Ms. Cotnoir: Teacher by Day, Alien-Spotter by Night?

By David Kaminsky

Briarcliff UFO AlienUFO: unidentified flying object; a mysterious object seen in the sky for which, it is claimed, no orthodox scientific explanation can be found. Most of us are familiar with this concept, something known from an early age, perhaps pondered about as children. For the most part, people associate the term with aliens, or extraterrestrial life forms. However, not everybody lets go of the whimsical idea by adulthood and rejects the thought as nonsense.To some, it is a fully valid idea, and more than likely to others, given the vast size of the universe. The mystery has eventually made its way to Briarcliff High School, as it has many towns.

Our own Ms. Cotnoir, renowned history, psychology, and world geography teacher at Briarcliff High has made the case for an alien sighting. Ms. Cotnoir explains in an interview that she has seen a UFO two times in her life and states that she does indeed believe in extraterrestrial life. Whatever the actual sighting may have turned out to be, Ms. Cotnoir elucidates that she believes them to be UFOs. “Knowing the size of the universe, I can’t believe that we’re the only planet in the universe that has a life form on it,” she elaborates.

Ms. Cotnoir explains that she had her first encounter around the age of ten at night, while at her childhood home in Mount Vernon. She explains, “It was this oddly shaped object in the sky. It just hovered and didn’t do anything.” Furthering the account, she describes it as an oblong shape, emitting a low hum, though never moving. All the while it stayed above the tree tops while she saw it.

The second occurrence was when she was a junior in college, on her way from her job to the college library to study. Cotnoir says that she saw this one while at a stop sign. It was another oval shaped object, completely lit up with white light. However, this one moved in front of her, changed color multiple times, and then hovered away. The sighting happened in the spring, around eight thirty at night. Upon seeing the first one, Ms. Cotnoir says she was fearful, but after the later encounter in college, she incredulously watched it and was fascinated.

Many people may harbor heavy doubts about the sighting and possibly believe that it was just a plane or animal, masked by the shade of the night. However, Ms. Cotnoir testifies that the day after she saw the object, she overheard two men in her philosophy class discussing a similar appearance, which she believes matched her own and confirmed her suspicions. Upon hearing them, she shared her own experience, and the men added that they were in the same area when they saw the object.

Some might be wary of telling others about such an astounding experience, however Ms. Cotnoir shared the news with her college boyfriend, her roommates, and her classmates the next day, all of whom were skeptical. Unfortunately, only those two men who witnessed the spectacle with her believed her story.

The long circulating story of her debated UFO sighting has wandered the halls of Briarcliff for some time now. In response to how long people have known, Ms. Cotnoir answers, “I don’t remember. I’ve been here for thirteen years, who knows who I’ve told.” To clarify her account, Ms. Cotnoir checked for helicopters or weather balloons, and received negative confirmation of any such things.

The debate about the existence of UFOs and aliens is still a much talked about discussion topic. Ms. Cotnoir has certainly contributed her point of view, and her thoughts about extraterrestrial life. Next time you see a flash in the sky or a bright light in an odd place up high, consider for yourself what you would think if you were in a similar position.


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