New York Skies (Cheryl Costa)

UFO researchers with a New York state of mind

During a recent chat with a media colleague, he remarked that I seemed to be a “Lone Ranger” as a UFO researcher in New York state. I laughed at first, and then I explained to him about some of the amazing UFO researchers right here in the Empire State.

Richard Dolan lives in Monroe County, just west of the New York State Thruway. He has authored the books UFOs and the National Security State, A.D. After Disclosure and his latest work UFOs for the 21st Century Mind. Richard is a regular expert at all the prime UFO conferences, as well on many UFO-related television and radio shows.

Heading east on the Thruway into Oneida County, we have New York MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) state director Sam Falvo. Since New York is the sixth-ranked state in the United States for UFO sightings, Sam is right in the thick of it, as he reviews more than 500 yearly UFO sighting reports from around the state. As reports come in, Sam’s job is to weigh the data and decide whether to assign a sighting incident to a handful of volunteer MUFON field investigators. Sam frequently does many investigations himself.

Now that Sam has recently retired from his career as a commercial heating and air-conditioning design-build consultant, he’s planning to make some UFO-related documentaries based on cases he has investigated.

Down in the Hudson Valley in Orange County we have Linda Zimmermann, a research chemist turned award-winning author of 30 books on science, history, the paranormal and fiction. She has lectured across the country and has made many appearances on numerous TV and radio shows.

Linda starred in the documentary In the Night Sky: I Recall a UFO, based on her research into the huge number of UFO sightings in the Hudson Valley. That film won the People’s Choice Award at the 2013 International UFO Congress. She has written the books In the Night Sky and Hudson Valley UFOs, and is currently working on a third book.

Further up the Hudson Valley in Rensselaer County, researcher and author Tom Conwell makes his home. Tom is a retired advanced electronics technician and software specialist. He uses databases, maps, stories, Native Americans folklore and geology to seek explanations to the extraterrestrial question.

Tom has published the books THEY Are Here: (East Coast UFOs, Volume 1 and THEY Are Here: Central US UFOs, Volume 2, with a third book ready for publication. He’s a frequent speaker at regional associations in the state capital and the Hudson Valley region. He’s also starting to speak on the national scene.

Just an hour south in Tompkins County is UFO investigator and writing talent Peter Robbins. Interestingly, his formal training is in painting and film history; Peter received a BFA from New York City’s School of Visual Arts, where he taught painting for more than a dozen years. He is also an inveterate traveler and an accomplished photographer.

Peter has logged more than 35 years’ experience as an investigator, researcher, author and lecturer. He has been a fixture on American and British radio programs and several documentaries, and has made appearances at local, regional, national and international conferences as well as at schools, universities, libraries and organizations.

As a UFO author, Peter has published Deliberate Deception: A Case of Disinformation in the UFO Research Community and Halt In Woodbridge: An Air Force Colonel’s Thirty-Year Fight To Silence An Authentic UFO Whistle-Blower.

Finally, let’s meet one of the new UFO research and media voices in the Onondaga County area: Ryan Sprague. When I resided in the Strathmore neighborhood, Ryan and his parents lived just a few blocks away–but I didn’t know that until I first met Ryan backstage at the 2015 International UFO Congress when we both realized that we were neighbors.

A performance media graduate of SUNY Oswego, Ryan is now an investigative writer specializing in UFOs. He has written for numerous publications, including Omni Reboot, Open Minds magazine, Phenomena Magazine UK and UFO Truth magazine.

Ryan has been featured on ABC News, Fox News, The Science Channel, and is a regular on The Travel Channel’s Mysteries at the Museum. His first book, Somewhere in the Skies: A Human Approach to an Alien Phenomenon, was published by Richard Dolan Press. Ryan was also a presenter at the 2017 International UFO Congress.

Finally, he has just completed producing and hosting a year’s worth of weekly podcasts titled Somewhere in the Skies, where he has interviewed a veritable who’s who of UFO investigative and research talent. Ryan is a guy to watch!

So there you have it: five seasoned and established UFO investigators, presenters and writers; as well as a talented rookie doing impressive things. Is that all of the New York state talent in the field of Ufology? Not by a long shot!


If you have a UFO sighting to report, use one of the two national database services: or Both services respect confidentiality.

On The Road

Cheryl’s future speaking engagements include:

May 20: Pine Bush UFO Fair. Pine Bush, N.Y.

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