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Sunday, February 20, 2022

Old Saybrook Blockheads

Old Saybrook Blockheads

By Cole Herrold

One of perhaps the greatest joys that comes with studying older cases of alien contact is the wide array of alleged extraterrestrial species that witnesses claimed to have contact with. In the modern-day, while various ETs are still reported, they are seriously lessened compared to the overwhelming amount of Grays, Nordics, Reptilians, and Mantids that make up most of the modern abduction and sighting encounters. The golden age of weird encounters with truly alien entities was arguably the 50s, during which there were stone-cold classic cases such as the Hopkinsville Goblins, the Flatwoods Monster, The Casa Blanca Entities, as well as lesser-known cases such as the Georgia Stalks and the infamous Venezuelan Hairy Dwarves and the most interesting thing about them is that they all come in various shapes and sizes each more interesting than the last. One such case that occurred during the late 50s is equally as strange as the extraterrestrials encountered were far from typical as these beings looked like living art installations that Delia Deetz from “Beetlejuice” would create or like something that a child would make in art and crafts at preschool. This particular case is fairly familiar for those deep in the UFO-alien rabbit hole, but for those just starting out, it is a unique and peculiar case that should be discussed.

The encounter occurred on December 15-16, 1967, in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. It was sometime around 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning, and Mrs. Mary Starr, a former teacher and a master's degree Yale graduate, was awoken from a deep sleep when a bright light shone into her room. She was home alone that night and had gone to bed early around 10:00 that night and was not expecting to be disturbed till morning; however, this was not to be the case as the light that came in from the window was so bright it was absolutely blinding. Mary, now awake and irritated, went to the window to see if she could determine just what was going on, and as she stared into the illuminated woods and fields around her house, she could see that there was some bizarre structure coming to a stop near her back garden. Squinting into the iridescent irritation, she could see a silver object that at first she thought was some sort of "crippled airplane," but as she opened her eyes wider as they adjusted to the light's intensity, she could see that this was not the case. As she stared at the object, she could see that it was a large cigar-shaped craft that was approximately 20-30ft long and was no more than 10 feet from the north side of her home. The object was a dark gray or black color and wingless, and as she looked at its form, she could see that it had square portholes that, along with the body of the craft, glowed immensely. The object hovered above her clotheslines which were just under 5ft, and hovered motionless between the house and toolshed. As she stared startled at the object, she noticed that inside the portholes, she could see figures moving around.

Mary could see that there were two figures in the windows moving back and forth from each other, walking in opposite directions. Mary was surprised at this and watched the figures closely while also taking note of the overall design of the ship. It was in this that she got a very good look at the beings and inside of the craft and took note of how "shallow" the object was. It was from this she noted that these beings could not have been more than 3 ½ to 4ft tall, but as she stared at the figures, she noted that they were even more peculiar than the craft itself. The entities, as they moved, raised their right arm the entire time, yet she could not see a hand and seemed to have a body that was wrapped in a kind of yellow jacket that “flared out” at the bottom so that she could not make out any legs or feet. However, while she could not make out the feet or legs, she felt that perhaps they simply were out of her sight-line and that below the portholes, they might have been visible. The being's most peculiar and noticeable feature, however, was that of what was assumed to be their head. Where their heads should have been was an orangish-red colored square or rectangular-shaped object which held a bright red "bulb" in the center. Mary felt that perhaps this was not an actual representation of their head but perhaps a kind of headgear and that their real form was beneath this bizarre fashion choice. As she looked further into the object, she could not make out anything that would suggest comfort or even the basic sense of technology, such as chairs or instruments. Mary, as she continued to watch, then saw a third being enter the room, and just as the entity began to move towards its shipmates, the portals went black. The object then began to glow even brighter than it had before, mainly from the top, and she watched as an antenna-like structure about 6 inches long that began to rise up and spin and sparkle like a failed roman candle. After about 5 minutes of this pinwheel light show, the object disappeared back into the ship, and the object began to move. The object moved smoothly for a short time, still flying some 5ft off the ground, and then began to make a sharp right-hand turn. As it did this, the craft looked less like a cigar and more like an oval about 6ft thick and changed color to a dark bluish-gray. Lights, previously unseen by Mary, then started to shine along with the craft that outlined the entire rim. The UFO then proceeded to dip and follow the same pattern as the terrain of the land, almost as though it needed the ground to help in maintaining its ability to hover. The craft moved north of Mary's house for some time until it suddenly tilted sharply and began to rocket up into the sky at a completely ludicrous speed and maintained being absolutely silent even as it did this.

