Preliminary NUFORC statement regarding the footage captured by FOX 23
television in Albany, NY, on Sunday, October 20, 2002.
By Peter Davenport
Director, National UFO Reporting Center
Video Clip (approx. 2.9 megs, cross-platform Quicktime)
you may need to add .mov to the end of the file name to play the clip
Albany, NY Fox TV UFO Case
At 07:30 hrs. (Pacific) on Monday morning, October 21, 2002, the
National UFO Reporting Center received a telephone call from a
television news reporter, Mr. Dan Bazile, with FOX 23 news (a Clear
Channel Communication-owned station), who apprised us that one of
their photographers had inadvertently captured brief footage of a
very bizarre object streaking across the sky near Albany, NY. He
described that one of their photographers had been out on Sunday
afternoon, October 20th, photographing aircraft at a nearby airport,
and that the peculiar object had been detected in the news studio
when the footage was being examined at slow speed.
From that first telephone conversation, NUFORC was not left with a
clear understanding of the nature of the object and its appearance,
but Mr. Bazile offered to forward to NUFORC still images from the
tape. NUFORC offered to help identify the object, if possible, and to
put the station in touch with photo analysts, who might be able to
assist in further analysis.
In a second conversation with Mr. Bazile on Tuesday morning, October
22, he apprised NUFORC that the original video tape of the object had
been forcibly "confiscated" from the "young photographer" by "four
FBI agents," from the Albany, NY, FBI offices, a statement which now
is in question. (Please see paragraphs below.) Mr. Bazile went on to
describe how the agents had invited the photographer outside the
station, and that the agents had then "taken" the "original" tape
from the photographer, who had it on his person at the time of the
meeting with the FBI personnel. When NUFORC suggested that such an
act, in the absence of a court warrant, might be illegal, Mr. Bazile
averred that he agreed with that assessment. However, he stated that
the station still had in its possession several copies of the
When NUFORC asked Mr. Bazile whether FOX 23 was planning to do a news
report on the incident with the FBI, he responded that the station
was "considering" that possibility, but such a decision was out of
his hands. He then stated that in order to answer that question, he
would like first to speak with his "supervisor" about the matter, and
that he would call back "in a few minutes."
After approximately 45 minutes had elapsed, NUFORC telephoned FOX 23
and requested to be put in touch with Mr. Bazile. After a short
period of time, he came on the line, but after only a very short
conversation he said he would like to put his supervisor, Mr. Dave
Brown, Station News Director for FOX 23, on the line.
During our 7-minute conversation with Mr. Brown, he stated that a
copy of the tape had been provided to the personnel from the FBI by
his station voluntarily, because his station "willingly co-operated
with members of law enforcement." He added that he personally had
provided the video to the FBI, that it had not been "taken" by them,
as had been suggested by Mr. Bazile. Mr. Brown stated that he had
arrived at work on Sunday evening "at about 8 or 9 o'clock," and that
FBI personnel had been photographed in the station while they watched
the tape, and that that footage had been aired by the station on
Sunday night as a news report. Mr. Brown implied that this fact
illustrated that there had been no "mystery" surrounding the FBI's
interest in the footage, and that, in his opinion, no impropriety
surrounded the transfer of the tape to the FBI personnel.
Mr. Brown also added that he did not know whether the original tape
had been provided to the FBI, or whether they had received a copy.
However, he said that with digital tape, it really did not matter,
since very little fidelity was lost in a copied tape.
When asked how many representatives from the FBI had been present at
the station on Sunday night, he said that he did not know, but there
were at least two representatives from that office present. He said
there might have been more, but he could not be certain, since "there
were so many people present in the station that night."
Mr. Brown closed the conversation with the statement that FOX 23
would not be devoting any more news coverage to the footage,
suggesting that the story was now old news, and that, in his opinion,
it did not warrant any further attention by his station.
Following our conversation with Mr. Brown, NUFORC contacted the FBI
offices in Albany [(518) 465-7551]. We spoke with Lisa Massaroni, a
public affairs spokeswoman, who apprised us that to the best of her
knowledge, the FBI office did have a copy of the tape, that their
personnel were planning to analyze it, but that she did not know the
status of the investigation. She directed us to her supervisor for
any further questions, and added that he would be out of his office
until October 24th.
NUFORC also was contacted by a gentleman from Birmingham, AL, Mr.
Brian Huff, a forensic video analyst, who had captured the video from
the FOX 23 website, and who has analyzed the tape. We provide
elements of his video analysis with this statement. Mr. Huff has
stated to NUFORC that, based on his analysis of the footage, the
object is genuine, and that it is not a superimposed image. He also
stated that the object is on the other side of the clouds, which
provides some perspective as to the size of the object, and its
velocity, which Mr. Huff concludes is considerable. We extend our
gratitude to Mr. Huff for sharing his analysis with NUFORC and Jeff
Prepared by Peter B. Davenport, Director, National UFO Reporting
October 22, 2002.
Peter B. Davenport, Director
National UFO Reporting Center
P. O. Box 45623 University Station
Seattle, WA 98145
Reporting Hotline: (206) 722-3000
Forensic Video Analyst Certifies Object Is Genuine