March 14, 2011 / Media / Brooklyn news / Podcast / Williamsburg / The Greatest Story Ever

UFOs over Williamsburg? Man captures lights, action on camera

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Here’s one for the X-Files.

Philip DiPaolo, a family man and respected community activist, says he saw a silently pulsing, moving light floating over his beloved Williamsburg neighborhood last Monday — one year after witnesses saw a similar phenomenon in the same area.

DiPaolo, 50, saw the light while walking his dogs around 11 pm.

“I got out my camera to use the zoom to see if it was a satellite,” the mild-mannered leader of the New York Community Council told us via e-mail. “I could not figure out what this was. About 10 seconds in, some pulsing image goes across the screen. Very weird!”

Weirder still, witnesses reported seeing a similar bright light spinning over Williamsburg several times last winter.

DiPaolo’s unidentified flying object appeared high in the clear, south sky. It appeared to change color and move, he said. He shot some video of the object, then went inside. When he came back a few minutes later, the airborne anomaly was gone.

DiPaolo, who lives on North Seventh Street and Driggs Avenue and was once named the “mayor of North Brooklyn,” insists he wasn’t drinking and that he’s not prone to bouts of delusion. He still can’t really say what he captured in the video that night, but it didn’t appear to be an airplane, helicopter or star, he said.

He also doubted that it was an alien spaceship.

“I’m not a UFO nut or anything. I was more looking for a rational explanation. I’ve been living here 30 something years. I’ve never seen anything like that thing,” he said, adding that he put the video on YouTube in hopes that someone would have an explanation for the phenomenon.

The video was met with the sort of skepticism usually reserved for crackpots.

“Was he drinking?” exclaimed FOX-NY anchor Rosanna Scotto after seeing DiPaolo’s clip. Co-anchor Greg Kelly said it looked like someone pulled a prank on DiPaolo.

“You need another hobby,” said one YouTube commenter. “Hoax,” said another.

DiPaolo said he received a voicemail last Thursday from a man identifying himself as a Federal Aviation Administration official. The caller said that DiPaolo likely saw the space shuttle Discovery, which was visible in orbit around that time for a few minutes.

“It seems to be a viable explanation,” DiPaolo said.

But it was unclear whether NASA spacecraft would have been visible over Brooklyn that night. The space station and Discovery shuttle were visible over New York on Wednesday, but information for Monday was unavailable by press time, said NASA spokesman Kelly Humphries.

“I don’t know if it honestly was the FAA,” DiPaolo said of the mysterious call. “They didn’t leave a name; they didn’t leave a callback number.

Jim Peters, New York spokesman for the FAA, couldn’t be certain what DiPaolo saw and referred questions about the space shuttle’s trajectory to NASA.

“We do get calls on things that people believe would be classified as UFOs,” he said. His office didn’t get any calls about a UFO on Monday, but it’s possible that DiPaolo saw an airplane landing, he said.

Whatever the light was, DiPaolo says he probably won’t cry “UFO!” again anytime soon.

“I could understand now why a lot of people might see something and not go public with it, because you get the slings and arrows from it,” he said.

Updated 5:23 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Agent Fox Mulder from Washington DC says:
trustno1 The truth is out there.
March 14, 2011, 12:01 am
will from bay ridge says:
i see that all the time. its just some blinking lights...nothing special.
March 14, 2011, 12:05 am
Ophu from Louisiana says:
Why wouldn't an alien visitation be "rational"? It's certainly one of the possible explanations.
March 14, 2011, 12:38 am
Keith from LI says:
Ophu is right. It is possible that the light in the video was emitted by an alien spacecraft.

Also, it was totally a unicorn. No doubt in my mind.
March 14, 2011, 2:29 am
DERR UFO from Planet Earth says:
any odd video showing something in the sky that is not easy to define as man-made is very important to ufo research...We have to thank this camera-man for taking the time to image this object and also being brave enough to come forward with the material. My work in ufo research lasted from 1991 til the end of 2009. I am also a veteran of the US AIR FORCE . Sure I would love to say there is nothing to the Aliens or UFOs being alien space craft but I just cannot say that. ok ? google my name:DERR UFO if you want to see some of my research but be brave, its not for those who fear the future or aliens and well that is all of US - Right?
March 24, 2011, 10:37 pm

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