The 1981 Queens “Bell” UFO Incident

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
August 5, 2019
Last Updated
October 6, 2021
Estimated Reading Time
7 min read
Posted in
UFOs, Close Encounters

A multiple witness UFO sighting in the fall of 1981 in the Queens region of New York is intriguing for several reasons, perhaps not least as, at least according to one of the witnesses, the encounter could well have been an attempted alien abduction. Furthermore, there is a clear insinuation of a military presence in the area. A presence that would cause the strange object to flee.

All of these things should cause us to ask several questions. Aside from the most obvious such as who are these strange visitors and where do they come from, just what does this apparent military presence know about them? Is there really some kind of intergalactic conflict taking place right under the collective noses of the vast majority of humanity, for example?

A depiction of the bell shaped UFO

A depiction of the bell shaped UFO

As well as the multiple witnesses, a write-up of the incident would appear in the 19th September edition of News World courtesy of New York journalist, Jayne Turconi. In fact, several of the witnesses would actually speak to the journalist as opposed to making an official report, stating that they did not contact the police in case they would think they were “crazy”.

Indeed, such concerns on the part of witnesses – as understandable as it might be – only feeds those same concerns further afield. In short, seeing UFOs as “crazy” will become self-fulfilling. Which, if there is something to hide from the wider population, is exactly the social acceptance level such dark, shadowy elements of the world’s governments desire, and indeed, need in order to keep such secrecy in place.

A Bell-Shaped Object The Size Of “Two And A Half City Streets!”

At around 10 pm on the 5th September 1981 in the Corona district of Queens, New York, the residents of an apartment block would be witness to one of the strangest nights of their lives [1] when a strange and distinctly bell-shaped object appeared in the skies over their homes. Around the bottom edge of the craft “swirling colored lights” were visible while a “flashing green light” emanating from the top of the craft.

Furthermore, many witnesses would later recall that they could clearly see “green triangular windows lit with white light”. Also audible was a “beeping” sound, similar to that of a heavy good vehicle reversing.

Artist's sketch of the bell shaped UFO

Artist’s sketch of the bell shaped UFO

The object was of considerable size, with one witness describing it as at least “the width of two and a half city streets”. It was estimated the object was around “40-50 stories” above the apartment building. This perhaps, given the amount of detail observed by the witnesses, is a testament to the behemoth-like size of the craft.

Perhaps even more unnerving was the “triangular-shaped ray of green light” that would suddenly eject from the bottom of the craft, hitting a teenage onlooker, Diana Martinez, directly in the face as she watched events unfold from the window of one of the apartments. According to later reports, the frightened girl called out that she was “being taken” by the strange craft and was immediately pulled away from the window by her friend, Oneda Colon, whose parents owned the apartment. Diana would later recall that “everything went blank” for several minutes following.

The object would move around the skies over the Corona district. It would settle over another block of apartments before moving over the top of yet another. Very much as though it was searching for somebody.

Then, another craft entered the picture.

Military Intervention?

Although there is no official record of it, witnesses believe a military jet with “two strong beaming searchlights” approached the strange craft as it hovered over a small apartment building. Almost instantly and in sympathy with this military arrival, the UFO would disappear out of sight at great speed.

We should perhaps note that residents of the area are familiar with the usual flight routes of the commercial airliners that use the nearby LaGuardia Airport. Because of this, they would rule out that the plane was a commercial airliner coming into land. Besides, the sound of the plane was entirely different from the usual noise of regular departing and incoming air traffic.

Five of the witnesses to the bizarre events were in the apartment containing Diana Martinez, who the green light seemingly singled out. As well as Diana and Oneda Colon, Oneda’s mother and brother (Carmen and Jimmy respectively) and her cousin, Lewis Alya, were also present.

Carmen would later recall that “the girls were screaming” which caused to her to rush into the main room of the apartment. From there she saw the green light and the bell-shaped craft. Odena’s brother, Jimmy, would also note how the noise of the object seemingly grew louder in sympathy with the brightness of the light. This is an interesting detail which surfaces in many other UFO encounters.

Whatever the origin of the mysterious craft or its objective, as well as the apparent presence of military jets, the account would fade into obscurity. Only with the arrival of the Internet did circulation of the account begin in any real way. And while it remains unexplained and almost forgotten close to four decades later, another similar New York UFO encounter several months previously could also be of interest to us here.

The 1981 Montauk Sighting

In March 1981 in nearby Montauk, [2] a location already steeped in conspiracies of various kinds, ranging from bizarre animal experiments to top-secret time-travel projects using alien technology, would experience its own UFO encounter.

On this particular evening, the witness, known only at “Alan”, was driving along with his nephew on Montauk Highway along the north Atlantic coast. As the headlights of the vehicle cut their way into the oncoming night, a strange light would capture Alan’s attention. It was seemingly coming from the ocean. And what’s more, it was getting steadily bigger, and brighter.

A depiction of a UFO off the US east coast

A depiction of a UFO off the US east coast

Stating to his nephew’s persistent questions that the object “must be an airplane”, Alan quickly realized that the object was moving far slower than the laws of physics should allow an airplane to do. Perhaps, then, he claimed, it was a helicopter.

At this point, the young boy reached out of the window for a better look. He quickly exclaimed:

That is no helicopter. You better stop and take a look at this!

Alan would pull the car to the side of the road. When he exited the vehicle and looked up, he could see “a metallic object pass slowly overhead at perhaps 200 to 400 feet!”

He would further recall how there were “no wings or rotors, no visible engines, and absolutely no sound”. The object passed over them and continued in a northwest direction. Alan and his nephew jumped back in the car and followed it.

