Comments Submitted January 2008
Multiple-witness sighting of large fireball and other unidentified object(s) flying from West to East over the NJ shoreline. Object(s) were reported to have allegedly crashed into the Atlantic Ocean. Local police and U.S. Coast Guard search missions were dispatched by boat, helicopter and on the beach.
"The Normandy Beach sightings of September 1, 2007 were witnessed by dozens of people at many different locations along the Eastern U.S. seaboard, from as far north as Long Island, New York to possibly as far South as South Carolina. Telephone calls were received by police, fire department and Coast Guard officials during the 8:30 PM to 11:30 PM timeframe. The event, involving a fireball and other unidentified aerial objects, was reported on radio and television newscasts, as well as in new many newspapers and on the Internet. NY-SPI's primary investigation focused on the actual location where objects were reported to have "crashed" into the Atlantic Ocean and in the area from where the Coast Guard search had occurred. The Coast Guard search encountered no debris on the surface of the water.
NY-SPI obtained the exact coordinates of the Coast Guard's search missions (provided to us by the C.G.) and subsequently embarked on a search of the ocean floor beneath the water. Our investigation team was equipped with a diver, sonar, magnetometer, GPS, radar, an underwater camera and other search instrumentation. The team did not have high expectations of actually finding or recovering what may have crashed into the water, understanding that it was like looking for a needle in a haystack. Assuming the search coordinates provided were correct and assuming the object we were looking for had actually crashed in the area that we had searched, there were still many possibilities that could have caused us to come up empty-handed. For example, the proposed object may have embedded itself beneath the sand on impact; or clam boats trawling the ocean floor may have buried it; or perhaps whatever the object was (as witnessed on the water with the red beacon) may have sunk and already been quietly recovered before we got there. Nonetheless, we proceeded with our search and the case remains and open mystery. Additional witnesses have come forward to NY-SPI with their accounts since the investigation was filmed." - OK
“Beach closings, beached mutilated fish, an unidentified aircraft crashing into the ocean, an exploding fireball, a Coast Guard rescue mobilization and a stir of media reports. This sounds more like a case from the X-Files than a real-life UFO sighting that shook the picturesque beach communities along the New Jersey shore right before Labor Day in the late summer of 2007.
The initial media buzz surrounding this case was quite substantial, drawing our attention only a day or two after it first occurred. Numerous stories in print and on the internet cited the local authorities and Coast Guard as receiving high volumes of calls on the night of the incident. However, when NY-SPI contacted the local authorities to identify additional witnesses we learned that most of the calls connected to the incident were in fact from members of the media, not eyewitnesses.
All the witnesses interviewed by the NY-SPI team were extremely credible, each one having spent many summers at the Jersey Shore. Every witness maintained a consistent story, describing what they saw, never attempting to jump to conclusions beyond the facts of the case. Most intriguing of all was the claim by the three teenagers (Anthony, Gregg and Dallas) that they clearly overheard Coast Guard/police radio chatter on the beach that night reporting that wreckage HAD been recovered during the Coast Guard search. This is in direct conflict with the Coast Guard report that no evidence of a downed aircraft had been recovered during their search. Unfortunately, with no other sources to corroborate the teenagers' report, NY-SPI is unable to arrive at a definitive conclusion that wreckage (from some sort of crash) was located in the waters off Normandy Beach that night.
While some eyewitnesses (like Matt Sosnowski) described an object virtually identical to a fireball (sporadic meteor), we were unable to locate a single eyewitness reporting an exploding fireball, as was indicated in a variety of media sources.
Initially we were extremely interested in rumors of beach closings in the days following the incident. NY-SPI obtained both print and television news report verifications that beaches in the area of Normandy Beach were in fact closed in the days following the incident due to medical waste from an unknown source washing up on shore. While this seemed like an uncanny coincidence, we were never able to connect these unexpected closings (the beaches in this area have been relatively clean for a number of years). Outside of a conspiracy theory there is nothing definitive to tie the beach closing to this case. One possible explanation considered by the team was that a meteorite impacting the ocean floor had dislodged medical waste that had been deposited many years ago. As with much of this case, there is no evidence to support this theory.
NY-SPI team members spent an entire day searching the waters off the Jersey shore within the coordinates provided by the Coast Guard. While the search did not yield any evidence (either of a meteorite or aircraft wreckage), we knew it was a long shot with such a large area to search and the event having occurred several months earlier. But since the Coast Guard had only conducted a surface search, we had to take a chance.
In the end, the NY-SPI team felt we were dealing with several independent events. 1. One or more fireball meteors, which may or may not have exploded over the Jersey shore. 2. Some sort of aircraft (likely military related) crashing into the water off Normandy Beach. Again, there is limited evidence to support these findings, so these are preliminary theories at best. We reserve the right to change our theories if and when new evidence emerges, as would any good scientist or investigator.
Most significant of all was the media influence on the development of this case. Here we have an excellent example of media distortion feeding upon itself and blowing a case into something much grander than it ever was in actuality. That being said, it was a fun case to investigate. I just wish we could have mobilized while it was still warm; the beaches were beautiful and inviting despite the frigid weather.” - TD
"I was not available to interview witnesses; therefore, my observations are strictly astronomical in nature. All descriptions of the event in my opinion, point to a fireball. The flight trajectory, the colors and appearance are consistent with a meteor of this type. The Aurigid shower peaked that morning and was most visible from the west coast. Meteors can usually be seen a day or two before and after a shower's peak. However, the direction of flight, if reported correctly, would indicate the object seen was not related to the shower. I believe it was a sporadic meteor, which had no association with the shower. There is the possibility of an overlapping event having taken place that night, but I will leave that to other members of the NY-SPI team who investigated that part of the case." - DA
"The Normandy Beach case is a perfect example of how, at first, many seemingly different testimonies, once pieced together, correlate to a cohesive event. When an event occurs, it is very rare that each witness views the event from exactly the same point of view. These differing points of view need to be analyzed to determine where each piece of the puzzle fits into the larger picture.
Case in point: Dallas and the other teenagers on the beach in Normandy Beach report a very different event than that which was viewed by Gail Steinbacher in Ortley Beach. What gave Dallas’ testimony the heaviest weight was the corroboration by her father. This helped eliminate the attention-seeker equation seen many times when recall of events are presented. Her testimony did not change.
Further supporting this is USCG Petty Officer Sova’s relation of the events. While I believe he was being honest, based on my experience, I also have intimate knowledge of military training exercises used during basic training that allows a service-member to relate events and not give any body language or eye-movement cues. I believe that he related the facts as they were related to him. Yet I do not rule out the possibility that there is more information held by the military that was not divulged to the NY-SPI team. Repeated FOIA requests may yet yield additional information over time.
With all of the above taken into consideration, together with the various media reports, I believe that there was an event of consequence that occurred on that beach that night. I believe that no one knows exactly what happened, and I also believe that this investigation is not yet resolved." - DP