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The Exeter UFO Sightings - 1965

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posted on Oct, 15 2009 @ 02:20 PM
Realy interesting series of UFO sightings involving several Police Officers and town residents from Exeter,US in 1965.

The Exeter Puzzle

Scores of people, including two highly reputable policeman, swear that what they saw over a period of weeks in the New Hampshire area - big, silent and glowing - was nothing the Air Force could explain away.


Norman Muscarello, a teenage Navy recruit, was walking down a quiet country highway at night, when suddenly, a huge object loomed above him. Thus began the "Incident at Exeter," a series of sightings officially qualified as "unidentified." The encounters that night took special precedence over other UFO sightings because of the credibility of two Exeter police officers who also saw the UFO, as well as that of the dispatcher and supervising officer who first heard Muscarello's account.


September 3, 1965, 2 AM,

On the warm, moonless night of Sept. 3, 1965, Norman Muscarello, then 18, burst into the Exeter police station, still shaking from having seen, as he was hitch-hiking home about 2 a.m.

"The thing" was bigger than a house, he told Patrolman "Scratch" Toland, with brilliant, pulsating red lights around. It floated toward him silently. Diving from the road into a small ditch to avoid the on-coming object, he watched, terror-stricken. Then it backed off slowly until it had reached a sufficient distance for him to get up and run.

At the same time, Patrolman Eugene Bertrand, an Air Force veteran, was cruising when he found a lone woman at the wheel of her car just two miles outside Exeter. Still badly shaken, she told how a huge, silent, airborne object had followed her for 10 miles, at only a few feet's distance from her car. It, too, had brilliant, flashing red lights. When she reached the Route 101 overpass, the UFO took off at a great speed. Officer Toland, putting the stories together, instructed Bertrand to return to the open field with the boy.

While Officer Bertrand was shining his flashlight toward the tree line, the horses in a nearby corral began kicking and whinnying, dogs began to howl. Muscarello then let out a yell: "I see it! I see it!"

What Muscarello and an astounded Bertrand saw was a brilliant round object rising up silently over the pines. All of a sudden the entire area was drenched in a brilliant red light as the object fluttered toward them, still noiselessly. Racing back to the patrol car with the boy for fear of radiation, Bertrand reported to the station, "My God, I see the damn thing myself!"

Moments later, Patrolman David Hunt pulled up in another cruiser. He had heard Bertrand's exclamation on the radio and decided to see for himself. He got out and observed the slow, rocking movements of the still-pulsating object moving slowly across the tops of the trees and toward Hampton.

In the next weeks, many other seemingly valid sightings were made in the New Hampshire area. None, however, was more vivid than Ron Smith's.

The 17 year-old high school senior was out driving with his mother and aunt when they spotted an object in the sky. He stopped the car, looked up and saw something with a red light on top and a white glow on the bottom. It passed over the car once, stopped in midair, then went back over the car again and yet a third time.

Shaken and frightened, he started back to the Exeter police station to report the incident when, as he told Fuller:

"I came to my senses. I wanted to go back to make sure it was there. To take another look to make sure I wasn't seeing things. We did go back. And sure enough, it was in the same spot again. It passed over the car once, and that was the last time I saw it."


The Pease AFB commander tried to explain the sightings during a press conference at night in the field where the object was seen. He claimed the sightings were the lights at Pease, which were turned off, and radioed the base to turn them on. No one saw anything. After this, the Air Force claimed that it was beginning a thorough investigation of the UFO. USAF Maj. Hector Quintanilla, Jr., then chief of Project Blue Book, wrote a letter to EPD, explaining that the sightings were possibly associated with USAF operations.The Pentagon issued an additional statement suggesting that the UFO might have been a misidentified star or planet.

Interview with witnessess:

NICAP Case Directory
Hyneck report


[edit on 02/10/08 by karl 12]

posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 10:26 AM
reply to post by karl 12

this is a great case karl 12 ,

Mufon lists this one in their Famous cases and i like this story because it reminds me of the ufo encounter i had back in the mid eighties. just like Norman, i was attacked by some unknown craft but i didn't call the Police because of the ridicule factor and i really thought nobody would believe me.

Blue Book Note

posted on Oct, 17 2009 @ 08:42 AM
reply to post by easynow

Easynow,thanks for the reply-some great stuff posted on your thread (didn't see that one).

The incidents certainly seemed to cause quite a stir at the time and the resulting Air Force/Pentagon statements about "twinkling stars and planets" appear so weak and evasive as to be almost meaningless
(I also see it was our old buddy USAF Major Hector Quintanilla who
committed such an attrocious hack-job on the Portage Country incident ).

