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  The North Newark UFO Case:
Anatomy of a Journalistic Investigation

Utility Company

Finally, I put a call in to PSE&G, hoping they could provide a clue to the mystery. They did have an answer. "We had an underground cable failure and manhole explosion at 10:37 on that date," explained Neil Brown, manager of public information for PSE&G. "The area served by that 26,000 volt circuit just touches the area in question. So customers in that area could have noticed a momentary dimming of lights as a result of that, but not a complete power outage, like the one that affected some customers for one hour and eight minutes. The jolt from the cable failure may have blown off the manhole cover on Bloomfield Avenue. That was close enough [two blocks from the Gonzalez residence] that it could have been felt."

Brown believes the underground cable failure may also have caused the flash of light reported. "At the instant that the cable fails," he explains, "there is a release of energy that could result in a flash, or an arcing, at the same time there is enough force to blow off the manhole cover. It's quite likely people in the vicinity could have noticed that."

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