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The North Newark UFO Case:
Anatomy of a Journalistic Investigation

by Patrick Huyghe



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 clues.

Case Data

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.

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