Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Two Tech Heads Create Fake UFOs, Have The Entire Town Scared

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. — Move over, Roswell. South Orange County is recording its own share of UFO sightings.

Several residents have reported the sightings to the Orange County Sheriff's Department in recent months. And word has even reached a Canadian UFO researcher who has posted information about the sightings on his Web site.

In one case, witnesses reported seeing glowing discs zigzagging through trees and hovering above the Aliso Viejo Town Center at night. About a yard in diameter and studded with flashing lights, the four UFOs dance around one another in the night sky.

These flying saucers aren't a top-secret military project. But they aren't being piloted by Martians, either.

The saucers are made in the garages of Gaylon Murphy and Steve Zingali, who get their kicks shocking people and hope to earn a few bucks hawking their remote-controlled saucers. After all, a few UFO sightings can only be good for business.

"We fly them in formation. It's pretty funny," said Murphy, a cardiovascular surgeon. "People stop, people scream, one cab driver ran his car up off the road."

Nick Peterson was stunned when he saw one of the discs fly past his girlfriend's apartment.

"I thought, 'That can't be a UFO, can it?' " he said. "It's pretty weird."

The discs are made of foam and weigh about a pound. Each runs on a 7.4-volt lithium battery and has a propeller.

On weekends, Murphy flies the discs in Aliso Viejo, Newport Beach, Mission Viejo and Laguna Niguel. He and Zingali, a facilities engineer, have sold four of the gizmos at $1,000 each and concede that their streaking light show is part hobby, part promotion.

"It's good marketing," he said.

The Canadian UFO Web site, which logs oddities from supposed saucer sightings to alleged alien abductions and offers an assortment of paranormal literature, indicates that the homemade discs have captured the attention — and the imagination — of both skeptics and believers.

The discs sparked a confrontation between Murphy and Erik Strong, a manager at an Aliso Viejo restaurant and bar. Strong said Murphy was spooking his staff by hovering his disc near the restaurant.

"It looked like something right out of a movie, a little too real," Strong said. "I wouldn't say I made the determination that they were actual UFOs, but it did pique my curiosity enough to see where it was coming from."

Strong followed the UFOs to nearby Grand Park, where Murphy and Zingali were standing with their remote controls.

He told the pair they were going to create hysteria if they continued to fly their discs around Town Center.

Murphy told Strong he should be more concerned about his bar patrons getting rowdy. But the restaurant manager said he hadn't seen a disc since.

Murphy confessed that he had also had a few encounters with law enforcement.

He attracted some local notoriety in November when one of his saucers got stuck on the roof of a Barnes & Noble. Murphy asked store owners if he could climb up to retrieve it, but they resisted because "they thought he was crazy," according to the sheriff's report.

When the deputy showed up, the store manager allowed Murphy to retrieve his toy, said Lt. Richard Paddock, police services chief for Aliso Viejo.

Paddock said deputies couldn't do much about complaints.

"To my knowledge, this man has violated no law while flying this craft in Aliso Viejo," he said.

Reprinted From - LATimes

P.S. If you are bored, you'll get a kick out of Luxor game


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