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National UFO Reporting Center
Sighting Report
Occurred : 8/31/1990 22:00 (Entered as : 08/31/90 22:00)
Reported: 2/25/2011 2:04:48 PM 14:04
Posted: 3/10/2011
Location: Sterling, MA
Shape: Unknown
Duration:3-4 hours
I am a Technical Sergeant in the USAF. My encounter was long before my AF career, but I feel it is time to share it.

In the summer of 1990, a friend of mine and I camped out in my backyard. I lived in Sterling, Massachusetts, on a five acre horse farm bordered by woods, a river and, behind a row of pine trees, the neighbor's yard.

We set up camp in a fenced-in enclosure where we had a tree, a swing set and a sand box. Our tent was set up about 200 feet behind our house, under the tree. It was a small, blue two-person tent the shape of a dome. Behind our campsite was the horse paddock and to our west was a garden where we had grown vegetables throughout the warmer months.

We stayed up into the hours of darkness playing cards and telling stories. Around 10pm we heard a loud bang in the woods. It sounded as if someone hit a tree with a heavy wooden bat. A few moments later, again. BAM. And again...BAM. It continued on banging for 10 minutes or so. Consistent and precise. It was unnatural.

We were fenced in, and gladly so. We had no intention of venturing into the woods to find out the cause of this sound. As my friend and I discussed it, we considered the horses in the barn, kicking the walls of their stalls... or perhaps a loose door, slamming shut in the wind. None of these explanations fully answered the situation, but our agreement that it was nothing threatening was comforting.

After the banging seemed to have ceased, my friend and I continued playing cards, talked and relaxed. Suddenly, the side of the tent facing the west (and I'm getting those familiar chills and hairs on end as I type this)... lit up as bright as day. My friend and I were in awe. We both looked up... looked at one another and looked back. We couldn't see through the tent material, but this light was imposing. There was no sound. It was if the light came from the sun itself.

It was around 11 pm at night. There was no flicker to the light, there were no rings from a lamp or flashlight. It was as if the hours had shifted and the brightness of the afternoon came half a day too soon. It lasted a long time. The light stayed, unmoving, never waning. It was there for as long as twenty minutes. Then it was gone. No sound. No wind or rush of air as if something large were moving nearby.

Almost immediately, from behind us, something pushed against the tent. It was low to the ground... and it was slow, but steadfast. We both saw it simultaneously. My friend turned white and looked sick. My only instinct was to protect my friend. When he turned the color he did, I couldn't see any other answer... I attacked whatever it was that was coming for us. I grabbed my step-father's heavy duty flash light (the kind with four D batteries and a metal frame) and I wailed on whatever it was that was there. It was a sickening sound of metal against bone.

I expected a shriek... a growl... anything. There was no reply. Nothing. After I hit it, we froze. We waited, holding our breath. I don't know what he was thinking, but after hitting something as hard as I did, I half-expected something to rip our tent apart and tear into us. Or scream and run away in pain. Nothing happened.

A minute passed. For the first time on that night, I opened up the zippered door to the tent and I looked outside. I looked around the side of the tent where the thing I had hit approached us from. Nothing. Nothing within or outside of the fence that surrounded us. No dead squirrel. No midnight rapist with a broken hand. And then I zipped up the tent. We waited. I fell asleep.

The next morning my friend had wide eyes. He was sitting up looking down at me. He said, "It came back. While you were sleeping, the light came back." It's hard to explain, but even I had a hard time believing him. Just mere hours after sharing this experience with him, and for some reason I just didn't want to believe it was true. The thought of the light on me while laying there asleep and helpless shook me more than seeing it did.

And that's what happened to me.

The other night, I had an epiphany. If these 3 events are related... the banging, the light and the "hand" reaching through the tent, why? My conclusion is this: First, the sound was meant to draw us out with curiosity. Second, the light was to get us to scatter like cockroaches under a kitchen light. Finally, the most brazen was the physical contact... touch. They were using techniques that focused on fear and curiosity to lure or scare us out of the tent. And they were using each of our most accessible senses.

My friend's father was in the Navy and moved to Naples, Italy later that year. I have contacted him once on Facebook and asked if he remembered the incident. Unfortunately for me, he didn't remember the incident. There is a small sliver of hope... he did say he doesn't remember this experience but that he has a fascination with the paranormal... perhaps a lingering notion of some past experience guides him.

((NUFORC Note: Witness indicates that the date of the sighting is approximate. PD))