The story begins at 12:30 AM on September 3, 1965,
at Exeter, New Hampshire. A policeman cruising on
Route 101 came upon a woman parked beside the road.
She told him excitedly that a flying object with
red flashing lights had chased her for some distance.
She pointed to a bright light on the horizon. The
policeman, Eugene Bertrand, watched it for a short
time and, unimpressed, left after reassuring the
woman there was nothing to worry about.
Then at 2:24 AM, eighteen-year-old Norman Muscarello
burst into the Exeter police station, “white, and
shaking,” according to patrolman Norman Bertrand.
He had been hitchhiking along Route 150 toward his
home in Exeter when he saw what he called 'the Thing,'
as big as or bigger than a house, according to Fuller's
report. As Muscarello later (1965) described it in
a signed statement:
"A group of five bright lights appeared over a
house about a hundred feet from where I was standing.
The lights were in a line at about a sixty-degree
angle. They were so bright, they lighted up the area.
The lights then moved out over a large field and
acted at times like a floating leaf. They would go
down behind the trees, behind a house and then reappear.
"[The lights] always moved in the same sixty-degree
angle. Only one light would be on at a time. They
were pulsating: one, two, three, four, five, four,
three, two, one. They were so bright I could not
distinguish a form to the object. I watched these
lights for about fifteen minutes and they finally
disappeared behind some trees and seemed to go into
a field. At one time while I was watching them, they
seemed to come so close I jumped into a ditch to
keep from being hit."
Officer Bertrand drove with Muscarello to the site
just before 3 AM. The two walked into the field,
and Bertrand himself witnessed the lights Muscarello
had described. He stated, “At one time they came
so close I fell to the ground and started to draw
my gun.” The officer stated that there were “...five
bright-red lights”; indeed they were “...extremely
bright and flashed on one at a time.” He added, “The
lights were so bright, I was unable to make out any
form.” The pair ran to the police car. Bertrand radioed
Patrolman David Hunt, who arrived and also witnessed
the lights, which finally moved away, eastward, toward
Over the next several weeks, some sixty reports
of UFOs followed in the area around Exeter. The case
resulted in an article in LOOK Magazine (February
8, 1966), and has stimulated a host of articles,
entries in UFO encyclopedias (e.g., Clark 1998, 364–67),
and discussions in books (e.g., Hynek 1977, 154–66),
as well as lectures, radio shows, and television