September 1, 1969, in Berkshire County, Massachusetts – A real Ufo event in Unsolved Mysteries and the documentary Witness Of Another World

Peter Engelmann
July 26, 2020

One of the most spectacular episodes of Netflix Unsolved Mysteries reboot is the Berkshire UFO sighting in 1969 in Great Barrington, Sheffield, Stockbridge and Egremont, Berkshire County. The event changed the lives of four families forever and contains all crucial elements of Ufo encounters. It was recognized as a historical event by the Great Barrington Historical Society as a significant and true alien encounter. Limited screen-time doesn’t allow to show all aspects of the event and also how modern knowledge about the phenomenon could provide further inside.

How does it compare to other close encounters?

The producers of Unsolved Mysteries do a very good job when they delve into the personal lives of the protagonists of this historical event. They spend also attention to the aftermath of the event and what it did to them. Thomas (Thom) Reed, his brother Matt Reed, Nancy Reed, Tom Warner, Melanie Kirchdorfer and Jane Green are extremely reliable and honest witnesses. Most of them were children or teenagers at the time of the Ufo-event.

The same applies to Juan Perez who was portrayed in Alan Stivelman’s documentary Witness Of Another World.

Juan saw a Ufo and was inside a Ufo. The event which happened in Argentina changed his life forever. In the documentary, Ufo-researcher Jacques Vallée gives deep insights about Juan’s case which he investigated over a long time.

Jacques Vallée explains how in Juan’s case the phenomenon – as he labels it – shows its ability to “borrow” our images and project visions directly in the conscious of the observer.

In the case of the Berkshire UFO sighting, we see similar elements which appear like symbols or like some sort of a symbolic story. There was the image of a willow tree projected inside the Ufo. In Juan’s case, there was a robot involved in cutting meat. These elements sound not really “meaningful” in any ordinary sense but they are characteristic.

Both the families of the Berkshire Sighting on September 1, 1969, as Juan Perez share troubling social experiences. They became outsiders, weren’t understood, there was even hostility.

In both cases, there is a lot of information and corroborating reports underlining that the events are real. There were further reports of the Ufo sightings from other witnesses in the Argentinian cases as in the Berkshire event. The radio station WSBS received several calls the night. Debbie Oppermann, the director of the Great Barrington Historical Society, said in an interview they recognized it as a significant historical event because “it was important to many people in the South County at that time”.

There was a lot of speculation going on soon. Even the witnesses didn’t say that typical elements of the UFO-lore become part of the narrative. Thomas Reed emphasized he never spoke of an “abduction”. Similar things happened in the Juan Perez case, which is a unique story in itself. Both the documentary Witness of another world as Netflix’s Unsolved Mystery reboot is worth to watch because of the spend attention to the details of the real stories.

It is thanks to the excellent research of Dr Jacques Vallées that we have a much deeper awareness about the true nature of these events and we are more alert about what the witnesses really said. Dr Vallées emphasized another important aspect in sightings: Children are good witnesses because they don’t “judge” immediately what they saw. Their reports are more real because adults tend to “censor” quickly what they saw. This is also a similarity in both cases. It underlines the credibility of the witness’s reports.

What happened in Berkshire, Massachusetts in 1969?

The Berkshire Ufo sightings are actually a series of events. Obviously September 1, 1969, was the climax. Several witnesses have seen lights, orbs, vessels. However, there are many specific elements here where there was more some kind of a reality-shift. Melanie Kirchdorfer and Thomas Warner found themselves in a kind of hangar for some time before they returned to “ordinary reality”. They did not know each other before. Later it was for them as they would be siblings. Kirchdorfer had an instant connection with Reed when she met him later — “she saw him in the ship”. Thomas Reed suffered in later years like Juan Perez in Argentina from anxiety particularly at night: “I was scared, nervous, upset about what took place and couldn’t make sense of it. But now it’s historic”.

Another witness, Thomas Warner, experienced telepathic contact and vanished for minutes. He was paralyzed from a beam which came from one of the lights (It is interesting that the description sounds similar to the “elf-stroke” in older folklore stories). In Thomas Reed’s case, there is another interesting detail: The sighting began when he, his brother, his mother and his grandmother were near a bridge. First, they saw a self-contained glow, later the light was flooding the car. Thom saw amber-coloured lights on both sides of the road. He experiences a barometric change of pressure and absolute silence. They lost three hours of time and they don’t know what exactly happened during that time. Finally, they found themselves back in the car, but something was wrong: His mother and his grandmother have switched spots.

