Back in the Day - Dec. 3, 1978: Seismic theory floated to explain Wanaque UFOs
By BRYAN LAPLACA
Dec. 3, 1978
It had been 12 years since the UFO sightings around the Wanaque Reservoir area were all the rage. Trying to spot UFOs by the reservoir was such a popular nighttime activity that the sky watchers' cars backed up the roads in the vicinity.
"Scientists are still seeking answers to the 1966 event, and by the end of the year there reportedly may be a scientific explanation to the sightings," it was reported.
A non-profit group of researchers from Stanhope, under the name of Vestigia Inc., was gearing up to test their hypothesis that seismic pressure on quartz-bearing rock was responsible for the mysterious light configurations.
Robert Jones, a Byram Township computer analyst who founded Vestigia Inc., believed there was a common explanation for the UFOs. Jones had also been exploring strange lighting in Long Valley for two years.
The reported sightings at Wanaque and Long Valley almost always seem to be of soft, glowing lights close to the ground, Jones noted.
According to his hypothesis, seismic pressure on the crystalline rock surfaces gives off lightning. Jones believed the pressure around the Wanaque Reservoir might have been caused by the nearby Ramapo Fault. A number of mild tremors occurred along the fault line over the years.
With permission from the North Jersey District Water Supply Commission, the researchers intended to use Geiger counters, infrared detectors, magnetometers, and surveying equipment in their work at the reservoir.
In 1977, Vestigia Inc. had helped the U.S. Navy investigate the mysterious sonic booms heard along the New Jersey coast. . . .
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