This is from an OBSERVER Retrospective article in the Oct. 30 edition:
Forty years ago - 1973: UFO reports have arrived. Dozens of reports - including those from three police officers, two from Dunkirk, and one from Silver Creek - of seeing strange, unexplainable objects in the sky kept area law officers busy last night.
In that October 1973, seven of us fishermen, decked out in waders, were casting off at the mouth of Canadaway Creek. Depending on our circumstances, we would get there during daylight and fish through the early evening hours, hoping for steelheads, cohos, browns or rainbows. When darkness fell, we'd then try for walleyes.
Around 9 p.m., one of the fellows hollered, "Look at those UFOs!" Another added: "... What a bunch of crazy lights." Hovering overhead, coming from the direction of the Niagara Mohawk plant (now NRG Energy), were five sizeable, disk-shaped objects in a V formation, drifting ever so leisurely on a NNW bearing.
They were an off-white color and around their periphery circled faintly blinking lights. Suddenly, the far left object of the V shot straight up, hanging back a bit, as if providing cover for the other four. They stayed on course and eventually distanced themselves out of sight.
Years later, curiosity getting the best of me, I went to the Dunkirk Free Library microfilm archives. I read that reports from that time (late 1973) were coming in not only from our area, but nationwide, covering at least 25 states; also, in other countries, switchboards were lighting up with hundreds of callers reporting additional sightings.
Now, I'd like to think those were really UFOs we men saw; that somewhere in this galaxy are superior beings studying us; and maybe one of these times will come down for a visit and give us a plan on how we can just get along with each other. But, that probably will be perceived as a sign of weakness and we'll blow them to smithereens! So let's go along with that fishing buddy who called them "a bunch of crazy lights," and leave it at that.
Ralph Burke is a Dunkirk resident.