NICAP Explained & UFOs of Vermont
Keeping with our running theme of exploring the UFOs, Cryptids, and hauntings of states, today we're moving on to Vermont.
Now, this is a conundrum of a state - it has the most UFO sightings, however, it has some of the least reported and documented cases. As we dive into those peculiarities, we're also going to take time to define some UFO organizations that we've hinted at before.
Best Place to Spot a UFO
According to USA Today, Vermont is the best place to look into UFOs.
• From 2001-2015 sightings per 100K: 80.8
• Total sightings: 504 (6th fewest)
• Population per sq. mile: 68 (20th fewest)
• Households without internet: 13.0% (23rd lowest)
National UFO Reporting Center
Except for donations, the organization has been almost entirely funded by Davenport himself, which was estimated to cost $500-$5,000 a month.
Betty & Barney Hill
East Mountain is the site of the former USAF North Concord Air Force Station, a ground-based radar facility of the US military. Built in 1955, its name was changed to Lyndonville Air Force Station in 1962; it was closed in 1963. The North Concord AFS reported an unidentified flying object (UFO) sighting in 1961 — a couple of hours before the reported abduction of Barney and Betty Hill. The US military sighting lasted 18 minutes.
Speaking of the Hills, we teased talking a bit more about NICAP, and we're following through on that promise!
National Investigations Committee On Aerial Phenomena or NICAP was founded on October 24, 1956, by inventor Thomas Townsend Brown.
They had a strong list of names on their Board of Governors including
- Donald Keyhoe, Maj USMC (Ret.)
- former chief of the Navy's guided-missile program RADM Delmer S. Fahrney USN (Ret.)
Brown wasn't a great money man and they ran into financial troubles by January 1957, just 3 months after NICAP was started. Fahrney took charge of the program following Browns' step down at the request of the board.
In April 1957, Fahrney resigned from NICAP, citing personal issues. It was later disclosed that his wife was seriously ill. Keyhoe took charge at this point which seemed to go decently well for them... but only decently.
By 1958, NICAP had grown to over 5000 members. Keyhoe's financial management and business skills were only slightly better than Brown's, and NICAP hobbled along throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, facing collapse on several occasions.
The 1960s saw the group grow to 14,000 members
NICAP's membership continued to drop as it was led by Acuff and then Alan Hall. By now, the organization was all but paralyzed by infighting, including unsubstantiated charges that the Central Intelligence Agency had infiltrated NICAP. In fact, several persons with CIA ties had joined NICAP; however, their motives and reasons for joining NICAP have been the subject of some debate.
The End For NICAP
In 1980 was the last publication of NICAP's newsletter; the organization dissolved later that year. NICAP's archive of UFO sighting case files was subsequently purchased by the Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS).
The frequently UFO-themed X-Files made occasional references to NICAP, most notably in the season 1 episode Fallen Angel in the shape of NICAP researcher Max Fenig. Fenig later returned in the season 4 two-part episode, Tempus Fugit/Max.
UFO Sighting Stories:
This is a report from a man who sent his report to NUFORC on July 5, 2020.
"It was at 11:17 pm when my wife and went for a ride and we were traveling south on I89. We have seen three really bright lights brighter than the full moon and the brightest star in the sky flying in formation. We then noticed that three flying in formation we being followed by many more bright lights to many to count. However, the very front light in the formation shot behind us in the north direction and another took its place in front. But then the sky got so bright behind us it looks as is the sun popped out. But then that light that disappeared behind was back in front of us and it bright so we pulled over to try and see what it was and it stopped suddenly and meanwhile the formation of lights and its tail of lights were farther in the distance. Both of us looked in aww and we realized the bright light we were looking at was a craft in the sky and was oval in shape and looked like a giant apartment building hovering in the sky and had other bright lights up the side that we could see in different spots throughout the side.
And as we sat on the side of I89 with our hazard lights blinking it seemed like we had been watching for an hour or longer not one vehicle went by on the N or S lanes we noticed that it still hovering above us but it looked like it was farther than it had been. And all of sudden a bright bright light illuminated the complete bottom side of this craft it shot straight up to the point the bright light on the bottom of the craft was a little bigger and brighter than the brightest star in the sky and then moved so fast in the eastern direction it was just flashes of light. When it was all finished it was 27 minutes long but it seems like it was two hours. The two of us were physically drained and. I was driving I was so drained that I was falling asleep driving and my wife was asleep five minutes after it disappeared. We see planes all the time and we see different types of helicopter because we live close to the flight path of a runway at Burlington International Airport and helico!pters fly over on their way to the hospital and they both are very noisy. This craft was not making any noise and definitely didn't move like any aircraft I know of. I truly believe we have seen ufo's on America's Independence Day."
This is a report from a man who sent his report to NUFORC on August 17, 2015.
"My wife and I were in Eden, Vermont, from Thursday, August 13th to Sunday, August 16th, with our 3-year-old daughter. On Saturday, August 15th, at approximately 9:10 pm, from the NW where the Big Dipper was I noticed a bright light coming toward me from the two bottom stars that make up the base of the Big Dipper Pot (hope that makes sense). The object was bright like a massive orb with no sound whatsoever.
I know it wasn't a plane because a few flew over with their standard red and green lights and the sound of jet engines. Jola (my wife) was inside the house and I was calling out for her, but for some reason, she couldn't hear me even though most of the windows were open.
I ran inside to call her as a witness calling out to her and she still didn't hear me (almost like my voice was muted). I grabbed her camera and snapped these photos."
I am glad you could join us as we finally got to tie up some loose ends when it came to NICAP, but Vermont left us again with more questions than answers.