shining their light and reportedly watched as the creatures were walking away from a road. One creature was taller than the other, but both were quite hairy and red in color. The creatures walked fast and were walking upright on two legs. Thanks to Eric Altman for this information.

October 15,2001
Saltsburg, PA

Witness reported seeing a bright green sphere with no tail moving across the sky. This occurred between Saltsburg and Indiana around 9 P.M.

November 5,2001
Pittsburgh and many surrounding areas

Around 10:30 P.M., many calls started coming in about strange colored clouds in the sky. The colors were quite vivid, and some people were concerned for their safety. What people were viewing was a rare view of the "Northern Lights."

November 13,2001
Burgettstown, PA

Washington County-Witness reported a white fireball moving across the sky from South to North at a fast pace.

All content copyright 2009, 2010 Stan Gordon Productions