For almost as long as America's been a country, there have been stories of strange lights and objects zipping around the North American skies. This week, we've chosen some particularly intriguing tales from the New England states - Massachusetts,...
For almost as long as America's been a country, there have been stories of strange lights and objects zipping around the North American skies. This week, we've chosen some particularly intriguing tales from the New England states - Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Connecticut - and try to figure out whether these unidentified flying objects are merely terrestrial, extraterrestrial, or something else altogether.
From a mass abduction/sighting incident in the '60s Berkshires to a bizarre experience one summer on Lake Champlain to some of our own unexplainable skygazing experiences, we take an out-of-this world tour of Northeast UFO history!
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This week I’m returning to one of our passion points on this podcast - discussing more local legends to Connecticut and the East Coast. Like we’ve mentioned before, this area is full of history and many, many quirks, but tends to get overlooked when it comes to tales of the weird. While we were on our mini-moon last year to Vermont I picked up the book New England UFOs by Taryn Plumb, and that’s what I’ll be sourcing today for our topic: New England UFOs!
I’ll be covering stories from all the New England states - Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine - and including a few more in-depth tales, like the strange sightings at an air force base in Maine, a multi-person sighting and abduction one night in Massachusetts, and even some of the earliest UFO stories recorded in America. So let’s get to it!
For a little background, because we don’t expect all our listeners to be Americans nor experts in colonial history, the area of New England began to be settled around 1620, when the Pilgrims - Puritan separatists from England - arrived on the Mayflower and established the Plymouth Colony in what would become Massachusetts. This was the second successful colony in the Americas, the first being Jamestown in Virginia...because, as you know if you heard our 6th episode, the Lost Colony of Roanoke, some of the previous attempts at settlement were goners.
From there the Massachusetts Bay Colony arrived about a decade later, then more and more of the area surrounding was settled through the 1600s. And it’s during this time that the first stories of unidentified flying objects in American history were recorded.
The very first comes from as far back as 1639, in Massachusetts. This sighting was recorded by no less a figure than John Winthrop, governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. This story was relayed to him by a James Everell, who Winthrop describes as a “sober and discreet” man. According to Winthrop’s account, Everell had been rowing along the Muddy River with two others when a bright, fiery light appeared in the sky in front of them. Winthrop wrote, “When it stood still, it flamed up, and was about three yards square. When it ran, it was contracted into the figure of a swine.” The trio watched the light for two to three hours as it darted around the river area and the nearby village of Charlestown. They felt later on that they had lost time during this duration, as once they broke from the shock of seeing the light, they found themselves carried against the tide about a mile upstream, with no memory whatsoever of paddling that distance. Winthrop added, “diverse other credible persons saw the same light, after, about the same place.”
This wouldn’t be the only strange phenomena John Winthrop would record for posterity. In January 1644, about 5 years later, he wrote of another series of strange sightings that began with a group of men spotting strange lights rising up from the water, which assumed the form of a man, sailed “leisurely” over the harbor, and disappeared. The lights were seen again a few weeks later, when many eyewitnesses reported a light resembling the moon rising from the water, moving, and being met by a twin light. At this point they merged and parted repeatedly, almost playfully, eventually uniting into one bright disc of light and then vanishing. Perhaps this is a report of the first USO - or unidentified SUBMERGED object - in American history.
Massachusetts has many more stories to tell. There were more strange sightings in the 1700s, and a particularly bizarre story was reported in the New York Tribune and New York Sun in December 1909. Apparently, on the 22nd, a “mysterious airship” shining a bright beam of light appeared over the city of Worcester, hovering above it before moving away. It was again seen a couple hours later, bobbing along in the sky. The night after that, the same phenomena - or something like it - was spotted over Boston and the nearby suburb of Lynn.
