Tuesday, April 07, 2009

MUFON Caught New Jersey UFO Hoaxers!

Hoaxers Launching Flare
By Roger Marsh
UFO Examiner

Roger Marsh     A Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) report concerning the now-famous Morris County, NJ, UFO scam describes the sighting as something manmade.

Joe Rudy, 28, and Chris Russo, 29, have been charged with disorderly conduct, after prosecutors there learned of the hoax on YouTube, where they actually showed us how they did it - red flares, helium balloons and fishing line. The first attempt at a hoax appears to be a report filed with MUFON on Jan. 5, 2009. Other hoax dates are Feb. 7 and Feb. 17, 2009.

But MUFON called this one correctly on Jan. 7, 2009.

Photo Analyst Marc D'Antonio, with FX Models, LLC, was brought in on the case after the January 5, 2009, report by MUFON's Richard Lang, a STAR team coordinator. The STAR team is MUFON's recent push to get investigations rolling quickly, especially in cases where there may be ground evidence. Lang provided D'Antonio with a video tape of the event.

The following is D'Antonio's statement on the case from Jan. 7.
"I noted that the lights seemed to operate independently, and were brightening and dimming independently, as in a flickering effect, indicative of a typical flame-based light source that I have seen countless times. By flame-based I mean a flying light created by a Chinese Lantern or a flare.

"A Chinese Lantern, as you already must know, is a paper balloon envelope with a heat source suspended underneath in the opening that heats the envelope making a crude hot air balloon until the flame goes out.

"Further, in the report, the indication was that the lights went out one by one.

"This is very telling. When lights go out one-by-one, that usually means that they were LIT one after another.

"A flare that lasts 20 minutes has burned for 4-5, say by the time the LAST one in the chain is lit, and they are all released if performed by a person or two. So this staggered fadeout pattern is expected in such situations and is what happened in this case.

"Whether this event was due to Chinese Lanterns, as I thought they could be, or flares, didn't matter actually.

"It was clear to me after viewing the video that this is not a UFO, but was a man-made hoax event.

"I informed the STAR team, that in my opinion, this was a man-made event, and not a true UFO of any kind. I suggested obtaining prevailing wind data for that evening and guessing how long the lights were visible, figure out a probable drift pattern and search for debris.

"The MUFON STAR team, using good science, did a search, and in fact they found debris from the "apparatus" along the path that the object took. So this was a good team effort, with the expected result for a hoax event."


  1. Didn't Sam Maranto and MUFON have Joe Rudy and Chris Russo appear (via telephone) at a UFO symposium in Illinois on February 21, 2009? The answer is yes, they did. As I recall they were asked on to explain their video and were graciously thanked by Sam. Yeah, you guys really exposed these two!!! You sure caught them! Sorry I can't stop laughing over here. Do you need a towel to wipe that egg off your face, MUFON?

  2. Orion,

    I was not aware of any public notification made by Joe & Chris until April 1, 2009.

    As the STAR Team Field Investigator on the ground in Morris County on the morning of January 7, 2009, it was my job to locate debris, and determine the case disposition for the MUFON Case Management System (CMS).

    I spoke with Marc Dantonio the day before my field work and told him based on the news video, that this case was very similar to the Phoenix Lights Case, a hoax as far as I was concerned. Following up on the ground was to substantiate the disposition based on the news clip and photo analysis. i also spoke with Richard Lang to give him an update to the case from the ground.

    As additional events occurred, I began to piece the information together which led to the conclusion on March 14, 2009 after I read the "Morristown UFO" Wikipedia site where Joe & Chris stated that they were prepared to take Video & Still shots of the event which occurred on January 5, 2009. There was by the way a similar case on 9/13/08 in Bernardsville, NJ, just south of these hoax events which to me appeared to be a 'test flight' for the series of hoax events that followed in January & February.

    MUFON followed objective investigating techniques to not only identify these events as hoax events, but also were able to deduct that it was in fact Joe & Chris who were the hoaxers, (over two weeks before they went public). The only reason why I did not make my report public to the press at that time was that I did not want to open myself up to legal issues . . . instead I waited to see what might come next. Joe & Chris took care of that.

    Kristen Ann Winslet
    MUFON Field Investigator


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