The North Newark UFO Case:
of a Journalistic Investigation
In November 1994, Omni announced a new
venture called "Project Open Book," which the editors described as "a
worldwide quest for close encounters of the documented kind." It was a
ambitious move, part bravado, part marketing. In essence Omni
would take up where the Air Force had left off in 1969 with Project
Blue Book. But unlike that failed effort, Omni's examination of
the UFO phenomenon would be "open to public scrutiny," as its name
implied and as its journalistic roots required.
In her introduction to the new endeavor, editor Pamela Weintraub
explained how Omni's investigative reporters, yours truly
included, would "wield their craft to go through the data," and come up
with "a semblance of truth." Omni was in a good position to do
this, Weintraub explained, "because we have no axe to grind." Following
"Omni's longstanding policy of informed skepticism," the Open
Book team would seek the answer to the ultimate question: "Is there any
evidence that proves, to our satisfaction and beyond a shadow of a
doubt, that the alien interpretation of UFOs is for real?"
Project Open Book turned out to be far too ambitious for its own good.
No magazine could support such a cause. Not philosophically. Not
financially. In any case, I ended up doing only one such in-depth case
investigation for Omni. The magazine eventually folded and my
investigation never ran as a casebook. But here it is now, presented
for your edification, for the first time. Read along and follow the
Date: March 5,1994
Time: 10:30 P.M.
Place: North Newark, New Jersey
Primary Witness: John Gonzalez, 46.
Category: Close encounter of the second kind,
involving multiple witnesses, widespread electromagnetic interference,
and alleged physical traces from a low-level UFO.
Map | Next Page