By Katie Curley, Staff writer
Some areas North of Boston are no strangers to UFO sightings, but would the little green men actually pick Friday the 13th as a landing date?
Two area men swear that something appeared over Interstate 95 about 10 a.m. Friday, and they say it was unlike anything they’ve ever seen.
«I was driving my nephew James to school at Triton to pick up some paperwork,» said Robert Mace, 36, of Amesbury. «Then we both looked up and saw this silver, illuminated saucer flying through the air. It changed shape into a cylinder and left a trail of smoke, and then it snuffed out like a candle.»
Mace says he’s no science fiction enthusiast, but his voice shook as he recounted his experience. Hours after the incident, which he said occurred near Exit 55 in Byfield, Mace said he still had goose bumps.
«I never saw anything like this in my life, and I probably never will again,» Mace said. «It was so brightly illuminated in the clear blue sky. … It was a big, shiny platter and then changed shape and only lasted about 30 seconds.»
«We kept driving down the highway looking up at it shift shape,» Mace said.
His nephew — James Mace, 19, of Salisbury — said at first he thought his mind was playing tricks on him. But before long he realized his uncle also had his eyes glued skyward.
«I just watched it disappear like a cloud or something,» James Mace said. «I don’t know how to explain it. It was pretty crazy.»
Robert Mace added, «We both got goose bumps. I’m still getting them for some reason. We just looked at each other, and we both knew what we saw.
«I don’t care what anyone thinks, anyone can ask me, and I will tell them I know what I saw, and I know the difference between what a jet looks like and what a plane looks like.»
Yesterday, no one came forward with similar sightings, and the state police said they didn’t receive any phone calls.
When asked if there were any unique planes in the area, a skeptical Jim Peters, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said, «Our agency doesn’t have the time or the resources to look into such things.»
Employees at a Citgo station in Newbury laughed at the idea, though one stone-faced employee mentioned he had seen on television there have been an increase on UFO sightings. He also wondered if the UFOs were moving from Exeter, N.H., to Newbury.
The Exeter incident was one of the best documented in the folklore of UFO sightings. It happened on Sept. 3, 1965, when several New Hampshire residents believed they saw a UFO traveling overhead.
The first to report it was Norman Muscarello, 18, who was walking along Route 150 in Kensington, N.H., at 2 a.m. after visiting his girlfriend in Amesbury, when he saw a strange glow in the sky. Moments later, Muscarello said he saw an orb of red and blue lights.
«I didn’t know what it was, but it was as big as a house,» Muscarello recounted in the book, «Sightings: UFO» written by Susan Michaels and published in 1997. «It had a red hue and flashing lights, sometimes in sequence, sometimes erratic.»
In that case, Exeter police witnessed the orb, as did other residents. The Air Force dispatched officers to investigate. The case was a featured topic in a congressional hearing into UFOs.
While there is little evidence to back up the claims of Robert and James Mace, Robert Mace said he is still telling everyone what he saw, an image he will take to his grave.
«I can’t contain myself,» Mace said. «I’m telling everyone who will listen.»