New Hampshire has embraced its UFO abduction, but in Mass. they’re more hesitant
By David Brooks
New Hampshire, of course, is home to the first and probably most famous case of alien abduction – Betty and Barney Hill’s tale of being taken up into a spaceship near Franconia Notch back in 1961. We’ve got an official monument for the event, and Betty Hill’s papers, plus items like the dress she was wearing at the time, are kept at her alma mater, UNH, for researchers to ponder.
Turns out they have a sort of similar-ish event in western Mass, where a 9-year-old boy saw a flying saucer in 1969 in Sheffield, Mass., an event marked by a monument that received approval from the state government. Sort of. But maybe it has to move.
That’s the story I learned from the Boston Globe tale (which you can read right here):
As an adult — and in what he calls an effort to preserve the facts of his family’s case — Reed began speaking publicly about the incident, traveling to UFO conventions and appearing on a variety of TV programs dealing with the paranormal. He won a following among UFO believers, his family’s case getting its own display at the UFO Museum in Roswell. Then, in 2015, he secured formal recognition by the Great Barrington Historical Society.
In a decision she now labels a “mistake” and a “professional embarrassment,” then-society director Debbie Oppermann penned a short letter of testimonial on behalf of the historical society declaring the off-world event as “true” and “historically significant.”
On Nov. 3, 2015, nine months after the historical society’s endorsement, Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker signed a state citation — a kind of ceremonial honor issued by the hundreds for birthdays, anniversaries, retirements, and “other outstanding achievements” by state residents who request them — honoring the Reed family’s claim.
Just like New Hampshire! But it gets messy: “Responding to inquiries from the Globe, Baker spokeswoman Lizzy Guyton said in an e-mail that the citation was ‘issued in error and was not authorized by Governor Baker.’ ” And the 5,000-pound monument might be on public land without permission and might have to be shifted. UFO fans, of course, are outraged.