1.5 – Closer Encounters (5.18.10)

AMERICAN REVOLUTIONS [6g]

The United States officially declared its independence from Great Britain, in 1776…and just 14 years later, a report of the first UFO sighting in American history appeared in the newly published journals of John Winthrop, the second governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. His journals, which are now known as “A History of New England, 1630 – 1649,” are still considered the preeminent record for that period in Americana history. When the journals were finally published in 1790, over 140 years after Winthrop’s death, they were found to contain an alarming account of a possible close encounter over Boston’s Muddy River.

“One night in March of 1639, James Everall, who is described as being a ‘sober and discreet man,’ and two of his companions, boarded a little boat in the Muddy River of Boston. As they paddled along the river, they saw a great bright light that hovered in the sky. As they watched, the light flared up and then contracted into what they described as the figure of a swine. It’s difficult to imagine anybody seriously reporting a sighting of a glowing, flying pig. Looking at the sighting, one can’t help but wonder if they were struggling to describe an oval-shaped fuselage and four short, what we might now call landing struts of landing gear, in a way that made sense in the 17th-century.”

Chris Pittman (UFO Investigator)

Winthrop’s account states that the object moved swift as an arrow, jetting back and forth, as well as up and down for two to three hours. And when it finally disappeared, the three passengers in the boat, who had been drifting downstream the entire time, were astonished to find themselves back at the point where they began their trip.

“What Winthrop describes in his journal is really difficult to explain. Certainly, it seems hard to fathom that, for two or three hours, three men in a boat watched a bright light moving around in the sky over the city of Boston. And it seems almost inconceivable that their boat could’ve been drawn back against the tide without their noticing it. These types of strange and inexplicable phenomenon are now associated with the phenomena that’s called ‘Alien Abduction.’ ”

                – Chris Pittman (UFO Investigator)

“As abduction cases evolved, you heard people say all of a sudden everything around them was slowing way, way down. And they associate the slowing way, way down with whatever this event is that we call the ‘Human Abduction Syndrome.’ ”

– Linda Moulton Howe
(Author / Investigative Journalist, Earthfiles)

Could this event at Muddy River be not only North America’s first documented UFO sighting, but also the first account of an alien abduction? Those who believe the account in Winthrop’s journals was an actual alien encounter point to the last line of his report which states, “other credible persons saw the same light.” By the time Winthrop’s history was published in 1790, the debate over the possibility of extraterrestrial life was more heated than ever before. In fact, the question of whether life existed on other planets had become so hotly contested, it caused one of America’s Founding Fathers, Thomas Paine, to be unofficially exiled to Europe.

“Thomas Paine enters the extraterrestrial life debate in a very dramatic way. He was an Englishman, but famous American patriot. 1793: Thomas Paine publishes a book called The Age of Reason. And in The Age of Reason, he makes one of the most vigorous attacks on Christianity ever made. The bottom line on it is, he says, you must believe in extraterrestrials if you know any modern astronomy. The idea of God made the entire Universe going from planet to planet redeeming people is just impossible to believe. That creates a sensation. Thousands of copies of the book were sold.”

– Michael J. Crowe, Ph.D.
(Cavanaugh Prof. Emeritus, Univ. of Notre Dame)

In December of 1793, Thomas Paine was arrested in France as a result of supporting a political party that was no longer in power. When the American ambassador refused to speak on his behalf, Paine believed that George Washington had abandoned him because of his writings supporting the idea of extraterrestrial life and refuting traditional Christianity. In 1802, he was invited back to America by the third president, Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson, an intellectual, was considered a genius by many in his time, both for his skill as a statesman and his scientific aptitude. And some believe he was also a proponent, like his contemporaries Ben Franklin and John Adams, in the concept of The Plurality of Worlds.

“The concept of a Plurality of Worlds was a very widely accepted concept in the 18th-century.  People like John Adams and Thomas Paine didn’t view extraterrestrial life as a possibility but rather as a matter of fact that everybody knew to be true. The new rationality in science changed the way that these Founding Fathers talked about religion.”

Chris Pittman (UFO Investigator)

“1825: Thomas Jefferson is hiring faculty for the University of Virginia. And John Adams writes to him and gives him advice on how to do that hiring. He says, ‘Do not hire any European professors. If you hire a European professor, they are liable to believe in Christianity, and that is a very dangerous doctrine that we should stay far away from.’ ”

– Michael J. Crowe, Ph.D.
(Cavanaugh Prof. Emeritus, Univ. of Notre Dame)

“Other Founding Fathers also agreed with this view, which included a belief in the existence of life on other planets. Benjamin Franklin wondered if there were different gods for every sun that harbored intelligent life. Many of them felt it was clear that there were intelligent beings conceivably through the whole Universe, and that the notion that God came to this planet as a person who was spit on and persecuted, simply was ridiculous. And they rejected that long-held traditional belief, which was a very radical thing at the time.”

Chris Pittman (UFO Investigator)

America’s Founding Fathers defending the concept of extraterrestrial life against Christianity? A revolutionary idea to be certain…but perhaps not so revolutionary to the country’s earliest inhabitants, who long before claimed to have met visitors from the sky.

divider

Previous: Modernized Sightings | Next: Earthly Imbalance

divider

References:

[1] Prometheus Entertainment. (2010). Ancient Aliens: Season 1. [DVD Back Cover]. Los Angeles, CA: A&E Networks, LLC / History™.

[2] History™. (2010). Ancient Aliens: 1.1 – Chariots, Gods, & Beyond. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: April 20, 2010, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-1.

[3] History™. (2010). Ancient Aliens: 1.2 – The Evidence. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: April 20, 2010, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-1.

[4] History™. (2010). Ancient Aliens: 1.3 – The Visitors. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: April 27, 2010, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-1.

[5] History™. (2010). Ancient Aliens: 1.4 – The Mission. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: May 4, 2010, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-1.

[6] History™. (2010). Ancient Aliens: 1.5 – Closer Encounters. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: May 18, 2010, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-1.

[6a] Prometheus Entertainment. (2010). Ancient Aliens: 1.5 – Closer Encounters. [DVD Footage: Introduction]. Los Angeles, CA: A&E Networks, LLC / History™.

[6b] Prometheus Entertainment. (2010). Ancient Aliens: 1.5 – Closer Encounters. [DVD Footage: Destroyer of Worlds]. Los Angeles, CA: A&E Networks, LLC / History™.

[6c] Prometheus Entertainment. (2010). Ancient Aliens: 1.5 – Closer Encounters. [DVD Footage: Biblical Atomics]. Los Angeles, CA: A&E Networks, LLC / History™.

[6d] Prometheus Entertainment. (2010). Ancient Aliens: 1.5 – Closer Encounters. [DVD Footage: Medieval UFOs]. Los Angeles, CA: A&E Networks, LLC / History™.

[6e] Prometheus Entertainment. (2010). Ancient Aliens: 1.5 – Closer Encounters. [DVD Footage: Columbus’ Encounter]. Los Angeles, CA: A&E Networks, LLC / History™.

[6f] Prometheus Entertainment. (2010). Ancient Aliens: 1.5 – Closer Encounters. [DVD Footage: Modernized Sightings]. Los Angeles, CA: A&E Networks, LLC / History™.

[6g] Prometheus Entertainment. (2010). Ancient Aliens: 1.5 – Closer Encounters. [DVD Footage: American Revolutions]. Los Angeles, CA: A&E Networks, LLC / History™.

[6h] Prometheus Entertainment. (2010). Ancient Aliens: 1.5 – Closer Encounters. [DVD Footage: Earthly Imbalance]. Los Angeles, CA: A&E Networks, LLC / History™.

[6i] Prometheus Entertainment. (2010). Ancient Aliens: 1.5 – Closer Encounters. [DVD Footage: The Mysterious Island]. Los Angeles, CA: A&E Networks, LLC / History™.

[6j] Prometheus Entertainment. (2010). Ancient Aliens: 1.5 – Closer Encounters. [DVD Footage: Brave New World]. Los Angeles, CA: A&E Networks, LLC / History™.

[7] History™. (2010). Ancient Aliens: 1.6 – The Return. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: May 25, 2010, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-1.

divider

Who were they?… Why did they come?… What did they leave behind?… Where did they go?… Will they return?…

%d bloggers like this: