by Charles Lear
One thing that is irrefutable concerning UFOs is that they are a part of history. No matter what they are, who reports seeing them, and whether or not the reports are believed, there are cases that are recorded in news media and literature that will be examined and pondered for generations. There are towns all over America where local UFO history is celebrated, embraced and exploited for its potential to draw tourists. There are museums and monuments to visit, guided tours to take and UFO kitsch aplenty in the gift shops. Quite often the effort put into marking a UFO occurrence is solely a private enterprise started by local enthusiasts but sometimes a town will officially recognize an incident and fund a sign, plaque or statue. The rarest official recognition of a UFO incident is the erection of a roadside historical marker of which, as far as this author knows, there are only four in existence in America.
When a controversial subject is celebrated publicly it should be expected that there would be some public controversy. A town in Massachusetts, Sheffield, recently made national news due to fighting over a monument, its relocation and eventual abduction by town officials. The monument in question is a 5000 pound concrete block with a plague that marks an “off-world incident” experienced by Thomas Reed on Sept. 1, 1969 when he was nine years old. The monument was first located next to a replica of a historic covered bridge in a park created for it called, “UFO Monument Park.” In 1969, Reed, his brother, mother and grandmother were in a car crossing the bridge when they spotted a “self contained glow” which then enveloped the car. Reed next remembers being inside a large hanger-like interior and then being in the back seat of the car two hours later with his mother and grandmother having switched seats. His grandmother contacted the police and later found forty others who witnessed a large, football field sized object in the area around the time of the incident. Some of those witnesses have been supporters of the monument and continue to testify that they saw something unusual that night. What’s special about the monument is its plaque, which contains a citation from Governor Charlie Barker, which reads in part, “I am pleased to confer upon you this governor’s citation in recognition of the off-world incident on September 1st, 1969.” The monument was initially relocated because of complaints by some that it detracted from the importance of the historical bridge. It was moved to the private property nearby of a monument supporter but then found to be on a town right of way easement running through the property and, on June 4, 2019, it was removed by town workers and taken to an undisclosed location. Reed has taken legal action against the town accusing its leaders of theft. Read more