Thursday, December 27, 2018

The Reed Case: Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind

The peculiar, harrowing case of the Reed family remains one of the most baffling instances of a Close Encounter of the 4th Kind, which was described by eminent UFOlogist Jacques Vallee as an event in which a human is abducted by a UFO or its occupants.

One September evening in 1966, 6 year-old Thomas and his little brother Matthew were in their beds at home in Sheffield, MA when Thomas spotted strange, flashing lights coming from a saucer-shaped object that was landing in their yard. Some accounts say the boys had a strange feeling and entered the hall outside their rooms in time to spy two strange figures at the top of the stairs, which they described as "ghosts."

Either way, the brothers inexplicably found themselves outside and approaching the object and its occupants.

Thomas would later describe the beings as 3 to 5 feet tall and looking "like a young, frail humans" with characteristics of insects as well. To his memory, he felt they weren't wholly organic, as if they were manufactured. He said the beings themselves glowed.

The occupants of the strange, Frisbee-like craft, which Thomas described as 15 feet tall, 60 feet round, and looking "a little beat up," took them inside and showed them images of a willow tree and a body of water on a screen. The boys don't remember much after that and they don't recall how they got back home.

This wouldn't be the only time the boys experienced a Close Encounter. The following year, Thomas and his brother spotted a bright light, pouring through their second-story bedroom window. The air grew still and heavy as the light intensified and the boys suddenly found themselves back inside the object. The pair were subjected to various medical exams during this visit. Thomas would later relate how he felt like a "walking Petri dish."

Again, there are disparate accounts. Another telling of this encounter says that only Thomas was initially taken and that Matthew ran to his mother to explain what had happened. Frantic, the boys' mother, Nancy, ran to the bedroom but was startled by a loud screeching accompanied by a door slam. When she turned back to Matthew, she was shocked to find him missing. Now both of her sons were gone and only she and her own mother, Marian, remained.

The grandmother searched the house while Nancy searched their property on horseback. Eventually, she spotted the boys as she rode along the Appalachian Trail. They were 15 feet apart on broad dirt path, staring at one another. They seemed to be in shock and not very responsive. Nancy brought the boys home and eventually they recovered from their ordeal.

Between this event and the next, the boys' mother, Nancy, would marry Howard Reed, to whom she would relate her family's history with such phenomena dating back to the early 1950s. Howard Reed was a local official at the time and he found these accounts disturbing, as they might threaten his political standing.

The third time the boys were taken came in September of 1969 as the family was driving home along Route 7 when their car suddenly stalled and coasted to a stop alongside the road. Within moments, the lights arrived from the woods beyond and the air again grew heavy and silent. A buzzing sensation swept over the occupants.

Suddenly, Thomas was no longer in the car. He found himself inside what looked like a huge hangar and he was walking toward a figure surrounded by light at the far end. Once he arrived, the figure took him along white walled, narrow corridors with equally narrow doors.

Later confirmation among Reeds though indicated that all four of them were taken this time. They recalled being in different parts of the space ship, away from one another. When they were returned to their vehicle, they were each sitting in spots in the car different from the ones from which they were abducted and their grandmother was outside the vehicle, wandering the road.

Shortly after this incident transpired, Nancy sold the farm and they family moved to Connecticut.
Over 40 eyewitnesses spotted a UFO along Route 7 that night, and a picture Thomas Reed drew of the craft now hangs in a UFO museum in Roswell, NM.

Come the 1980s, Howard Reed me Robert Bletchman, an attorney, who began to investigate the Reed's case. He collected reports, data, and testimony from witnesses and various agencies that corroborated the strange goings-on at the Reed Farm and beyond. Much of this would later be presented before a United Nations Symposium in October 1992 that looked into the veracity of these events and whether they warranted further scrutiny.

In 2006, Howard Reed began working on a book detailing his family's ordeal and the evidence gained through various investigations over the years. Unfortunately, Howard suffered a sudden death from Legionnaire's Disease. A possibly apocryphal account details that when the CDC inspected Howard's office, they found a vial containing the deadly virus secreted away in an A/C vent. Given his standing in the community, a day of remembrance was established in Howard's honor by the City of Bridgeport, CT.

The final encounter the Reed family would have with UFOs and their occupants happened to Matthew years later when he was living in Indiana. He had been driving home on night of March 30, 2009 when the lights returned. He saw an orange ball of light briefly hover over the road ahead before zooming away to the south.

His Chevy Blazer then stalled and he suddenly found himself inside a spacecraft where "everything kind of glows." There, he encountered three different types of aliens: Reptilians, the classic Gray, and some large creature with elephant-like skin. The occupants placed Reed on a table and placed a mechanism on his head that emitted sounds similar to a tuning radio.

Again, the abducted Reed was disgorged from the craft in an unknown fashion and returned to his car with only the vaguest of memories. At the time he could only recall that he was outside his Blazer with a bloody nose and mud caked on his shoes. His watch was stopped at 10:30 pm--the time when he saw the light--but the actual time was just after midnight.

When he returned home, he told his mother that he thought it was all happening again.

The instauration of these phenomena in the lives of the Reed sons rekindled the moribund accounts and brought them to the attention of law enforcement officials and high profile UFO investigators, such as those working at the behest of Aerospace billionaire Robert Bigelow. From these renewed investigations, more data was collected that attests to high amounts of radiation and exposure to magnetic fields that affected property and vehicles belonging to the Reed family. Moreover, Thomas Reed was given a polygraph test in 2010 that he passed with a score of 99.1%.

Since then, the brothers to one extent or another have been in the UFOlogy spotlight and their story has been the subject of documentaries, news reports, blogs, and podcasts. While the two maintained a distance as adults, addressing the issue more publicly as they have in recent years has brought the brothers closer than they had been in a long time.

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