Sherri Racine doesn't appear to be a crazy woman. She lives with her 11-year-old son in an in-law apartment in her parents' home in Danielson.
The 36-year-old school bus driver for Killingly was watching television late on Monday, July 11, when she saw a light hovering above the trees behind the large ranch where she lives.
She thought it was odd, since she lives about 400 feet down a driveway off Ledge Road on a 34-acre piece of property. Ledge Road is part dirt, part pavement, and cuts from Bailey Hill to Shippee School House Road in a very rural portion of the town.
There are almost 2 miles of undeveloped land between the backyard and Brickhouse Road to the south.
Slightly more than 3 miles lie between Ledge Road and Bear Hill Road to the north. The trees are dense around the house, dense all along the road - oaks, pines, birch, typical broad-leaf mix common to this part of Connecticut.
There are neighbors on the road, but none are close, and no lights - save the ones issuing from the house - illuminate the area.
Racine isn't used to seeing lights late at night in the backyard behind the house. But this object, she said, hovered in the air, and its lights twinkled red, blue and white. It seemed more like two bands to her, with the colored lights glowing from the corners, and the white lights blinking along the middle, top and bottom of the object.
She took her Sony a350 digital camera and fastened a zoom lens onto it. She went outside and took a few pictures. It was 11:40 p.m.
The house Racine lives in belongs to her parents, George and Starlet Lenth. Her in-law apartment has a walk-out exit into the back yard. A short lawn separates her sliding door from dense woods only 50 feet away. From there, the woods slope down to what George Lenth estimates to be 7 to 9 acres of swampy area. The space of woods between the lawn and the swamp is about 400 yards, Lenth estimates.
It was over this swampy area that Racine said she saw the hovering lights. They were just below the tree line level at the edge of the swamp. Mature white oaks and white pines reach between 80 and 100 feet high. She and her father estimate the lights were about 60 to 70 feet above the swampy area.
July 11 was a cloudy night, Racine said. There were no stars. There was no moon. “I know it wasn't the moon,” the young woman said, with a laugh.
She watched the lights for about half an hour, she said.
The lighted thing stayed mostly in one area, moving slowly when it did. “It lit up the woods, almost like a spotlight,” she said. But it wasn't a spotlight. The light was diffuse.
She walked to the above-ground pool at the edge of the lawn. She took several photographs. The height of the object and the leaves, needles and branches between her and the thing made clear shots difficult.
She said she could clearly see the colors: red, white and blue.
After almost 30 minutes, the lighted thing moved closer to the house. It lit up the woods closer to the house with that diffuse light. That's when she got a little scared.
“I didn't want to see any little green men walking towards me,” she said, laughing again.
It was after midnight when she went upstairs to see if her parents were awake. They were not. George Lenth was diagnosed with cancer seven years ago. Seven years ago a doctor told him that he had two months to live. He has continued living, but he gets tired easily these days. When Racine saw that her parents were asleep, she did not wake them. Racine also lives with her 11-year-old son, Shain. She did not want to wake him either.
The next morning Shain and Racine's nephew, Corey Valliere, went out to explore the area behind the house. They found a patch of tall grass that had been flattened. Imagine long weeds in a stream flowing in one direction with the water. That is what the grass looked like on the hillside leading down towards the swampy area. The area was about 8 feet by 10 feet, according to Racine's father.
Lenth claims to have spent much of his life out in nature. He has two stuffed black bears, the mounted head of another and the skin and head of yet another. A boar’s head is mounted on the wall from a hunt in New Brunswick. Of the 6-foot bear standing upright in his rec room, he said, “I tracked him for five days.” When Lenth saw the flattened patch of grass, he thought: deer don't make these kinds of beds. Deer make circular beds, he said. They fold themselves up.
Lenth owned a camper that was parked in a small clearing. The camper had been broken apart years ago, and he planned to burn the debris. This lay close to the flattened grass area. There seemed to be no evidence of anything that could have been taken from the pile to create the flat mark in the grass.
Lenth pointed out some saplings that were bent over. Racine clipped a leaf from the sapling and rubbed it between her fingers. “It's birch,” she said, “smell it.” The thin bark along the length of their trunks were scraped. Lenth couldn't think of any animal that would do that. Deer might, he offered, in rutting season, but rutting season is in the fall, not July. When deer are sick or hurt, they let out a distress call, Lenth said. They don't mess with trees. “I've been out in the woods all my life,” he said. He couldn't explain what had made the marks or bent the trees.
Racine's son rides a Kawasaki 80 through the trails in the woods. “A four-wheeler pushes down the grass but they leave tire tracks,” Racine said. The patch of grass was uniformly flattened.
