The thing about self-published books is that titles sometimes confuse. I’d read Linda Zimmermann’s Hudson Valley UFOs without realizing it was a sequel. Part of the reason is that her previous book was titled In the Night Sky. Since I have a compulsion for completion, I knew I’d have to circle back to read the first book, even though it might take months to get on my schedule. I realize the title of this book is based on her documentary by the same title (which seems to be unavailable for viewing these days), and the subtitle, Hudson Valley UFO Sightings from the 1930’s to the Present, does the heavy lifting of saying what the book is about. So why am I reading about this in the first place? Well, UFOs have continued to be in the news lately, which is interesting in its own right. But also I’ve been reading about the Hudson Valley for some time.
Although I’ve never lived in the Hudson Valley (or New York, for that matter), I have family connections. My maternal grandfather’s family had deep roots in the upper Hudson Valley and I’ve always wanted to move there but jobs never aligned with hopes. That hasn’t prevented me from maintaining an active interest in the area. Besides, I like weird stuff—if you read this blog that’s self-evident. There do seem to be places where strange things seem to concentrate. (I mentioned this in regard to the Denver Airport recently.) I’m one of those people who’s always found New York City a weird place, and it’s the southern end of that corridor.
In any case, Zimmermann’s book is pretty much like her second one on the subject. She provides accounts of UFOs from witnesses who responded to her call for reports in preparation for her documentary. I tend to think that many people can tell what’s supposed to be in the sky from what’s not. I’m also aware that many people don’t have the background of trying to identify whatever they see and that mistakes are often made. It doesn’t help that Zimmermann includes some accounts that are pretty clearly crackpot cases. Some editing would’ve helped (which is true of many self-published books). What’s so interesting about this collection is that what many people report seeing is so similar. For those of us who don’t live in the Hudson Valley and who’ve never seen anything odd on our trips there, this may be the closest we get to the strangeness overhead.