OSWEGO, NY ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ More than raindrops feel from the skies over Oswego Monday night.
On the Oswego Maritime Foundation’s grounds what many believe to be a “flying saucer” crashed sometime in the early morning hours Tuesday.
Artswego, with the assistance of Mercedes Niess, director of the H. Lee White Marine Museum, and several college students held a press conference at the faux crash site to create a buzz for the upcoming Squonk Opera’s Astro-Rama on the SUNY Oswego campus from Oct. 2 to 5 at 8 p.m.
“When we came in today, my colleagues and I discovered this craft,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Niess began explaining to the crowd of more than four dozen. “We have hosted many vessels here, we hosted tall shipsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦”
“It’s a space ship!” someone in the crowd yelled.
“It’s not a space ship!” retorted Elizabeth Enwright. When some in the crowd proclaimed their belief in extra-terrestrials, she preached people should put their faith in God, not “aliens.”
“We’ve never had a ship like this before,” Niess continued once the ruckus died down.
The crippled “UFO” was cordoned off with yellow police tape while two Men in Black stood guard, keeping the crowd at a safe distance and occasionally checking for any radiation.
It was a weather balloon that was a victim of a storm, according to Jeremy Waterman who portrayed one of the Men In Black.
That explanation was met with jeers and catcalls from the throng.
“All I know is that it is fortuitous for us because, coincidentally, we have a couple of great programs coming up.”
The museum director alerted the crowd to the upcoming Squonk performance and took the opportunity to promote other related events that will take place in the coming weeks.
They include the Sept. 13 Museum Talk: Invaders of Mars at 7 p.m.; at 8 p.m. Sept. 26 a show at the college’s Jerred Planetarium (in Piez Hall) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Alien Life: Fact or Fiction?; and the free outdoor multi-media Squonk Opera’s Astro-Rama.
“Is this a government conspiracy? What are you trying to cover up?” Enwright shouted at Niess.
“I’m ready! Take me, take!” wailed Aaron Londraville who was there to “support extra-terrestrial rights.”
He also passed out fliers with information regarding the Belief in Intergalactic Coexistence group that reportedly meets Thursday nights in the basement of Hart Hall on the college campus.
Sarah Sterling wore an aluminum contraption on her head. It was given to her by the aliens who recently abducted her.
“We were told by our friends,” Niess said indicating the Men In Black, “that no being was hurt in this crash. So, we are grateful for that. We’re thinking that the aliens, like the early explorersÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦”
“There aren’t any aliens,” Enwright protested waving her bible.
“They were coming to look and see what we’re about,” Niess continued. “Just like there might be canals on Mars, maybe they were coming to investigate our canals.”
As the crowd pressed in closer to the mock crash site, Enwright chastised them, “This is a false idol you’re worshipping!”
Londraville encouraged everyone to watch the sky. There could be more overhead, they usually travel in groups of three, he added.
The aliens were enticed to come to Oswego because of the heat generated by the three nuclear power plants.
“It’s like a beacon to them,” he explained. “They can’t resist.”
“If I may,” interrupted John Teacher, the other Man In Black. “We’re here on behalf of NASA’s Meteorological Aeronautics Division. This weather balloon was struck by lightening last night. It proceeded downward through a cloud of swamp gas, which was what those lights were you saw last night and impacted here about 50 miles from its intended landing site.”
If anyone had any questions or concerns, he told them to give him their names and address before they left and the government would respond to them.
“We’ve been here over 26 years and we’ve never seen anything like this,” Niess said.
“Any ghosts?” someone asked.
“Actually, we have seen things like ghosts and monsters on Lake Ontario,” Niess replied.
She suggested that the space craft encountered technical difficulties while flying over the area and crashed.
“It’s not a space ship,” the Men In Black corrected her.
“It looks like a space ship,” many in the mob chorused.
“I’m ready, I’m readddddddy. They come in peace,” Londraville exclaimed as he opened his arm wide in submission before the alleged alien wreck. The Men In Black quickly ushered him away from the object.
One eye witness said he saw fish jumping out of the lake just prior to the crash. “Why would they be doing that?” he inquired.
“Spawning season, sir. Spawning season,” Teacher answered.
In early October Squonk will try to make contact with the extra-terrestrials in the Crab Nebula, according to Artswego director Mary Avrakotos.
Members of Squonk Opera are interested in the numerous UFO sightings reported in this region, Avrokatos explained.
To contact extraterrestrial life, the Astro-ramanauts will build 40-foot radio telescope dish, mounted to towers that will be tuned to the “galactic frequency” B-flat, she continued.
The attempts to contact other worldly life will be at 8 p.m. on Oct. 2 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ 5.
Bring a blanket or lawn chair.
Visit www.oswego.edu/arts in case of inclement weather or other possible delays.
Squonk Opera designed and built the space craft as part of its upcoming show.
“We had set this up at the University of Maryland and it was surrounded by a huge crowd, probably twice this size,” Teacher said. “The (little) kids were the best. Adults would come up and we would say, ‘No, it is just a weather balloon’ and that would be it. We tell that to the little kids and they go, ‘No it’s not! It’s a space ship!’