A scary conclusion

Of course the dominant interpretation most of the time was some sort of extraterrestrial visitors and alien abduction. There was even the idea it was payback for the landing on the moon one month prior to the sightings (these people have obviously no idea what a payback from an advanced technological alien civilization on Earth would look like).

The detail at the end of Thom Reed’s story (Mother and Grandmother switched places) suggests something different: It looks like somebody is “destructing” reality like a photoshop-artist messing with layers of a picture and then starts to “reassemble” the reality but does making some mistakes while doing so. It’s a similar thought which comes up with many Missing411 cases. It is also one of the insights of Witness Of Another World: “The Ufo-Phenomenon is capable of altering our reality”. Another strange thing, which creates the same impression, is that Tom Warners Babysitter saw him “running on the spot for a while”.

What exactly happened, we don’t know, both the Juan Perez case as the Berkshire sightings remain “unsolved mysteries”.

A lasting impression

Between 2015 and 2019 there was also a monument near the Sheffield bridge, paid for by people who saw something. It shows how important that event was. For people who have experienced the phenomenon, the world is never as it was before. Around the globe, there are people who share this insight. There is also a monument in Angelholm. South-Sweden remembering a famous sighting.

A strange turn of events is the removal of the monument in Berkshire in 2019. It sounds like traditionalists cannot accept something which doesn’t fit into their limited world-view.

Energy Vortexes And Triangles

Unexplained phenomena are very often associated with certain places and areas. Some areas have been labeled triangles. The most prominent historical triangle is the Bermuda triangle. Today, the Alaska triangle and the Bennington triangle are well known. Nearly any famous spiritual place is connected with an energy vortex. They are often supposed to be portals to another dimension. But what are they?

Paranormal sightseeing spots

A number of energy vortexes have become very popular tourist destinations. These places are mostly mountains and forests. Some of them have visitor centers and offer useful information and guidance, for example, the Montana Vortex. In the U.S. these places have been already spiritual places or even center of the spiritual world of the American Indians. Mount Shasta is an example.

Later, the esoteric movement discovered these areas, and they are often seen as healing places and places for inner development or spiritual insight. They have the same qualities as places of pilgrimage in Europe. Two prominent energy vortexes, Mount Shasta in Northern California and Sedona in Arizona, are huge territories with high mountains. However many attributes of the place are the same as of the Tor in Glastonbury or Stonehenge. Thus, the size of an area is not the most important element here.

Mostly, energy vortex places are seen more or less as a positive thing whereas triangles are sinister and scary areas. However there are also many missing person cases for example in the Mount Shasta area, a well-known vortex, and there are warnings about the portals at Sedona. It seems that any place of power has always a positive and a negative side. This dangerous side should not be underestimated.

There is another crucial information here. The indigenous people have a lot of knowledge about these places and do know about their nature. They might not speak about energy vortexes but of “powerful medicine”. Our modern interpretation of these places as energy vortexes might be a sign that we brought our own “technical gods” to these places. But during all times there had been people who understood what these places are.

Ambivalent places

David Paulides quotes the warnings in a letter of a Native American woman in a video of his CanamMissing Project Youtube Channel. The woman says that Mount Shasta is an incredibly dangerous place “thick with the spiritual world”. Visitors should not go beyond the treeline. David Paulides accomplishes what she says. It is a fact that the Cascade Mountains including Mount Shasta are a place of many mysterious vanishings

So, white people understand these places and areas in a “technical sense”. But, why vortexes? Has anybody seen vortexes of energy there, some sort of spiral, tunnel, wormhole? It seems more a kind of classification.

There are a couple of possible explanations: A vortex was indeed seen by witnesses in the Bermuda triangle. The Bermuda triangle is in a way the mother of all these zones of the paranormal. It is possible that the reports about the Bermuda triangle worked as a set-up. Then there are scientific investigations claiming vortexes are electromagnetic whirlwinds.  There is also a serious claim about gravitational anomalies. These anomalies actually exist: Gravitation is not exactly the same in different places on Earth. There is also physical evidence for anomalies. An interesting phenomenon is the unnatural growth of plants. Examples are found in the Montana vortex.

But there is another explanation: A vortex is a similar shape like a spiral which is a powerful archetype. We find these shapes in cathedrals, mazes, architecture, art, in nature, and in space. It’s something people know through all times. In a way, the vortex is also a symbol for the otherworld.

