Historical UFO Sightings in the Upper Valley

Courtesy of UFOevidence.org

In 2002, it was reported that Samuel Sherman, president of Independent-International Pictures Corps, purchased what many consider to be the oldest known photo of a UFO. The identity of the photographers were later revealed to be Amos Clough and Howard Kimball, and it was taken during an expedition in the White Mountains in New Hampshire during the winter of 1871. Many UFO enthusiasts, however, question its authenticity. In a book written about the expedition, there is no mention of the UFO being noticed by either of the explorers, and the distance of the photograph makes it difficult to discern much about the object pictured in the mountains. Regardless of its authenticity as a photographed UFO, the incident still maintains an important place in the history of UFO sightings in the United States. 

Courtesy of Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic views

On the night of September 19, 1961, just south of Lancaster, New Hampshire, Betty and Barney Hill experienced one of the most prolific and unnerving extraterrestrial encounters in history. They noticed a light in the sky, originally believing it to be a falling star, before noticing that it was moving unusually and growing in size. After noticing its oval shape and flashing lights, the couple quickly drove away, but the aircraft continued to follow them as they drove through the mountains. The object eventually descended toward the vehicle, and Barney reported seeing several humanoid figures standing in the window of the craft.

He later said the beings communicated with him to stand still and continue looking. Barney returned to his vehicle as the UFO hovered above them, and the couple reports losing full consciousness shortly thereafter. They awoke later, nearly 35 miles from where they last remembered. The next morning, the couple noticed several odd occurrences around the house.

Barney’s shoes were scuffed, Betty’s dress was torn, their watches no longer ran and shiny circles appeared on the hood of the car that disrupted any campus put near it. The couple went through several interviews with a hypnotist and U.S. Air Force officials, and Betty reported having dreams of the events afterward. The state of New Hampshire officially recognized the UFO sighting, and this case marks the first reports of alien abduction in the United States. The White Mountains have since become a major hotspot of UFO sightings.

Courtesy of UFOevidence.org

During the early morning hours of September 3, 1965, a recent high school graduate was walking along the highway in Kensington, New Hampshire, a small community a few miles from Exeter. He reported noticing several flashing red lights in the sky, which moved toward him before flying away. After reporting his sighting to the police, one officer mentioned stopping a woman on the highway who reported seeing a similar object in the sky with flashing red lights. When two officers went to investigate the incident, they reported animals in the area making loud noises before a large object rose from the ground, again with flashing red lights. A journalist for the Saturday Review magazine later interviewed several other people who admitted to seeing a similar object as well. The incident sparked national interest, and the U.S. Air Force released conflicting explanations for the sighting, at first claiming it was simply the stars and later claiming it to be one of their aircrafts. The incident has since become one of the most notorious UFO sightings in the country, producing a best selling book and its own Wikipedia page that titles it “The Exeter Incident.”

Only a few years after The Exeter Incident, a UFO sighting was reported in Claremont, New Hampshire at 1:12 a.m., July 30, 1968. It was first reported by a plant worker who noticed the UFO as he was working in the garden, describing it as a bright, round object that was flying at a low altitude. Another report came soon after from a couple that lived nearby. At approximately 2 a.m., they reported seeing a similar dome-shaped object only about 10 feet from the ground. They also reported strange behavior from their children and dog, and claimed to have seen a beam of light shine onto the ground. The couple reported that the object remained hovering in the sky until approximately 4:30 a.m. before flying away. This report represents one of the first claims of a possible sighting of extraterrestrials descending from a UFO. While not as terrifying as the experience sounds, an observer sketched a picture of the flying object they observed.

Courtesy of UFOevidence.org

While these alleged UFO encounters took place several decades ago, New Hampshire and Vermont remain as one of the most popular regions for UFO sightings in the country. Based on data from the Mutual UFO Network, both stand in the top five of per-capita UFO sightings per state. While many of these incidents don’t have documented proof of their validity, the region remains cloaked in centuries of extraterrestrial fascination.  The National UFO Reporting Center publishes all reports of UFO sightings, and several have been reported in New Hampshire in the last month alone. 