Theres a great MUFON briefing document here about the Exeter sightings (pdf) and researcher Peter Robbins also seems to think the incidents were highly significant:


“The Exeter incidents are one of the best regarded UFO incidents for those of us that study the subject seriously that have ever happened in America,” said UFO researcher and author Peter Robbins. “The reports were made by such credible, respectable, decent people that as a rationalist, I was just drawn to it.”

As for not reporting your own sighting due to 'the ridicule factor' I'm sure you're not alone on that one.

[edit on 02/10/08 by karl 12]

posted on Oct, 17 2009 @ 11:45 AM
Another Police UFO report from Texas on the same evening:

September 3, 1965 - Same Night As Exeter, Cops Encounter UFO In Texas

About 11:00 p.m. on the night of Friday September 3, Deputy Sheriff Bob Goode, 50, was driving his patrol car south out of Damon in Texas toward West Columbia on Highway 36.
Suddenly McCoy spotted a bright purple light on the horizon to the southwest which appeared to be about five to six miles distant. At first they thought it might be something in the nearby oil fields, perhaps an oil-drilling rig. But then a blue light, smaller in diameter than the purple light, emerged from it and moved to the right before stopping. Both lights remained in this orientation for a while before beginning to drift upward. This upward floating motion continued until the objects reached an elevation of 5-10 degrees above the horizon.

Goode then studied the lights through a pair of binoculars, but could not make out any additional features. As their curiosity mounted, the officers began to look for back roads that might take them closer to the lights. They stopped again, and this time the lights suddenly swooped toward them, covering the intervening distance in 1-2 seconds, abruptly stopping practically overhead.Their patrol car and the surrounding terrain were brightly illuminated in purple light. They could now see that the purple and blue lights were attached to opposite ends of an enormous object, hovering about 150 feet from them at about a 100-foot altitude.

In his later statement to the Air Force, McCoy described what he saw:

"The bulk of the object was plainly visible at this time and appeared to be triangular shaped with a bright purple light on the left end and the smaller, less bright, blue light on the right end. The bulk of the object appeared to be dark gray in color with no other distinguishing features. It appeared to be about 200 feet wide and 40-50 feet thick in the middle, tapering off toward both ends. There was no noise or any trail. The bright purple light illuminated the ground directly underneath it and the area in front of it, including the highway and the interior of our patrol car. The tall grass under the object did not appear to be disturbed. There was a bright moon out and it cast a shadow of the object on the ground immediately below it in the grass."

To both men, the object seemed to be "as big as a football field." Goode could feel strong heat emanating from the object onto his left arm, through his shirt-sleeve.

After a few seconds, with the strange object hovering almost directly overhead, they fled the scene and headed toward Damon "as fast as we could go," making speeds of up to 110 miles per hour. McCoy kept watching the object out the rear window of the car. For 10 to 15 seconds, the UFO continued to hover above the pasture. Then it abruptly shot back in the direction from which it had come. "After arriving at approximately its original position," McCoy reported,"it went straight up in the air and disappeared at 25-30 degrees above the horizon."

Back at Damon, the shaken officers calmed themselves, and then decided to go back and investigate again. This time they drove down the Damon-West Columbia road, but saw nothing. Finally they returned to the area where they had first seen the lights, and once again spied the purple light on the horizon, and again saw the smaller blue light emerge with a strange two-step motion and float upward. Fearing another close encounter, they again fled the area.

The deputies reported the sighting to Ellington Air Force Base, and Major Laurence Leach, Jr., arrived on September 8, 1965, to interview McCoy and Goode and take a statement. Leach's report to Project Blue Book headquarters at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base reflected his puzzlement. "There is no doubt in my mind," he said, "that they definitely saw some unusual object or phenomenon... Both officers appeared to be intelligent, mature, level-headed persons capable of sound judgment and reasoning."

US Air Force put this case in the "unknown" category.
Reported in The TRUE Report On Flying Saucers,1967 with Major Donald E. Keyhoe as one of the chief investigators)

Other Police UFO reports

posted on Oct, 18 2009 @ 07:47 AM
Another giant UFO sighting from Exeter - 2005

Gigantic UFO Sighting In Exeter - Again

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 object.

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 sky.

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.
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 Center.

