Since mid-January, a large number of UFO sightings have been reported in the New England states of New Hampshire and Vermont, with additional sightings also noted in Maine and Massachusetts, as well as southern Quebec, Canada.
Many of the sighting reports come from Coos County, New Hampshire, near the town of Colebrook on the Connecticut River, which forms the boundary between New Hampshire and Vermont. Colebrook is less than ten miles south of the U.S.-Canada border.
Sandra Black, a law enforcement officer, is the MUFON state section director for Coos County and has investigated many of the reports. CNI News talked with Sandra about the recent UFO activity.
"I got a call from a woman who said that her niece had had sightings two nights in a row, on January 15 and 16, when she was coming home from work. It was unusual lights. That was the start," she said. "The next week, I started getting calls. An article in the local newspaper generated more calls. On January 22 there were three sightings, on January 23 there were three sightings, on January 28 another, and January 29 another one. Not as many in February, but on February 20 there was a sighting, and the lady who gave me that interview told me about another one that occurred on the 24th from a friend of hers who was not allowed by her husband to make a report.
"What I'm finding out is that there are a lot of people up here who have sightings, but because of ignorance, or Yankee stoicism or whatever, they don't want to talk. Newspapers tend to write things up with sarcasm and make people feel like idiots, so they won't talk about it," Sandra said.
Nonetheless, she also noted that local news coverage had apparently spurred some people to call in their reports. And some of the reports were detailed and impressive.
One sighting that got considerable media attention occurred the evening of January 22. Beverly Higgins of Columbia, just south of Colebrook, was driving north on Route 3 at about 6:50 pm, returning home from her job as a nurse in Littleton, New Hampshire, when she spotted a large object in the sky that reminded her of a school bus, heading slowly from west to east. There was a full moon at the time and the visibility was good. When she got home, she told her husband Bill that she had seen an oval shaped object that appeared to have large yellow rectangular windows on the side. It didn't look like a saucer, she said. It had rounded corners and a green light on the bottom. She wasn't sure if the windows were actually illuminated from within or were reflections of the moonlight. She said the object made no sound, and her car radio was not affected. She said she could easily see the object through her front windshield, just above the steering wheel. It hovered over the road for about a minute and then moved off to the northeast.
On the same night, a couple in Stratford, Vermont, just west of the Connecticut River, also saw a large, strange object in the sky. At about 9:45 pm, as the woman was getting ready to go to bed, "she looked out her window, and the ground everywhere around their house was lit up by what she describes as an infrared-type light," Sandra Black told CNI News. Then the woman, her husband and son saw "a very large -- about the size of a house -- round, orb-shaped object with reddish-pink and blue lights. The whole thing was pulsating. To either side of this round object were small white lights, floating next to it. All of a sudden, the whole thing shrank in upon itself and became one small white light. It moved off to the north a little way, increased in size and then disappeared," Sandra said.
No other witnesses to this object have come forward, Sandra said, but a woman of her acquaintance reported that her husband had witnessed the strange red light that night. He said the light covered some fields in the area.
The Stratford woman told Sandra that she fears the red light. "She has seen that red light before in their house. She has woken up in the middle of the night [with] the house full of that red light. One time she tried to wake up her husband, but she couldn't wake him until the light was gone," Sandra said.
The next day, at 4:40 pm on January 23, two people had "a daylight sighting of a craft that looks like a clamshell, a saucer-shaped thing standing on end, with a light at the top. I'd never heard of that before," Sandra said.
She told CNI News that a 21 year-old man named Matthew was driving home from work with the mother of his girlfriend when they spotted the unusual object in the air. Matthew is the son of a MUFON investigator, but has not expressed any interest in the subject up until now, Sandra says. "But when he saw this, he knew it was something unusual. He kept saying, 'What is that? What is that?' They just drove right on by it. They couldn't stop because there were other cars behind him, and it's a narrow country road. So I know there were probably other witnesses, but it's hard to get people to come forward."
Some of her reports come from people who want anonymity, she said. Even so, "there are more people now who are taking this seriously.
"A local lady from the bank gave me a report. She was out snowmobiling on February 20, and she saw an object very much like the large object with yellow windows. Over to the side of it she saw something else floating, a red light or something. When it first came from her right, she tried to ignore it, but it came so close, right in front of her, that she couldn't miss it, and she just turned off her snowmobile and watched it. Then it went off over the next ridge. While this was going on, her husband was ahead of her, and he came back to find out why she hadn't caught up with him. But he didn't see it."
Sandra said that this woman told her about a coworker at the bank who, four days later, saw the same or a similar object. This second witness, however, was told by her husband not to tell anyone what she had seen.
Over the past several years, Sandra Black herself has had a number of unusual sightings in the area near her home of Stewartstown, north of Colebrook, New Hampshire.
On a frigid night in February 1994, she says, she witnessed "a huge cigar-shaped thing" coming up from behind the hill behind her house. The object was glowing bluish-white. "I was running back and forth, trying to get a better view of it. The next thing I saw, it had turned and I could see the whole thing. It looked like a giant ferris wheel, rotating clockwise, bluish-white and glowing. It reminded me of the way a jellyfish moves," she said.
