Family Remembrance for a Loved One Creates UFO Scare
A family remembrance celebrating the life of a 21-year-old Mahopac man who died a year ago after a Connecticut crash set off a UFO scare last weekend in Putnam.
Carmel Police Chief Mike Johnson said dispatchers received “dozens of calls” from concerned motorists Saturday night around 8:30 p.m. who were traveling along Route 6 reporting orange lights in formation “gliding silently across the sky.”
The chief said officers responded to investigate but found “nothing out of this world. Since no one was reported missing and no reports of aliens had been received, we decided the sightings were suspicious but unfounded activity.”
On Monday, the circumstances surrounding the unusual sighting came to light when Frances Altomare told the Courier that the lights were a special memorial for her late son, Scott Kravis.
Scott was critically injured in a car crash in November 2010. He was admitted to Yale-New Haven Hospital but did not succumb to his injuries until being taken off life support the following January.
“Our family celebrated a mass at St. John’s Church for Scott on Saturday morning and returned to our home for a beautiful dinner,” said Altomare.
According to Mrs. Altomare one of the guests at the celebration brought special candles and lanterns with her and after dark the lighted candles were placed in the lanterns and allowed to fly into the night sky.
“It was such a wonderful reflection on Scott’s life. The entire day was beautiful, remembering our son whose life was cut much too short,” she said.
Chief Johnson breathed a sign of relief when learning the circumstances surrounding the incident: “I’m thrilled that no one was beamed up. No reports of missing persons in greater Carmel!”
In the 1980s, the Hudson Valley received numerous reports of alleged UFO visits. Johnson remembered investigating several reported sightings himself when patrolling the roads of greater Carmel-Mahopac as a police officer.