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PICTURES OF THE WEEK: From 1967, Dell's Flying Saucers comic version of the famed "incident at Exeter" -- with names and dates changed. The incident started in the early morning hours of September 3, 1967, when 18-year old Norman Muscarello -- who had enlisted but not yet joined the Navy -- was hitchhiking to his parents' home in Exeter, New Hampshire after a visit to his girlfriend. In a subsequent statement to the Air Force, he described what happened next...
I, Norman J. Muscarello, was hitchhiking on Rte. 150, 3 miles South West of Exeter, N.H. at 0200 hours on the 3rd of September. A group of five bright red lights appeared over a house about 100 ft from where I was standing. The lights were in a line at about 60 degree angle. They were so bright they lighted up the area. The lights then moved out over a large field and acted at times like a floating leaf. They would go down behind the trees or behind a house and then re-appear. They always moved in the same 60 degree angle. Only one light would be on at a time. They were pulsating 1,2,3,4,5,5,4,3,2,1. They were so bright I could not distinguish any form to the object. I watched these lights for about 15 minutes and they finally disappeared behind some trees and seemed to go into a field. At one time while I was watching them, they seemed to come so close I jumped into a ditch to keep from being hit. After the lights went into a field, I caught a ride to the Exeter Police Station and reported what I had seen.
At the station Muscarello told his story to Patrolman Eugene Bertrand, who had already heard a similar story from a terrified woman...
I, Eugene F. Bertrand Jr., was cruising on the morning of the 3rd of September at 0100 on Rte. 108 by-ass near Exeter N.H. I noticed an automobile parked on the side of the road and stopped to investigate. I found a woman in the car who stated she was too upset to drive. She stated a light had been following her and had stopped over her car. I stayed with her about 15 minutes but was unable to see anything. I departed and reported back to Exeter Police Station where I found Norman Muscarello. He related his story of seeing some bright red lights in a field. After talking with him awhile I decided to take him back to where he said he had seen the lights. When we arrived I parked the patrol cruiser and turned off the lights. There was nothing unusual in the area. Mr. Muscarello and I got out of the cruiser and started walking into the field with a flashlight. When we had gone about 50 ft a group of five bright red lights came from behind a group of trees near us. They were extremely bright and flashed on one at a time. The lights started to move around over the field. At one time, they came so close I fell to the ground and started to draw my gun. The lights were so bright, Iwas [sic] unable to make out any form. There was no sound or vibration but the farm animals were upset in the area and making a lot of noise. When the lights started coming near us again, Mr. Muscarello and I ran for the car. I radioed Patrolman David Hunt who arrived in a few minutes. He also observed the lights which were still over the field but not as close as before. The lights moved out across the field at an estimated altitude of 100 ft and finally disappeared in the distance at the same altitude. The lights were always in line at about 60 degree angle. When the object moved the lower lights were always forward of the others.
Patrolman David Hunt confirmed his part in the incident...
I, David R. Hunt, at about 0255 on the morning of the 3rd of September, received a call from Patrolman Bertrand to report to an area about 3 miles South West of Exeter, N.H. Upon arriving at the scene I observed a group of bright red lights flashing in sequence. They appeared to be about 1/2 mile over a field to the South East. After observing the lights for a short period of time, they moved off in a South Easterly direction and disappeared in the distance. The lights appeared to remain at the same altitude which I estimate to be about 100 ft.
The Air Force Project Blue Book -- tasked with investigating UFO reports -- at first publicly attributed the events to a misidentified advertising blimp, and then to an Air Force exercise being conducted at the time. But in a February, 1966, letter to the patrolmen, Lt. Col. John P. Spaulding privately acknowledged that "we have been unable to identify the object that you observed on September 3, 1965" -- and the incident is still classified by the Air Force as "unidentified".
2017 is the 70th anniversary of the first reports of weird aerial intruders roaming the skies.
This week at Saturday Night Uforia:
Saucer Reading Fest
PART THIRTEEN -- An in-depth examination of the year 1960, a pivotal time in the history of Project Blue Book, which would draw itself to an abrupt close by the end of the decade.
In the News 1948
First of a multi-part series surveying news reports for the year.
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