Invasion on Chestnut Ridge (2017) Movie Script

(dark atmospheric tones)
(ominous tones)
(dark atmospheric tones)
[Narrator] There are
places in the world where the
boundary between the known
and unknown is very thin.
Places whose natural and
wild beauty hide secrets
too incredible to be believed,
until those secrets begin
to reveal themselves.
When that happens, people
react in wonder, curiosity,
and sometimes in horror.
Humanity often
commemorates these places
by creating monuments
such as Stonehenge.
Scholars suggest that it
was a place from which
to observe the heavens,
a place of burial,
a place of either human
sacrifice or healing.
The Nazca Lines, etched into
the earth of Southern Peru
carry the qualities
of sacred symbolism.
The dessert southwest has kept
its own disturbing secrets
from the alleged crashes
of craft from other worlds,
to the all-too-real
testing of atomic weaponry.
Then there's the
Bermuda Triangle,
a region of the Atlantic Ocean
in which hundreds of ships
and approximately 75 planes
have simply gone missing,
along with passengers and crew.
Both scientific and supernatural
causes have been proposed
for these catastrophes, but
theories do little to ease
the pain of those who lost
loved ones in the Triangle.
There are places in the
world whose mysteries call us
to come and see for ourselves,
whatever the human
toll might be.
Places like the Chestnut Ridge.
The Chestnut Ridge, located
in Southwestern Pennsylvania,
lies on the western edge of
the Appalachian Mountain range.
The Ridge rises in
Southern Indiana County,
and rolls to the southwest by
way of towns like Blairsville,
Derry, Latrobe, Connellsville,
Mount Pleasant and Uniontown,
all the way into West
Virginia where it gradually
comes to rest near Morgantown.
Villages along the Ridge were
founded as far back as 1770.
The rich limestone clay
soil rewarded the efforts
of early farmers and soon
the communities could support
iron furnaces, whisky
distilleries and general stores.
One family, by the last name
of Keck, settled in the area
to bottle and sell spring
water and soft drinks.
They had no way of knowing
that their town, Kecksburg,
would one day become world-famous,
but not for ginger ale.
Then I was 16-years-old
when the incident happened
near Kecksburg, Pennsylvania.
Then I got involved with that,
that evening as it's
breaking on the news,
and I've been out in the
field ever since that time
investigating UFOs and
cryptids and other phenomena
hear in Pennsylvania.
Kecksburg, Pennsylvania's a
small rural community in Mount
Pleasant township in Westmoreland
County, Pennsylvania,
approximately 40 miles
southeast of Pittsburgh.
[Narrator] Like many
of the small towns
in Westmoreland County,
Keckburg sits within the
shadow of the Chestnut Ridge.
The Ridge is dotted end to
end with these tiny villages,
many of them founded
well over a century ago.
Each of them bears their own
strange history of sightings
and encounters with
things not of this world.
Many wonder what it is about
this particular stretch of land
that beckons such mysteries.
For decades, researchers of
the strange and unknown have
journeyed back to the Chestnut
Ridge in search of answers.
Their quest isn't solely
confined to present day.
For over a century, mysterious
circumstances have shrouded
the Ridge in a fog of unease.
I've been involved in the
paranormal since I've been about
10-years-old and then I
got into the field in 1997
investigating cases.
My main base of operation
in Pennsylvania is the
southwestern part of the state,
namely this particular area
where we're at here,
Westmoreland, Fayette County,
Armstrong, Indiana, Washington.
Probably about 80% of my
investigations and cases that
I've worked on have been here
in the Chestnut Ridge area.
There's been a long
history of various phenomena
along the Chestnut
Ridge, especially along
the Westmoreland County
side and Derry township.
We have many reports from
those small communities such as
Derry and New Derry and Hillside
and Superior and Brenizer,
and all throughout that area
and many sightings from around
the Keystone State Park.
Without a doubt, there's
an atmosphere to this area.
You can drive these back roads,
and you just get
a weird feeling.
Some of these places you
go into, some are very dark
and secluded, they just give
off a really ominous vibe.
Something very strange
has been going along
the Chestnut Ridge for many
many years and in fact,
the earliest firsthand account
I have of a Bigfoot encounter
where I actually
interviewed the witness,
goes back to 1931 near Indian
Head in Fayette County.
And of course, Fayette County
is one of those areas that has
year after year
phenomena being reported.
