At the end of a covered bridge, on farmland in Sheffield, Massachusetts, sits a 5,000 pound, 6 foot tall, white, block of concrete. On one side is a plaque from Governor Charlie Baker’s Office, and the Massachusetts seal on the other side. The plaque proudly boasts: “This Governor’s Citation is in recognition of the off-world incident on Sept. 1st, 1969, which engaged the Reed Family, which has been established.” There also is a bench and two black light posts at the memorial, which were donated by Thom Reed and the International UFO Museum Research Center in Roswell, New Mexico.
Unfortunately, according to Town Administrator, Rhonda LaBombard, a recently conducted land survey showed the memorial, as well as bench and lights, are on a town right-of-way easement, and they are insisting the memorial must be removed by the owner, or the town will do it themselves in May. Again.
The concrete structure was installed in 2015, but was moved to its current location a few weeks later, because town officials found it had been erected on town property. It was moved a mere 30 feet to Pine Island Farm, where it sits, today. Reed is completely baffled why this has become an issue, because when the memorial was moved the first time, the location was selected by Rhonda LaBombard, herself.
Thom Reed has more than a mild interest in the memorial, because when he was 9 years old, in September, 1969, he and others in his family were the ones who had the close encounter with the UFO. Reed, his mother, grandmother, and brother were driving in the family station wagon across the old covered bridge, when his grandmother looked in back of them, and saw a self-contained glow following, moving through the trees. When the car reached a clearing in the trees, an amber light flooded the area on both sides of the dirt road.
Their car came to a complete stop, and they noticed a change in the barometric pressure, absolute silence except for frogs and crickets, and a sense of utter calm. Reed isn’t sure what happened after the car stopped. He has some memories of being in a place that resembled a hangar, but no recollection of any details other than there seemed to be additional people, there. His next memory was the family all finding themselves back in the station wagon, with his mother and grandmother in each other’s seats. And more than two hours had elapsed.
There were more than 40 people who called into radio station WSBS that night, each reporting their accounts of having seen unusual lights in the sky. The calls came from residents of Sheffield, Great Barrington, Stockbridge and South Egremont.
The 1969 sighting has been the subject of many television shows, including Discovery Channel’s Alien Mysteries,Travel Channel’s Paranormal Paparazzi, Our New England Legends, and six documentaries/films. With all the confirmation and validation of the event, Reed and other members of the Sheffield community are committed to preventing removal of the memorial, and have devoted themselves to its preservation, including legal action, if necessary.