Analysis of Privet Leaves and Soils Related to a Purported UFO Sighting in Levittown, PA (July 8, 2008)

Analysis of Privet Leaves and Soils Related to a Purported UFO Sighting in Levittown, PA (July 8, 2008)

Case File Information

Date of Event / Case File: 07/08/2008


The background of this event is reported in the September 2008 MUFON Journal and follows: 

“Denise Murter was out in the yard with her dog at 4:10 AM on July 8, 2008. This was her fourth sighting since mid-April. She looked up in the sky and saw four lights this time, three on the front of the object that looked like two eyes and a nose and were as bright as headlights, and a pink colored light toward the rear of the object. The craft emitted a blue fog out of what appeared to be the rear; the fog contained silver flakes which fell through two trees, filtering down through the trees until they hovered about three feet off the ground. After a while the silver flakes went back up to the object. The witness observed the whole encounter for 40 minutes this time. A robin which had lived in one of the affected trees for four months was found dead on the patio the next morning.” (F.I. Bob Gardner)

The object is to determine if there are any anomalies in the leaf and soil samples exposed to the fog/silver flakes.


  • There was a slight elevation in boron content in the exposed leaves compared to control leaves. It is unknown if this is related to the UFO. There are a number of sources, which release borates/boric acid in the air (and eventually deposits on leaves/soil). Some include: release through evaporation from the seas; mining operations; glass and ceramics manufacturing; application of fertilizers and herbicides; and from coal-fired power plants. The borates do not remain in the atmosphere at significant levels and return to the land during rainfall. These sources and others should be investigated.
  • A 300-400 micron flake found on an exposed leaf fluoresced under UV light and was thought to be related to the silver flakes, which fell through trough the trees. The analysis identified it as bird urine.
  • No unusual anomalies were detected between the control and affected soils.
  • Unfortunately, investigators collected most of the samples 21 days after the event. Additional leaves were collected even later (ca. 2 weeks after the first leaves). It is highly possible any anomalies were gone by the time of collection due to weathering and/or other effects.

The Analysis



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Originating Organization: Phyllis Budinger