A banner moment in Massachusetts UFOlogy occurred on September 1st, 1969. Our listeners might recognize this case from episode 5 of Season 1 of Netflix’s reboot of Unsolved Mysteries, titled “Berkshires UFO”. It was Labor Day weekend and a very hot late summer evening in picturesque Berkshire County, Massachusetts. We begin just past dusk with Jane Green, who was returning to Great Barrington from the town of Stockbridge with her friend Mary DeGrace. As they’re driving down the highway they came upon a bright, bright light, which they thought might be the scene of an accident. She pulled over since she couldn’t drive with the light in her eyes and got out of the car, along with Mary, to try and see what was going on. On Unsolved Mysteries, Jane tells the camera, “[Even if I] get Alzheimers, the one thing that’ll stick in my mind, what happened. This huge object floated right there, and I couldn’t see the end of it from the right or the left. [...] It was tall, but the bottom part...I didn’t see windows, and most of all, there was no noise. No motor, nothing. It was just there.” Within seconds, the craft lifted up, zig-zagged, and darted away over the mountain. Jane found out years later her sons had seen the same thing too, above their home.
Next, in Great Barrington, 10 year old Tommy Warner is hanging out, coloring at his neighbors’, the Shaw’s, home. After darkness fell, Tommy walked over to the window of the home, and here said he heard a voice telling him, quite clearly and commandingly, “You need to go home now”. Tommy was frightened, but obliged. He told older Shaw daughter Debbie that he needed to go home - he wasn’t sure why - and bolted from the house. As he was running across the yard to his home, he realized he couldn’t move forward. He was running in place. This was witnessed by Debbie Shaw, who had followed him out the door. Eventually he was able to break the stasis and run forward, but as he turned to look to his left, a UFO dropped out of the sky in front of him. A beam came upon him that almost seemed to control his body, and in a flash, he was gone. Debbie witnessed this entire thing, and was left searching around for Tommy, who had completely disappeared.
At nearby Lake Mansfield, the family of 12 year old Melanie Kirchdorfer had just parked in the lake lot to enjoy their Dairy Queen desserts. Almost as soon as they had, a brilliant aura came around the car, frightening the kids and probing Kirchdorfer’s father to chase the bright light. The next thing Melanie remembers, she’s laid out on a ship...where Tommy Warner spots her, to his right. They were in some kind of room with other young people, who would disappear one by one. This continued until eventually Melanie woke up alone at the lake, with no one - including her family - remaining nearby. She was forced to walk home, shaken. The next Tommy remembered, he was being laid carefully on the ground of the Shaw lawn by some kind of energy, a beam still shining on him. Then, he was able to stand, and the craft was gone.
The last piece of the puzzle was in Sheffield further south. 9 year old Thom Reed was in the car with his brother, grandmother, and single mother Nancy taking a shortcut through the Sheffield covered bridge to head back home after a busy day. As they exited, the family spotted a light rising from the banks of the Housatonic River. Nancy described it as a glowing ball of light, hovering, maybe two stories high. They’d never seen anything like it. As it rose it fired off rods of light, and Thom’s brother Matthew spotted a roiling orange orb within the object. The atmosphere got very dense and physically high in pressure, almost like being underwater, and everything was extremely quiet. Nancy pulled off to the side of the road, when she saw a disc shaped object at least a hundred yards long in the sky. It lit up the car like floodlights, and the sounds of a typical summer night - chirping, rustling, things like that - suddenly erupted back into reality. That’s the last the family remembers…
...Until they came to, almost a mile and a half away, in front of Silk’s Variety drugstore. Everything seemed normal again...until they realized that Thom’s grandmother was in the driver’s seat, with Nancy in the passenger seat. Thom’s grandmother NEVER drove, and Nancy had been the one driving the family home. Also, Thom states, he can maybe account for about 15 minutes of the original drive home...but 3 hours had passed. No one else had memories of what transpired in those 3 hours, how they had gotten to the drugstore, or why Nancy wasn’t driving the car anymore.
After the night of September 1st, things changed for all those involved. Thom was outspoken about his experiences, and the Reeds were bullied so badly they ended up moving away from Sheffield. Thom told Unsolved Mysteries, “My mother wanted to move here because this was her Norman Rockwell. And this turned it into Salvador Dali.” Those that spoke out weren’t really believed. All, like Tommy Warner, are adamant that they really experienced the strangeness of what happened that night. Warner struggled with a lack of friends and dating prospects all throughout school due to his experience, and said “I live here. [My family has lived] 182 years in the same house. Why would I want to come forward to tell a story? To embarrass myself, so I go down Main Street or be ridiculed? Or my son, or my wife?”
