OLD FORGE, NY (WUTR-TV) — One local couple is in the spotlight after their special moment was captured under the stars at McCauley Mountain on Saturday.


John Nicotera got down on one knee to propose to his now fiancé Erica Pendrak. It is a one of a kind proposal that got a lot of attention on Twitter and on Good Morning America. “I’m just going to tweet to Elon Musk and NASA about this — maybe it can go viral,” says John Nicotera of Sauquiot. “…and then I woke up again the next morning and the Astronaut Garrett Reisman had retweeted us saying ‘Congrats’ and that was cool enough within itself.”

Before leading up to the day, the couple talked about getting engaged but Saturday was a night Erica was not expecting at all. “I wanted to see the comet, so I threw that in her head like a week ago. I was like ‘I really want to go see the comet’ [but] knowing in my head what I wanted to do,” says Nicotera. “[It] really didn’t surprise me because he loves space and follows everything that’s going on,” says Erica Pendrak of New York Mills.

The couple had plans to stay at John’s parents Old Forge home for the weekend. John wanted to see the comet, but did not plan to get their special moment captured. John forgot his binoculars and asked his friend, Tim Leach, who happens to be a photographer to look at the comet through his camera lens. That’s when John told Tim he was going to propose an hour before it happened.

After all the anxiety John had leading up, the couple now has a million dollar photo that they will cherish forever.