You can watch like live updates of the reporting of UFO sightings here

Pick your way through the Upper Valley


It’s no secret that berries are in season — take a quick stroll through the Hanover farmers’ market and you’ll notice there is no shortage of blueberries for sale. While you don’t need to go any farther than the Green on Wednesday afternoons to get fresh, local fruit, a more rewarding (and fun!) experience lies in picking your own berries. The Upper Valley is home to countless pick-your-own farms, and a sunny afternoon spent picking berries is a well-deserved treat with finals quickly approaching. Check out these farms and stock up on tasty fruit before 13X (and berry season) come to a close.

Cedar Circle Farm

Only a 20-minute ride from campus, Cedar Circle Farm in Thetford, VT feels worlds away with its quintessential pick-your-own berry fields. Stroll the rows of blueberry bushes and load up as many cartons as you can carry. Drive a little farther down the road to the farm stand, where an impressive array of fresh vegetables waits. Behind the farm stand are sprawling produce fields and greenhouses full of bright flowers. If you’re feeling fatigued from all that blueberry picking, pop into the “Hello Café” coffeehouse for some caffeine (and a homemade baked good, of course). WiFi is even available outside the café if you’re in need of an alternative study space.

225 Pavilion Road, East Thetford, VT

ALEXANDRA JOHNSON, The Dartmouth Staff

Poverty Lane Orchards

Produce enthusiasts may have previously visited Poverty Lane Orchards for apple picking, and while apple season is still weeks away, the orchard currently offers raspberry and cherry picking. Poverty Lane is a quick 10-minute drive from Hanover, and is located at the end of a scenic, windy road in Lebanon. Don’t miss Thirsty Thursday, when the orchard provides free tastings of various, locally produced apple ciders.

98 Poverty Lane, Lebanon, NH

Courtesy of Poverty Lane Orchards

Riverview Farm

If you’re looking to expand your fruit horizons beyond the classic berries, consider a trip to Riverview Farm in Plainfield, NH. The farm features pick-your-own currants in addition to the standard blueberries and raspberries, and it boasts expansive flower fields and sells bouquets of fresh and dried flowers. Riverview also has a barn store selling pre-picked produce and homemade jams. Be sure to stop back in the fall for the famous corn maze and more-famous homemade doughnuts and apple cider—only on weekends.

141 River Road, Plainfield, NH

Courtesy of Riverview Farm

 Alyson’s Orchard

Alyson’s Orchard sits on 450 acres of pure fruit heaven. In the summer, visitors can pick their own blueberries and raspberries and, beginning mid-August, peaches! After picking fruit to your heart’s content, swing by the farm stand and ogle the homemade pies and jams. If you need a break from the library during finals, head back to Alyson’s on August 25 for a peach bake-off and cook-off. The real pride and joy of Alyson’s, though, is its sprawling apple orchards. Pencil in a trip in the fall to see their famed tree with 20 varieties of apples.

57 Alyson’s Lane, Walpole, NH

Get creative with pre-formal summer dates


There’s only one thing scarier than the fact that 13X is nearing its final weeks: formal season is almost upon us. While there is still a solid amount of time before desperation kicks into gear, consider making some moves now so you’re not stuck asking your lab partner’s housemate’s trippee — that’s an awkward blitz. To impress that special someone, you’ll have to go beyond the simple Foco dinner date. Before we get too bogged down with finals to care about our love lives, use one of these date ideas for inspiration.

The outdoorsy date:

If the Classics cutie is the crunchy type, opt for a date in the beautiful outdoors that he or she is sure to enjoy. Rent a canoe and paddle your little hearts out on the Connecticut River.


Physical activity is the best way to build a bond, and when your biceps strain against the current you’re bound to feel a spark. Pack a picnic dinner to enjoy post-canoeing. For the best views, cross the bridge to Vermont and settle into the Adirondack chairs overlooking the river to enjoy your meal. If the conversation is really flowing, kick back and watch the sun set.

The crafty date:

Unleash your inner Picasso and check out Tip Top Pottery in White River Junction. You and your date will choose your pottery pieces, receive a brief tutorial on the painting process, and then be left to create your masterpieces. This activity might take you back to childhood birthday parties in pottery studios, but a little nostalgia never hurt anyone, right? When you have put the final touches on your pottery, head next door to Tip Top Café to continue getting to know your date over a delicious meal. Bonus: since you leave your creation to be fired in the kiln and picked up a few days later, you and your date already have an excuse to get together again.