Several Hours Of A Persistent Presence

They would follow the strange craft for several miles before it came to a stop and hovered above a set of powerlines. Alan would bring the car to a stop once more. The pair of witnesses would remain in the vehicle, watching it as it remained in a stationary position.

At one point, out of curiosity, Alan would flash the headlights at the object in an attempt at communication. Within seconds, the object would respond by flashing lights back to the car and its occupants. Alan would then flash the car’s brighter set of lights. The aerial object would respond in kind. He would later recall how:

I was actually hoping to be abducted and take for a ride into space!

However, several minutes later, the pair witnessed an orange light near some nearby trees. With the initial object simply hovering in place, they started the engine and slowly ventured down towards this new light. It soon vanished, though, and nothing else of consequence from the area happened.

However, they would soon notice a strange “hissing sound” around them. Furthermore, it appeared the wild grass was “vibrating” around them. They couldn’t see anything strange around them. That was until they witnessed what seemed like “very bright stars” appeared overhead.

A depiction of a UFO over a radio tower

A depiction of a UFO over a radio tower

Then, in bizarrely similar detail to the incident in Queens several months later, a “brilliant blue beam of light came out of it”. Was this light, albeit a different color, a similar one that seemingly attempted to abduct the teenage Diana from her apartment window?

The object would ultimately remain hovering for several more hours. Interestingly, when the pair returned to the location the following day, all they could see was a field of grass. However, the previous evening, Alan would swear the entire area rippled “like water”.

A Discreet, Unknown, (And Ancient) Communication!

Perhaps strangely, Alan claimed to have experienced an attempt at telepathic communication by the intelligence behind the strange craft. He would elaborate that this feeling of “communication” would appear again in the months and years that passed. Perhaps, bizarrely or not, often when there were killer whales off the coast of the region.

Further still, it is Alan’s belief that the occupants of the UFO he witnessed, and indeed many of the other sightings around the planet, are “people who left the Earth long ago”. Alan would admit, though, that he did not fully understand this concept himself. Or when this race of humans may have existed on the Earth? Nor why they left, or indeed, where they went?

However, it is an extremely interesting take on UFO sightings and the origins of these strange crafts. And one that is not as outlandish – even in the UFO community – as it might sound. For example, many UFO sightings feature descriptions from witnesses that the crafts were “ancient” looking. Or even “Biblical”.Witnesses often don’t know why such a description is appropriate, only that it is.

An image of Montauk base

An image of Montauk base

Perhaps – particularly when we look at the “bell” shape of our first encounter in Queens, we should look to the Vimana’s of the ancient Indus regions. Something very much written of as absolute fact in the Sanskrit texts. Might these “bell” shapes actually be more in line with these “ancient” flying machines?

Might it be that the sightings we are experiencing today – and some would say as a populace, increasingly so – could somehow be a link to our collective pasts? Is it possible that in unlocking the realities behind the UFO and alien question, we might also reveal to ourselves the lost origins of humanity from the black void that is pre-history?

Could UFO Encounters Unlock The Mysteries Of Our Collective Past?

Both of the UFO encounters above took place within several months of each other. And are, relatively speaking, within a stone’s throw of each other. Whether there is a connection or not, is open to debate.

What the cases perhaps force us to do more than anything else, though, is to confront the, to some, uncomfortable idea that “UFOs” might not, at least in their entirety, be alien visitors from another world. That they may have their origins much closer to home.

And at the same time, those origins and how they intercede with our present existence in time is perhaps much more complex and even more unbelievable than extraterrestrials reaching out across the cosmos. Whether for the greater good of the Universe and “life”, or to destroy or enslave us.

What is perhaps also interesting, especially when we take into account the “time-travel” experiments said to operate out of top-secret facilities nearby, is the reference that Alan himself makes to this. In particular, as to why they or other people in the area simply don’t report such encounters until years later.

He would refer to the facility as “some sort of top-secret military base”. One where “no one ever seemed to know what went on” behind its doors. Whether the craft was from another world or a top-secret “anti-gravity craft” of the United States’ military, Alan is uncertain. He is, however, sure “it definitely did exist”. Of that, he remains adamant.

Whether that same craft, or one similar to it, was also responsible for the multi-witness sighting in Queens is an aspect that remains open for debate and investigation. As do the origins of these strange crafts that continue to appear around the planet.

Check out the video below. It looks at UFOs and time travel.

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

Fact Checking/Disclaimer

Fact Checking

The stories, accounts, and discussions in this article may go against currently accepted science and common beliefs. The details included in the article are based on the reports, accounts and documentation available as provided by witnesses and publications - sources/references are published above.

We do not aim to prove nor disprove any of the theories, cases, or reports.  You should read this article with an open mind and come to a conclusion yourself.  Our motto always is, "you make up your own mind".  Read more about how we fact-check content here.

Copyright & Republishing Policy

The entire article and the contents within are published by, wholly-owned and copyright of UFO Insight.  The author does not own the rights to this content. 

You may republish short quotes from this article with a reference back to the original UFO Insight article here as the source. You may not republish the article in its entirety.

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to our free newsletter and join our subscribers. Receive the latest articles directly in your inbox weekly.

If you don't like what you read, you can unsubscribe at any time.

1 Comment

UFO Insight does not take responsibility for the content of the comments below.  We take care of filtering profanity as much as we can.  The opinions and discussion in the comments below are not the views of UFO Insight, they are the views of the individual posting the comment.

Newest comments appear first, oldest at the bottom. Post a new comment!

  • Derek Geisler says:

    Have you heard about Dimension Boxes and time traveling phones with massive engineering tools and astrophysics engineering tools built into the temporal devices?

    Derek Geisler

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *