The other night one of my sons messaged me that Jesse Watters, FOX News, was doing a segment on a UFO incident in the Berkshires (Berkshire Mountains, western Massachusetts) in 1969. My son was 11 years old then and we lived in the Berkshires. We remembered that night well.

By the time I brought up FOX and found Jesse, it was over. But this morning, a notice popped up on my screen about it, so I clicked it up to watch. I was disappointed. He missed the whole story — or about 99% of it. Jeez, Jesse.

I was living there in ’69. There was much more that happened that night. I was in my mid-30s, in Pittsfield, the county seat, where the main GE (General Electric) Plant was located. It was the major Berkshire County employer.

GE was one of the largest outfits in the U.S. then but the sprawling Pittsfield plant didn’t make the GE washers, refrigerators and fans, etc. It was crawling with world-renowned scientists and engineers; it was about “plastics” with its high voltage laboratory, early IBM computers, the first practical transformer and other high-level “secret stuff.”

There was even an engineer named “John Galt” there at the time. I know this only because I had a friend who then managed the loan department at a local bank and she, knowing “Who is John Galt” (many of you know “Who” told me that there was a credit cardholder in their files named “John Galt”), said he was listed as an engineer at GE.

Credit cards were relatively new at the time. Galt applied for and got every new credit card as soon as it started up. His credit line on all of them was “Unlimited” but he had never used any of them. The thought crossed my mind: What if all the “Atlas Shrugged” heroes — the scientists, engineers, builders, creators, the top minds from every field, John Galt in particular, did the same and then one day maxed their cards out and disappeared with their billions and their talents to a “Galt’s Gulch,” leaving the country to suffer the consequences of its own corruption toward the ultimate self-destruction? Disruption on steroids? And then they would reemerge and set up the county in the freedoms and laws it is supposed to have.

John Galt is the main character in “Altas Shrugged” published in 1959 by Ayn (pronounced “Ein “) Rand. It was a warning that, as she said, if we continued down the path we were headed as to politics, the welfare state, etc., we would end up in a dictatorship, communism and economic disaster.

She escaped Russia at 18 in the midst of the Bolshevik Revolution; she knew the steps. She wrote “Atlas” as a warning, outlining what would happen and how, and how to recognize the aspiring dictators and how we could avoid disaster if we stood up and stopped them.

We didn’t. And here we are.

But I digress. I was there that night of the UFO in 1969. At the time, there was a spate of UFO “incidents” around power transfer stations across New England and upper New York State.

One night in 1969, the power went out across Pittsfield, a town of 60,000, and neighboring towns. After a few hours, rumors started spreading that a UFO had landed in a field near the GE transfer station on the outskirts of town, at the base of Washington Mountain. Most of us chuckled with a “Yeah, sure.”

However, I had a friend whose husband was a policeman. She called and said it looked like it was real. He was called in the wee hours of the night to report for duty and was sent to the location where several reports of sightings had come in. He came back some hours later and said he couldn’t get too close to the field where “it” had reportedly landed but was put on guard keeping others from the area and that now the military and National Guard, with heavy equipment, had arrived, en masse and all roads were blocked.

Come morning and daylight, ever nosy, I piled my young sons into the car and headed out to see what we might see. The Guard was everywhere and heavy equipment was plowing the field over to cover what had been reported as a large round burnt area with a green grass center in the middle of the field, the shape of a doughnut.

All news on the incident was shut down.

That same summer, one night after dark, I was at a local park with my boys where our neighborhood kids always played. We parents and kids were having a celebration with a bonfire and games when we noticed a bright light appear high in the sky over the school across the road. It looked like a single headlight of a plane coming in silently with no wing lights or other lights. It moved in our direction very slowly and then stopped, hovering dead in the sky. After a minute or so it turned off slowly to the right for a minute then back at lightning speed. It stopped dead again for a few minutes or more as if watching us.

All eyes were, by now, riveted on the light, and then whoosh, like a “Star Trek” “Warp speed, Scotty!” it disappeared into the sky, with all of us standing agape.

Made the concept of “We are not alone” a bit more real.

Myself, I theorize that with literally millions/billions of stars in the super universe, many that we now know support planets, that it would be quite possible for us, here on this tiny pin-prick of a planet, and even tinier part in one arm of one out of millions of galaxies, to not be the only one with intelligent inhabitants. Indeed, I sometimes think: “Dear God, let there be some of your planets you’ve peopled with beings who’ve advanced in judgment and intelligence beyond what we have and if we are going to be visited by ETs, let them have evolved beyond the barbarism we seem to never get past.”

Also, if there is a Galt’s Gulch community of superior minds and expertise secluded out in the Rockies in a cloaked valley that has the blueprints and knowledge for free societies waiting to come back and help set us up dictator-proof systems, turn ’em loose.

Send help.

Marion Tucker-Honeycutt, an award-winning columnist, a Maine native and graduate of Belfast schools, now lives in Morrill. Her columns appear in this paper every other week.

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