More recently, on March 3rd 2011 in Lowell, Massachusetts, Joe Souza was hanging out with friends near Floyd Street when the group spotted an odd, triangularly-shaped object with glowing lights hovering over the neighborhood. Souza shot video of the large craft, which eventually received thousands of views on Youtube (you can find it under UFO 2011 Lowell) and caught the attention of the SyFy channel series Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files, who upon initial review couldn’t immediately debunk the video.
Next we visit the smallest state in the country, Rhode Island. Though it has the least amount of reported UFO activity - not surprising, given that it’s only 48 miles north to south and 37 miles east to west - it has strange tales of its own. Project Blue Book, the official governmental Air Force research group assigned to investigate UFO reports from 1952 to 1969, recorded a story from August 12th 1965 in Providence, Rhode Island. The witness reported seeing two objects flying one behind the other through a 120-power telescope. These objects had 5 bright yellow lights on them and were at the altitude of about 7,000 feet. The witness felt these objects were disc-shaped, with the lights attached to the body and making no sound the entire time of the sighting. 4 other people had seen it as well. The witness stated that he was a student of astronomy for 8 years, and “I am pretty sure I can tell a plane or a meteorite or a satellite when I see one, and I’m positive that these objects were none of them.” He asked the local Air National Guard, airport, and Quonset Point Naval Air Station if they had anything going on that evening, and “none of them had any flights in the air at the time of our sighting.”
Another weird sighting was in early November 1958 in Greenville. Near the Slack Reservoir a giant, looming object was seen obscuring about 70% of the sky to the southwest. This object was glowing a silvery white light and shaped like two dinner plates top to top, aka, saucer-shaped. There was a glowing, yellowish green band at its center. As the odd saucer slowly rotated in the sky, 5 smaller round objects flew in from different directions and merged with the larger craft. There was no sound at all during the entire sighting.
We go from the smallest state to one of the most northern states in the US next, Maine. Home of Stephen King and fabulous seafood, the nicknamed “Vacationland” has plenty of unidentified flying weirdness afoot.
One of the earliest reports is from July 22nd 1808, when Camden schoolteacher Cynthia Everett recorded in her journal that she had seen a “very strange appearance”. At around 10pm that evening, Everett spotted a light streaking in from the east that she at first thought was a meteor, but then realized, “It seemed to dart at first as quickly as light, and appeared to be in the atmosphere. Just as quickly, it lowered toward the ground and kept on at an equal distance, sometimes ascending and sometimes descending.”
In the far-north town of Caribou on December 21st, 1955, a housewife spotting something in the sky that was truly out of this world. The sky was red-orange when she saw a large round object in the glow. Initially I assumed this was due to sunset, though I don’t know what time this sighting occurred, but the witness felt that the object was the source of the light. It was the size of a jet fighter and the approximate color of gold - she stated that gold was the closest she could get, because it was like “no colors I’ve ever seen.” As it rotated silently in the sky, the shape of a cup overturned on an oval platter, the witness saw hazy “things” moving in the space between the flat bottom of the craft and the half-moon top. She told investigators, “I just can’t explain it on paper, but there was life there, for certain. Nothing human, but alive. I don’t believe we have any material such as this object was made of. Not that I have seen, anyway.”
In August 1976, twin brothers Jack and Jim Weiner and their friend Chuck Rak - students at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design - went on a 2 week hiking expedition with US Navy veteran and guide Charlie Foltz. A few days into the trip as they set up camp in an area called Mud Brook on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, they spotted an incredibly bright star that appeared much brighter than all the others surrounding it. Once seen with binoculars it was revealed to not be a star at all, but an object a few miles away about 200 feet above the trees. It suddenly blinked out, and the group dismissed it.
2 nights later, however, they would have another experience. In a campsite at Eagle Lake, Chuck first spotted a very bright globe of light, as big as a house and hovering 2 to 300 feet above the cove. The light was changing color “from white to red to green in a liquid kind of melding motion.” The men all saw it and were dumbfounded by the sight. Charlie, perplexed, picked up his flashlight and signaled SOS to it in Morse code. In an apparent response the light flew toward them at terrifying speed, stopping 50 feet above the men in their canoe and shooting out a cone shaped beam of light that scanned the water like a searchlight. Though frightened and trying to paddle away, the canoe was captured in the beam and enveloped in the glow.
Then, suddenly, the canoe was back to shore, the light now a few dozen feet away hovering before it shot into the sky and disappeared. The men felt exhausted and drained, and their roaring bonfire from just minutes before was now smoking embers. They were disturbed by the experience, but didn’t talk much more about it…
Until soon after, back at home, when Jack started having nightmares about being examined by alien figures while Jim, Chuck, and Charlie sat nearby on a bench, in a trance. Under hypnosis, all of the men described being examined somewhere with numerous machines, silver examination tables, endless hallways and chambers. The alien creatures examining them were “like bugs” with big bug eyes, beaky mouths, and willowy arms with thumbless hands. After being poked and prodded on their eyes, fingers, legs, toes, and genitals, they were eventually transported back to the canoe, which was pushed by some unseen force back to shore. This experience would come to be known as the Allagash Abduction, chronicled in Raymond Fowler’s book The Allagash Abduction: Undeniable Evidence of Alien Intervention, published in 1993.
We’ll take a trip to the “Roswell of the East”...after the break!
Listeners of the show will remember New Hampshire as the site of the Betty and Barney Hill incident slash abduction, from our episode on the case, number 24, but that’s not the only incredibly famous UFO story from the granite state. In fact, it’s known as the “Roswell of the East”, and boasts an annual UFO festival in Exeter, where the eponymous “Exeter Incident” occurred on September 3rd, 1965.
At around 2am early that morning, 18-year-old Norman Muscarello was hitchhiking home from his girlfriend’s house 10 miles away in Amesbury, Massachusetts along New Hampshire Route 150. Since there were few cars out at this time of night, he was hoofing it. As he reached Kensington, a few miles outside of Exeter, he noticed 5 bright red flashing lights in a distant field. Initially thinking this was the lights of the police car or fire engine, he approached the field and saw the lights illuminating the surrounding woods and 2 nearby houses in bright red light. As is a trend with these stories, they made absolutely no sound. The object began to move slightly towards him, and Muscarello saw it must be around 80 to 90 feet in diameter. Panicking, he dove into a ditch on the side of the road, and when the lights changed direction and hovered over one of the houses - that of the Dining family, who weren’t home at the time - Muscarello ran to the house and pounding on the door, yelling for help. Since no one was there, no one answered. At this point, the large lighted object moved away into the woods. Relieved at seeing the headlights of an approaching car, Muscarello desperately flagged it down, requesting to be driven to the Exeter police station. Here he recounted the experience to officer Reginald Toland.Toland radioed another officer, Eugene Bertrand Jr. Bertrand had, earlier that evening, found a distressed woman sitting in her car on NH Route 108 and approached to help. The woman told Bertrand that she had seen a “huge object with flashing red lights”, which followed her car all the way from Epping 12 miles away, hovering over it before flying away. Bertrand had considered her a “kook”, but stayed with her for about 15 minutes as she calmed down.
Because of these two incidents, Bertrand decided to go back to the field with Muscarello and investigate. After leaving the patrol car to walk toward the woods, some horses in a nearby corral began kicking the fence and sides of a barn while making frightened noises, dogs in the area also started barking and howling. It was then that the pair saw an object slowly rise from the trees. Seeing it for the first time, Bertrand described it as “this huge, dark object as big as a barn over there, with red flashing lights on it.” It moved toward them, swaying back and forth, still as silent as ever. Bertrand pointed his service revolver at the object but, deciding shooting it might be a bad idea, reholstered and grabbed Muscarello to run back to the car. Inside the car they radioed policeman David Hunt and watched the craft, which was still hovering 100 feet away and about 100 feet in altitude. Nearby animals continued to make noise and act agitated as the pulsating red lights on the object flashed rapidly from right to left and left to right. It was still there when Officer Hunt arrived on the scene, and he witnessed the event as well. Eventually, it rose over the trees and disappeared. Hunt soon heard the engines of a B-47 bomber as it flew overhead, and later stated that "You could tell the difference" and “there was no comparison” between the UFO and the bomber. They returned back to the Exeter police station and filed 3 separate reports. Bertrand then drove Muscarello home.
