|Occurred : 7/20/1987 18:00 (Entered as : 07/20/1987 18:00)
Reported: 12/25/2012 6:52:18 AM 06:52
Location: Jackman, ME
|Circular brilliant object, missing time
This report details what I believe to be a sighting in the summer of 1987.
During the summer of 1987, in either July or August, I was on a canoe trip in Northwestern Maine-it was a program run by ((name of group deleted)). I was 18 years old. The trip was a circular route on the Moose River system, near the town of Jackman, and was of two weeks duration. Twice during the trip our group (there were 8 or 9 of us- I can't remember exactly, it was a long time ago) was overflown by fighter aircraft flying very low and very fast. Each such flight consisted of two-plane elements.
On the final day of the trip we camped on the shore of Attean Lake. Looking now at a Google map, I believe we were camped on the North shore of the lake, very close to the railbed. Each night of the field trip consisted of exercises designed to enhance our (the participants') understanding of the area's ecology and/ or fieldcraft skills.
On the last night, we did two exercises: a hike to the summit of the hilltop past the railbed, overlooking the lake, and following that, each participant was to write down his or her overall impressions, and what we learned from the trip.
To sum up the trip, each participant was to find a place of our own, separate from the other participants so that each summation would be the genuine thoughts of the person writing it down. Then, following dinner back at the campsite, each participant would read what they had written to the others: this was so the group leaders could evaluate the success of the trip, and so the participants could add to each others' knowledge base. I remember walking about a half mile down the beach and finding a convenient log to sit on as I reflected on the experience.
This is where it gets interesting, but it only became interesting to me about ten years ago (important to remember here that the trip took place in 1987) as I was sifting through some old photos I had taken on the trip. In the same bag as the photos were the notes I had written on that last night of the trip, detailing my impressions- and it occurred to me that we had never completed the exercise. We had each taken our notes, but we had NOT done the group reading and assessment of them, as we were supposed to have done. I wondered why, and thought about it hard- and here are the memories to the best of my recollection.
I had finished writing my notes, and was walking back down the beach towards the campsite. There was a little sandy point adjacent to the campsite, and as I came around it, I noticed the moon out over the lake- it was intensely full and bright, though the evening was early with plenty of daylight left. As I rounded the point, I could see the rest of the group sitting around the fire (I am not sure if all the participants were present at this time- one or two may still have been off on their own), looking out at the lake. I looked out again too, and I distinctly remember how striking the moon was.
I carried with me an Olympus OM-1 camera- I had taken several rolls of film with me and got plenty of great photos of moose, other wildlife and landscapes. This was a 35-mm camera with a manual light meter- you had to adjust the camera's settings using the light meter to get good photos. I unslung the camera and aimed it at the moon, and flipped on the light meter. It instantly registered overexposure. I fiddled with every adjustment and could achieve nothing except overexposure. I remember no conversation with other group members at this time, though I did look at them several times as I played with the camera- they were all looking at the moon. Finally, I removed the batteries from the camera and again aimed it at the moon, and somehow it was still registering overexposure. I remember that I was standing in the water up to my knees at that point.
The next clear memory I have is of waking up in my tent sometime much later that night when a train went past on the tracks above the campsite. It was raining hard. I have no recollection whatsoever of any moment between standing in the water to waking up in my tent. I can only allude to "missing time" for reference to this time frame and I do not know what transpired therein.
The next morning, we packed up the campsite- there was uncooked food (beans) still in the pans, filled with rainwater. Nothing about the previous night was discussed on the paddle back to the landing, though I do remember all the group members being extremely tired.
I might not have remembered any of this had I not been looking through those old photos, but I believe it significant that the anomalies- the fact that we didn't discuss our impressions of the trip, nor did we discuss the events of that night- struck me immediately once I found the notes. I remember the names of some of the group leaders but have not maintained any contact.
I wrote to the USAF to ask them why the fighter jets might have been in the area in that time frame, and received a reply from a Public Information Officer (a Major, I believe), who told me that such flights were common, and were likely routine training flights, originating from any of a number of bases, including Pease in Massachusetts or Loring, Maine.
((NUFORC Note: Witness indicates that the date during the summer of 1987 is approximate. I spoke via telephone with the witness, and he struck me as being an exceptionally serious-minded individual. He works as a public employee, although I should not reveal what the nature of his work is, or even where he works. We are going to attempt to locate the other witnesses. PD))