In this age of government UFO revelations and presidential candidates promising disclosure of secret UFO files, you would think that the town which claims to be the home of the “only historically documented UFO sighting in the United States” would be proud of a monument touting the event. In this case, you would be wrong.
“The monument was removed at considerable expense to the town. Unfortunately, the party responsible was not responsive.”
The Berkshire Edge interviewed Selectman (a New England term for a member of the local government board) Martin Mitsoff about the removal this week of the Sheffield UFO monument located near the Sheffield, Massachusetts, covered bridge where in 1969 Thomas Reed, then age 9, and his family found themselves “being taken aboard a tarnished circular looking vessel where an image of a willow tree was displayed.” The next thing he says he remembers is being back in the car and a couple of hours had passed.
His grandmother reported the incident to the police and found that at least 20 others had also reported seeing a UFO and a local radio station said they received 40 calls from witnesses. Reed claims he took a lie detector test and got a 99.1 truth rating. Based on that, the Great Barrington Historical Society declared the UFO sighting “historically significant and true” and money was raised to create a 6-foot tall, 5,000-pound concrete memorial (you can see photos of the monument and the park here) with an inscription that reads in part:
“This Governor’s Citation [is] in recognition of the off-world incident on Sept. 1st, 1969, which engaged the Reed Family, which has been established.”
Cool! What’s Selectman Mistoff’s problem? Well, the monument attracted graffiti and was discovered to be on government property, so it was moved 50 feet and updated with lights and a bench. Then it was discovered to be on a town right-of-way easement. That prompted a year of meetings and email exchanges which resolved nothing. On June 4, this happened:
“A crew from the town highway department arrived at around 8:30 a.m. with a front-end loader/backhoe combination and hauled away the monument, a bench and a row of crushed stone.”
The story doesn’t reveal where the monument was hauled away to, but Reed considers this to be an act of theft and plans to file charges.
Wait a minute! Why doesn’t the governor’s office get involved, since the plaque on the statue is from current Governor Charlie Baker? Doesn’t that make this an official state monument? An earlier story by The Berkshire Edge has a possible answer:
“Tim Buckley, then Baker’s communications director, said in 2016 the citation was issued in error after a persistent Reed repeatedly asked the governor’s staff to put his signature on it. The text of the citation is all in capitals and is poorly written. It appears to have been notarized by a justice of the peace in Connecticut.”
Uh-oh. It looks like the local officials agree with the governor’s former communications director and not with Reed nor the producers of the TV show “Unsolved Mysteries,” which had just been in town to do a segment on Reed and his UFO story. Should Reed try to enlist some UFO disclosure proponents like former US Senator Harry Reid or Tom DeLonge? That might help, but for now it appears the parties have their lawyers aimed at each other and will shoot it out in court.
Has anyone considered asking for help from the crew of the UFO?