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Is Dan Aykroyd Attracting UFOs to the Vineyard?

The Island has a long history of unusual sightings. But are they wishful thinking or real?

Picture two aliens in a spacecraft. For seven gravity-free nano-seconds they’ve glimpsed nothing but black ocean, then lights! Civilization! Their GPS informs them, “You’re closing in on Martha’s Vineyard. You are advised to hold here because the social activity in the high season is more frenzied than anything we’ve studied anywhere else on the planet, with any of the species.”

So that’s a hypothetical about why our Island has been prey to a lotta, lotta UFO sightings.

Chilmark resident, ghostbuster and movie star Dan Aykroyd has made it a point to examine alien activity here or anywhere in earthly precincts. In the documentary “Dan Aykroyd Unplugged on UFOs,” released in 2005, he states, “There should be no debate anymore that UFOs exist.”

But back up a sec: Let’s look at the E.T. tableaux over our own hemisphere. Normally it’s a sign of abject lunacy to admit you’ve glimpsed flickering lights over Katama. Heaven forbid you reveal that you’ve been abducted by aliens for one of those unmentionable probes. Yet it happens!

“This is real. People are being abducted," says Aykroyd. "Mind-control is in play here, and we have to be vigilant.”

The actor maintains that 54 percent of Americans believe in UFOs. If you take a straw pole of all your Island friends and neighbors, chances are a few of them will have seen, well, something “rich and strange,” to pull Shakespeare in on the discussion.

Many of the alien hi-jinks have been recorded in local papers and newscasts. Like the September 1953 story about a woman who stood in her yard and eyeballed orange lights east of Cassiopeia. An April 1958 dispatch reads, “Signs in the sky continue to disturb Vineyard residents,” and the article goes on to specify these same residents seeing “shapes like half-moons.” Oh, and here’s a good one! In 1967, from the deck of the Navigator restaurant in Edgartown, diners witnessed three lights draped low over the harbor, “pulsating.” One man was so distraught, he fled the restaurant without paying his check. Yeah, we’ve heard that one before.

But here’s the jewel in the crown of our local UFO phenomenon: In the summer of 1963, JFK—yes JFK!—sat on board his launch with several friends in waters northeast of Martha’s Vineyard. All of a sudden, a disk-shaped object materialized within several hundred feet of the boat. The sphere looked to be about 60 feet in diameter. The bottom shined bright, just like Steven Spielberg’s “come and get it” spaceship in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” While JFK and his passengers gaped, the object shot up at tremendous speed and vanished.

The president had apparently bought in to the whole Roswell/Area 51 code of omertà, because he instructed his guests, “We don’t talk about this!”

Obviously, at least one of them did.

The sightings continue into our present age. On September 19, 2009, Vineyard eyewitnesses called the Dukes County communication center to report strange lights in the sky. Facebook and Twitter went nuts with the news. Reports flooded in of derby fisherman spotting multi-colored spots in the southern horizon. A fisherman with his son and his son’s friend beheld a weird vision over Squibnocket at dusk: A bright, tiny beam that morphed into a football shape, burned, exploded like a firecracker, then disappeared.

So back to the question of whether or not Aykroyd, in his trips to these shores involuntarily brings alien cruise-mobiles with him. He himself admits, in a 2007 interview on http://ufo.whipnet.org that he’s seen UFOs zooming over his house on Martha’s Vineyard.

If we consider the law of attraction, it’s commonly accepted that the more you think of something, the more that thing follows you around. For example, during the many years that I researched and wrote about ghosts here on the Island, the more ghosts trekked with me down the streets, winking off lampposts, climbing up stairs and even messing up my computer when I wrote about them (okay, down boys!).

The next time you spot Aykroyd strolling up Circuit Ave. with the fabulous Bill Murray, or eating pizza on the Chilmark Store porch, take a look later at the nighttime skies.

Aykroyd has a good idea of what to do if we make contact: “Let’s go to some neutral place, scientists and world leaders . . . let’s sit down and have a forum with the extra-dimensional beings, and kind of get to know each other.”

The Lampost, anyone?