There was one other odd thing Racine noticed when she was outside watching the lighted thing. It was quiet outside. With the swamp so close, it's usually like an orchestra out there at night, she said. That night ,there was no noise. “No frogs, no crickets, nothing. It was dead silence,” she said.
When asked, she claimed that she had not taken drugs or alcohol that evening. “I had a clear mind,” she said.
Racine did not call the police. She did not wake her parents or son. She went to bed. “It sounds kind of stupid,” she said. “I was nervous. My eyes were open for a while.” She eventually fell asleep.
The former Air Force security policewoman has heard stories about UFOs, but doesn't know anyone personally who has seen one. “I'm not crazy,” she said.
In an interview with The Morning Call, Patch reader and Emmaus resident John T. Royer explains how twice he saw a big, black rectangular object in the sky, at night, that blocked out the stars.
One of those objects, Royer says, appeared over Emmaus High School in 2003.
Those experiences got him interested in UFOs, and his research led him to become a volunteer field investigator for the Mutual UFO Network, called MUFON.
Royer, 65, retired as a drafting instructor from Lincoln Technical Institute, and is a graduate of Lafayette College. Now he investigates dozens of sightings throughout the Lehigh Valley, most of which, he says, are mistakes.
Royer makes no judgment about what he or others think the saw, but in the interview he says, 'I believe there is something flying around out there that we don’t know about.'
What about you? Have you ever seen a UFO? When, what did you see? Let us know.
In the mean time, according to MUFON, if you have a close encounter in the future, here are 10 things you should do:
1. REMAIN CALM, but protect yourself from any hazards real or perceived.
2. Be objective. Not every UFO is extraterrestrial.
3. Use a camcorder or camera to record the event.
4. If you have a tape recorder, record your description of the event as it happens.
5. If other witnesses are present ask them to also write or record their observations.
6. If the UFO left some trace of its presence behind do not disturb the area around it.
7. If the sighting is from a distance, at an arm's length, what would it take to cover up the object? A Quarter? A Penny?
8. Try to judge the distance from you to the object, the objects altitude, and its speed.
9. Should you encounter some type extraterrestrial being associated with the craft be prepared to take evasive action to protect yourself.
10. Immediately report the event to a UFO research organization.
I have thought about that for years and years. Actually back when it happened there were others from Colorado who had seen it and it was reported in a Colorado newspaper at the time, with a small drawing, like I had made, which was similar.
I am pretty positive it was something unknown, near the Warren AFB there, and possibly some kind of experimental vehicle that had no sound. (I didn't hear of anything like that happening at the time though).
My story begins on a dark night in Wyoming in the early seventies, where the moon had been hiding behind low hanging clouds. We had just left the house to head up town via the Rossman School route just off College Drive.
We turned north just past the school and noticed an exceptionally bright light in the sky overhead.
I slowed down to a crawl and just barely idling and opened the window to look out. Charla was edgy and nervous, telling me to speed up and get the heck out of there.
Of course, being a very curious and not so careful person, I took my time and pulled alongside the road, stopped the car and got out. I stood out looking up at this large craft that had no sound or wind from any kind of propellers that I could see.
It seemed to lower even more and hover just above us, as though checking us out with no sound apparent.
I was hollering up at the large craft, if you will, waving my arms yelling at them, “Come on down, I want to talk to you!”
For some reason I wasn’t frightened at all, maybe a little apprehensive, but not enough to make me leave. Why? I just may have run into an official UFO!
The subject always had my curiosity since I was very young.
I could not feel any kind of vibration or hear anything. It was a rather quiet night. It was odd that they did not seem interested in any kind of communication, I was thinking.
I did notice five corners of huge beam-like steel arms that seemed to form the unusual craft. From what I could see it must have been a pentagon shape with lights on each point.
Unfortunately, the next thing I knew, it took off so fast toward the northeast in seconds it was completely out of sight and with absolutely no sound at all.
I stood in amazement while my friend sat in the car frightened out of her wits. When I got home later that evening, I drew what I had imagined the craft to look like, even though the lights were so bright.
I could not get a definite description, but I was sure it had five points with lights and beam-like spans that went to a center point.
That's all I could gather. So I was disappointed not be able to communicate with whoever was inside, and know precisely what it was.
However, the next day a news article in a Colorado paper had reports of a strange object in the sky as well, so I was certain it was for real and not imaginary.
I had to explain to those who were hesitant to believe such a story. The drawing in the paper was a close proximity to what I had seen and drawn.
I am positive there was something strange and not from our world up in the sky. (The only other explanation would have been the Government doing some kind of secret experiment, I had thought could have been possible.)
I was never able to verify for certain of what the actual craft was doing there or where it came from.
Sixty years ago, America was shaken by a wave of UFO sightings in Washington, DC.
