The East Meadow Pool UFO Incident Bill Knell

It was 1965 and East Meadow was an unincorporated village that was a part of the Town of Hempstead. The Town decided to purchase a lot owned by the Heffner Family and build a town pool on the property. The population of East Meadow had gone from 2,000 to 25,000 people in less than ten years and that didn’t even count the adjoining villages. Uniondale, Westbury and Levittown had as many or even more people living in them. A town pool in our area was needed and welcomed. The idea was sold to the voters as a water recreation, conservation and safety issue.

Many homeowners in middle class bedroom communities like East Meadow wanted their own backyard pool. Most opted for above ground models. They were relatively easy to put up in the summer and take down or hibernate for winter. This wasted a lot of water and created safety issues after young children started sneaking into the pools and drowning. A town pool would help save water, save lives and provide a competition-sized pool for schools, clubs and organizations that sponsored those kinds of events.

Like most other things that happened in our little village, the uncomplicated pool project found itself surrounded by and knee deep in the paranormal from the beginning. As soon as the Town of Hempstead chose the huge piece of property located at the corner of what today is East Meadow Avenue and Prospect Avenue for the future pool site, bizarre stories about that location and strange traditions associated with it became the talk of the town.

The property that the town ultimately purchased was owned by a guy named Hoeffner (pronounced Heffner) and most of the locals called it Hoeffner‘s Corner. Veteran’s Memorial Park, a complex with a large pool and other facilities, is located on that spot today. Back then, it was a dusty lot filled all kinds of construction equipment and supplies for Hoeffner‘s company.

Hoeffner owned an historic house which sat off to one side of the lot. Once known as the Noon Inn, the building was a run-down, two story wooden structure with window shutters that were always kept in the closed position. No one lived there after 1960 and most of the neighborhood kids thought the place was haunted. Hoeffner occasionally used the old building for storage, but most of his employees hated going in there. The place gave off very negative vibes.

As the Town of Hempstead project moved forward, the negative vibes of the Noon Inn were soon forgotten and the town pool and recreation center began to take shape. Before anyone knew it, the pool was finished and opened for use in the summer of 1966. We went there and everyone seemed to be having a great time. It turned out to be a wonderful facility, apparently so wonderful that it attracted visitors from out of this world.

My parents weren’t big on extravagant vacations unless it was to . Each summer they would take two weeks off and we would vacation in places like Upstate New York, Williamsburg, Virginia, Pennsylvania Dutch Country or maybe Florida, if my father got a bonus. Because the summer of 1966 was a particularly hot one, they decided that we should spend our two weeks at a dude ranch in the Adirondack Mountains. It was cool at night and reasonably pleasant during the day.

Less than a week after we left, the town pool was filled with fun seekers. Just around midday (there’s that noon thing again), a huge saucer-shaped object appeared low in the sky over the pool. I don’t have all the details because virtually nothing appeared in the newspaper about it and the electronic media completely ignored the event. However, several witnesses have told me enough through the years to piece together what happened.

According to people that were actually there at the time, no one really got all that upset. It wasn’t like in the movie Jaws where everyone scrambled to get out of the water. The object appeared for a very short period of time and made no sound. It went back and forth, up and down the Prospect Avenue side of the pool property, then moved away towards the south shore. Once there, witnesses said that the disc-shaped object sped upwards at a tremendous speed until it was out of sight.

The entire incident at the pool might have taken a minute, but seemed as though it lasted much longer. Photos were taken, but all them were confiscated and I’ll get to that part of the story shortly. Most of the witnesses guessed that the object could have been between seventy-five and one-hundred feet in diameter. Whatever it was, it was huge!

The bizarre thing about what happened at the pool is that it was an absolutely classic daylight disc sighting. Most witnesses agreed that the object had both a dull and shiny silvery color, depending on what part of it you looked at. It followed modern roads that once were ancient trails, made no sound and didn’t necessarily frighten people. The object eventually departed by going straight up into the sky at a tremendous speed. All these are things that disc-shaped UFOs have been known and reported to do.

Years after the pool incident, I meet a Town of Hempstead Department of Public Safety Officer at one of my public lectures at the Uniondale Public Library in the late 1980s. Members of that department were peace officers charged with guarding town property. Inspector Larson was a nice guy and casual acquaintance.

Inspector Larson wanted to speak with me after the lecture ended. I recognized him because he was a supervisor and turned up at all sorts of town events my family attended throughout the years. He was surprised that I mentioned the UFO incident at the pool. Most people had long forgotten about it or never heard of it in the first place. He wasn’t there when the UFO appeared, but was part of a detail of officers sent over to the pool to close it down for the day and get everyone off the property.

Because the pool was a fairly large facility, closing it down during the middle of a hot day was not an easy task. After arriving at the pool around 1:30pm, a couple of the guards that were on duty at the time of the UFO incident gave Inspector Larson a thumbnail sketch of what happened. By 2:30pm, Larson and the town guards managed to get all the swimmers off the property and close the place down.

After locking the entrance gates to the pool area and closing up the locker room, Larson walked over to the pool and noticed that the water had changed color to a weird reddish tint. The maintenance crew at the pool already noticed this and reported it to their superiors. By four o’clock that afternoon, several maintenance trucks arrived. Larson assumed they belonged to the Town of Hempstead, but wasn’t sure.

