For this week’s Radio Field Trip, we’re heading to the Seacoast to meet with people who have had some strange encounters.
The town of Exeter has been invaded by little green aliens. They appear in the windows of several shops downtown and along the sidewalks.
They surround the gazebo in the town square. It’s all decoration in celebration the town’s ninth annual UFO Festival.
“When the first few festivals happened, some of the vendors actually shut down in town,” Brian Wahl says.
Brian is a member of the Exeter chapter of the Kiwanis Club, an organization that helps support local children’s charities. The club works with the town to put on the festival every year.
“They didn’t want anything to do with it,” Brian says. “They were saying sort of saying that they were embarrassed by it. You can see now that the town really embraces it.”
The steps of town hall are bustling with people wearing glasses with alien shaped eyes, headbands with green antennae, or t-shirts with saucers and scenes of abductions.
Believers and skeptics alike join together to listen to speakers or to just participate some family fun.
Donald Donovan traveled from Rhode Island for the festival. He says he’s believes there’s something out there. A flying saucer is tattooed on his right arm.
“We just wanted to come and hear the speakers talk about their experiences and everything,” Donald says. “And later on we want to go UFO hunting and see if we can see anything in the skies.”
Donald says he read up on Exeter and New Hampshire, and saw there have been a lot of sightings here.
“So we figured it would be a cool place to come check out,” Donald says.
The origin of the festival comes from an alleged UFO sighting in the neighboring town of Kensington.
That story is set in early September of 1965. It was close to midnight and Norman Muscarello was along the highway trying to hitch a ride home to Exeter.
While trying to find a ride, Norman said he saw an orange, redish object in the sky. He said it floated over him before disappearing into the trees.
Chuck Creteau is one of the speakers for the festival. He says he believes in reports from other people who say they saw the same craft that same night over 50 years ago.
“A lot of people think it was one incident, but really what this was was a mass sighting that was seen by numerous people that hadn’t talked to each other from different areas of surrounding towns,” Chuck says.
Chuck co-founded the Seacoast Saucers of New England, a support organization for people who say they’ve had strange encounters.
“There are so many different belief systems, stories and understandings, and lectures that are out there today that some people come because they truly believe that this is an experience that needs to be studied,” he says.
Jennifer Sorrell from Somersworth says she definitely wouldn’t call herself a believer. I ask her why she decided to come to the festival.
“Because my mother wanted to,” she says. “No one esle would go with her. So here I am.”
Jennifer says she's never had a strage encounter or unexaplained experience.
“My husband says he’s seen something, but I guess that doesn’t carry as much weight as it probably should,” Jennifer says.
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