Some appeared over the White House itself: were these extra-terrestrials preparing to land, or did the lights in the sky have something to do with the weather?
The sightings lasted from 12 July to 25 July 1952. Objects were sighted by many observers, including airline pilots, and picked up on military and air traffic control radar.
On several occasions F-94 Starfire jets were sent to intercept the intruders, but UFOs vanished when an aircraft came near.
The objects were variously described as orange balls of fire, clusters of red or orange lights, or white lights. President Truman took a personal interest and demanded an explanation from the air force.
On 28 July two USAF major generals held a press conference at the Pentagon. They explained that the UFO sightings had been caused by a temperature inversion, where a layer of warm air is trapped under cold air.
This can give rise to mirages, both visual and radar. A distant light on the ground can be reflected in the sky, giving the impression of a flying, shimmering object.
This did not convince some people, who scented a cover-up and argued that pilots and radar operators were familiar with temperature inversions.
However, when flying saucers subsequently failed to land on the White House lawn, the sightings dropped out of the public awareness and into UFO history.
Large, Unknown Flying Object Moves over Kentucky Home
Published: 11:17 AM 7/1/2011
Kentucky - 06-30-11
I was sitting at my home office window, when my dog started barking. As I looked out I saw a huge object headed North right over our home coming from the southeast.
It was low, and as I watched it, I saw three bright lights; one at the front, two at the back, shaped like a triangle.
Then as it passed directly over me, I saw underneath its belly.
It had a straight, thin line of colored lights flashing from the front of it all the way down the 2 ends of it, underneath only.
As I jumped up to grab my camcorder and run to the front porch, it was passing past the big trees in the field, so I filmed it from there.
It still did not make a roaring sound like a low jet or anything like a low flying plane; the air was still and all I could hear was a rushing wind pass by.
My dogs had been acting strange tonight. I was sort of scared, because my friend and I had seen a fiery pillow-like, huge egg shaped object in 1994 that flew over our home in Lexington, KY, on Eastland Parkway.
It actually hovered over us for about a minute, and just like this one, it moved away slowly until it became a distant star.
I filmed these on 8mm film, then I took still photos of each still frame of film of the object, on a 27 inch TV screen.
Eerie Erie, Pennsylvania 1966 UFO and Bigfoot Incident
Published: 2:21 PM 1/18/2011
ET Incident that Baffled Witnesses and Police
Original report written in July 13, 2008 by Jill Stefko
Five credible witnesses saw a UFO and one of its passengers on Presque Isle Park. Two women clearly saw a strange being. John Keel, respected paranormalist, investigated.
The summer of 1966 was a strange one for some Erie residents. Eight gave descriptions of the alien beings they saw. People reported seeing mysterious lights in the sky. Something was eerie in Erie, the city of the canal folk song fame.
Erie UFO Sighting
A glowing object landed on Erie’s Presque Isle Park deserted beach during the night of July 31, 1966, a few hundred feet from a car that was bogged down in the sand with five young people in it.
The terrified witnesses, with no escape, watched. After the craft landed, they saw it send strange rays of light into the woods close by.
A tall dark figure slowly moved awkwardly toward the car, adding to their terror. It scratched the vehicle’s roof, then left.
The witnesses reported the incident to the police. During the investigation the next day, large amounts of silicon and some cone-like indentations were found in the sand where the craft had landed.
Presque Isle police vouched for the sincerity of the witnesses who were still very very scared when they reported the event. Many other Erie residents reported seeing bizarre lights or, as some would say, “UFOs,” in the sky that night.
Additional Comments by Paranormal Investigator Rick Fisher, 2010
... There was the incident at Presque Isle, on the shore of Lake Erie. In 1966, four teens were on a beach and their car got stuck in the sand, Fisher recounted. One went to get help. The remaining three saw a strange light in the sky, then a beam of light shining down and the lighted object descending nearby.
Two police officers arrived and the remaining male in the car offered to show the officers where the object landed. The two females stayed in the stuck car. Soon, Fisher related, the girls said a Bigfoot-looking creature approached and clawed at the car.
The girls hit the horn and flashed the lights. The creature ran off and the flying object quickly flew away.
The next morning, police returned and found scratches on the car, three-toed tracks leading to and away from the car and tripod-type impressions in the sand.
Decades later, a man claimed responsibility for what he said was a hoax. As a boy, he had released a hot-air balloon from his backyard in nearby Erie that had floated to the beach that night, he said.
Yet, that doesn't explain the marks in the sand, Fisher said. (Editor's Note:... or the sighting of the creature).
The force needed to create the impressions would have required a weight of 700 to 1,000 pounds, he said.
"I'm not here to tell you that it was a UFO, but I can tell you it was unexplained," said Fisher.
Sometimes people see things, but they don't want to talk about it, he said.