As fans of Lost will attest, it’s not a good idea to lift a hatch, open a strange door or move an odd object without having some idea of what might happen next. That could be the reason why residents and government officials are in no hurry to remove a seemingly unmovable starfish-shaped metallic object found about 10 feet offshore at low tide on East Beach in Westerly, Rhode Island. Has anyone checked it for numbers?
“Starfish” may be too benign of a description. Peter Brockmann, president of the East Beach Association, is very concerned about swimmers, bathers and surfers who get too close to it.
“It looks like a metal starfish because it has these eight legs that go down from the center. Many locals don’t remember seeing it before last summer. The harbor master has never seen it or heard of it before so it’s a real mystery.”
That’s a concern because harbor masters like Stonington Harbor Master Eric Donch make it a point to know everything about the waters they oversee. Donch says the object is not related to commercial fishing or other known harbor boating activities. Brockmann showed the photo to an unnamed U.S. Navy admiral who was baffled. East coast waters are now filled with wind generators but the Deepwater Wind energy development group assured worried locals that the mysterious metallic starfish has nothing to do with its Block Island wind farm located 3.8 miles from Block Island, Rhode Island
That covers the usual suspects. Could the object be from some sort of secret government project? One suggestion is that it’s an almost-buried acoustic Doppler current profiler which would be used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to monitor currents and sediment flow prior to dredging projects. Yeah, that must be it … except no one has heard of any such projects and no one remembers seeing anyone burying such an object on this busy beach.
Eliminating the usual and unusual suspects, that leaves … aliens! Rhode Island has a good number of UFO sightings despite being the smallest state and Westerly had one reported in September 2015 that consisted of “hundreds of thousands of tiny white, shimmery dots converging into clusters and going up into the sky.” Since it’s been speculated that the metallic object has been in the Westerly waters for at least a year, one could try to connect this dot with those dots, but that’s not much to go on.
Fortunately for East Beach swimmers, help is on the way. Rocky’s Tree Service of Charlestown – the local go-to guys for removing “stuff that washes ashore” – has been hired to attempt to pull up the metal starfish with a front end loader. Peter Brockmann appreciates their aid but gave Rocky this warning:
“We see a lot of stuff wash up but this been a real mystery.”
Better check that starfish one more time for numbers.