On September 22, 2012, Montpelier resident Kathie Smith and her husband Kent were driving home along County Road R near State Route 576 near Bridgewater when she saw strange lights in the sky around 9:30 at night, shortly after sunset on a clear night. She saw orange balls of light coming from the west at a very high rate of speed, about five of them at first. She said that they were single lights in a random order and were “pretty big.”
In order to get a better look, she and her husband parked their vehicle at the side of the road on 576, and stood in the grass, looking up at the sky. As they watched, for approximately 10 – 15 minutes, they just “kept coming.” She counted a total of 14 of the lights. Her husband is a pilot and is familiar with aircraft, and was confident that what they were seeing was not any aircraft known on earth. They were also without sound. As they watched, the hair stood up on the back of their necks. Kathie admitted that she was frightened. Her husband estimated that what they were seeing was about 3000 feet in the air. As the balls of light traveled into the east, they disappeared, one by one. Kathie notes that they did not fade away, but simply vanished.
Smith said that they had “never, ever seen anything like that! We couldn’t believe what we were witnessing.” She was surprised that no one else traveling along State Route 576 pulled over, and that she would like to have shared her experience with others. She told friends at work about what she had seen, and at least two of her friends who live in rural areas within the county said that they had also seen strange lights in the sky in recent years. When asked if she thought they had seen UFO’s, she said, “I don’t know what they were, only that they were very abnormal.”
Smith is not alone. According to former Montpelier resident Dave Neal, now of Oklahoma, during the 1960’s, a local news media published a story on a series of unidentified flying object (UFO) sightings in Williams County. Kent Custar, now of California, grew up in rural Montpelier. He adds that, “Years ago when I was maybe 10 years-old. We lived on County Road I, west of State Route 576. There was something that hovered over our barn for about ten minutes. It had lights on it and it was a copper color. It made a kind of humming noise. My mom, grandma and my brother saw it, too.” This occurred during the summer, just as the sun was going down. Custar would like to know if anyone else in the area had made a similar sighting around that time.
Residents of the Village of Pioneer have recently seen a spurt of unexplained sightings. According to the MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) website at www.mufon.com, there were three sightings reported during March 2013 alone.
The report from March 2, 2013, reads as follows: “The first night I saw this was March 2, 2013. It was in the sky to the west of my house and I have seen it almost nightly since then. Then 2 nights ago (March 19), I noticed it to the east of my house. The first time I saw it I was driving home around 7:30 pm and noticed many strange lights in the sky as though there were spotlights on the ground shining straight up, but there were probably 15 spots in the sky like this. It did not look like clouds at all. So when I got home, I got my camera and went outside. The sky lit up with sparkles every time I took a picture, but there was not a star in the sky. The only time I could see the sparkles was when the flash went off. The “spotlights” eventually faded away after about an hour and the sky was so clear that you could see the stars perfectly, but one of them was an off color and seemed to blink. I got the camera again and zoomed in and took some more pictures. When I zoomed out and took some though, only this object would show up in the picture, even though you could see all the stars. Last night (March 20) it stayed in the same general area, hovering behind my neighbor’s tree. It was higher than the tree, but my view of it was through the branches. I am interested to know what it is so I have been watching the sky since. Between 8 and 9 pm almost every night there are 20 – 30 “planes” with flashing lights, moving faster than normal airplanes, coming from the north, south, and west all going east. They get directly east of my house, sometimes change directions, sometimes just hover for a minute or two and then they are gone, but they always fly east. I have tried many nights and have not been able to get a picture of any of them, only flashing white, sometimes red and white, lights on video. It usually happens right after dark, I have watched and waited during the afternoon, evening, and as it’s getting dark, but they never come until it is completely dark. That is when I can see the “star” as well. There was also one object on March 6 that came out of nowhere while I was taking pictures of the sky. It was bright orange, boomerang shaped, was only there for a couple seconds and gone.
Another individual posted this about a sighting on March 23, 2013 at around 9:45 p.m.: “This object looked almost like a star, but it was obviously flashing red, white and sometimes green lights. It hovered over my house moving back and forth, but only about an inch each way (from my view). It was higher up though so it could have been 10 feet. This is not the first night I have seen this object and would like to know what it is.”
Yet another spied something mysterious in their yard on March 30 at around 10 p.m.: “I was out on my patio about 10pm Saturday night taking photos. I noticed a glowing green ball on the ground. I zoomed in on it and it looked like 2 eyes, just green glowing eyes on the ground. I got a little scared so I went inside to look at the photos and you can see a green orb right around the area of the landing. it did not look like a cat or any other animal. I went back out and took more photos about 10 minutes later and it was gone!”
Village of Pioneer Police Chief Tim Livengood said that he had not ever received any reports of UFO sightings that he can recall, but said that he felt residents would be hesitant to report anything like that. Wiliams County Sheriff Steven Towns also could not recall any recent reports or in the past.
Each of the persons posting included pictures, though they were too dark for publishing. They can, however, be viewed by doing a search at http://www.mufon.com/mufonreports.html and clicking on “Ohio” then “Williams County” in the dropdown menus, then hit “Submit.” This will take you to the page where the reports are listed.
Persons in neighboring counties have also reported sightings over the years. Fulton County lists three sightings between 2006 and 2009. Steuben County across the line in Indiana reports five sightings between 2007 and 2012, and Hillsdale County, Michigan, just to the north has had ten reported sightings between 2001 and 2012.
So are what these people witnessed alien aircraft? We don’t really know. Many people hold the belief that we are not the only intelligent beings in the universe, and that there is every likelihood that there is life on other planets capable of creating an aircraft that could visit other galaxies and planets such as ours.
Others are quick to debunk the idea of flying saucers, to which they were once referred. Benjamin Radford, a writer and the managing editor of Skeptical Inquirer science magazine state in an online article (http://www.space.com/9704-ten-alien-encounters-debunked.html) said the following:
“As a longtime investigator of unusual phenomena, I have no doubt that UFOs exist. UFOs, are, of course, Unidentified Flying Objects, and “unidentified” simply means that what the eyewitness saw was not immediately recognized by that person, at that time, under those circumstances. There are many things in the skies that the average person may not be able to identify from a quick look but that a pilot, a meteorologist, or an astronomer might instantly recognize. There are also seemingly unusual experiences that most people may not understand but that a psychologist can explain.
With alien encounters, we find that often an explanation lies not necessarily in the skies but in our minds. Humans are pattern-seeking creatures, and our brains try desperately to make sense of things we don’t immediately recognize. Often we are correct in our assessments of what we see and experience, but many times we simply misperceive, misunderstand, or misremember.”
He was quick to point out that those who see UFO’s are not crazy. “…in fact we are all hardwired with the same fallible brains. While some people seek out the skeptical or scientific explanations, others decide that since they can’t explain something, no one else can either, and therefore that experience is mysterious or inexplicable.”
This explanation still fails to address the question: What about sightings for which there are no logical explanations? Is it possible that some people have, in fact, witnessed the appearance of alien aircraft?
Have you ever seen something that you can’t explain? Also, if you are the person who reported any of these sightings to MUFON, would you be willing to identify yourself and share more with us? Tell us what you think at www.thevillagereporter.com or by emailing the newspaper at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to your responses.