The classic Hanover date:

For the traditionalist, stick to the classic combination of dinner and a movie. Choose your restaurant wisely: Pine might just break the bank, and stuffing your mouth with Yama sushi rolls isn’t all that conducive to conversation. Try Murphy’s or Molly’s for a classy but more reasonably priced night on the town.


After dinner, stroll down the street to the Nugget Theater for a film that you’ve (hopefully) both agreed on beforehand. Consider a trip to Morano Gelato afterwards to debrief about the film and bond over the utter deliciousness of Italian desserts.

The quintessential New England date:

Jump in the car and drive to Cedar Circle Farm where you will spend your summer afternoon in open fields picking blueberries. Chat with your date as you stroll leisurely through the berry field, scoping out the ripest blueberries. Once you’ve filled your cartons, head down the road to the farm stand, which features an adorable little café with homemade baked goods. Grab some caffeine if all that berry picking wore you out, and marvel at the selection of fresh veggies for sale. If you and your date are feeling ambitious (and compatible!), drive back to campus and bake something delicious with your findings. Blueberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream? Highly encouraged.

The ambitious, yet romantic, date:

If you and your date both happen to be early risers (or are just looking for something to cross off your 13X bucket lists), set your alarms for 4 am and head to Gile Mountain. Yes, it’s early and yes, no one looks good at such an ungodly hour, but you’ll be looking at the sunrise, not each other. A quick 30-minute nature walk to the fire tower will reward you with the best views around. If you need extra incentive to rise at the crack of dawn, treat yourselves to Lou’s once you get back to campus.


You’ll have seen the sunrise, eaten a delicious breakfast, and potentially have found a formal date, all before your 9L.

Festivals, football and Ferris wheels: August’s Upper Valley guide


We’ve hit August and you still haven’t ventured outside of Hanover? Don’t fret — there are still plenty of fun New England summertime activities in the Upper Valley left to distract you from ever-approaching finals and the unfortunate reality of fall term.

The Upper Valley is known for its “Old Home Days,” events during which visitors celebrate New England with old car cruises and horseshoe tournaments. During the Canaan event, on August 2, 3 and 4, you can sample lobster and chicken barbeques, buy knickknacks at old-time craft fairs and watch soapbox derbies.


If the torrential summer rain comes back, rewind to the 1950s and head over to the Fairlee Drive-in for cheap, fun double features. Make sure to bring a big car with seats that lay down in the back, plenty of pillows and blankets and even a picnic basket filled with farmer’s market goodies. On August 2, 3 and 4, head over to watch “The Smurfs 2″ (2013) and “The Wolverine” (2013), and check out what’s playing for features later this month.

Craving a sporting event more exciting than intramural soccer? Hanover is providing just the remedy with the Maple Sugar Bowl, a football game with the best graduating seniors of area high schools that will take place August 3. Walk down to Memorial Field for kings, queens, parades and enough hard-hitting tackles to make your dad proud.

For those of us with artistic streaks, the 80th annual League of New Hampshire Craftsman’s fair in Newbury allows you to shop until you drop for hand-woven blankets, artisan blown glass and other useful odds and ends to embellish your off-campus home. Make sure you take an experienced shopper along with you to bargain prices for that cute ceramic mug some guy made in his basement. Mark your calendars — the fair takes place from August 3-11.


On August 8-11, the international youth Circus Smirkus is coming to Fullington Farm Field in Hanover. If you’ve never been to a circus, stop by for clown shows, flipping and flying acrobats and twisting, twirling ballerinas. Welcome to the big top, and make sure you don’t feed the elephants any peanuts! (Disclaimer: there are no elephants)

The Upper Valley is ripe with traditional New England fairs and festivals. If you’ve never experienced one of these bad boys, make sure to stop by the 64th annual Cornish fair August 16, 17 and 18 for lumberjack competitions, fried dough and bouncy castles to remind you of childhood. Pro tip: bring a formal date prospect, show off your strength and win a prize that serves as a cute gift. Another perk: Ferris wheels provide great places to get some alone time with your significant other.