The area where she lived was mostly vacant this time of the year, so she was the only person to see the craft and its occupants. However, Old Saybrook, for weeks prior, had several sightings of strange craft in the area, and this would continue till at least the following year as reports both in local newspapers and through UFO investigating committees and institutions would be accounted. When word broke out about Mrs. Starr's encounter Richard Hall, former Assistant Director of NICAP and NICAP's Research Consultant, and Isabel Davis, another member of NICAP, came to the location and investigated the sighting. The investigators interviewed Mary and searched the area of the sighting, and upon taking into account, her background as a Yale graduate and teacher as well as the fact that she seemingly would have no reason to create or fabricate a story such as this Richard Hall nor Isabel Davis could find no reason to dismiss her account and in fact, would later compare her encounter to another case that occurred some 5 years earlier which also occurred in Connecticut namely the Squyres and the Knight cases which both also involve eyewitnesses seeing entities through portholes.

This encounter is particularly bizarre because there are a lot of weird little bits to this case that make you scratch your head because this case is completely one of a kind. When breaking this case down, I think it would be best to start with the entities, as it's probably the most interesting element of the case. These beings are extremely bizarre and seem to be, at least from the eyewitness sketch and the description, either some sort of suit, which is what Mary Starr felt, some sort of organism that is built extremely weird, or some sort of artificial life form or synthetic life form. The suit hypothesis to me seems to be lacking, for while Mary would state that perhaps there was some sort of legs and feet out of her sight, the overall design of the being does not seem to be beneficial as a kind of suit. The being has no discernible hands, which even with cases of entities in suits such as the Michelin man type of aliens, they have at least a thumb and not some sort of straitjacket style of arms. Also, the fact that these entities kept one arm in the air does not seem to at least to me to indicate some suit-like structure as there is the chance that this is not a choice behavior but some set structure. In some of the sketches of this case, there are also often depictions that there is only one arm-like structure, and if this is the case, a suit seems improbable unless this race of being is one-armed.

One of the most popular interpretations of these beings is that they are simply blob-like organisms with a kind of mechanical or crystal-like head. When one goes this route, it's difficult to imagine just how an intelligent organism could function in a form such as this, but at the same time, this could just be some perfectly evolved entity on their homeworld and that their form is suited for what they need to live. It also, if this is to be the case, is one of the few extraterrestrial encounters that does not fall under the classic humanoid umbrella. These entities are vaguely humanoid as they have a possible head, at least one arm-like structure, and no discernible legs or feet at least that could be seen, but when one sees a being like this, their first thought is not to compare it with a person. One of the big arguments for the existence of aliens is that most of the entities reported do tend to fall in the humanoid category, and skeptics will point to this as unlikely as the human form is, as far as we know, solely an earth oriented feature and that if we are being visited by other forms of intelligent life, they should appear in tons of forms. This case is one of those that shows that we have been visited by something evolutionarily different from us if it is a biological organism which is, at least to me, incredibly fascinating.

When Ufologists look at this case when they view these entities, they tend to put them in the Robotic class of extraterrestrials. Usually, what is implied by this is that these entities are either machines or organic machines created by some higher intelligence and that their purpose is to conduct missions on earth. This is perhaps the most realistic option for most extraterrestrial encounters as we do something similar on other planets. We have not personally visited Mars, but we have sent drones, rovers, and probes to the planet that if a less advanced society saw it, might think it was a living organism and would attempt to compare it to their known fauna. Perhaps with many accounts of extraterrestrials, that is what they really are while this is prevalent with this case, it has also been expanded as a hypothesis with some of the most famous cases, such as the Pascagoula Abductors, the Flatwoods Monster, and even the Grays.

