April 22, 1966
Location: Beverly, Massachusetts, United States
Modugno, age 11, saw, only forty feet away, an amazing
object about the size of an automobile, brightly lit with
flashing blue, green, red and white lights. The football-shaped
craft made a whizzing, ricocheting sound.
completely baffling case involving nine witnesses took
place on April 22, 1966, in Beverly, Mass. This dramatic
close encounter is regarded as being among the most persuasive
arguments for the extraterrestrial hypothesis, and it
is almost certainly the most solidly unidentifiable report
from Massachusetts in recent decades.
events of that evening began to unfold shortly after 9:00
p.m. Nancy Modugno, age 11, was laying in bed when she
noticed a bright light blinking through her window. She
looked out and saw, only forty feet away, an amazing object
about the size of an automobile, brightly lit with flashing
blue, green, red and white lights. The football-shaped
craft made a whizzing, ricocheting sound as it moved over
the neighborhood at a very low altitude, just clearing
the tops of the houses. As she watched, the thing descended
and could be seen behind trees, apparently landing in
a large field behind Beverly High School.
the astonished girl ran down the stairs and tried to tell
her father about what she had seen. He tried to calm her
down and went about adjusting the television set, which
had mysteriously just lost its picture. Nancy's mother,
Claire, was visiting two friends, Barbara Smith and Brenda
Maria, in an adjoining apartment at the time. Nancy's
father ordered her back to bed, but she became hysterical
and refused to leave. At this point, Barbara and Brenda
walked in to order a pizza. Seeing Nancy in a fit, the
two women attempted to ease her fears and calm her down.
They could see the flashing lights in the field, and told
Nancy that they would walk over there to prove that it
was just a plane.
and Brenda picked up Claire Modugno and walked down a
hill to the field. The three women looked up and saw something
they could not have anticipated. There were three objects
maneuvering in the sky, halting and circling as if they
were playing tag. They were oval-shaped, with bright flashing
lights. Two were distant, but one was much closer, apparently
right over the school.
women crossed the field to get a better look. They could
see flashing lights on the edge of the craft changing
colors from red to green and blue. Brenda waved her arms
at the object and it immediately stopped circling and
moved across the field towards the women. They were horrified.
In her statement, Barbara said that, "It started
to come towards us... I started to run. Brenda called,
'Look up! It is directly over us!' I looked up and saw
a round object...like the bottom of a plate. It was solid,
grayish white... I felt this thing was going to come down
on top of me. It was like a giant mushroom."
Out of sheer terror, Barbara and Claire turned and ran
up the hill. Brenda was all alone in the field, with the
thing only 20 feet above her head. She stated, "The
object appeared larger and larger as it came closer. The
lights appeared to be all around and turning. The colors
were very bright. When overhead, all I could see was a
blurry atmosphere and brightly lit-up lights flashing
slowly around... I thought it might crash on my head!"
The others called to her, then she too turned and fled.
One of the witnesses was so petrified by the encounter
that she literally wet her pants.
the women ran back to the apartments, the object smoothly
moved over the school building. They got on the telephone
to alert their neighbors to the spectacle unfolding outside.
One woman was already in her yard, watching the flying
saucers. And one man, upon looking outside and seeing
the discs, called the police.
police arrived to find a small crowd of people standing
outside watching the closest object moving up and down
above the school. Jokingly, Officers Bossie and Mahan
asked the group, "Where's the airplane?"
When the witnesses pointed to the thing, then at high
altitude and looking like a star, the officers laughed.
Then, suddenly, the disc turned bright red and dropped
to a position directly over the school building. At this
point, the officers became visibly shaken. Mahan stated,
"I observed what seem to be a large plate hovering
over the school. It had three lights - red, green, and
blue - but no noise... This object hovered... The lights
were flashing..." Bossie said, "It hovered
and then began gliding. Some of the people got on the
ground and were real scared!" They jumped back
into the cruiser and drove toward the object, down into
the schoolyard. They could see clearly that it was not
an airplane or helicopter and that it was shaped like
a half dollar, with three lights, red, green & blue,
in indentations at the rear of the disc - similar to back-up
as the policemen got out of the cruiser, the disc made
a couple of passes over the school and began to move slowly
away. It picked up speed and was last seen as it disappeared
behind buildings. By this time, the two other UFOs had
also disappeared, though nobody had seen them leave.
E. Fowler investigated this case thoroughly for the National
Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP).
He also sent a copy of his report to the Condon Committee,
a group studying UFOs for the U.S. Air Force. The people
on that committee who were objectively trying to find
the truth about UFOs used the Beverly Case as evidence
for the reality of the phenomenon. Other members tried
to explain the sighting as a misinterpretation of stars
or the planet Jupiter. However, a detailed follow-up analysis
by Fowler based on witness interviews showed that the
line of sight from the witnesses to Jupiter's position
and the line of sight to the approximate location of the
object differed by about 50 degrees. When the Condon Committee
released its final report, the Beverly Sighting was the
only case which made specific reference to an alien vehicle.
It said, "While the current cases investigated
did not yield impressive residual evidence, even in the
narrative content, to support a hypothesis that an alien
vehicle was physically present, narratives of past events,
such as the 1966 incident at Beverly, Mass., would fit
no other explanation if the testimony of the witnesses
is taken at full face value."