This incident gained national exposure, which prompted journalist John G. Fuller to head to Exeter and investigate. Upon interviewing locals Fuller found that many others had also witnessed strange lights and unusual objects, including Ron Smith, a high school senior, who told Fuller that a few weeks previously he, his aunt, and his mother had all seen an object with "a red light on top and the bottom was white and glowed. It appeared to be spinning. It passed over the car once and when it passed over and got in front, it stopped in midair. Then it went back over the car again.” Toland, the original police officer Muscarello had told his story to, also related to Fuller that several calls had come in to the station regarding local UFO sightings. A Mrs. Ralph Lindsay had reported seeing a UFO early, just before dawn. When she called, "She said it was right out her window as she was calling. It was like a big orange ball, almost as big as the harvest Moon...and it wasn't the Moon, either...all the time she was talking to me, her kids were at the window watching it. Now why would people go to all this trouble — people all over the area — if they weren't seeing something real?" Project Blue Book, investigating the case themselves, were unable to reach a probable cause of this sighting. The report states, “The three observers seem to be stable, reliable persons, especially the two patrolmen. I viewed the area of the sighting and found nothing in the area that could be the probable cause. Pease AFB had five B-47 aircraft flying in the area but I do not believe that they had any connection with this sighting." Though conflicting explanations came afterward from the Air Force, Pentagon, and others involved in Project Blue Book, there was never a definitive answer. The Exeter Incident remained a major part of the town’s history, and in 2010 the local Kiwanis Club started the Exeter UFO Festival as a fundraiser to benefit children’s charities in the area. For his part, original witness Norman Muscarello passed away in 2003 at the age of 55. His obituary, found at Seacoast Online under the regrettable headline “Exeter’s UFO kid dead at 55”, paints a melancholy picture of the rest of his life. After all, through supporting his family and taking 3 different tours in Vietnam, Muscarello was still always known as the “UFO Kid”. However, the end of the article reiterates a point from his brother, Thomas: Norman was an exceptional brother, son, and veteran, who “always took care of me.”
Some of the more recent New Hampshire sightings came in 2014, where there was a rash of reports about a boomerang-shaped object seen in the clear night sky. The Bowe family was among the many who witnessed it, saying it was larger, brighter, and closer than any star, made no sound and having 2 sets of lights on the bottom, 3 larger white ones and 2 smaller amber ones. Dad Jim Bowe stated, “I’d never seen a craft that could do that - being that big - float by without falling out of the sky and not making a sound. The wings were about the size of two tour busses, that’s how big it was.” Another recent report is from July 2017, when a teardrop shaped bright red-orange light was witnessed moving extremely quickly in the direction of the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant. Interesting…
Vermont, hippie capital and home of Bernie Sanders, offers some tantalizing and unexplained UFO stories. One of these bizarre tales is of the Buff Ledge UFO Encounter.
On August 7th, 1968, Michael and Janet - these are pseudonyms - were taking a break during a day of working at a private summer girl’s camp on Lake Champlain north of Burlington. It’s this lake that is also supposedly the home of Champy, New England’s very own lake monster. We discuss this sweet beast on our Lesser Known American Cryptids episode, #15. Perhaps it’s no surprise that the area also seems to attract strangeness in the sky as well as its waters. Michael and Janet were lounging on the dock while many of the other counselors and campers were away on overnight trips in the area, enjoying some time off before the craziness began again. Michael first spotted a bright starlike object in the sky that he initially figured was Venus, but began growing larger, getting closer, and making strange movements. He made sure Janet saw the object as well, and they began to see a fantastical, absurd light show. The object swooped down in an arc, then blossomed into a glowing white cigar shape. After coming to a complete stop, 3 small white lights came out of it, then the main object vanished, while the smaller lights remained. These lights swooped and dove in the sky, coming closer and showing themselves to be some sort of domed discs. They formed a kind of triangle, then two flew in opposite directions while the third advanced across the lake toward the pair.
