Most UFOs are silent or make only a low humming noise, like a quiet turbine or generator. But one made such a loud rumbling noise that it shook a farmer’s house.
That was near the village of Plymouth, New York, where two families living three miles apart reported seeing an enormous UFO passing slowly overhead. That was on the night of November 23, 1977.
Tom Colledge, a farmer and former long-haul truck driver, and his wife Lois had just gone to bed about shortly before one a.m.
"I'd no more laid down and holy mackerel, we heard this roaring sound,” Colledge said. “Just like a jet plane coming right in on top of the house. It just hung there too long, like it was coming through the valley. But all of a sudden the house actually started vibrating and the whole yard lit up.
“I got a little nervous. I jumped out of bed and commenced to look out the window, and by that time this thing's hovering down right over the top of my house and over my driveway.
“About three hundred feet from my driveway we have these two barns, thirty-seven by forty-two feet wide, side by side, and this thing hovered right down on the driveway along the ends of these barns, I'd say a hundred or maybe even a hundred and fifty feet off the ground.
“I'll tell you, I never saw anything like it before. The noise was so loud they weren't like a jet at all. They sounded more like a rocket. You could actually hear the atmosphere around it cracking from the tremendous noise of this contraption.
“I got a pretty good look at this sucker. It really looked like a big triangular-shaped deal and the back end of it wasn't flat across, from point to point. It was more concave, like an arrowhead design. And it looked like it had four engines in the back because you could see the orange fire that was in them.
“These lights were so bright that the mercury light in my backyard went out. These mercury lights have an electric eye on them. As it gets dark they come on automatically and there was so much bright light from this thing that it put my mercury light out.
"And I've got a big German Shepard here. She’s seven years old and she just about went through conniptions when all this went on."
In describing the object, Colledge said: "I would say it was in the area of seventy-five feet across, at least, and from the exhaust outlets to the nose maybe seventy-five to eighty feet. It looked to be a little longer than it was wide.
"And it had these oscillating lights, like the lights on a police car. There was about four or six red ones, turning around like this… and these tremendously bright white lights that were shining down."
Colledge said the craft moved off toward two-hundred-foot high hills that lie about two hundred yards from his house. Whatever the elevation of this craft was at the barn, it maintained that as it flew out across the flat fields.
“I thought it was going to fly right into the hills and crash, but it just seemed to maintain that elevation, like you had an automatic pilot that keeps it at a hundred feet from the ground.
“It went out across the flat fields and went up the hill and maintained that same height. Up on top of the hill is like a state forest and it maintained tree top level until it just disappeared."
Colledge said the craft moved at different speeds while he watched it.
“I’d say it took a good fifteen to twenty seconds to cross my place. When it was hanging over between the house and the barn, it couldn't have been going more than ten or fifteen miles an hour.
“I'd say it must have been up to fifty-five or sixty miles an hour after it left the barn and then after it got up over the hills, who knows. It just poured on the oil and, boy, it went away."
I interviewed Mr. Colledge on the phone and after we finished, Mrs. Colledge came on the line.
"I was a terrible roar,” she said. “I mean a really tremendous sound. I was just falling asleep and I hopped out of bed and looked out the window, and there it was! It had a lot of white lights and red lights and I think even a couple of green lights.
ROWS OF WINDOWS
“It couldn’t have been an airplane. It was beautiful to me. The lights were just beautiful because they were so bright and unusual.”
Several minutes later and about three miles away, Bob and Margaret Travers and their son Tom, sixteen, were still awake, and they too saw something very unusual.
“It was just very strange,” Travers said. "My boy saw it first from the living room window. I went upstairs and my boy came running up and said, ‘Gee, you want to see this thing – the front yard is all lit up!’
“I looked out the bathroom window and I could see this thing. It had a bunch of square windows on it, probably two or three rows of them. I would estimate it was no more than five hundred feet off the ground.”
Travers, an oil burner repairman, said they watched it for nearly five minutes.
"I've never seen anything that appeared as big as that in the sky or that sounded as powerful as this. It didn't sound like any jet engines I've ever heard. It sounded something like a rocket engine. We just sat and watched this thing and it was just like it was close to hovering. It was just such a slow pace.
"I'd say it was darned near as big as a house. The shape was more or less like an arrowhead. It was very bulky in size. From front to back I would estimate probably eighty to ninety feet or better and about the same distance from side to side.
"I didn't see the lights hitting the ground. My kids did. It woke my daughter up, the noise of it, and the next morning she said, 'Gee, what lit the front yard up like that? It looked like it was daylight outside.'
“It was a very, very loud noise. It woke up one of my neighbors down the road and I know probably half a dozen people or maybe better that either saw it or heard it.”
SHAPED LIKE STINGRAY FISH
Mrs. Travers was in bed reading when the object came. “I heard this very loud noise and I thought at first it was a jet going by," she said. "But it kept getting louder and louder. I heard my husband and son downstairs. There was a commotion, the dogs ran and I didn't know what was going on. But I went to the window and I couldn't see a thing.
“The noise kept getting louder, so I ran to the back sitting room off the bedroom and opened my big patio doors and I saw this huge object in the shape of stingray fish. Rounded, coming to a point and then a point in the back, like a triangle but rounded in the front.
“And it had bright white lights facing the ground. It lit up the whole ground. It had red and green lights on it but I don't remember exactly where they were."
A spokesman for the Chenango County Sheriff's Department in Norwich, the county seat, said his office had received a number of phone calls inquiring about low flying planes the next day but that no reports of UFO sightings were received.
(For more on sightings of triangular or delta-shaped UFOs, click here.)