Fiction and science fiction helped to build an imaginary with wormholes and dimensional rifts.  The vortex has become a common element in culture.  This works both ways: Writers take inspiration by paranormal phenomena, folklore, and witness reports. Vice versa our perception and interpretation of our experience are influenced by what we read and see on TV.

Where are these vortexes and triangles?

There is no official list of vortexes and triangles. A lot of maps and lists of places appear on the web. It depends on the writer what he thinks what a vortex is. Famous triangles are the Bennington triangle in the Northeast of the U.S. and the Alaska triangle. Another area is the “The Devil’s Triangle or “The Devil’s Sea near Japan.

The most prominent energy vortexes are the Sedona Vortex, Mount Shasta, or the Montana Vortex. The Sedona vortexes are actually seen as a group of vortexes, which could be found at Cathedral Rock, Boynton Rock, and Bell rock. Other vortexes are Haleakala National Park in Hawaii, Taos in New Mexico, Crater Lake in Oregon, Ojai in California, Monument Valley in Arizona-Utah, and Mount Mitchell. Furthermore, most sacred sites are considered vortexes as the Great Pyramid in Egypt, Stonehenge, or Ayers Rock in Australia. Again: There is no official list or official definition about a vortex.

The most common understanding of a vortex is perhaps a sort of a „node“, a place on Earth where energy enters the planet or is emitted. But a crucial part is also the idea that it is a sort of door between different dimensions.

What does an energy vortex do to reality?

The most interesting aspect of an area with a vortex is the obvious ability to shift our common reality into a different kind of reality. All kinds of apparitions are reported. People are getting disorientated and getting lost. Others experience positive sensations. Some people have kind of a healing experience. Impossible things seem to happen. If we believe the many reports, which tell us about such experiences there is another question: Why is there no deeper impact in our normal world? Shouldn’t these experiences have changed the scientific world-view? The answer may be the nature of these zones: Our ordinary logic doesn’t have a place here. Normal explanations are not working. To understand the vortex we have to think differently.

Are there examples of reality shifts?

David Wilcock did tremendous research and mentions several examples on divinecosmos.com:

Surviving witnesses of accidents in the Bermuda triangles reported anomalies as a luminous haze on a clear day or failures of electromagnetic instruments or spinning compasses. An airplane crew experiences a loss of time and disappeared for 10 minutes from the radar. Some believe that many creatures or aliens, which occur in energy vortex areas are time-travelers.

There is another phenomenon, which is sometimes connected with the idea of energy vortexes: These are the strange cases of persons who shifted into another dimension. There is also the idea that an “energy body” can be created in another dimension. This idea is not new and appears already in Shamanic wisdom.

Then there are, of course, the missing411 cases, which include many strange circumstances. They are the best evidence we have that there are indeed phenomena, which aren’t understood by science so far.

We do know that there are a lot of things going on around us in the mountains, in the fields, in the forest. Areas of the unknown can be described as vortexes or triangles. What we don’t know is what is exactly the reason or explanation for many incidents and strange events. We have to decide on our own what we want to believe or not want to believe.

However, the idea of parallel worlds has become more and more accepted as a reality in the last years. Even we might not understand how this world of higher dimension works and why some people are traveling between realities we have a strong premise, which gives many witnesses reports credibility.

What’s really going on?

According to these reports, there are many cases where an alternate reality stepped into ours.  These cases include reality glitches as a person suddenly finds itself in a different place or bilocation. Brent Swancer mentions also a man who discovered himself in an old photo of the Grand Canyon at a time where we definitely weren’t there – sounds a bit like the last image of “The Shining” with Jack in the middle of the Black and White picture.

Typical cases include persons who find themselves in a place and have no idea how they got there (this is also typical for many missing411 cases). We hear often about places, which doesn’t really exist in our plane of reality: Typically a traveler stops at a rest stop, a restaurant or a house and later he cannot find that place again. Locals deny that these places exist. This is a good example of the possibility that another dimension overlaps sometimes with our plane of reality. What if you get lost in that interplay of layers of different planes of reality?

Another interesting question is if these events can occur anywhere why are there special places like vortexes or triangles? An answer might be that they are kind of hotspots. There are often clusters in certain areas, but strange things can happen anywhere.

Pulled Into Another Dimension

imagerift

People who coincidentally shift to another dimension or person telling weird stories from experiencing the future or the past. And people who mysteriously vanished. Is it true or is does our mind play sometimes tricks? Nobody can seriously answer that question. Believers can come up with a sheer endless number of reports, incidents, and numberless witnesses. This seems a phenomenon that appeared at all times. Modern stories resemble myths and Old Testament stories. This doesn’t answer the question of what is really behind this phenomenon. However, we can grasp the pattern of these experiences and get a better idea about what it is.