A band of light with hues “across the spectrum” glowing out of it rotated on the disc’s edge, pulsating in harmony with a strange emission of sounds in different pitches and tones. The disc shot straight up out of sight, then dove sharply into the lake, creating wind and waves. Soon after it reemerged, moving toward the dock where Michael and Janet sat and stopping about 60 feet away from the teens, still about 15 feet in the air. Michael stated later it seemed like the size of a small house, 40 to 50 feet wide, shaped like two curved saucers placed face to face. Kind of reminds me of the dinner plates one the housewife saw. This is where it gets even weirder. Michael saw a transparent dome with two entities inside, which were large headed and oval eyed, with two nasal openings and small mouths. They might’ve been wearing gray or silver uniforms. One of the beings began to mimic Janet, who appeared to be in a trancelike state, while the other communicated with Michael telepathically. The being told Michael that they were from a distant planet and had made earlier visits to Earth, including around the time of the first nuclear explosions in 1945, and that Michael was in no danger. As the craft drew slowly closer, it shone a bright beam of light on the pair. Michael covered Janet protectively as he felt like he was passing out. Eventually, Michael abruptly came to. He was still on the dock, but it was completely dark outside, though the object still hovered above the teens. At this point, some of the campers had returned for the evening, and two of them, Susan and Barbara - also pseudonyms - ran down to the dock, screaming. Reacting to the new people on the scene, the craft rose and directed its beam of light across the camp, flashing in a rapid sequence. The light then went out, the object angled upward, and it disappeared from sight in a matter of seconds. Michael brought Janet back to her cabin, and after that they didn’t speak of the incident, Michael supposing that she had been traumatized.
Until 10 years later.
UFO investigator Walter Webb interviewed the pair separately for his book Encounter at Buff Ledge: A UFO Case History. During these interviews and under hypnosis, Michael and Janet relayed new details about the incident, basically sketching out an abduction scenario. Michael remembered seeing screens with the Earth Moon, stars, and a huge cigar-shaped ship on them. There were different decks, and on one of these Janet was lying on a rectangular table with two of the creatures examining her. He was led to a nearby table to be examined himself, though he lost consciousness for his own exam. A helmet like object was eventually placed on his head, with which he telepathically saw strange images of a strange landscape including a purple sky, trees, grass, fountains, things like that. Suddenly, he was falling through a space of TV like screens, such as the facets of a fly’s eye, and awoke on the dock with Janet beside him.
Janet, who hadn’t remembered much of the initial incident aside from the moving lights and the approach of the big light, recalled much more during hypnotic regression. Most of her account was the same as Michael’s, including the tests being conducted on her and the same kinds of screens Michael had reported. Webb also talked to 11 former camp counselors and 7 former campers, including Susan and Barbara, who all independently had vague memories of an unidentified object moving swiftly away from the waterfront. They all described it as quiet, dark, and circular with lights along its curved edge. Another independent witness, who had been directing a nearby production of Bye Bye Birdie, also witnessed a strange lighted object in the sky that evening.
We end with our home state, Connecticut. There’s evidence of a human presence in the area of Connecticut as far back as 10,000 years ago...but has the UFO presence gone back just as far?
Well, we don’t have any documents from that time, but we can go back centuries in history. Let’s check out the writings of podcast-favorite douchebag, Reverend Cotton Mather! We’ve mentioned him a few times before, but just in case you missed it, Cotton Mather was a Puritan New England minister and writer that was heavily involved in the Salem Witch Trials, where, as contemporary critic Robert Calef wrote, he “was the most active and forward of any Minister in the Country in those matters”. In other words, he sucked.
In his Magnalia Christi Americana, Mather recorded an account given to him in 1648 by a Pastor James Pierpont from New Haven, Connecticut. Pierpont described seeing an “ethereal ship” that appeared in the sky above the city harbor following a large thunderstorm. This ghostly ship floated there for a whole half an hour, appearing to have wind-filled sails and holding some sort of course north. Many others saw this “great work of God” as Pierpont called it, including children crying out, “There’s a brave ship!” Eventually, the image or craft vanished into a cloud, leaving empty air.
Though this is certainly a UFO, as it is unidentified, flying, perhaps an object, that doesn’t mean it’s an alien flying saucer. Maybe the explanation was more...paranormal?
Apparently, a year earlier in January 1647, a ship sailed off and never returned back to New Haven. The ghost ship of 1648, however, very much resembled the original that had been assumed lost at sea, and this sighting comforted the people of New Haven, who felt “God had condescended, for the quieting of their afflicted spirits, this extraordinary account of his sovereign disposal of those for whom so many fervent prayers made continually.” AKA, it helped the loved ones of those lost to be comforted that they were in God’s hands now.
