We witnessed an object on the ground, similar to a train at night, it was on the side the mountain, it was gone a few minutes later.
Myself and my father, I was 8 years old, he was 38 years old, the year was 1979.
The small hamlet of East Orange, VT. Was the location that the event was witnessed.
The time was approximately between 1:00 a.m. and 2:00 a.m., early on a Saturday, opening day of rifle deer season.
We had departed from our home in Chelmsford, MA, earlier in the evening, around 9:00 p.m. This was more or less an annual event for us. We would leave after my father returned from his plumbing job on Friday night, this time of year was the opening of hunting season in Vermont and we’d want to be ready to go for opening morning at sunrise the next morning.
We arrived in the village of East Orange, VT, sometime around 1:00 a.m. Of note we passed the home of a local who was having a loud party often a normal occurrence during the excitement of hunting season. Our property and trailer are about ¾ of mile outside of the village, but because of the terrain, we can’t see the village from our property, about 1,500' above sea level. Instead we have a beautiful view of the distant White Mountains in New Hampshire.
As was my father’s habit, he decided to make pit stop at another hunting camp, even before we went to our trailer. The camp was called Heartbreak and was the haunt of some of his buddies from back home where he grew up in Lowell, MA.
Over the years, I would come to understand that the pull of catching up and throwing a few back with one's buddies has a strong macho pull, especially in times before constant cell and email contact, although these were some of his best and longest held friends he had gone several months since last seeing them.
Heartbreak was only about a ½ mile from our trailer and as we drove up the road to Heartbreak we have always been able to look across the valley, about 1,000' as the crow flies, and see our little red trailer. As it happened on this night the all that was visible was the barren scar of the flat spot that we had recently carved out of the side of the mountain just above 30' where our trailer sits, this flat spot was cut out, in the preparation for us to start to construct our mountain house the following spring, it would be a Swiss chalet, but for now it was a large 150' x 75' flat open area, a strange site on such a mountains topography.
Upon arrival at Heartbreak, we were surprised to find all was quiet and still at this normally ruckus hunting camp. Although close in association to those within, my father thought it was respectful to leave the inhabitants in peace and that maybe we, too, should finally head to our trailer and get some sleep as for as too the alarm clock would ring and we’d be amongst the early morning hunters. As we descended town the same road we had ascended only minutes earlier, our attention was taken by an unexpected site.
Across the valley we now see the lights of our trailer blazing, to me this was a very surprising sight, I had no idea who or why our trailer has come to life. It is mid November and the trailer has been dormant since the summer season ended after Labor Day weekend. As we paused and looked across the valley at the now sparkling lights on an otherwise dark foreboding mountain, I asked my father who is at our trailer. My father, not the least alarmed, quickly realized that the unknown occupant could be none other than Uncle Eddie, Uncle Eddie had for years been an on again off again regular during hunting season. He never actually hunted but would go camping, by camping I mean he’d visit camp after camp and camp, all the while careful not to bruise the booze, with any food, his only substance would be Pepsi and an assortment of alcohols for the weekend.
I was disappointed at this turn of events, as a young boy I idolized my father and relished our alone time together. My father was well liked and loved by almost everyone through out his life and more so than ever in these early days I had to compete more often than not for my father’s time. Seeing my disappointment at this loved but unwelcomed, at least to me, guest my father consoled me by reminding me we would soon be in the woods hunting, just the 2 of use and that Eddie had always been fun and good humored and only added to the fabric of a good hunting camp.
After our brief discussion regarding Uncle Eddie, we proceeded down the road, the distance was only about another 300' to the end of the road where it met East Orange Road, Heartbreak was and still is at the end of Notch End Road.
At the end of the Notch End Road we had to simply make a right turn and our road, driveway, would be a switch back on the right, maybe ¼ mile up. At the time it was simply our road, since it has been named in honor of the farm from which much of the surrounding camps had acquired their land from Delmar Hutchinson, the driveway is now Hutchinson Way.
My father for some reason paused at the bottom of the road and pondered if he wanted to in fact head to the trailer. He to my surprise decided to take a left and head back to the village where the local party was in full swing. I don’t know if he thought that maybe some of his buddies were there? Or did he just want to drop in.
As Flatlanders, people from the lower part of New England, we were from Massachusetts, some would simply call us Massholes, we were somewhat shunned, maybe a type of modern carpetbagger, but my father being a down to Earth plumber and having over the previous 10 years installed a number of indoor plumbing, was more or less accepted, for whatever the reason it was only a short ride, maybe ¼ mile, and to our surprise the ruckus party had all but completely dissipated, the party house was dead quiet, no lights, no activity, nothing, both of us were more than surprised at this turn of events.