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.

posted on Oct, 18 2009 @ 08:18 AM
I was 6yrs old at the time living in central Mass. After dinner my job was to dry dishes. I vividly remember on that evening the kids were outside playing (we lived in a post WW2 baby-boomer neighborhood) and I was rushing to get my chores done so I could go outside as well. There was suddenly a huge commotion outside and everyone, parents included, were talking about an object that streaked overhead going north. Just as I went outside two fighterjets screamed overhead --- also heading north. I've always been po'd that I never got to see the object.

posted on Oct, 19 2009 @ 09:25 PM
reply to post by karl 12

Karl the artist drawing you posted is amazing, it reminds me very much of one I saw in 1978-9 in the middle of the night out my bedroom window, what I saw was black and the porthole type windows glowed yellow, it was hovering in my back yard or should say the open space behind my house.

Thanks also for revisiting " Incident at Excter have the book somewhere.

posted on Oct, 20 2009 @ 10:26 AM
reply to post by Aquarius1

Aquarius1,thanks for the reply- very interesting account.

Don't know if you saw the other pic but the Exeter eyewitness also mentioned 'a strange cloud of red and orange flame'.


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.

Don't know what this object (or the other one in 1965) could possibly have been but its certainly an interesting series of incidents - will have to get me a copy of that book.


posted on Oct, 20 2009 @ 10:52 AM
reply to post by karl 12

There is much more to my sighting but not sure this is the approbate place to post it. It has been a very long time since I read the book on the Exeter Case that I barely remember it, have followed so many of them that it is easy to get them mixed up, after my sighting though the first thing that came to mind was this one.

posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 05:40 PM
reply to post by Aquarius1

Aquarius,good stuff -you should report that one to MUFON -if you've not already.

Interview with Raymond Fowler about the Exeter incident(s):

UFO sighting terrified locals 40 years ago

..The Pentagon repeatedly denied the sightings, but the incident was read into the congressional record in April 1966 by Raymond Fowler, representative of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena in Washington. It was the first open congressional hearing on UFOs.

Fowler, internationally renowned author of 11 books about UFOs, has studied UFO reports for decades.

In a recent interview, he shared his thoughts on the Exeter incident and the stories that followed.

"The second-hand speculation stories were varied and perhaps hypothesized," Fowler said. "Muscarello’s mother purportedly saw confidential drawings of a UFO landing site pattern that was handcuffed to an Air Force investigator who visited her house. The neighboring farmer was instructed by the Air Force to plow under landing marks in his field.

"The hens in the neighborhood stopped laying eggs. The air-base intelligence officer was seen buying up all the newspapers carrying stories about Sept. 3. A base commander was seen in civilian clothes rather than uniform while investigating," he related.

"There were major similarities with these area sightings that conform to documented cases. UFOs tend to be seen near swamps, major power lines or nuclear sources. Muscarello noticed the object coming from over a line of trees behind which were major power lines. There was a swamp in the area. Pease and the Navy yard both had nuclear power entities. And, when a Pease Air Force base commander attempted to disprove it was a UFO by simulating the incident by turning on runway lights, he failed," noted Fowler.

Fowler, now retired from active investigation, noted in a letter to the United States Air Force, "The UFO sighted by Norman Muscarello was identical to the UFO seen later by Muscarello, Bertrand and Hunt.

"There is no question in my mind that the same or similar object was involved in both of these particular sightings.

"Since I did not interview the unnamed woman, I am not certain of the details … but according to Officer Bertrand, the object … was very similar to the UFO they sighted later … another witness, a male motorist, also sighted a similar object. …"

Because of the viability of the testimonies of those involved on the night of Sept. 3, 1965, and because of Fowler’s testimony into the Congressional Record in April 1966, the United States Air Force admitted that indeed, the Incident at Exeter involved an unidentified flying object.

posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 05:59 PM
reply to post by karl 12

That was in the seventies, long time ago, the sighting I had in August 93 was much more exciting, huge Silver Triangle guessing a couple of football fields in size going very slow just above tree tops, many witnesses and was on the local Fox News that night..did report to MUFON, they blew it off, don't like them, also reported to Davenport later and actually worked with NIDS on this, they were very interested because it wasn't the typical Black Triangle that most see.......but again that was a few years after it happened...there is much more to the story.

posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 06:26 AM
reply to post by Aquarius1

Aquarius - I've never heard of a silver triangle report before either and you're not the first person to say you're disillusioned with MUFON.

