By Margaret Smith/ Staff Writer
Thursday, October 19, 2006
A man and woman in Billerica claim their lives have been altered since a huge, luminous object they said appeared over their porch one winter evening, levitating the woman, blistering the man's hand, and leaving white, powdery material that quickly disappeared afterward.
A UFO investigation reported in the Billerica Minuteman has now caught the attention of an international audience, after a couple in town posted a firsthand narrative on a Canadian UFO Web site and UFO sites worldwide picked up links both to their account and the Minuteman article. The couple, identified only as Robert and Anne, are scheduled to share their story in an interview with radio talk show host Jeff Rense Friday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. on the Jeff Rense Show, which is broadcast on a satellite network. The show is also available on line at www.rense.com.
The couple are scheduled as guests of Vike, who, holds a regular spot on the radio show and who posted the narrative on his UFO research Web site, hbccufo.org.
"I knew this story and experience was a dandy, as we do not hear many stories like this," Vike said.
The report is also under investigation by Mark Petty, a former Billerica resident now living in Nashua, N.H., and a volunteer with Massachusetts Mutual UFO Network, which follows up on reports of unusual sightings of or contacts with objects in the sky.
Petty, who has given presentations on UFO investigations at the Billerica Senior Center, said he gave a talk on the couple's experience at the network's conference Oct. 14 in Watertown. Petty said the couple were counseled not to talk publicly about their experience until the investigation was complete, but said, "It's their decision. They are the people who actually experienced it."
Light in the night sky
In the narrative, Robert said the encounter occurred Sunday, Dec. 12, 2004, when he and Anne saw a ball of light in the night sky about 7:10 p.m. He said they saw the apparition through a sliding door leading to a deck off the kitchen. He described "a huge ball of brilliant white light coming toward the house from the west," slightly above the tops of trees. As the object came closer, he said it appeared to grow bigger, and stopped above the house, where it appeared "absolutely huge, maybe two, maybe three football fields. The white light engulfed everything."
Despite the intense light, the glare didn't hurt their eyes, he said, but hovered silently for a few minutes before a pale blue light emitted from the underside and formed a perfect square on the deck. Robert said the light fully engulfed Anne, who was lifted off the deck, prompting Robert to open the sliding door with one hand and grab Anne's waist by other. He said he pulled her into the house and the shut door. When he looked out again, the strange light was gone, he said.
During the ordeal, Anne went unconscious. When she came around, she said she remembered seeing the blue light and that Robert described it as square, but could not remember any details after that. A short while later, they said they received a phone call from Robert's sister and her husband, about five miles to the east, saying they too saw a ball of white light trailing a blue tail, moving parallel to the ground. Robert said he noticed blisters on his hand, just below his middle finger.
Strange happenings cited
In the report, Robert said he and Anne subsequently noticed unusual occurrences in their own home, including a microwave open beeping at random and objects flying off shelves. Robert said many of these occurrences would happen during the day, and Anne would relate them when he returned home from work. Hypnosis helped her recall details but didn't work for him, he said. However, he recalled an eerie instance in which he said he administered CPR to Anne as she lay on the floor.
"After I got her off the floor and on to the couch I looked into the kitchen and saw what looked like snow or fine pellets of Styrofoam pouring in through the sliding door - I guess didn't shut it all the way. After icing my hand for awhile I told Anne, I'm going in the garage to get the shop vac to clean up the mess.' When I looked again all the white stuff was gone and the small carpet in the kitchen was dry."
He added, "Also the white light outside looked like it flowed like a liquid wrapping itself around everything," and no shadows formed.
Billerica police said they did not receive any reports of an unusual sighting in the sky Dec. 12, but said from time to time, they, like all police departments, do get calls from concerned residents of a strange light or sound that turns out to be something ordinary. Petty said someone also reported seeing something peculiar in the sky over Billerica around 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 29 and reported the incident to the National UFO Reporting Center in Seattle, Wash. That report describes "a very large, circular, bright-white light above the clouds going around and around in a very large circle" at high speeds. The report said the witness looked out again and saw the same light about an hour later and insisted it wasn't a search light or plane.
Without ruling out any possibilities, Petty said the light may have come from an area business, such as a gym in nearby Tewksbury. Petty said investigators work to collect information from reported UFO witnesses, and said the overwhelming majority of objects turn out to be less than extraterrestrial, including lights from businesses, crafts from air force bases, satellites and meteors. About 5 percent remain unexplained, he said.
In his probe in the reported Dec. 12, 2004 incident, Petty said, among other steps, he made inquiries to several area police departments, interviewed many of the couple's neighbors and have filed a Freedom of Information Act request from the federal Aviation Administration regarding aerial activity in the area on that evening. He said Billerica police provided a printout of police log entries from the time of the reported sighting, but that log activity suggests no unusual reported occurrences. He said Burlington police sent a written response indicating nothing unusual. An inquiry to Bedford police received no response, he said.
Anne, 58, a disabled contractor, agreed to meet recently with a Minuteman reporter, but would not give her or Robert's last name. She showed the small porch where she said the object appeared and which she said lifted her a few feet in the air before Robert grabbed her and pulled her inside.
But she said any physical evidence - the burns on Robert's hands, which she showed in a photograph, and the powdery residue she described - are gone. She said, after the incident, her sister called on the phone to say she, too, had seen a bright object with a trailing tail while traveling on a highway. They're not UFO or science fiction buffs, she said, and books and movies of that ilk are sparse in their collection. Anne, who said she recalled a peculiar sighting of a lighted object in her youth, said the experiences she reported suggest the possibility of extraterrestrial presence. However, she remains as mystified as anyone, she said.
She said, "I've always been very open-minded. I'd be arrogant to think we are the only beings in this vast universe."
For more information on Massachusetts Mutual UFO Network, visitwww.massmufon.com
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