MUFON’s ERT: Experiencer Research Team
Making A Difference By Helping People

By Joseph Flammer, New York Field Investigator

This article is published with the expressed written permission of MUFON Executive Director, Jan C. Harzan for publication on


Forty-three years ago a close encounter with a UFO left a couple of star-crossed teenage lovers shattered on a Long Island beach. “For over 40 years I’ve just wanted to sleep,” says Gary, who says he lost much of his ability to taste food after the close encounter he and “Jean” experienced on Long Island. “I want to sleep. I never get more than two or three hours. The bad dreams always come back .... Who am I going to tell this to besides MUFON?”

Tonight the beach is empty. The moon is full. A warm breeze blows. Gary is necking with his girlfriend, “Jean.” They are typical Long Island kids on summer vacation. And they’re in love.

The year is 1972. The two 17-year-olds have their whole lives ahead of them. They often talk of the exciting possibilities. College is coming up. Then they’ll get good jobs. Who knows: marriage after that? Maybe even kids, later – could be!

Then the UFO came to the beach that night and struck like a cobra, poisoning their lives and destroying their plans forever.

At first the kids thought the enormous yellowish-white light was “a meteor flying above the water.” After all, they were on the beach that night not just to neck, but to view the shooting stars display of the Perseids meteor shower.

But the meteor out on the water suddenly made a 90-degree turn and went under the water, then aimed itself right for them. They knew meteors don’t make sharp turns and travel horizontally under water. Then, poof! Four hours were gone, and neither Gary nor “Jean” could account for where they were or what they had done during that time. Suddenly, fear gripped their lives.

Gary still suffers from nightmares and questions himself about what happened during those mysterious four hours. Last he heard, sometime after 9/11 in 2001, “Jean” was still going from hospital to hospital with mental break downs.

Flash to 24 years later after Gary had served in the Green Berets and gone to college to study physics, and “Jean” had been in and out of mental institutions because of her repeated mental breakdowns and bouts with anorexia: Yes, the same sandy shore of the same unlucky beach where the teenagers had their dreadful incident, looking out on the same strange body of water, Moriches Bay is the site where Long Islanders witnessed a horrific jet explosion that killed hundreds of people 14 years after Gary and “Jean” had their awful experience there.

On July 17, 1996, Pan Am Fight 800 combusted into thunderous fireballs of red, yellow and blue flames over the dark green waters of Moriches Bay, 10 miles out from the south shore of sunny Long Island. Bathers on the local beaches of Fire Island, a nearby barrier reef island, pointed up to the embroiled jet because the explosion occurred in broad daylight in a sky that was a perfect blue with no place for the fireballs to hide from view.

“Look at that!” people cried.

All 230 passengers and crew died aboard the doomed jetliner that fateful day.

In 2000, after four years of studying the reconstructed jet in a hanger near to the bay, the Federal Aviation Administration determined the explosion was caused by a spark that ignited fumes in a fuel tank, breaking in half the belly and back of the 747 as it roared through the air.

Many of the people who witnessed the explosion didn’t buy the government’s 2000 explanation, despite the fact that a thousand FBI agents had been assigned to the case.

Many people said they saw “something” approaching the jet before it exploded. One witness, for example, told ABC News that she saw a “red dot” go up to the jet just before it combusted. Pierre Salinger, an ABC News correspondent, spearheaded claims that friendly fire from the U.S. Navy’s USS Normandy, a guided missile cruiser, shot down the jet by mistake: the claim was largely ignored. The government insisted an optical illusion led some people to think they saw a missile, but what they really saw were parts of the jet flying through the sky as the craft blew apart.

Continue Reading Part II: Moriches Bay, UFO Shot Down, Carmela Somma, “Military was all over the place like ants,” Military Jets, Swissair 747, Moriches Bay Inlet, Fire Island, UFO Underwater, Water UFO, Missing Time, Abductee Suffers Sleep Deprivation, Sleep Disorder, Mental Breakdown, Psychological Challenges, Hearing Loss, Loss of Taste

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