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.

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