Fantasy fiction describes the phenomenon in an archetypical way

Sometimes it is good to look into the tradition of film and literature. There is one book which is like a blueprint for this phenomenon. This is “The Wizard Of Oz”. Originally children book it also became a musical and a movie. The Wizard of Oz was a tremendous success. The book is a classic everybody knows. The 1939 film was one of the most successful movies ever made. There is a memorable scene in the beginning. A twister occurs and Dorothy is shifted into another reality. When this happens Dorothy sees very strange things, for example, the witch. This set-up is very typical for many fantasy stories since there an alternate reality in most of these stories (Alice in Wonderland etc). However here we have some key elements which are typical also for similar “real experiences”. In the first place, we have severe or strange weather which works as a sort of precursor. Secondly, our normal sense of what’s real or the laws of nature doesn’t have a place here. The heroine is shifted into a more dreamlike form of reality. Dorothy herself is in a sleepy state.

The Wizard Of Oz had a tremendous influence. We find many references in David Lynch’s movies and series. Wild At Heart might be the most prominent example. However also in the new Twin Peaks series, The Return, there are a couple of strong references. We see people vanishing or dragged into another dimension. There is a mysterious vortex which Gordon Cole sees and which later occurs again.

However, the most interesting question about The Wizard Of Oz’ memorable scene is why does it work so perfectly? It is a really weird moment, the girl in the house flying in the middle of a twister and ending up in a different dimension. Perhaps this is because this motive is already well established. A lot of people must be somehow familiar with the idea that you could be dragged into another dimension. Not exactly on a conscious level but on a deeper level, like some inherited memory. It sounds weird, but there must be some sort of preexisting fundamental experience that is alive as long as we are a child and which we forget later. Otherwise, you wouldn’t “buy the story.” It might have been an even more common experience in ancient times. Modern people often have lost that connection to what you call the invisible world. However, this kind of otherworld intrusion then happens in the weirdest fashion.

There is, of course, no true story behind the beginning of The Wizard Of Oz. However, there is a long tradition. We know about abduction stories in medieval times. In these times it was the elves stealing babies or performing abductions. There are also many out of body experiences in ancient scripture. They are often similar to modern-day alien abduction stories.

No real explanation

Many scientists tried to explain weird witness accounts of strange events. Since some people claimed they had been paralyzed during an abduction experience sleep paralysis became a common explanation. When you sleep your muscles are in some sort locked-in mode. Sometimes you wake up to earlier and there is some weird process in the brain. Things coming from dreams are mixed up with reality. However, this is not a sufficient explanation for many many cases. Sometimes the phenomenon is not only experienced by one person. Sometimes a person literally goes missing. Some people are never found. Others are found under weird circumstances in another place. There is no explanation of how they got there. Often they can’t remember what happened. Of course, there will be always some reports which were made up. But there is a sheer mass of extremely convincing stories. There are stunning detailed accounts of shifts into another dimension. One of the most impressive aspects is the credibility of the witnesses. They are mostly honest people overwhelmed by what has happened to them. In many cases, this is a life-changing experience. People who got lost or had an experience like an out of body experience, an abduction experience or found themselves in another dimension are never the same. There had been a very convincing documentary about this from Argentina: “Witness Of Another World”. The movie visits a now aged witness of a close encounter when he was 12 years old. This event had a compelling influence on his whole life. It took him a very long time to cope with what hat happened to him. Even if we don’t have the answer to what is really going on we should treat them with the greatest respect. We do know some things for certain: 1) This phenomenon goes a long way back – the beginning of the fictional Story The Wizard Of Oz is like a model, an archetype for this phenomenon. 2) It happens a lot. 3) There is a pattern or typical elements involved.

Repeating patterns

It is very interesting that these strange things happen in regions where orbs of light occur. In many cases, there is a series of UFO-sightings before other strange events occur.

Weather and uncommon weather patterns seem to play an important role. It is important that these are often weather phenomena which are not possible in the normal sense of how weather works. Sudden rain on a clear day. A thunderstorm out of nowhere. A mist suddenly occurring. Strange weather phenomena and light orbs seem to be precursors of a beginning opening of a portal between dimensions.

Witnesses who experience an episode where they are in another dimension report often similar things. As in a dream they weren’t exactly frightened. The reality they experienced was somehow different but it was not the other world like another planet.

