FAA Plans Visit to Malverne to Investigate Falling 'Sludge' [Updated]

Federal Aviation Administration officials will meet Wednesday with the couple pelted by black sludge last week.

Federal Aviation Administration officials plan to meet Wednesday with the that fell from a passing plane last week.

Jim Peters, a spokesman for the FAA, told Patch Monday that the FAA reached out to Malvernite Arthur Hughes, and arranged to visit his home on Nassau Boulevard on Feb. 29.

Once there, they hope to get a better idea of what happened to Hughes and his wife last Thursday night. The couple has yet to return Patch's requests for comment but according to their neighbor, Laurence Major Jr., the pair was sitting in their backyard around 9:20 p.m. on Feb. 23 when "large droplets of an oily black sludge fell from the sky just moments after an airliner passed overhead."

In a post on the Facebook group, "I Love Malverne...our village, our schools & our merchants," Major said the droplets were approximately one half to 1 inch in size and visible on his neighbors' clothing, face, porch deck and patio table.

He said the sludge appeared to be solid but took on an oily texture when touched. The Hughes reported the incident to the Malverne Police, who contacted the Port Authority of N.Y. and N.J. Police. Majors says they were initially told the substance could be "Lavatory Fluid" that was accidentally released by an aircraft and that anyone who came in contact with it should shower immediately.

The Port Authority Police do not plan to pursue this case any further, but the FAA launched an investigation into the matter Monday.

They've yet to track down the plane that passed over the Hughes' home Thursday night.

"I don't think we've put in the request for the radar [data] yet," Peters told Patch, explaining that officials want to first meet with the residents who were affected. He says during their visit to Malverne Wednesday, the FAA hopes to collect any samples that may remain of this substance, however, Major told Patch that Friday's rainstorm washed away the evidence outside. All that remains of the mysterious sludge, he said, is on a sweater Mr. Hughes was wearing when the substance landed on them.

Meanwhile, since Patch first broke this story on Friday, another local resident living in Seaford has come forward with a similar story.

Gene Browne told Patch that he left his home around 3 p.m. on Feb. 19 and when he returned at 5 p.m. his driveway, his classic '66 Thunderbird, his six-day-old Mercedes and part of the street he lives on was peppered with a substance that resembled the sludge described by Major. 

"Whatever aircraft it is it continues to fly and leak," he said, adding that he intends to report the incident to the FAA so they can track down what he believes is the same malfunctioning plane that pelted the Malverne residents.

Stay with Patch for more developments on this story.


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