- EXETER - There was something
odd in the sky last week, something that caused a Navy veteran with 10,000
hours of flight experience to have his own close encounter. The former
flight engineer, who wished to be identified only as "David,"
said of the experience, "this was like nothing I've ever seen before."
- What the retired Navy chief petty officer said he saw
last Wednesday could only be classified as a UFO, an unidentified flying
- It was a bright and sunny afternoon, about 3:15 p.m.,
and David was outside preparing his lawnmower. He had filled the mower
with gas, checked the oil, and took a sip from a glass of water he had
poured. When he tilted his head back to get the final sip, through the
bottom of the glass he saw a large cigar-shaped object hovering in the
- David said windows were equally spaced around the object,
however he didn't see anyone or anything inside. The size of the object
was enormous. By comparison, he said, consider what an ultralight plane
would look like next to a Boeing 747. He said it was about the size of
two USS Nimitz aircraft carriers.
- At first glance, through his empty glass of water he
thought it could have been the Hood blimp. "But, the instant I put
my glass down, I said, 'that's not a blimp.'" The object moved from
west to east, very slowly for something that size, he said. His initial
instinct was that the object was moving at about 100 knots, but something
that big shouldn't be able to stay in the air if it's going that slow,
- The object began changing colors from a bright silver
to an orange-ish red. A strange cloud of red and orange flames began surrounding
the object, and before he knew it the object stretched out like a rubber
band. It grew to about twice its original size, and then it was gone.
- The entire incident lasted about 10 minutes, he recalled
Monday morning, but he is unaware of the specific time because, "it
felt like time stopped." He went into his house and first thought
to call the police. He decided not to because he didn't think they'd take
him seriously. So he went on the Internet and searched for "report
UFO," and found the Web site for the Seattle-based National UFO Reporting
- Peter Davenport, director of the UFO reporting center,
said David's report was astonishing because of his history with flight.
"I have no question on his reliability."
- He said he gets several accounts each year, but this
one stood out. The report was well written and scientific, Davenport said.
- "In my view, that's one of the cardinal rules of
an account," he said. The center was founded in 1974 by UFO investigator
Robert Gribble. The center's Web site, www.nuforc.org, has a large list
of UFO sightings. According to the site, the center's primary function
is to receive, record, and to the greatest degree possible, corroborate
and document reports from individuals who have witnessed possible UFOs.
David's report, which will soon be on the Web site, will be among dozens
of documented sightings to be formally reported to the center. Not the
- The Exeter area is no stranger to UFO sightings. In 1965,
two Exeter police officers and hitchhiker Norman Muscarello, who was with
them, gained national attention after seeing a UFO hovering over Route
101 in Kensington. The sighting was documented in a book called "The
Incident at Exeter."
- And then there was the incident involving Barney and
Betty Hill, a husband and wife from Portsmouth who claimed to have been
abducted by aliens. The couple was driving from a vacation in Canada in
1961 when they saw a UFO.
- The object moved directly over their car, and before
they knew it they grew drowsy. They later claimed to have been abducted
by aliens and gave identical accounts while they were hypnotized.
- But for this recent sighting, David said he believes
that there is life beyond Earth. He said the galaxy is so enormous, it's
hard to believe humans are the only intelligent life.
- "To the point of not being obnoxious, it'd be egocentric
to think there is no other life out there."
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