Terror on Tilton Avenue

Prior to that night in 1974 when my Father led us all to the back deck, I’d never seen a U.F.O. or gave little thought to “visitors” from above…

I was 14 years old and we had recently moved (again), to Kittery, Maine. Our little house on Tilton avenue was a dead-end street with an ocean inlet visible from our backyard. The Piscataqua river was on the other end, separating New Hampshire from Maine. You could see the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard across the river, where submarines were serviced. It was and still is a beautiful area, but the night of our “sighting” I was terrified but yet intrigued.

Dad worked across the river in Portsmouth at the new Montgomery Wards store. Retail hours kept him at his department late, so I believe it had to be 9pm when he pulled into the driveway. He usually played his piano or watched one of his favorite shows, (like Welcome Back Kotter) upon returning home. But on this night, he excitedly told us all to follow him outside. I honestly can’t remember the time of year or exact date, but it was dark and cold. The deck on the back of our house was well above ground as the yard sloped down pretty steep, towards the inlet. In the Winter months we could see almost out to a little island, several hundred yards off shore, before the tide took a hard right out to the big river then on to the ocean.

Normally calm and stern, the ex-Marine rushed us to the back deck to see 3 glowing objects in the night sky. All three were as large as a full moon I remember, thinking it must be an optical illusion or something? Bill was pointing at the objects and claiming he say one of them, “move” as he drove up towards our house.

I glanced over at him wondering if perhaps he stopped for an adult beverage on his way home? He seemed fine yet more animated than usual, as he told us all to watch closely. As I took my eyes off him and looked back up at the “unidentified objects” in the sky, one of them simply zipped away! That’s the only adjective I can use to describe the “flight” of the object, it quickly zipped up and away as I recall to this very day.

It’s been more than 40 years since the “Terror on Tilton Ave.”, and time has blurred some of the memories. My late Mother recalled the incident fully, yet my two younger Brothers do not. I think a second object zoomed off leaving only one in the night sky. But I do remember the final episode of that night with complete clarity; The Call…

Pease Air Force Base was located near Portsmouth in Newington, New Hampshire. I guess with his military experience in the Marine Corp, my Father had connections at the nearby base. Or at least he knew what to do. He left the cold deck and the one remaining U.F.O. hanging alone in the dark night sky, and placed a call on our wall mounted rotary phone. I can still see it today, yellow with a long curly cord, next to it a magic marker message board, shopping lists and reminders scribbled on the white surface.

I can’t remember if he gave the phone to me after he dialed the number or that I could just hear them speaking. This I do know, as the exchange would alter my life for decades. My Father seemed to know what questions to ask as he reported our sighting. “Are there aircraft in the Kittery, Maine area, near the inlet west of Kittery Point”. He inquired about something else I can’t recall, but what I heard from this United States Air Force official was burned into my memory…

“Sir we acknowledge the unidentified objects witnessed and there are currently no military or civilian aircraft in the area”

This would be the first time I heard the following 3 words; “Project Blue Book”…

“I’m sorry sir but we can’t offer any further information regarding the crafts observed as the United States Air Force terminated its only operation that investigated U.F.O. sightings in 1969, Project Blue Book “…

The rest of the night has been deleted from my memory it seems. I do remember not sleeping well and waking up repeatedly. But I can hear those words of this very serious military man from the former Pease Air Force base (Pease was shut down in 1991) to this very day. My Father who now resides in Lake George village recalls the incident at the age of 85 as do I, and we both have relayed the tale to others…

Soon after that night I purchased the 1st of many books on this phenomenon; Chariots of The Gods, by Erich von Däniken. Throughout my adult like I’ve done my own research and have accumulated quite a library on the subject matter. In 1991 while living down South after college I met the authors of “The Gulf Breeze Sightings”, Ed and Frances Walters. I Actually had both sign their book as I attended one of their “meetings” near Pensacola, FL.

Ironically, the History Channel (home of the awesome series Ancient Aliens), is launching a new show in January, “Project Blue Book”. To say I will be watching with keen interest would be an understatement. Quoting co-author Frances Walters as she wrote in her book to me, “Keep watching Chris”. I have and will until…

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