|A wide, 10-acre field near the New England town of Exeter, N. H., provided the setting for one of Flying Saucerdom's finest hours.
As recounted in John G. Fuller's exciting book, "Incident at Exeter," it stands as probably the best-documented - and most tantalizing - case in the growing mystery of UFO sightings.
The fact that two policeman were among the observers didn't hurt its case for authenticity, either.
Nor the fact that the New England locale is not particularly known for wild-eyed story-telling.
On the warm, moonless night of Sept. 3, 1965, Norman Muscarello, then 18, burst into the Exeter police station, still shaking from having seen, as he was hitch-hiking home about 2 a.m.
"The thing" was bigger than a house, he told Patrolman "Scratch" Toland, with brilliant, pulsating red lights around. It floated toward him silently. Diving from the road into a small ditch to avoid the on-coming object, he watched, terror-stricken. Then it backed off slowly until it had reached a sufficient distance for him to get up and run.
Patrolman Reginald "Scratch" Toland
was first person to hear incredible story of saucer landing.
He was at the desk when Muscarello came in, shaking,after seeing "Thing".
At the same time, Patrolman Eugene Bertrand, an Air Force veteran, was cruising when he found a lone woman at the wheel of her car just two miles outside Exeter. Still badly shaken, she told how a huge, silent, airborne object had followed her for 10 miles, at only a few feet's distance from her car. It, too, had brilliant, flashing red lights. When she reached the Route 101 overpass, the UFO took off at a great speed. Officer Toland, putting the stories together, instructed Bertrand to return to the open field with the boy.
Patrolman Hunt points to spot in the field where he saw the fluttering movement of UFO.
Patrolman Bertrand was in Air Force for four years
and swears UFO he saw was not a plane, a helicopter or balloon.
While Officer Bertrand was shining his flashlight toward the tree line, the horses in a nearby corral began kicking and whinnying, dogs began to howl. Muscarello then let out a yell: "I see it! I see it!"
What Muscarello and an astounded Bertrand saw was a brilliant round object rising up silently over the pines. All of a sudden the entire area was drenched in a brilliant red light as the object fluttered toward them, still noiselessly. Racing back to the patrol car with the boy for fear of radiation, Bertrand reported to the station, "My God, I see the damn thing myself!"
Moments later, Patrolman David Hunt pulled up in another cruiser. He had heard Bertrand's exclamation on the radio and decided to see for himself. He got out and observed the slow, rocking movements of the still-pulsating object moving slowly across the tops of the trees and toward Hampton.
Patrolman Hunt arrived on the scene after Bertrand
and boy saw "Thing" reappear. Note presence again of power lines near scene. (see page 33)
In the next weeks, many other seemingly valid sightings were made in the New Hampshire area. None, however, was more vivid than Ron Smith's.
The 17 year-old high school senior was out driving with his mother and aunt when they spotted an object in the sky. He stopped the car, looked up and saw something with a red light on top and a white glow on the bottom. It passed over the car once, stopped in midair, then went back over the car again and yet a third time.
Shaken and frightened, he started back to the Exeter police station to report the incident when, as he told Fuller:
Mrs. Virginia Hale, reporter for Haverhill Gazette, saw the saucer from her kitchen window.
It hovered over neighbor's house 4 minutes.
"I came to my senses. I wanted to go back to make sure it was there. To take another look to make sure I wasn't seeing things. We did go back. And sure enough, it was in the same spot again. It passed over the car once, and that was the last time I saw it."