Next we explore the Project Blue Book entries for Connecticut. An interesting one with multiple witnesses was logged for March 1954. One witness had been walking in his neighborhood in Wauregan in the northwest corner of Connecticut around dusk when he saw a huge ball of light a few hundred feet above him - making no sound and leaving no trail, but moving extremely fast toward the North Star. Because of the silent nature of the object and how quickly it was moving, the witness was certain it was not an airplane.
The incident continued 8 miles away, where an older man described being enshrouded in a bright white light, causing up to look upward to see a flaming object around 200 feet in the air, heading quickly north. There were sightings of this same ball of light being seen over Danielson, Plainfield, Moosup, Jewett City, Norwich, and New London, and both the local Norwich Bulletin newspaper and the police were besieged with concerned phone calls. Witnesses included a group of men that were pilots, former pilots, and engineers, who saw the object through “powerful glasses” - presumably high-powered binoculars - and concluded that it had its own source of energy because of the manner of its movements.
Later, in the 1980s, there were mass UFO sightings in the nearby Hudson Valley area of New York. Thousands of people over the span of around 5 years reported seeing a boomerang or V shaped flying object with multicolored lights. Apparently, the Hudson Valley UFO took little trips to the surrounding areas, as well.
Between 1982 and 1987, the craft was seen as far east as New Haven and as far north as Brookfield Connecticut, which is in the middle of the state. A variety of witnesses described it as bigger than a 747, silent, huge, and made of a dark grey material with a series of red and white lights. This too was said to be of a boomerang shape. May 26th 1987 was a banner day for Connecticut viewings of the Hudson Valley UFO - between 9:30 and 10:15 pm across New Milford, Southbury, and Newtown, police received more than 200 calls about seeing a UFO. Drivers pulled over to watch as it passed over I-84, and airline pilot Randy Etting described spotting an unusual cluster of orange and red lights coming from the west. Grabbing his binoculars, he saw a semicircular pattern of bright lights connected to an object larger than a football field.
In our own town of Bridgeport in 1990, two brothers reported losing several hours of time after spotting and following a stingray-shaped object in the sky. Beginning near sunrise, they first heard a strange sound and then saw a dark object in the air about the size of 2 football fields put together, hovering over a local funeral home and then shooting off “in the blink of an eye”. As they tried to follow, they ended up by Long Island Sound, and returned home hours later, unsure how all the time had passed.
Myself, I’ve seen some weird things in the sky around here. Once while being driven to play rehearsal around sunset, we spotted a round metallic object just hovering in the sky high above my high school. It didn’t move, but stayed there still for at least the 10 minutes we spent watching until we went inside. Maybe it was a weather balloon - I’ve never seen one before and don’t even know if they’re still used, but, maybe. I once saw a low-flying, fast, bright object after coming out of hockey practice, and another time spotted a strange object zipping through the sky with green and purple lights on the side one fall evening. I can’t explain what these were, but they didn’t seem like other planes, helicopters, or familiar flying craft.
Sean, have you ever had any UFO experiences around New England?
Let’s head to Poe’s Cryptid Corner!
This summer has brought us 2 more sightings of the Loch Ness Monster, AKA Nessie, in Scotland - almost back to back.
The first reportedly occurred on July 26th, when the Norman family, visiting Loch Ness from Surrey, England, spotted something strange around 11:30am as they headed back from a pleasure cruise. Sebastian saw what he described as a black dot in the distance, about 65-100 feet ahead of the boat. The family explained that "as we got closer to it it was a scaly, black shape the size of a dinner plate that was higher at one end and was like a tiny slope."
The most recent sighting followed just a couple weeks later, on August 11th, by Matt Reddick, who was watching a Loch Ness livestream from his home in Dallas, Texas. Reddick was surprised to see something suddenly emerge from the water, appearing to “surface and dive, leaving wakes as it swims left.” The sighting was documented on the stream, and you can see the replay on Youtube, but it’s hard to make out what exactly it could be.
There are other possible sightings from July 19th and 31st, so it seems that Nessie has been quite busy this summer!
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