There is often a loss of time. The witness can’t explain what exactly happened during that time

It is often a life-shattering event. People are not the same after such an experience.

Fiction and Facts are coming closer together

It is still surprising to see how stories that were created as fiction seem to become something that also exists in reality. This applies to many Sci-Fi stories. The idea of portals and alternate dimensions is getting more and more present in science. There is now tremendous and excellent research done about missing cases by experts as David Paulides which is also a big hope for people experiencing strange and unexplainable events in their life. They deserve more attention and understanding. There is really something going on out there. It’s really big and it is still beyond our comprehension. But slowly the picture forms. We might stand in the doorstep of a new world view.

Dark Forest Theory

Why is it quiet in the forest in the night? Some animals are sleeping. Humans don’t enter the forest normally in the night. But there are other more important reasons: It is import to stay quiet in order to survive. Predators are out there. And perhaps there are other things roaming the night. It is better to make no noise and make sure nobody can see or even smell you. It is dangerous in the night in the forest.

Liu Cixin. The Dark Forest (Novel): “The universe is a dark forest. Every civilization is an armed hunter stalking through the trees like a ghost, gently pushing aside branches that block the path and trying to tread without sound. Even breathing is done with care. The hunter has to be careful, because everywhere in the forest are stealthy hunters like him. If he finds another life—another hunter, angel, or a demon, a delicate infant to tottering old man, a fairy or demigod—there’s only one thing he can do: open fire and eliminate them“.

The quote is from a sci-fi novel. It became the source for “the dark forest theory”. Scientists discuss this theory seriously. Why is it so quiet in the universe? The majority of scientists believe there must be a tremendous number of alien life in the universe, some of them intelligent. Why is it that humankind seems to be the only civilisation sending radio signals out there? The theory has a frightening explanation. Most civilisations stay quiet because it is better to not make a noise because it is dangerous. Predators are out there.

There is no proof for the dark forest theory. We better pray that this theory is wrong. Furthermore, there is no scientific way to find out if it is the wrong idea. However, like many other ideas, the dark forest theory has a long tradition. If we take a closer look, we will find it is a very old experience.

Of course, we had this situation in ancient times. The forest was indeed a dangerous place. In our times the forest at night might be a safer place as the roads of a big city. But what about the otherworld? The otherworld is sometimes described as a shadow world as the Upside Down. In such world there are dangers. Maybe some inhabitants of the otherworld are hiding because they are afraid. It is better to hide because it is a dangerous place.




Perhaps the dark forest theory refers not only to experiences from ancient times but is related to our idea of the otherworld.

It is a common idea that there are places where the veil is thin between our world and the otherworld. There are forests where the otherworld is closer to us than anywhere. These are dark forests. They are haunted. The dark forest theory applies here. It is important to stay quiet in these places.

However, we might find this a narrow-minded concept. The dark forest theory completely relies upon the assumption that everything is about the survival of the individual. Complex civilizations instead survive because they learned about cooperation. And if we stick to the example of the forest at night it is not true that it is completely quiet. We hear the noises of animals which are active in the night. Not anybody is afraid in the dark forest. However, isn’t cooperation always a risk? There is a saying the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Cooperation happens often simply because it is necessary for some time. Survival instincts are always at work. The same applies to the creatures of the night. They have found a way to survive even if you can see or hear them. They are risk-takers.

There is one key question here which might explain why the dark forest theory rings true: If we ask ourselves, what is life? There is no real satisfying answer yet. We understand the concept of life. And we know what life is like: Life is always about survival: Survival of the own race, the own form of life, my survival, the survival of my kins. The dark forest theory appeals to us because it is about what life really is: Survival.

If the otherworld matches our world in basic principles it will be also about survival. It could be a war of ideas or principles or different forms of entities.

Perhaps staying alive in the otherworld is something different as in our own world. Being quiet in this dark forest can mean to hide your thoughts. In the other realm, it is important that nobody can read your mind because you could be overwhelmed, invaded and lose your wits.

It is very interesting that Liu Cixin speaks of “demigods”, “angels” or “demons” and “fairies”. These are typically inhabitants of the otherworld. They are not what we think as “aliens” in the context of science-fiction or the universe. But if we see the universe and the otherworld as closely connected – perhaps, in the end, the universe is the otherworld, the dark forest theory makes sense as a universal experience. If we look at the myth of mankind or even the ancient stories from the Old Testament our world appears more like the dark forest as anything else.