Holly Nadler June 22, 2013 at 02:35 PM
Dearest Chris, your comment is reminding me of a time I was doing research for my book, Ghosts of Boston Town. I was tracking down the story of "The Lady In Black", the spirit of a Civil War widow who tried to free her Confederate soldier husband from the dreaded Ft. Warren on George's Island in Boston Harbor. Going gung-ho on data colelction, I called the island's ranger station to get the juicy details. The ranger said point-blank, "There is no woman in black." I blurted back, "What fun are you?!" I'm sure you're having fun, Chris, in other ways, but why not kick back around the campfire, roast a marshmallow, and listen to some scary stories? And whether or not you're open to things on Heaven and Earth undreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio, it's certainly more fun to suspend disbelief, at least until the marshmallows run out.
chris gargan June 22, 2013 at 03:14 PM
The trouble, my dear Holly, is that nincompoopery evolves into policy. I'm as playful as the next guy but this kind of stuff feeds a non critical thinking response to real life. It then becomes a small step to moon landing hoax, birtherism, creationism in schools, and the general habit of progressing from anecdotal experience to general belief. Ghost stories are great when we predicate them with the acknowledgement that they are fiction. When we use them to terrify children and gullible adults into prescribed behavior they cease to amuse. I won't be surprised if Mr. McConnel adds a caveat to the next round of immigration reform that insists that occupants of those UFOs register with USNI upon landing. I'm sure we all rolled our eyes at the antics of the New Hampshire legislator who denied the reality of the injuries to the Boston bombing victim, but she is representative of irrational mob mentality in the face of facts. At the risk of stretching my objection to Mr. Aykrod's playfulness, it's a slippery slope. if he want's to endorse fantasy as a substitute for reality: good on him. But I think we need to understand that one man's playground becomes another's minefield.
Holly Nadler June 22, 2013 at 03:23 PM
Wait'll you experience a ghost of your own, Chris. And may I recommend some light summer reading of William James, Marcus Aurelius. Albert Einstein, and Aldous Huxley? All brilliant men who kept an open mind. And by the way, finding one weird-science story intriguing doesn't mean you believe in creationism, altho' I must say, I LOVE the moon landing hoax story! Especially because the production values were so stark and uninspiring, I kinda wish they'd left the moon alone.
chris gargan June 22, 2013 at 04:08 PM
My favorite William James aphorism: "The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind." I suppose we could throw St. Thomas into the group as well, could we not?
Michael West June 22, 2013 at 05:24 PM
I'll bet Chris is a lot of fun at parties. Dude, lighten up.
chris gargan June 22, 2013 at 06:14 PM
Dude. You might be surprised. Invite me over. Or is the party only for guys over 65 who still say "dude"?
Jim Samiljan June 22, 2013 at 07:09 PM
Ouch! Ageism raises its ugly head once again.
chris gargan June 22, 2013 at 08:47 PM
Nope. Dude-ism
Michael West June 22, 2013 at 09:16 PM
Chris, I am over 65, and I have kids who are 25 and 18. Dude is still in use. So is cool. Be cool, dude.
Chip Coblyn June 22, 2013 at 10:47 PM
At this very moment I was immersed in putting a guest list together for my annual August Dude Party (male and females dudes, that is). It's the true "must attend" event of the summer; all the dudest dudes and dudettes will be there. Michael, Holly, I'm putting special commemorative stamps on your invitations. They feature Jeff Bridges in his seminal role as The Dude in the cult hit, The Big Lebowski. Hope you can make it. Ciao Dudes!
chris gargan June 22, 2013 at 11:18 PM
Bro' Thanks for making my point. 18 year old frat boys get a pass on 'dude'. Old dudes who think sayin' dude is cool, are not. But essentially I think you miss my larger argument. Pseudo-science and ascientific behaviors have a nasty way of degrading intellectual life. People who profess nonsensical beliefs that enable their followers to entertain the fantasy that they are engaging in actual science contribute to a sum diminishment of human knowledge. And your response is: I'm not fun at parties, not cool, and I need to lighten up. Why exactly were you discouraged from addressing the content of my comment and chose to instead speculate on my fun-ness quotient.
Holly Nadler June 22, 2013 at 11:45 PM
Chris, bro, here's my point: I was on the debating team in high school. One time we had to argue either Yes UFOs Exist or No UFOs Could In No Way Ever Under Any Circumstances Exist. I chose the NO side because I thought that would make me look smarter. Big mistake! The YES kids had all these gnarly great stories. All the NO crew could do was frown and make grumpy, sarcastic comments (sound familiar?). After that I always followed the side with the better narrative, and the more agreeable dispositions.
chris gargan June 22, 2013 at 11:54 PM
Yes , Holly, but great stories should not have won the debate. Anecdotal evidence for a raft of superstitions does not provide proof of occurrence. I have been neither grumpy nor sarcastic until provoked. I responded to comments made to/about me. Not one of you addressed my original point. I realize that this was a fluff piece on your part, and I realize that the MV Patch is not a forum for serious ideas. I just realized it too late. And by the way, looking smart is not tantamount to being smart. Cheers.
Michael West June 23, 2013 at 12:02 AM
Ok, Chris G - A sum diminishment? Did you at some diminished point in your somewhat dim schooling swallow a scrabble set? Why so freaking serious? Are you hanging on intellectually by your fingernails? Why begrudge those of us who want to play with humorous ideas? Why diminish some one you don't even know? For all you know, I could have a massively impressive résumé, multiple post grad degrees, many serious publications in my field, experience teaching high school, college, and graduate school, be an established international authority in something and not fear diminishing all that by having fun with ideas. Or not. I could be a carpenter, work in a fish market or be a comedy writer with a big time Hollywood reputation. Like I said, Chris, lighten up, dude. Be cool.
