The Carbondale Page


November 14 1974 a ufo was said to have crashed into a small lake in the town of Carbondale Pa. Three days later the authorities recovered a battery powered railroad latern from the lake which they claimed was the ufo. Was it a hoax or the real thing? Was there a cover-up?

Last updated Tuesday, July 19, 2005 at 5:49:47 PM


Excerpts from The Scranton Tribune

  • Sunday Nov 10 1974
   Carbondale police clamped a lid of secrecy around the
 Russell Park area early this morning after persons reported
 seeing a strange light in the area possibly from a UFO-type
   A call was made to Forrest City police for a geiger counter at
 1:30 am this morning. Carbondale officials also were in touch
 by phone with the government UFO information center in
 the Midwest.

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The Crash Store

  • Monday Nov 11 1974

A short time later, Dottle said a few youths told police
they saw the object come from Salem mountain and land
in the pond which is located by the old DeAngeles Colliery.
Once in the water, it began to radiate a mysterious glow.
Several attempt by the police to retrieve the mysterious
object with grappling hooks and a net proved fruitless and
at 3:00 am, they accidentally covered the object with debris
from the pond.
He than ruled out the possibility the object could have been
a meteorite for two reasons: A meteorite would have fizzed out
on impact with the water and it would not give off a glow. (Dr
Allen Hynek)
When asked if it could be a part of a satellite, he did not
dismiss the possibility but said that the glowing would still
remain a mystery.
Due to the possibility someone might injury themselves
Dottle completely sealed the area and called for the
Civil Air Patrol for guard duty

  • Tuesday Nov 12 1974
   Carbondale authorities tried to put the lid on the
 case at a 6 PM news conference at  city hall. The
 official verdict: It was a hoax.  Some one called police
 Saturday at 7 PM  and said they saw bright lights shoot
 over a mountain , hoover over a pond and then drop 500 
 feet into the water. Before investigators got  to the scene,
 the pranksters allegedly dropped the lighted lantern into
 the pond.

    A popular (theory) one is that the five youngsters  who
 made the first  calls to the police were in two groups  in
 two different areas. In the minutes after the first report,
 there were several other calls making it believable that if 
 it were a hoax, it was a complicated one.
   There were reports that policemen tried to put a net on
 the glowing object described  by one investigator as two
 feet in diameter, on Sunday morning but that it slipped from
 the webbing and  fell deeper in the pond where it was 
 covered by mud an debris.

   Another spectator said the object moved when it was shot
 at by a Carbondale officer. Dottle (acting police chief.) 
 said late Monday that no one fired at the source of the light.  

  And the youngsters who started it all early Saturday night
 were sticking to their story evan after a barrage of
 questioning by police and news reporters from as
 far as away as Philadelphia.

The Miner

  • Thursday Nov 14 1974
  There is still rampant speculation in the general public,
 however , that the full story of the UFO has yet to told.

  This skepticism has even affected  us here at The Miner ,
as part of our staff firmly maintains that there's still something 
up there. The credibility of the Carbondale officials is being
questioned by a large segment of the public  that is convinced 
that the lantern was planted in  the pond in order to diminish
the public curiosity.

Excerpts from unknown newspaper

  • date unknown
   The two-day long UFO incident began Saturday night
around 7 PM, when three teenage boys heard a noise in
the sky. the boys, Bill Lloyd, his brother John, and Robert
Gillette, the noticed a red ball coming from over  Salem 

   It reportedly hovered over the DeAngelis Breaker 
pond and then plunged into the pond. About 9 PM Carbon-
dale police investigated the incident after several phone calls.
 Arriving at the scene Patrolman John Barbaro and Joseph
Jacobina observed a glowing object in the water about 20
feet from the shore line.
   Maintaining the vigil were police and members of Carbon-
dale and Scranton Civil Air Patrol.

   At that time , he also noted that both NORAD and NASA
had talked with the Carbondale police and that they reported
that they knew of no satellite  or other airborne objects 
which were missing(Robert D Barry,20th Century U.F.O. Research
Investigation Center.)

   It was at 2:30 PM that Mark Stamey of Syracuse N.Y. 
entered the water in his scuba diving gear. The boat
made its way to the spot where the glowing  light was
seen Sat night and early Sun morning by witness.
   Stamey made several dives into the murky water. At
about  2:35 he handed  members of the boat crew the
lantern he had found in 8 to 10 feet of water.

Excerpts from The Scranton Times

  • Monday Nov 11 1974
   Three teen-agers  said they were walking  about three 
  blocks away from the silt pond when they heard a whirring
  sound in the sky above them. They looked up and saw a
  red ball crossing over Salem  Mountain from the east and it
  was emitting sparks until it hoovered over the silt pond and
  then plunged about 500 to the water.The Gilltte boy said it
  turned the color of a bright star before it fell.

    Still considering the matter a hoax and thinking the light
  may be flashlight patrolman Jacobina took out his service
  pistol and fired. Jacobina said he failed to hit  the object. 
  The Gillette boy said the object moved when it was shot at.
   Two Wayne County deputy sheriffs told acting Chief Dottle
  Sunday afternoon they"knew what the object is." they declined
  to elaborate but note they had similar things happen recently 
  in Wayne County

  • Tuesday Nov 12 1974
Mr Barry told reporters " three witness  reported to us  
that the UFO came from an easterly direction over Salem
Mountain, landed in the middle of the pond...... He did not 
say it crashed into ,he said it landed in the middle of the 
pond to approx 25 feet from shore.
 He added,"we have 3 witnesses that saw it in flight and 
two witness saw it in the pond moving to where it finally stopped.
 When a reporter questioned Mr. Barry on the credibility of
the witnesses, he replied "because they are teen-agers 
doesn't mean they're not credible witnesses".
" I'd say 15 min elapsed between splashdown and the
time I got here . I stayed there until 3:25 in the morning.
The glow seemed to dim, then less intense, then brighter. 
I'd say it took 5 min to complete a cycle. It pulsated  very 
slowly. You could just about see it at its lowest point." 
This witnesses was older than the youngsters who first told police 
about the object.

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