May 27, 2019

UFOs and Ghosts in Lincoln, Massachusetts

Why do strange things happen more in some places than in others? Some cities and towns have lots of stories about monsters, ghosts and weird phenomena. Others have almost none.

I suppose some it has do with history. A city like with a history like Salem is just going to have a lot of legends associated with it. But I suppose it could also have to do with size. Boston has been the largest and most populous city in New England for centuries and that means more people to tell more strange stories.

One theory proposes that a town's name determines how often its citizens experience paranormal phenomena. This theory is called the Fayette Factor, and it claims that places named after the Marquis de Lafayette attract weirdness like magnets attract iron. According to this theory "Lafayette" means the "little fairy," and as we all know fairies are tricksters. Naming your town after one is just asking for trouble.

An old stone wall in Lincoln.
On the other hand, some places don't have many legends at all. Or at least they don't seem to upon first glance. For example, this weekend Tony and I went out to Lincoln to walk the trails and visit the historic Gropius House. Whenever we go on a trip I research our destination's legends and weird history. I don't want to miss out on any haunted cemeteries or creepy forests!

At first as I researched Lincoln I was disappointed because I couldn't find any strange stories. Lincoln is very rural, so I was hoping to discover some Sasquatch sightings. No such luck. It's a relatively old town, so maybe a witch legend? Nope, sorry.

Happily, I found several recent UFO sightings. This makes sense, because rural towns have less light pollution and it's easier to see what's floating around in the nighttime sky. Here are three sighting from the National UFO Reporting Center website:

July 11, 1998:
Sole witness to object. At Hanscom Field/Hanscom Air Force Base watching aircraft. I am a self-aught expert on all types of aircraft (general, commercial and military). Heard jet engines overhead thinking it might be a military aircraft arriving at Hanscom. 737 at 6-7,000 feet on approach to Logan Airport in Boston. Looking up to identify aircraft I saw a sphere shaped object above the 737. The 737 traveled under it. The object was metallic as sunlight glimmered off it. Remained stationary for approximately 2 minutes then slowly moved from northwest to southeast and disappeared from my range of vision. 
November 29, 2004:
I was having a party and everyone was outside on the veranda. The sky was alive with stars. Then someone shouts WHAT'S THAT. And we all look and its slower than a plane so we know it's not that. Three lights in a triangle, flying low to the ground. 
October 11, 2017:
Three lights spinning in circles. Kind of looked like the lights of a movie theatre, but there was no beams the illumination was coming from above the clouds and they didn't move around at an exact timing like a machine. Took out my phone to take a video and they stopped. Over the sky toward Boston MA. Fuzzy oval white lights.

One of these accounts mentions Hanscom Airforce Base, part of which is located in Lincoln. Military bases often are loci for weird phenomena, particularly of the aerial kind, so it's not surprising that UFOs might be sighted near Hanscom. However, many ghost stories are also told about the base. The base's Vandenberg Gate (which I think is in Lincoln) is said to be haunted by the ghost of a suicide. Many guards have reported that something unseen bangs on the guard station's walls and windows at night. The lights also shut off on their own. Creepy!

An electrified fence and wide open skies. 
I did also find one other Lincoln ghost story which claims a house was once haunted by the ghosts of two teenage girls who killed themselves. The house was eventually torn down and a new house built on the property. The ghosts were not happy about losing their old home and have haunted the new building ever since, crying and making the lights flicker.

So I guess Lincoln does have some strange stories and legends after all. We didn't get to see any haunted sites on this particular trip but it makes me happy just knowing those stories are out there. 


Elizabeth said...

Next time you're in Lincoln, I recommend checking out Ponyhenge. It's weird and wonderful.

Peter Muise said...

Thank you for the recommendation Elizabeth! This trip was kind of a quick one but definitely the next time we are out there.

Clipping said...

Thank you so much for the detailed article.Thanks again.

Rich Clabaugh said...

Thanks for the post Peter! I think it may be easier to find a town in New England WITHOUT a legend or folktale, lol.