The Unexplained: Were they abducted by a UFO?

Them Reed was nine years old when he said he was abducted by a UFO. Photo from Unsolved Mysteries on Netflix.

The hangar was bathed in a fluorescent glow.  The family was brought to meet two ant-like figures, then they were placed in cages.

There is still a collective raw nerve among some residents about an event that happened in 1969 the Berkshires of Massachusetts.  There is one resident whose nerves and life have been permanently jangled.

On September 1 of that year, at least forty residents of Berkshire County reported seeing vibrant UFO displays in the night sky.  In particular, the town of Sheffield was bombarded by the bizarre lights.  Several gave testimony that the lights were attached to a UFO that was disk-shaped and that it performed acrobatic feats.  Closer views of the object revealed that it resembled the shell of a giant turtle.

The witnesses were so mesmerized that they lost track of time.  How long did the light display really last?

The Berkshires are in the highlands of western Massachusetts and are sparsely dotted with small, rural towns.  The event had a psychological impact:  worried witnesses called into area radio stations wanting answers.  There were none.  The theme of UFOs showed up in children’s artwork for years.  Something spectacular had indeed happened, and it was seen for miles around.  It would become considered a historical event.

The witnesses have all been reliable people and not attention seekers:  police officers, town officials, PTA members. Thomas Reed was nine years old on the date when the event happened.  He was in a car returning home from the family restaurant with his mother, grandmother, and younger brother.  His mother was driving the car on their ride home.  He and his brother were in the back seat eating pieces of candy.

Sara Marie Hogg

They began to notice strange lights in the night sky.  They entered the familiar and quaint covered bridge on the road.  As the car began to emerge on the other side, it was flooded by a light.  The next thing that Reed remembers is being inside a large, hangar-like room with a sweeping convex wall.  The hangar, for lack of a better term, was bathed in a fluorescent glow.  The family was brought to meet two ant-like figures, then they were placed in cages.

Reed’s memory is foggy about what happened then, but the next thing he knew, they were back in the car and his grandmother was now driving.  Their positions had all changed.  It was calm and there were no more lights.  The eerie silence ended when Reed heard the night sound of frogs and crickets once again.

As some of the stigma faded from UFO reportage, it was revealed that four families in the area, families with no connection to each other, had been picked up by the UFO.  They had been zapped upward on a beam of light.

Another witness, Tom Warner, disappeared from view for a few moments when neighbor Jane Shaw observed the light flash upon him.  When Warner was inside the UFO, he saw a girl he recognized. 14-year-old Melanie K.

Thomas Reed had earlier reported that he had been inside a tarnished vessel where the image of a willow was prominently displayed.

Reed and some of the others have been disappointed by the way their stories have been presented and twisted around, at times.  Some of the writers have used corny words and phrases to describe their experiences.

Thomas Reed was so impacted by the events of that night in 1969 that he raised funds to erect a stone marker on the spot where he had his encounter.  It stood there for four years when a committee of townspeople decided to have it removed as an eyesore.  Thom fought the removal unsuccessfully.

That did not stop interest in the event.  There was a replica made of the strange vessel and it is displayed at Roswell in the International UFO Museum.

The events on that night in the Berkshires was declared an official historical event by the Great Barrington Historical Society and Museum in 2015.  They believe the accounts from witnesses to be true.  Too many solid citizens reported it to ignore it.  They also examined a polygraph test that had been taken by Thomas Reed.

Sara Marie Hogg is the author of Quite Curious, a collection of true stories about the bizarre and unexplained. Please click HERE to find the book on Amazon.

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