It had only been maybe 10 minutes since we passed by this very same house with half a dozen pickup trucks and whooping and hollering. With no options left my father begrudgingly headed for the trailer.
Upon our arrival at the trailer, or shall I say almost arrival. The fall rains had taken a tremendous toll on last of our driveway. The last part of our driveway was a sharp left turn up a rocky hill, maybe only 150', but steep and even in the best of conditions a challenge, never mind that we were in his work van, if I remember it was a Ford E350, not a 100% on that, but surely a van, so which was pretty common we ended up walking the last 100' to the trailer up the hill.
The trailer was some model that was old when I was young, maybe from the 1950s I can’t be sure, but it was our beloved weekend get a way. My father upon reaching the trailer when to the power box on the back of the trailer and switch the power main on, tomorrow he’d fire up the water heater and prime the pump, but for tonight we’d go with the electric heat and many blankets as November in Vermont can be cold, very cold.
We unlocked and removed the padlock from the trailer door, and swept aside the cobwebs. The trailer always had a stale smell when we would arrive for the weekend, but soon with the burps and farts of hunting camp we would long wish for that staleness again. I found my bunk in the rear of the trailer and my father took his familiar position at the head of the trailer on the couch, the bunks did not offer much comfort for a large adult man, my father stood at 6’ and maybe 240# to 250#.
Come the early morning the weekend went as expected, we didn’t shoot a deer, in reality in all of our years hunting, lasting until the early 2000s, we only got one deer, it was always about a father and son spending quality time with each other.
This weekend like many others ended with no spent rounds and we closed up Sunday afternoon as the winter Sun slid behind the mountain in early afternoon we headed home, empty handed but fully satisfied with our time together. The ride home usually about 3 hours and saw nothing out of the ordinary.
Arriving home and dangerously close to my bed time I exchanged a loving hug with my mother and held off with an recanting of our weekend till the following day.
Arriving home from school about 3:30 p.m. Monday afternoon I walked into the kitchen to find my mother and father sitting at the kitchen table. As I stepped into the room my father glanced in my direction stood up and walked into the other room. My mother instructed me sit down with her at the table. My mind raced with all the mischief that my nickname Ricky The Wreaker earned me, nothing that would rise to this level of interrogation came to mind.
My mother in a calm voice began questioning me in a most impressive socratic manner. She wanted me to talk her through the details of our hunting trip, starting when we left Chelmsford and ending when we returned.
As I weaved through the narrative of the weekend I came upon the part of seeing the trailer lights a blaze and the discussion with my father about Uncle Eddie’s unexpected visit. It was then that it occurred to me that there never was any Uncle Eddie, that the trailer lights could not have been ablaze, that something else was there, something else was present. She asked me to describe what the trailer look like with these lights on, I said a passenger train at night, several windows all lit up. At this my mother called in my father, she indicated that our stories match exactly even down to our description of the object we had seen, then she dropped a bombshell and confirmed a thought that was slowly formulating with in me, she said in a most excited declaration. You’ve seen a UFO. It turned out that Sunday night as my mother and father discussed the weekend she mentioned that she had visited with Eddie and Aunt Flora, it was when my father heard this that he recalled the pause and discussion with me regarding the visiting Uncle Eddie, who actually never visited and was in Massachusetts the entire weekend.
My mother always the sharp pencil devised the interrogation the next day in large part to assuage her own skepticism.
The obvious implication in this account should be obvious, but here are my major conclusion points.
1. Uncle Eddie never actually came to Vermont, but yet we clearly saw a significant non natural object on the side of the mountain. The only man made object was our trailer.
2. There is no evidence but I surmise that the flat spot we had cleared for the Chalet construction in the spring of 1980 was the likely landing spot for this UFO.
3. We feel there was a time issue, we found it unusual that the local party disappeared so quickly, although not itself much, taken in the totality of the evening it is suspicious.
4. The trailer driveway wasn’t accessible via vehicle, we could only get within 100', and the flat spot was another 225' up a steep unimproved driveway further up. This eliminates the possibility that we saw a bus or some other man made vehicle.
Ok, well that is pretty much it. In the decades since I’ve often talked with my father about that night, we needed to remind each other from time to time that what we saw really happened. A few years back I put an idea to him that maybe when we got to the bottom of Notch End Road, that maybe we turned right after all, that we came upon whatever was there at the trailer, he would just nod and same maybe. Well that’s it, do with this as you please.