Holly Nadler June 23, 2013 at 12:12 AM
Chris, what we learned from the debate was that it's impossible to prove the non-existence of something. And all we smarties could do was to stand around looking flummoxed . . . To borrow another quote from William James (who I bet I've read much more of than have you), "The union of the mathematician with the poet, fervor with measure, passion with correctness, this surely is the ideal." You know, don't you, dear one, that William James co-found the American Society For Psychical Research because he was convinced there was a place where science and the paranormal intersected?
Holly Nadler June 23, 2013 at 12:13 AM
Oh, and on the question of looking smart and/or being smart: Being rude is neither.
Holly Nadler June 23, 2013 at 12:14 AM
Look out, Chris, you've just upset my cousin and we come from a tough family.
Sam June 23, 2013 at 01:22 AM
I see no Aliens on the Vineyard. But I do see Neanderthals walking their dogs fouling up the place. Because no intelligent person would be caught walking and holding a bag of dog waste. Prohibit dirty dog walkers from using our island as a dumping ground for their pet. Keep it clean!!!
Michael West June 23, 2013 at 12:03 PM
Sam, it's the aliens. When they land here, they take their gorgonads (look a lot like dogs but have several heads) for a walk and let them do their business wherever they please. Your lawn maybe? The sidewalks where you walk? Usually it's late at night or very early in the morning. But sometimes, when the gorgonads need to go really badly, they land in less than obscure circumstances, and we not only have an alien sighting, but a mess to clean up.
Holly Nadler June 23, 2013 at 12:15 PM
Michael, this Sam No Last Name is taking a dig at people who poop scoop, i.e. the good guys who remove their dog's waste. Maybe I woke up overly sensitive, but I think Sam No Name is taking a dig at me. I believe this comment thread has been invaded by aliens, and I'm just so thankful for my human friends who've weighed in. Honestly, there are times when this online column writing brings me close to tears. But I will not cry because then the aliens will have won.
David Whitmon June 23, 2013 at 12:46 PM
I don't think Aliens have invaded the comment thread Holly. More along the lines of Zombies.
Tim Eagan June 23, 2013 at 06:52 PM
Sam, I agree. I am also disgusted by the irresponsible dog walkers promoting their pet to relieve themselves in public. And, yes, you could call them "Neanderthals."
David Whitmon June 24, 2013 at 12:24 AM
Here it is Holly. Absolute proof that they are among us. Gives a whole new meaning to inter species relations........ ;-) http://thebobbydshow.com/offbeat-news/a-politician-admits-to-cheating-on-his-wife-with-an-alien/
Jennifer Naughton June 24, 2013 at 02:35 AM
Personally, I could give a rat's ass if you're a "cool dude" or a killjoy; whether you'd be on my party list or not (you wouldn't); whether the MV Patch is a forum for serious ideas or not (given the content of your comments, I would be inclined to agree...). However, enough of the verbiage and back to your original point. By refuting to even consider the possibility of the existence of "aliens", one can only conclude that you believe that the human race is the only "intelligent" life form in the universe (please correct me if I'm wrong). If that is the case then, hmm, how do I say this kindly and gently - oh right, I don't! How bloody arrogant/ignorant is that? Do you honestly believe that throughout the entire universe and time, Earth has had the monopoly on life in all shapes, form and matter? That humankind is the "be all and end all" of existence? That there couldn't possibly be another - God forbid! - more intelligent species... or two, or three or more? You mentioned in an earlier posting that "pseudo-science and [sic] ascientific behaviors have a nasty way of degrading intellectual life." Quiet frankly, beliefs such as yours have a tendency to do the same.... Note Bene: the term dude (dudette for the ladies) has been in use since I was a teen (40 years ago). So, if anyone has the right to use it, we do - DUDE!!
Dave C. June 24, 2013 at 03:12 AM
Vineyard Health Authorities need to stop the dog fouling problem. Today, I was eating at an outdoor restaurant when some dog walker lets her dog urinate about 3 feet from me. These people are dirty pigs and degrade the Island.
Holly Nadler June 24, 2013 at 12:37 PM
Hello, dog crap obsessives: Find your own page for discussing this! It has nothing to do with the essay above or even any of the other inane comments devolving from it! What is up with you guys?
David Whitmon June 24, 2013 at 01:10 PM
What is up with you guys? Zombies. Constipated Zombies ...... ;-)
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) June 25, 2013 at 01:48 AM
Agreed, Holly: There's no need for anyone to hijack a comment thread when MV Patch is open to all users to create new posts any time on any subject of local interest! All posts are automatically approved, so anyone can start an independent thread at any time. Starting Thursday, all new posts will also go directly onto the home page as they are posted, whether by Patch staff or users.
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) June 25, 2013 at 12:09 PM
Our Tuesday talk topic invites more comments on the subject raised by Sam, Tim and Dave C.: http://marthasvineyard.patch.com/articles/is-dog-waste-a-problem-on-martha-s-vineyard
Kitty Savage July 28, 2013 at 01:52 AM
Did anyone else see something strange in the sky in Edgartown tonight btw 12-1am? 2 sparkling ships that swirled around and disappeared... I went out after hearing 3 shots I thought were fireworks...but what I saw was no fireworks show... it flew far away. was pretty close to the treeline! i saw it at the great harbor triangle.

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