She also witnessed a number of flying triangles in August of 1995. "I saw these things two nights in a row, August 7 and 8. The first night, we [Sandra and her husband] saw something go by our house, and our friends saw it go by their house on the other side of the mountain. This thing went by, floating kind of, and all you could hear was a woooosh, like that. There were a lot of white lights in front that reminded me of a faceted diamond. You couldn't see any shape until it went by. Then you could see tiny red lights in the back. That was on a Monday night.
"The next night I told my husband I was going to go out and wait, because I thought it would be back. So I went out there, and at nine o'clock, here it comes from the same direction. This time it looked like a wedge, like a piece of pie, point in front. You could see interior lights on the side, yellow lights. It floated by from western New Hampshire toward Maine. Then at 9:30, two things went back the other way, but I wasn't sure if they were military planes or these triangles again. One was up higher and ahead of the other one. I didn't hear any sounds. What made me think they might be planes was that as they were coming toward me, I could see wingtip lights. But as they went overhead, they looked like triangles, with three white lights in the corners.
"At 10 pm my husband came out to see what was going on. This floating triangle thing was over to the southeast, and the point or front of the triangle dipped. My husband thought it was going to land, but it just moved slowly off to the east, and we lost sight of it. But now he doesn't remember seeing it. I don't know why. He was standing right there and saw it with me. He denies it ever happened, and he's got a much better memory than I do," Sandra said.
Returning to the current flap, she described an unusual report from an elderly woman who claimed to have met some strange "people" in her house. Sandra said she heard about the case from a car mechanic who had known the woman for years. Initially, the 73-year old woman was reluctant to talk, but Sandra went to her home and asked for an interview anyway. The woman agreed to tell her story, but would not permit Sandra to use a tape recorder. Sandra gave CNI News this account:
"It was about 8 pm on Sunday, February 9, and these people just showed up in her living room. She said they just suddenly appeared -- they were just there. She said there were 7 or 8 adults and three children. I asked what they looked like and what they were wearing. She said they just looked like regular people, [with] just average clothes. None of them talked to her, [but] there was some communication among themselves."
It was not clear if there was a UFO connection to these events. "She said there was a light outside her window that kept changing colors," Sandra said. "She said there was a pickup truck out front. But when I looked at her house from the outside, there's no place they could park in front of her house. Nobody could drive from the road into her front yard.
"She told me that one female had something in her hands like sparklers, [and] was waving those things around. Another woman had a little box and was writing notes on it. And they were feeding these children. You know those snack-sized boxes of cereal? She said the food looked like that.
"She said they didn't leave until 3:00 am in the morning."
Sandra agrees that this tale sounds bizarre. She says one of her MUFON colleagues believes the old woman was hallucinating. On the other hand, the old woman is fit enough to work as a volunteer at a local nursing home on Mondays, and her co-workers say she would not lie. And she repeatedly told Sandra that she didn't want to talk about it and just wanted to forget the whole thing. As things stand, it may be impossible to determine what really happened.
Sandra told CNI News that she works six days a week as a law enforcement officer and regrets that she does not have time to fully investigate all the sightings and encounters that are now taking place in her area.
CNI News also contacted noted author and UFO researcher Raymond Fowler for a report on recent sightings in his home state of Massachusetts. Fowler wrote the well-known series of books on the abduction experiences of Betty Andreasson-Luca, including "The Andreasson Affair" and "Watchers," as well as several other influential books.
Fowler told CNI News that he was aware of the activity in northern New England and said that the New Hampshire MUFON organization, under the direction of Peter Geremia, is one of the best in the U.S. He said he had discussed a number of the cases with Sandra Black. He then related several recent incidents in Massachusetts.
"On February 22, a father and daughter were returning from shopping, walking up the driveway around 6:30 in the evening, and saw what appeared to be a full moon rising up behind the trees, except there was no moon in the sky," he said. "It continued to move toward them and took on the form of a very large object almost twice the size of the house they were about to enter. It passed right over them, making a droning sound. It was round with a lot of white lights around the perimeter that illuminated the bottom. They couldn't see the top, but the bottom was round, and there was what he called a round, circular 'hatch' in the middle of this round object.
"Another sighting took place the day after that [Feb 23], at Swansea, Massachusetts. A husband and wife were hiking on a beach, and a disk-shaped object flew over them.
"We've also had two sightings in Amebury, involving a very bright star-like object that moved quite a few degrees and then stopped and began swinging back and forth like a pendulum, and up and down like a ping-pong ball."
Fowler said he thinks the large number of reports has been spurred by an unusual amount of local media coverage, including major stories in the Manchester, N.H. Union-Leader and the Boston Herald. "I think that people are seeing things all the time, but they don't know where to report them," he said. "When you get publicity like this, then you do get reports."
However, he said he thinks there is a wave of UFO activity all over the New England area. "We haven't had any reports like that for quite a long time down in this area, and it's interesting that it coincides with what's going on up in New Hampshire," he said.
Fowler is an avid amateur astronomer who runs the Woodside Planetarium and Observatory at his home in Wenham, Massachusetts. Though he's firmly convinced of the reality of UFOs, he also knows that many sightings have a conventional explanation. "It's interesting that Mars is coming into opposition now," he said, "and when Mars is in opposition, especially when it's rising or setting, you get a lot of UFO reports, because it's fairly bright on the horizon."
Original file name: CNI - New England UFO Flap
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