On August 17-18, kick off your charitable streak with Paddlepower, a two-day, 25-mile paddling and camping trip out on the Connecticut River to raise money for suicide prevention in the Upper Valley. Supporting West Central Behavioral Health’s emergency services, the event is sure to be a blast, providing a great way to spend a weekend in the outdoors. Grab a couple of friends, make a team and join the Upper Valley’s finest for a good cause.

Over 5,000 participate in the Prouty


Over 5,500 participants rowed, biked, ran, walked and golfed Saturday morning in the 32nd annual Prouty, a fundraiser for the Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. This year’s event raised over $2.6 million.

Tyler Stotland, a volunteer from Norwich, said that the variety of opportunities available helps create a supportive community around the event.

“Lots of people, whether they’re helping a friend, going through treatment or just finished a treatment, can all participate,” she said.

Individual participants, families and teams raised money for the cause. Teams ranged from College Greek organizations to groups of Upper Valley residents. Some teams honored cancer patients and survivors through their team names and by wearing shirts commemorating friends lost to the disease.


“I had no idea it was such a big community,” Courtney Kelly ’15 said. “It’s really special that so many people come out to support such a great cause.”

Event director Jean Brown said that participation from the College distinguishes the Prouty from other area events.

‘This is truly where the whole community comes together to fight cancer,” she said.

Approximately 1,200 volunteers were posted at Richmond Middle School and along the different routes.


Raphael Harriman of Lebanon, who was stationed behind Occom Pond on the 3K Audrey’s Walk and the 10K residential walk routes, said he decided to volunteer to get involved in the event and raise money for cancer research.

“People are more likely to give if you’re helping out,” he said.

Stotland, whose mother’s friend is undergoing cancer treatment and whose father is a surgeon at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, said she volunteered because of these connections to the Norris Cotton Cancer Center.

“I’ve heard lots of stories and wanted to help out,” she said.

Personal connections often lead to participation in the Prouty, Brown said.

“Everyone has been touched by cancer and it’s the most frustrating experience because there’s nothing you can do about it,” she said. “All you can do is raise money and try to help.”

Individual adult participants had to raise $150 to take part in the Prouty, while each family was required to raise $275.


Some College Greek organizations raised the necessary funds through creative campus events. Kappa Delta Epsilon and Kappa Kappa Gamma sororities held a carwash, while Alpha Delta fraternity hosted a lemonade stand. Alpha Phi sorority sold grilled cheese sandwiches.

All donations are used to help cancer patients in the Upper Valley, Brown said.

“The money stays local,” she said. “It helps right here and right now with treatments, therapies and other patient services.”

A small percentage of the money is also set aside for research, Brown said.

“If you didn’t have research, we would still be using the treatments of 20 years ago,” she said.


Popping the Bubble


Editor’s Note: If you’ve been at Dartmouth for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard the phrase the “Dartmouth bubble.” We may exist in a world where it seems like we’re the only people living in the middle of the wilderness Hanover, but we’re not. This new weekly Dartbeat feature is an attempt to put Dartmouth students more in touch with the faces of Hanover that surround us every day as we eat at Molly’s, wait in line at Dirt Cowboy and shop at Bella.

Name: Jake

What brings you to Hanover? I live in Hartland, VT but I’ve worked at Molly’s since I was 16. I started bussing tables my sophomore year and worked here all through high school. I’m now a senior at UVM and I come back for breaks to work. My dad works at the Co-op, so Hanover has kind of always been in the cards for me.
Favorite winter activity in Hanover? When I’m not working at Molly’s, I love to go to Dartmouth hockey games. I grew up going to the games with my family.

Name: Dot

What brings you to Hanover? I live in Norwich and work at the Hanover CVS. I’ve been working here for 30 years. I grew up in White River Junction and relocated to Norwich about 15 years ago.
Favorite winter activity in Hanover? Hockey games!
What do you love most about Hanover? It’s a very friendly town. I plan to be here for a while!


Name: Curtis

What brings you to Hanover? I work at Ramunto’s so I am in Hanover every day.
What do you love most about Hanover? There are a lot of really nice and great people here.

All photos courtesy of Aditi Kirtikar.