Maintenance workers covered the fence that surrounded the pool with large cloth tarpaulins and tied them down. The fence was made up of wrought iron bars which were spaced so that people could see through it. The placing of the cloths secluded the pool area from public view. Meanwhile, more guards and other town officials and workers arrived on the scene. Most of the guards were stationed in the parking lot areas and a few in cars that blocked the vehicle entrances to the pool entrance.

Inspector Larson told me that he felt they were trying to avoid creating a big scene. That’s probably what would have happened if local fire trucks, Nassau County Police vehicles and First Responders showed up. The idea was to keep a low profile and clean up whatever mess this was. None of the bathers complained about any ill health affects before leaving the pool area, so Larson assumed no one was injured by the encounter.

Inspector Larson was a curious guy and later asked some local emergency medical and rescue workers he knew to find out if they heard about anyone calling for medical assistance after the pool incident. None had as far as they knew, but people from the entire Town of Hempstead used the pool and might have gone directly to their local hospital for help. If anyone was harmed, I haven’t heard about it.

Like most Long Islanders, Larson heard his own share of UFO stories from guards at various posts and people he knew over the years. Since he never actually saw anything in the sky that he felt couldn‘t be explained, the Inspector assumed they were just seeing airplanes or something normal. Up until the pool incident, he found it hard to accept that UFOs were frequent visitors to Long Island. After that, he wasn’t so sure.

By the time Larson went off duty at around eight o’clock that evening, a lid of silence descended over the entire incident. No one was talking about it and the media wasn’t reporting it. When he returned the next day, the pool was still closed. The maintenance workers had drained all the water out of the pool and people in protective suits were scrubbing down everything. That job was finally completed by around five o’clock. Inspector Larson left shortly afterward.

Two days after the strange event, the pool was ready to reopen. It was as if nothing at all had happened. The place was cleaned up, the tarpaulins were taken down from the fences and life went on. Larson and the other guards were given a cover story and told not to discuss what happened with anyone. The cover story became fodder for a few humorous moments in our house after we returned from our vacation just a couple of days later.

We were still unpacking the car when I noticed that men in dark suits were knocking on doors up and down the block in our neighborhood. My mother said it was probably church or sales people. My father didn’t comment. By the time we got all of our vacation stuff out of the car, we were all ready for some lemonade made from fresh lemons that we purchased at a farm stand on the way home.

While we were sitting in the kitchen enjoying the cold refreshments, someone knocked at the door. I ran to answer it thinking it was one of my friends stopping by to find out if I was back from vacation. Instead, I found myself face to face with one of the well-dressed men I noticed earlier.

I called for my dad who came right away. Once he arrived at the door, the guy showed my father an Identification Card. It identified him as an FBI Special Agent. Because of my father’s position in the military, it wasn’t that unusual to have FBI Agents stopping by while he was still active. I remember that two came to the door to get him during the Cuban Missile Crisis even though I thought he was retired by then.

The agent said something about an incident that occurred at the town pool earlier in the week. He said that he was just stopping by to let people in the surrounding neighborhoods know that everything was alright and there was no need to worry. My father had no idea what the guy was talking about, so the agent gave him a brief summary.

It seemed that a few days ago, something had gotten loose from BROOKHAVEN NATIONAL LABS. The object was some kind of experiment they were working on and the scientists involved lost control of it. That’s why it ended up hovering above the new town pool. As far as the stories that some were spreading about discolored water go, the agent guessed that fuel from the experiment might have been accidentally dumped into the pool. He said that the water was changed out just to be on the safe side and the whole place was scrubbed down from stem to stern.


The agent concluded his summary by telling my father that the FBI wanted to reassure people that nothing serious or unexplained happened. Everything was fine now and anyone that wanted to use the pool could do so safely and without concern. He just wanted everyone on our block to know this was nothing to worry about and that it probably wouldn’t happen again.

After his little monologue, the agent asked my dad if anyone in our family actually saw the object. My father told him we hadn’t. Then he asked if my father knew of anyone that might have taken photos or movie film of the object. He reminded my father that this was a sensitive situation. Anyone with photos or film footage of the object was obliged to turn them over to federal authorities.

At this point my father got very annoyed. I knew that look. He flipped out his own military identification card, showed it to the agent and told him to stop wasting his time. Then he slammed the door shut. Although he had great respect for members of the FBI, he didn‘t appreciate the agent telling him what his duty was. He also didn’t care for the ridiculous cover story told by the agent that no one with any intelligence was going to believe or accept.

My father headed back into the kitchen area and told my mother about the agent and his story. They both had a laugh at the agent’s expense and when I thought about it later, I got the joke. It was like a neighbor coming to your door and apologizing for their dog getting loose and digging up your garden. It was a silly explanation for what was an incredible and still unexplained incident.

What made it even more ridiculous was that our neighborhood was filled with former and current government employees, retired members of the military, college professors and defense industry workers. They all knew darn well that the government didn’t have anything technologically available that even came close to what people said they saw at the town pool.

Read more about this in The UFO Guy

Bill Knell is a professional writer. Although semi-retired, he still accepts various writing assignments. Articles on most any topic are his specialty. Bill is also a talented ghost writer for people who have an idea or story to tell without the skills to create a submittable book manuscript. Sorry, Bill does not accept term paper or technical writing assignments. Bill can be contacted on FACEBOOK. If you are interested in Christian resources, articles and topics, stop by Bill's Christian Resources website You Can Trust God. Read Bill's DIY, advice and other articles at Doctor Know.

BACK to Weird World

Read Bill's Book...

ebook $.99
Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.

softcover $8.24
Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

The new ESCORT MAX 360c is the first radar and laser detector designed for the connected car.