The object the beings were reported in is a relatively common-shaped craft, and the same goes for the color. Cigar-shaped vehicles are one of perhaps the most common reported craft of all time, so there's nothing exactly noteworthy aside from the fact that this is the first time we see this kind of craft associated with these entities. Yet craft like this is, interestingly enough is, also associated with much weirder cases, and particularly one specific case comes to mind, namely the Riverside, California Casa Blanca case. This case featured multiple crafts, some of which were round, some dome-like, and one which was almost identical to the one seen in this case. That craft was shaped similarly to the Old Saybrook UFO; the craft seen at Casa Blanca was a tad thicker and also bore a kind of antenna that the witnesses, in that case, said emitted a kind of ray. While this craft, at least from what was described, did not have windows or portholes, there are interesting similarities which could mean that this is a similar model of ship, and therefore these vessels are accessible to a wide variety of species or planets.

While mentioning the craft, the motion of it is bizarre. When the craft was seen moving away, it moved as the land moved, so if there was a hill, it would rise up, and if there was a dip, it would lower as though the topography of the area had some control of how the ship moved. This is bizarre because I currently am unaware of any other cases where the craft behaved this way. Typically, UFOs are known for their abilities to do incredible things such as zig-zag or fly erratically or hover in mid-air to supersonic speed. This UFO seems almost as though it's on a kind of unseen track like a rollercoaster before it goes and acts like what we expect from a traditional UFO. I have to wonder whether this has something to do with the craft's ability to hover; perhaps these objects unleash a force, be it magnetism or something like that or that we're totally unaware of that before it can perform any extravagant aerodynamics makes it reliant on whatever surface it's near such as the ground. However, since such technology is currently unknown to us except for maybe Bob Lazar or other members of Area 51 or Wright Patterson Air Force Base, one can only speculate as to just what this could be or why this is necessary for this kind of craft to function.

This is one of those incredibly brief encounters where not much happens, yet the thing that makes this case so interesting is just how bizarre the entities are and the bizarre nature of their craft. It's these tidbits that make the case, at least to me, stand out enough to be one that deserves to be in the annals of important alien encounters. If not for the fact that this is the first and seemingly only time this kind of being was reported, then at least for the fact that their connection to a particular kind of craft and its or a similar model's connection to other famous cases. The implications of this are at least to me interesting as there are tons of stories of abductees claiming that there are what we could compare to the Galactic Republic in Star Wars, a kind of unified treaty or union that encompasses a lot of the alleged extraterrestrials that earth has been visited by over the years. For the nerd in me, this, if true, fascinates me as it's a literal Who's Who and what's their alignment in the galaxy with these beings. I would love to see the equivalent of the Senate, but with all the different species that have visited earth and just how and why there's such an array of craft and beings. Or perhaps I'm thinking about all of this way too deeply and that all of these entities have little to no communication with each other and that these cultures just happened to build similarly shaped crafts. Time perhaps may let us know as we ever so slowly are coming closer and closer to disclosure, and maybe then once that day comes, the mystery of the Old Saybrook Blockheads and all the other entities reported might finally come to a close.

Quick Facts:

Species/Potential Species: Extraterrestrial or Robot

Location: Old Saybrook, Connecticut

Sighted: December 15-16, 1957

Works Cited:

SECTION VII-Are There UFO Occupants? By NICAP

Field Guide to Extraterrestrials By Patrick Huyghe

Humanoid Encounters 1955-1959 By Albert S. Rosales

Passport to Magonia By Jacques Vallee

The UFO Evidence: A Thirty-Year Report By Richard Hall

“1957. Old Saybrook, Connecticut. UFO with passengers on board” UFO-AC Research Group. Source:


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