Mystery object over Amherst Massachusetts. No video or pictures? (UPDATE: Plane?)

UFO sighting has Amherst residents talking

On Tuesday between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., several witnesses said they saw a diamond shaped, dimly-lit object in the sky.

The object had been reported to be moving slow and hovering about 75 to 100 feet above the ground.

A plane has been one possible idea of what the mystery object could be, but people have heard otherwise.

“From what I read in a newspaper, Westover saw nothing on their radar, so who knows what it could have been,” said Jerry Daly, an Amherst resident.

This piece notes:

Witnesses told the Daily Hampshire Gazette that on Tuesday night, an object the size of two or three cars was seen hovering over Belchertown Road in Amherst.  One woman said that it wasn’t far from her car.

Police say they did receive one call, but didn’t investigate. Westover Air Reserve Base has a radar tower in Amherst, they told the Gazette radars didn’t pick up any aircrafts in the area at that time.

Interesting. I expect the local chapter of MUFON will become involved. But the odds of identifying it are not great. There is no detail about how many witnesses but  diamond shaped dimly lit object is strange. Everyone has a cell phone that can capture video but no pictures? Odd. You can’t ever rule out remote controlled objects these days but there is not enough information to go on, certainly not enough to say it was a spaceship of some sort.

UPDATE: See comments. It was a plane.

  19 comments for “Mystery object over Amherst Massachusetts. No video or pictures? (UPDATE: Plane?)

  1. January 11, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    Another possibility is that people saw the lights on a large plane at great altitude, and misinterpreted its height. Westover AFB deploys huge C-5 Galaxy transports. Also, regarding their response stating that they didn’t have anything on radar, what exactly where they asked my the reporters? Were they asked if there was anything 100 ft off the ground in Amerhst? If it was one of their planes, are they even required to acknowledge this to the media?

    I would be interested to see any photos.

  2. Renee Holesovsky
    January 11, 2013 at 4:06 PM

    LepHi, I live in Amherst, MA and did see this object. Heard it was quite the scuttlebut in town the next day. Personally, I think it was either a prank or a modern case of ” Telephone “, with the story becoming wilder win each telling. The local paper reported the Amherst police saying that as no cows are reported missing from our local farms, there is nothing to worry about.

  3. Renee Holesovsky
    January 11, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    Dang keyboard! I didn’t see the object. 😛

  4. Old Rockin' Dave
    January 12, 2013 at 1:14 AM

    Hmm, let’s see: diamond-shaped, dimly lit, possibly a hundred feet off the ground, moving slowly and/or hovering, doesn’t show on radar – how about a kite carrying a small light?

  5. January 12, 2013 at 3:17 AM

    That’s a very plausible explanation. What about the reports though that it was “an object the size of two or three cars.” I know next to nothing about kites. Do they make commercial kites of that size?

    I still find it hard to reconcile that these people supposedly saw an object that large, hovering that close to the ground, and no photos were taken?

  6. Chew
    January 12, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    You are assuming they judged its size accurately. UFO reports are replete with poorly judged distances.

  7. Randy Griffin
    January 12, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    A quick check of Google Maps shows that Belchertown Road runs northwest to southeast.
    Any planetarium program will show that Sirius was rising in the southeast, clearing the horizon at about 5:30 PM local time. Venus is often reported as a UFO, “dancing” in the turbulent atmosphere when near the horizon. While not as bright, Sirius will do this as well.
    Our brains interpret “bright” as “close” and/or “large”, so estimates of size and distance in the sky are pretty unreliable.

  8. Chew
    January 22, 2013 at 10:15 AM
  9. January 22, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    A C5 isn’t exactly “silent” or triangular. It’s HUGE and loud.

  10. January 22, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    Having lived in Chicopee, on Westover’s takeoff and landing path, I can attest to that (It was actually worse when they were constantly flying B-52s). However, I can’t access the Gazette article, but did they say how high the C5 was? At great altitude it would be relatively silent. And nose and wing lights could give the impression of a triangle.

    I feel like the major gist of this sighting is mistaken altitude, and the telephone game.

  11. January 22, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    That’s weird, I got directly to the article and now I have to register to access it. Strange.

  12. January 22, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    I’m also not sure why my comment popped up down here. I thought I replied to you up top.

  13. Chew
    January 22, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    I can still access it from my cache so I FreezePage’d it: Let me know if that doesn’t work.

    The C-5 was practicing approaches so it would have been relatively low.

  14. Chew
    January 22, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    True, but Westover is about 12 miles from Amherst. A C-5 at that distance would subtend about .22°, about half of the diameter of the Moon.

  15. January 22, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    Interesting, but I still think this plane could be the culprit, perhaps seen a ways away on the horizon. That, or a whole bunch of different things were seen, and combined into one event later – with individual, explainable details being combined into something extraordinary. In the article, you’ll notice that a local reported another UFO soon after, which turned out to be a helicopter.

    This case is both exasperated by the surprising lack of any photos, which would go a long way towards sorting it out.

  16. January 25, 2013 at 12:01 PM
  17. RDW
    January 25, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    One effect I’ve noticed on two separate occasions is that when a jet is losing altitude and velocity to approach an airport for landing it actually appears, sometimes, to almost be “Hovering”, as these people have described. Both times, I was on a public transit bus, moving in the opposite direction that the plain was moving, slowly, and the plain was flying into a very brisk wind. The illusion only lasted for a few seconds, but both times it looked as if the jet were almost motionless for the time I was looking at it.

  18. eyewitness
    December 28, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    I’ve seen this exact aircraft three times in Amherst, MA about 14 years ago, when I lived there still. The first time it was silently hovering directly over me when I was taking the trash out. I’m guessing it hovered over me for about 30 seconds and then it slowly started moving away and then very quickly jumped/sped off into the distance over the trees. The second time I was at UMass and it was hovering over campus a short distance from where I was walking outside, it was moving very slowly, very low to the ground for a few minutes and then again jumped away. The third time I was driving near Belchertown Road where these other sightings were, up on a hill and the aircraft was again moving very slowly, around eye level with where the road was, but through the trees and there were two large military helicopters flanking the pyramid shaped aircraft. Growing up in the area around Westover, I know what a C5 looks and sounds like, even when it’s far away, there really is no mistaking a C5 or any other plane for this aircraft, especially when it’s hovering directly over you. I’m surprised this is the first time I’m seeing other people talk about it. I have no doubt it’s just some stealth aircraft being tested out of Westover.

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