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Man’s Best UFO Witness?

We all know that dogs are man’s best friends, but could they also be our best UFO witnesses? With their vastly superior sense of hearing, smell, and ability to see in low light, perhaps every field investigator and researcher should consider getting a canine companion!

Over the years of collecting accounts of UFO activity from the tri-state region of the Hudson Valley of New York, northern New Jersey, and western Connecticut, I have heard numerous eyewitness accounts of how dogs alerted their owners or neighbors to a UFO. Generally, the dogs’ reactions are those of fear, accompanied by barking or howling. Such cases are frequent enough that NICAP has a separate classification (Category 4) for “Animal Effect Cases,” and MUFON had a Special Publication in 2005 entitled “Animal Reactions to UFOs.”

This painting is called the “Madonna and Child with the Infant St John.” It is a nativity scene estimated to be perhaps as old as the sixteenth century in which it appears a man and his dog are looking at a UFO in the background. (Credit: Blastr)
This painting is called the “Madonna and Child with the Infant St John.” It is a nativity scene estimated to be perhaps as old as the sixteenth century in which it appears a man and his dog are looking at a UFO in the background. (Credit: Blastr)

One of my favorite NICAP case involves “Thunder,” the 175-pound Great Dane who “went crazy” barking by the sliding doors toward the woods of his Sandy Hook, CT home at 8:30 pm on the night of March 31, 1983. After several minutes of incessant barking, his owner went to see what was causing Thunder so much distress. There was a massive V-shaped craft which remained hovering in the sky for 20 minutes. Thunder “appeared fearful and barked” the entire time, and the next day he refused to go outside. Anything that would provoke such fright in a 175-pound dog would certainly be enough to make me think twice about going outside!

I recently interviewed a woman from Cresskill, New Jersey who had a German Shepherd named Hans, who had a similar reaction back in 1968. Hans was just two years old; strong, and very protective of his owner. While walking Hans near a schoolyard, the woman and her friend spotted a dumbbell-shaped craft hovering silently over the school field. They were mesmerized by the sight, but their “trance was broken” by Hans, who was “cowering, trying to dig a hole in the dirt on the side of Rose Street (which was unpaved at that time) and whimpering.” This fearful reaction by the usually fearless dog caused them all to run for home.

Book cover to Linda Zimmerman's Hudson Valley UFOs.
Book cover to Linda Zimmerman’s Hudson Valley UFOs.

Another dramatic case involved a golden retriever in Putnam Valley, NY in the fall of 1984. The witness, “Joe,” told me that one night his dog began to whine, so Joe assumed he wanted to go out. However, when he opened the back door, the dog began to tremble and whine even more. Joe finally got the dog outside, where he promptly curled up into a tight ball and whined in terror. It was then that Joe noticed the entire sky above him was blacked out.

A massive black triangle, “the size of two football fields,” was hovering no more than 250 feet above him. Yelling for his wife, she came out and was also stunned and frightened by what she saw. The craft “just sat there” over them for at least five minutes. A week later, strange figures began appearing by Joe’s bed at night, he developed uncontrollable nose bleeds, and this activity continued until the following summer when he finally decided to move out of his house. Perhaps Joe should have paid more attention to his dog!

Another case I just covered in my new book “More Hudson Valley UFOs” involved four witnesses on a hot, summer night in 1988. The four friends were by Lake DeForest in Congers, NY—a location I have written about on several occasions, and where I had my own intense experience. The dogs in the neighborhood “began howling crazily” and then an odd “snake-like” UFO appeared in the sky with alternating red and green lights composing the “body,” with a bright, white beacon at the “head.”

Throughout the sighting, the “Dogs were barking and howling and making a total racket,” one witness told me. Another witness described the incredible sounds as “The dogs of Rockland (County) going out of their skulls.” As dogs are capable of hearing at distances four times greater than humans, and can hear at much higher frequencies, can we conclude that these craft—which are often silent to us—are emitting sounds that are alerting our dogs to their presence long before they come into our view? Should investigators consider utilizing sound detectors in the roughly 20,000 to 60,000Hz range to replicate the superior capabilities that dogs have over us?

There were other cases of dog reactions with which I have dealt that may bear this sound theory out. During a cold winter’s night in 1985 in the town of Wallkill, NY, a man told me his dog “was barking frantically outside.” He tried several times to quiet the dog, to no avail. Then a 40-foot diameter sphere of multi-colored lights appeared over a field across the street. This bizarre craft, which looked like a “massive ball of Christmas lights” began rotating and moving, almost as if it was rolling down the field, only it definitely remained above the ground. After this craft “shot straight up into the air” and was gone, an enormous triangular craft passed directly over his house. How did the dog know these craft were in the area before they could be seen, and why was he so frightened by them?

Dog looking at UFO. (Credit: Bill Moyers/Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/voter-id-laws-charts-maps)
Dog looking at UFO. (Credit: Bill Moyers/Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/voter-id-laws-charts-maps)

More recently, on January 4, 2013, a man in Pine Bush, NY, who works in law enforcement, couldn’t get his dogs to stop barking out in the yard. As he was trying to calm them down, he realized “There was something huge in the sky that blocked out all the stars.” The object was an incredibly large, silent rectangle at an altitude of about 200-250 feet. There were several white lights along the edges, one in the center, and one red light, as well.

Finally, there is the remarkable case from Monroe, NY in 1982. A woman, Donna, was in bed with her husband when her two Samoyed dogs “started going crazy” as if there were intruders in the house. Donna tried to wake up her husband, but he somehow remained in a deep sleep despite all the barking.

“Then there were these bright lights shining in the bedroom window, as if a Mack truck had just pulled up.” The next thing Donna knew was that it was morning. Her skeptical husband didn’t believe a word of what she told him about the dogs and the lights, and her being unable to awaken him—until he went outside to look for any signs that something had been there.

Running back in the house, white as a sheet, he told Donna that the huge pile of sand that was in the driveway (which was going to be used for a construction project) was completely gone. All that was left was a few concentric circles of sand which had been compressed and fused into the blacktop! Fortunately, they had the presence of mind to take photographs, so we can estimate the size of the outermost circle, which was about 12 feet in diameter. And while the original circles have been paved over, Donna told me that I would be welcome to uncover and study them, if I can find the appropriate scientific team to do it.

So what are we to learn from “man’s best friends” and their reactions to UFOs? They are able to sense a lot more than we are, and can sense whatever it is at greater distances and long before our eyes and ears can pick it up. Researchers and investigators should always include questions about witnesses’ pets, as well as inquire about the reactions of birds, livestock, wild animals such as deer, and insects.

There is more to UFO phenomena than we can probably imagine, but with the help of the faithful family dog, perhaps we can gain a little more insight and knowledge into the nature of the phenomena. And if your big, strong dog is terrified to go outside, maybe you should stay in the house, too!

From the editor: Author and occasional OpenMinds.tv contributor Linda Zimmerman was inspired to submit this entry after a recent story about a deer watching a UFO. For more about Linda, visit her website at: www.gotozim.com.

Header image is the logo of the UFO World Cup Frisbee Dog Series.

Linda Zimmerman

Linda Zimmermann is a research chemist turned award-winning author of 30 books on science, history, the paranormal, and fiction. She has lectured across the country, and has appeared on numerous TV and radio shows. Linda starred in the documentary, In the Night Sky: I Recall a UFO, which was based on her research into sightings in the Hudson Valley of New York. The film won the 2013 People’s Choice Award at the International UFO Congress. Her two UFO books are: In the Night Sky and Hudson Valley UFOs, and she is currently working on a third book on the subject.

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One Comment

  1. What a great article!

    Some of the stories are actually somewhat terrifying. I can’t imagine seeing a craft so large that it blocks out the visible sky and just stays there for several minutes. I always say that I would love to see a UFO up close and personal, but I guess as the saying goes, “be careful for what you ask for.”

    As the owner of 3 wiener dogs, at least one always wants to ‘go outside’ in the middle of the night. I will make sure to look up if they start barking.

    It’s an interesting observation by the author that they seem to hear the UFO before it comes into view. I wonder if the UFOTOG project will be listening in on the high frequency range.

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