There are newspaper articles
I've found that date back to
the late 1800s that talked
about people experiencing wild
men of the forest or even
gorillas or monkeys in this area.
It's not just Bigfoot related,
there's all kinds of weird
phenomena from UFOs,
strange lights in the sky,
cryptid creatures,
haunted locations.
There's just a really
concentrated area right here.
There's a lot of weird
activity that goes on.
So there's been a lot of
history of all kinds of strange
phenomena that's happened
all around this area,
through Mount Pleasant township,
and throughout the
community around here.
UFO sightings in this
area have been rampant.
As I said earlier, it's a
very high volume of reports.
Even all the way up to
Kecksburg in the 1960s.
[Narrator] There probably was
a time when the residents of
Kecksburg felt far removed from
the tension of the Cold War
and obsession over UFOs.
While the televisions, movie
theaters and drive-ins were
full of nuclear wars or
countered by fantastical aliens
and flying saucers, this
tiny burg remained blissfully
detached from the near
hysteria that was gripping
other areas of the country.
In late 1965, that sense of
security would be shattered.
(dark atmospheric tones)
I'll remember it all my life.
It's something
I'll never forget.
That night, we was actually
out playing football,
and we didn't actually know
about it until we walked back
in the house and Mom and Dad
said that there was a thing on
the radio that something
crashed in Acme.
My mom looked out the window
and she seen all the vehicles
and stuff on the
road, she says, well,
this is right behind the
house, that ain't in Acme.
I remember that evening
just like it was yesterday.
It was a Thursday evening,
December 9th, 1965.
I was listening to a radio
station in Pittsburgh.
There was a breaking news
story coming on the radio
about this brilliant fireball,
this fire object was seen
from the tip on Ontario,
Canada over Michigan, Ohio
and Pennsylvania.
[Narrator] That night, a
radiant fireball was seen
streaking through the
skies over Detroit
and Windsor, Ontario, moving
in a southeasterly direction,
allegedly dropping hot
metal debris over Michigan
and Northern Ohio before hitting
the ground near Kecksburg.
All sorts of explanations
were proposed.
Some thought they were
witnessing an airplane accident.
Others thought a missile
test had gone awry
or that a satellite was
re-entering the atmosphere.
The most common assumption
was that a meteor was
the brilliant light in question.
None of those, however,
seemed to square
with what was happening
near the Chestnut Ridge.
Local witnesses reported
feeling the impact
of the object's crash landing,
seeing a wisp of blue smoke
rising from the woods,
and some even claimed
to discover what it was
that had fallen to Earth.
An object shaped like an acorn,
approximately the
size of a small car,
with hieroglyphic-like
writing around its base.
The ravine in which it fell
quickly became the center
of curiosity and controversy.
And it got more exciting
during the evening as reports
were coming in that the
military was now arriving in the
Kecksburg area to search for
an unidentified flying object.
We started watching
out the windows and stuff
and I seen people coming in
and out and going down into the
field down to where it was at.
And then we started
seeing people come in.
We seen cars lying
in our driveway.
People going up and
down through the fields,
and then people
coming to the house.
They used our house
as a command post.
People actually believe
that they saw a small military
presence within maybe the first
hour after the object fell.
But it was during the next
few hours during the evening
that most of the military
begin to arrive on the scene.
And many people throughout
this area reported seeing
what looked like a military
convoy, military trucks
coming in from different
roads into the Kecksburg area.
So what we learned
was the fact that,
as reports of this object coming
down in the Kecksburg area
began to circulate on
Pittsburgh area radio and TV,
hundreds of people descended
on the small rural community
to try to get a look at the
object down in the woods.
[Narrator] An alarming
scene was beginning to unfold
around the crash site, residents
of Kecksburg claimed that
armed soldiers were present
and were preventing people
from approaching
the wooded ravine.
In one instance, a witness
reported that a member
of the military instructed
two neighborhood boys
to deliberately misinform
curiosity seekers.
And the youngsters gladly
complied by giving people
false directions
to the impact site.
Things took a decidedly
more serious turn, though,
the closer one came
to the downed object.
A well-known jazz musician
from the Pittsburgh area
claimed that US soldiers
aimed their rifles at him
and his friends, ordering
them off a country lane,
as an army flatbed truck
hauling a tarp-covered,
acorn-shaped object made
its way out of a field.