Theres a good page here dealing with the Exeter Sightings - it also has Norman Muscarello's witness statement to the police:

I, Norman J. Muscarello, was hitchhiking on Rt. 150, three miles south of Exeter, New Hampshire, at 0200 hours on the 3rd of September. A group of five bright red lights appeared over a house about a hundred feet from where I was standing. The lights were in a line at about a sixty-degree angle. They were so bright, they lighted up the area. The lights then moved out over a large field and acted at times like a floating leaf. They would go down behind the trees, behind a house and then reappear. They always moved in the same sixty-degree angle. Only one light would be on at a time. They were pulsating: one, two, three, four, five, four, three, two, one. They were so bright I could not distinguish a form to the object. I watched these lights for about fifteen minutes and they finally disappeared behind some trees and seemed to go into a field. At one time while I was watching them, they seemed to come so close I jumped into a ditch to keep from being hit. After the lights went into a field, I caught a ride to the Exeter Police Station and reported what I had seen.
Norman J. Muscarello


[edit on 02/10/08 by karl 12]

posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 07:11 AM

Originally posted by karl 12
Norman Muscarello, a teenage Navy recruit, was walking down a quiet country highway at night, when suddenly, a huge object loomed above him.

September 3, 1965, 2 AM,
Still badly shaken, she told how a huge, silent, airborne object had followed her for 10 miles, at only a few feet's distance from her car.

When these things are described as HUGE, one possibility that comes to mind is a lighter than air (LTA) ship:

I think that can be attributed to a number of sightings such as perhaps those listed on that website. It doesn't go back as far as the Exeter case, however, perhaps it had a predecessor which does.

Also the description that it took off at a high rate of speed would not seem to be consistent with a LTA ship but such witness descriptions could be based on angle of perception etc and may not relate true speed.

Interesting case.

[edit on 15-12-2009 by Arbitrageur]

posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 03:56 PM
reply to post by Arbitrageur

Arbitrageur, I think you're right about the LTA ship explanation not being consistent with the testimony:

A similar report substantiated his story. Earlier, Bertrand had come upon a lone woman parked on the side of Route 101 near an overpass two miles outside Exeter.

She said a huge, silent, red and brilliantly glowing airborne object had chased her from the town of Epping about 12 miles away. It had been only a few feet from her car before it departed at a tremendous speed and disappeared.

Theres also this interesting footnote from Easynow's thread about the incident:

"Pease sent out a major and a lieutenant on the fourth, and they asked the police if they would just keep their UFO information confidential. But the police told the Air Force officers that the Manchester Union Leader reporter had already been there and got the story. The Air Force actually sent the lieutenant around Exeter to buy up all the newspapers with the sighting story, which I thought, was ludicrous. Then the officers went on site and investigated, asking farmers if their cows were giving the same amount of milk, the chickens still producing the same amount of eggs. And there were rumors that they investigated a burned area in the field and then asked Carl Dining to bulldoze his field."

The Exeter, New Hampshire UFO Encounter, Sept. 3, 1965


posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 01:35 AM
reply to post by karl 12

I also see it was our old buddy USAF Major Hector Quintanilla

yes you know when you see his name involved in any ufo case there will be some ridiculous explanations and obvious indications of a cover up but i'm sure we both agree that he was just following orders and doing his job. (even though it was wrong)

Physicist and UFO researcher Dr. James E. McDonald once flatly declared that Quintanilla was "not competent" from either a scientific or an investigative perspective. However, McDonald also stressed that Quintanilla "shouldn't be held accountable for it", as he was chosen for his position by a superior officer, and was following orders in directing Blue Book.

Blue Book’s explanations of UFO reports were not universally accepted, however, and critics — including some scientists — suggested that Project Blue Book was engaged in questionable research or, worse, perpetrating cover up.

the resulting Air Force/Pentagon statements about "twinkling stars and planets"

i see you liked the twinkling stars explanation huh ? lol


Washington, D.C.-The Pentagon believes that after intensive investigation, it has come up with a natural explanation of the UFO sightings in Exeter, N.H., on September 3. . . . The spokesman said, "We believe what the people saw that night was stars and planets in unusual formations."

LOL unusual formations ! :shk:

it was so unusual one of the officers was going to shoot at it

"Well, it seemed to tilt and come right at us. Norman told me later that I was yelling, 'I'll shoot it! I'll shoot it!' I did automatically drop on one knee and drew my service revolver, but I didn't shoot. I do remember suddenly thinking that it would be unwise to fire at it, so I yelled to Norman to run for the cruiser, but he just froze in his tracks. I practically had to drag him back!"

that part about the Air Force personel buying up all the newspapers with the original story and then later releaseing a dis-info story in the paper is solid proof they didn't want the public to know what was going on. it kinda reminded me of the Roswell game they played.

[edit on 16-12-2009 by easynow]

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