Published: 10:59 AM 2/28/2014
By ROBIN SMITH-JOHNSON
Over the years, there have been many UFO accounts across Cape Cod. Perhaps our proximity to water and flat surfaces make us susceptible to these eyewitness reports.
In March 1964, a Wareham family (father, mother and daughter) were driving home and saw a large reddish-orange triangular-shaped object flashing above them at a height of 200 to 300 feet. The object, with the appearance of a sail, zig-zagged like a boat and then disappeared over Silver Lake.
After reporting their sighting to Otis Air Force Base, the family could offer no explanations, but were very firm on the fact that they saw a UFO.
In other early accounts of UFOs, people said they saw “flying saucers” in South Wellfleet (1957), ‘flashing’ UFOs in Hyannis (1964) a “ball of fire” in Barnstable (1953) and a “flying ball” seen by fishermen in Truro (1953).
Another account from Chatham (1952) described the unidentified flying object as a “black blob.” In that small article, the UFO was said to be “about the size of a baseball, and the blazing tail about 100 feet long.” Some scientists offered the explanation of meteor showers in the area.
Another series of unexplained phenomena was reported in Centerville in 1950 and was seen by two local residents. “The object was described as traversing the heavens from the west while ascending until it no longer could be seen in the eastern skies.”
The object was shaped like a rocket and made no sound. The earliest account in the archives was a sighting in Woods Hole in 1947. A couple saw a light yellow object traveling in the sky over Woods Hole. Their impression was the thing was saucer-shaped. The pair watched it for close to an hour before it disappeared.
Perhaps most unsettling were a series of articles from 1975 detailing a mysterious couple leading their band of UFO-seekers toward New England.
According to the UPI story, “a man and a woman known as “The Two” by their followers reportedly have promised a caravan to another world, a journey by UFO and spiritual means to another dimension.”
If this sounds familiar, the two people — Marshall Herff Applewhite and Bonnie Lu Truesdale Nettles — were the leaders of the Heaven’s Gate cult. In March 1997, 39 members of the group committed suicide in California in order to reach what they believed was an alien space craft following the comet Haley-Bopp.
For many years, the UFO articles came every year or so. One 1964 article reported the “latest fad … (is) night-riding little green men intent of scaring the daylight out of home-bound Cape Codders.”
A quick glance at the past fifteen years on our on-line archives reveals very little in the way of UFO activity. Please feel free to send your eyewitness accounts to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.