1976 UFO Sighting

It was a late summers evening like many others here in southern Maine, I and many of my cronies had been out cruising and as Labor Day approached I suppose we were ready for a little excitement. Back then in 1976 there were fewer things to do; cable TV was just coming into service with a small initial offering, VCRs were becoming common but there were limited titles available, personal computers for the masses were still a few years out and the world wide web was still a decade or so away. The internet existed but only for the computer pioneers. FAX machines had yet to come into common use and microwave ovens were just gaining popularity as home appliances. It really was a different world.

This was also the age of the Citizens Band (CB) radio fad. Myself and many of my friends had our vehicles equipped with 2 way radios and when one of us saw something everyone listening soon knew. Often if someone wasn't out on the road they were listening from home on their base station. There had also been a smattering of UFO sightings in recent weeks and on a quiet night our imaginations were open to the heavens.

I remember hearing the first sighting come in and before long vehicles were streaming down dirt roads in the pine barrens to get a clear view away from the city lights. It's not the sort of thing that happens often in ones life so last year I decided to try to reclaim this piece of my youth. After spending a few hours viewing microfilm I found the archives of the actual news stories. What follows are the stories as they appeared. Last names have been removed and some first names have been altered but the accounts remain as they appeared late in the summer of 1976.

You may ask, "what does this have to do with Orange Peel?" The answer is simple, I was driving it that night and it was from Orange Peel that many of the accounts originated.

August 24, 1976

UFO watchers
claim sightings
in Biddeford, Saco
Staff Writer
Stories of flying saucers flew as thick and fast today as UFOs did last night over the skies of Biddeford and Saco, if reported sightings are to be believed.

All sightings began around 9 p.m., the stories report.

One Biddeford citizen's band radio operator, whose identity is known to the Journal but asked not to be named. "It was white, with a big really bright light, and looked like It would land". the CBer says.

'There was a lot of traffic around Trudeau's Motel and Restaurant, Saco. because there were three UFO's in formation around there, he says.

But Saco police say today they received only one report last night - or rather, at 3 this morning to be exact of a UFO cornered in the woods by Trudeau's."

A cruiser sent to the scene apparently found nothing, say police.

Roger of Saco says he saw UFOs, too. "At first I saw one unidentified object behind Trudeau's going into the woods, with red, green and blue lights on it. Two cars in the area went after it and came back out. There were four (UFOs) - one was a big, bright one, white, and looked something like a star over Old Orchard. Another had pulsating red, blue, and green lights and was over Biddeford Pool.. another was over Buxton that was the first to disappear, and another was headed toward Portland."

There was no sound or engine noise, it is reported, and Roger adds. "We verified the first one before calling police. It's not a hoax, and we're not trying to get publicity."

He adds there was a group of people watching the UFO's - one off the Ross Road in Saco, and another group formed at Shaw's parking lot. Both groups were taking pictures, he says.

August 25, 1976

show ends
Staff Writer
Unidentified flying objects reportedly seen blipping through Saco skies Monday night weren't back last night, according to the persons who reported them. Or were they?

Another caller to the Journal this morning said he was working the third shift at the Maremont Corp, when the gate guard and 20 other men reported seeing five UFO's.

That report isn't confirmed, however, since the guard couldn't be shaken from sleep today by his wife.

Saco police received no complaints or reports last night, but did Monday night. Apparently police found nothing at the scene at Ross Road, Saco, where" a

UFO was cornered in the woods" Monday night, according to the police caller.

Brady of Old Orchard Beach said he went back to the scene last night where four UFO's were allegedly seen, to "disprove the whole thing" but the UFO's were no longer there.

Some people reportedly have seen UFO's that turn out to be planes, others thought one was a light coming from the Portland airport.

Brady says, "What was there the night before. I didn't see last night,"

He's wary of saying yes or no to the UFO question. and took some photographs that he believes will prove or disprove it.

Those pictures haven't yet been developed.

August 26, 1976

UFO watchers
claim sightings
in Biddeford, Saco
Staff Writer
Unidentified flying objects that don't move In the sky do cause widespread speculation, but Brady, 31, of Old Orchard Beach won't speculate as to what his camera Shot Monday night.

Sexton has pictures to prove the "very, very bright dot" in the sky wasn't the North Star that made a crowd of about 15-20 persons gaze toward the heavens along with him Monday from 11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on the Ross Road, Saco.

Brady Brought his photos to the Journal this morning and said, "When I started photographing it (the UFO) the Saco police was there with a cruiser, and the

police officer watched it with us but apparently never filed a report."

Brady left his camera shutter open for five minutes, which caused the stars and the UFO to streak because of the earth's rotation. This also proves the UFO, or dot, was stationary.

Brady added, "There's an outline of a tree on it (the photo) and I was pointed east, so it wasn't the North Star. And nothing was moving, according to the negatives. What is it'?"

Saco police say they have received no complaints or reports since one person called in to report a UFO "cornered in the woods" Tuesday morning at 3.

THIS UNIDENTIFIED flying object seen in Saco skies late Monday evening and photographed by an Old Orchard Beach Resident proves it was stationary. Faintly visible stars that don't reproduce on newsprint are a sharp contrast to the brightness of the immobile object. The picture taken with a 5-minute open shutter, shows the white dot as a streak because of the earth's rotation. (Photo by Brady)

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