Others, who were
teenagers at the time,
reported that the
military response
left them fearing
for their lives.
Some of the local residents
who saw this object come down
that afternoon, they went
down into the wooded ravine
to see what had fallen from
the sky and they came across
this large metallic
acorn-shaped object
semi-buried in the ground.
There was actually two important
locations, there was one,
it was on top of the hill,
what is now called Meteor Road,
which is where hundreds of
people were jamming the road
that night, that's where
most reporters were,
that's where some military,
other authorities were.
Far on the opposite side of
the woods was an old dirt road,
a farm lane which a number of
people found themselves on,
that was closer to the
crash site, the impact site,
and that's where a lot
of the military presence
and other authorities were
on that lane over there.
There was people in
black suits came in,
and those people,
they was actually
seemed like they was
in charge of everybody.
We see some people coming
down in a white suit
carrying a big box.
One had a NASA patch on his
arm and they took this box
down into where that was at.
I seen him go down
in with the box.
Never seen it come back out,
but I seen the truck go down in
and I seen it come back
out with something on it.
There was a lot of talk
around this community
that people had seen a large
military flatbed trailer truck
carrying a large tarped
object out of the area
late that night, but
that was in the news.
The next day, me and my
brother went down in the woods.
We seen where they
had covered up a hole.
It was a different kind of dirt,
and seeing all the trees
broke off and walked there
over to the other side of the
hill and it was all burnt off.
There was some guy over
there with a Geiger counter.
At the time we thought
it was a treasure-finder.
We was kids, we didn't
know any better.
He asked us what we
was doing down there,
told him, "oh, we live here,
we're down here all the time."
He says, "well, you know
there's a chance of radiation
"being down here."
"What the heck is radiation?"
You know, we didn't know.
So, we sort of ignored him
and went along our way.
So, early the next morning
I went to the local news stand
to see if there was any of the
stories about what was seen
last night in the local
papers and there it was in all
the local papers, the Pittsburgh
Press, the Post, Gazette.
The Greensburg Tribune
Review had two editions
and the early morning edition
had "Army Ropes Off Area.
"Unidentified Flying Object
Falls Near Kecksburg."
The later edition of the paper
had several different stories
including one that caught
my attention which said,
"searches failed
to find object."
And it went on to say that, yes,
there was a search in
the early morning hours,
but they found
absolutely nothing,
and that the official
explanation was that
it was people's imagination,
they had seen a bright
meteor in the sky, but nothing
had fallen to the ground.
And that's officially where
the case remains today.
I can picture it in my head.
The people coming in.
People keeping quiet
about things and
people I know that was there
and seen it and denied it.
I'll never forget that,
you know, it's something...
Something that sticks with you.
Kecksburg to me seems like
it was almost the catalyst
for people becoming comfortable
enough to share their
experiences and the newspaper
media following these
encounters and
reporting on them.
[Narrator] The Kecksburg
experience turned the eyes
of those who lived in the
area to the skies over
the Chestnut Ridge and what
they saw over and over again
was more mysterious
than they ever expected.
What they saw was unidentified.
In the spring of 1966, a
woman in Latrobe was awakened
from sleep by her dog which
had become highly agitated.
Upon taking the dog outside,
she saw a silver object
hovering no more than 80 feet
above the roof of her house.
The object looked
and spun like a top,
and was bathed in a redish glow.
After several minutes, the
top-like anomaly shot up
into the sky and was gone.
The witness faced ridicule
from her family and friends
when she spoke about
what she had seen.
Later that same year, two women
were approaching Adamsburg
on Route 30 when they noticed
a strange aerial craft
almost touching a series of
high-tension power lines.
As they drove closer, the object
went under the power lines
and began to dive
towards their car.
Fortunately there
was no collision,
and as it flew off, the women
observed its dark-colored
oblong shape with a
type of tail in the back
and deep groves on its surface.
The driver of the car, who,
to that point had
been a UFO skeptic,
suffered repeated nightmares
about the incident.
In the months and
years to follow,
reports like these would
become more and more common
along the Chestnut Ridge.
Eye-witnesses were
left to speculate about
what they had seen and wonder
what normal life was going
to be like now that they
knew something was out there.
I know what I saw, it stayed
with me all these years.
I haven't told a lot
of people about it.
At this point in my
life, it happened,
and I'm just here to
tell you about it.
