The Berkshires UFO Sightings
Article by Rebecca Patton July 1, 2020 bustle.com
• As young boys, Thomas Reed and his brother, Matthew, of the town of Sheffield in the southwestern corner of Massachusetts, encountered UFOs at least three separate times between 1966 and 1969. The September 1, 1969 encounter left a big impression. The brothers along with their mother and grandmother were driving over Sheffield Bridge when they all saw a bright light. Their station wagon came to a stop on the side of the road. Says Reed, “Everything got really calm. It was like being in the middle of a hurricane. There was like a barometric change in pressure…. Then we remember bits and pieces of being in like a hangar. Other people there. It was quite confusing.”
• Dozens of eyewitnesses reported seeing a disk-shaped flying object over Sheffield that night. Some people said that they were also taken and returned by the UFO. Episode 5 of Netflix’s “Unsolved Mysteries”, which explores the Berkshires UFO sighting, features other accounts of townspeople Tom Warner, Nancy Reed, Jane Green, and Melanie Kirchdorfer who corroborate the incident.
• In 2015, the Great Barrington Historical Society officially recognized the Reeds’ account as the first off-world UFO case in U.S. history. Later that year, the townspeople erected a 5,000-pound monument by the Sheffield Bridge to commemorate the Reed family’s story. But in 2019, local officials said that the monument had been erected on town property and removed it.
• While Reed has shared his story on a number of shows, including “Paranormal Paparazzi”, “Alien Mysteries”, and “Ancient Aliens”, he hasn’t always been happy with the coverage. He considers the term ‘abduction’ to be ‘cornball terminology’. “The papers and the stories have gotten so ridiculous that the truth has been lost,” says Reed. “Our family is very credible. We’re not a bunch of lunatics.”
Netflix’s Unsolved Mysteries, a reboot of the beloved ’80s and ’90s series of the same name, mostly focuses on murder and missing persons cases. But toward the end of the first season, things take a, uh, brief detour. Episode 5 explores the Berkshires UFO sighting that happened in Sheffield, Massachusetts on Sept. 1, 1969. And boy, is it a ride.
According to the Boston Globe, Thomas Reed claimed that he and his brother, Matthew, encountered UFOs at least three separate times between 1966 and 1969, but the last incident left the biggest impression on him. He told the radio station WAMC that he and his brother, mother, and grandmother were driving across Sheffield Bridge on that fateful evening when they all saw a bright light.
“Then that was the last thing we really remembered from the station wagon,” he said. “It came to a stop off the right side of the road. Everything got really calm. It was like being in the middle of a hurricane. There was like a barometric change in pressure…. Then we remember bits and pieces of being in like a hangar. Other people there. It was quite confusing.”
In 2015, the Great Barrington Historical Society officially recognized the Reeds’ account as the “first off-world/UFO case in U.S. history,” per WAMC. The program director at the time, Debbie Oppermann, told the Boston Globe that she knew they would get a lot of backlash, but that they’d “given it an awful lot of thought” and based on the evidence, “believe this is a significant and true event.”
The society was particularly convinced by the dozens of eyewitnesses from the same night, who reported seeing a disk-shaped flying object or else said they were also taken and returned by the UFO. Some of these accounts, including those of Tom Warner, Nancy Reed, Jane Green, and Melanie Kirchdorfer, are featured in Unsolved Mysteries.
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