I grew up in Derry
on Ridge Avenue.
This happened back in,
it was either the late fall
of 67 or early winter of 68,
it was still dark, but
daylight was coming.
I was sitting at the
table in the kitchen,
when my mother was
in the living room.
I heard her call,
"Tom, come here."
When I walked into the living
room we were looking out
the picture window in the living
room, above Chestnut Ridge,
out of the picture
window, we saw a circular
UFO is what I'm gonna call it.
Multiple lights spinning
around the bottom, red, green,
white, orange, it
was just strange.
It was something that I had
never seen or experienced before
and while we're standing
there, it was in the one spot,
and then all of a
sudden it shot across
and you never saw it shooting
across, but it was in
another position in the sky
above the Chestnut Ridge.
This went on I thought for
a lifetime, but it probably
wasn't that long, I'm gonna
say one minute to two minutes.
And we just stood
there in amazement,
neither one of us said
anything to each other,
we just stood there
and watched it.
All of a sudden, it just shot
straight up into the sky,
and it wasn't like a sparkler,
but there was a trail
of red and silver lights that
came off the bottom of it
and it just disappeared.
I've looked into the sky
in the last 50 years,
looking for something
similar to this.
I've never witnessed anything
like that since then,
although I keep looking.
[Narrator] Strange sightings
around the Chestnut Ridge
have never been
limited to the skies.
There's a long history of
earthbound bizarre activity,
especially on the
Westmoreland, Fayette,
and Indiana County
side of the Ridge,
with witnesses reporting
subterranean sounds,
strange lights, black panthers,
and unusually large birds.
And then there's Bigfoot.
Accounts of hair-covered
man-apes can be found in
Pennsylvania newspapers
dating back to the 1800s,
and these creatures have
never really gone away,
reemerging from time to time
in the southwest
highlands of the state.
In the late 1960s, a young
man named Stan Gordon
began to actively research
the Bigfoot phenomenon.
Like many, he was
excited by the search
for an unknown primate living
in the Pennsylvania forest.
So it was my determination
to set up a volunteer group
of research people to go out
to investigate these reports.
So that's what I did
and I decided in 1969
to set up my own
hotline for the public.
So I'm getting calls on
haunted houses and ghosts
and flying saucers and
Bigfoot and strange creatures
and weird noises,
anything unusual,
the calls were coming in.
By 1973, we expanded to cover
the whole state of Pennsylvania.
To our surprise, we were
beginning to get referrals from
the state police and from the
news media and other agencies,
so when they getting reports
they would refer the number
of my group to
investigate the report.
And it was very lucky that
we were already established,
because 1973 comes around
and here's this major UFO,
Bigfoot wave which nobody
could have ever predicted,
and we were extremely busy
during that time period.
[Narrator] It was
fortunate that Stan Gordon
had assembled the Westmoreland
County UFO Study Group
prior to the events of 1973.
The volunteer unit would
come to include medical
professionals, law enforcement
officers, pilots, educators,
engineers, former military
specialists and scientists,
and they were united by a
desire to gather information
as quickly and
thoroughly as possible
about the odd happenings
on the Chestnut Ridge.
Researchers like Barry Clark
could be dispatched to the
scene of a strange occurrence
within minutes of it happening
thanks to Gordon's state-of-the-art
two-way radio system.
The group's field work
was conducted as often
as their full-time
jobs permitted,
and many risked their
professional reputation
by being associated
with this pursuit.
But, with their
aptitude for technology,
and their vast range of
vocational expertise,
the members of the Study
Group shared a basic optimism
that they would eventually
uncover the truth about
the outlandish sightings that
seemed to multiply by the day.
(moody electronic music)
Barry Clark, I went out to
investigate different sightings
and events for people
who saw Bigfoot, UFOs,
that type of thing
back in the early 70s.
Somewhere along the line,
I bet you if you talked,
in the Derry area especially,
Derry to Lake Tiberias,
you'll talk to somebody who's
either friends with, related
to or know somebody that had
some kind of an experience.
Of course, 1973,
Bigfoot was the big story.
There were multiple reports
of Bigfoot sightings
all along areas of the
Ridge, especially along
the Westmoreland County
side and Derry township.
What's interesting about
those reports from the 1970s,
73, 74, some of those
reports literally took place
a couple miles
from where I lived.
An older lady lived kind of,
not secluded but by herself,
and the state police were
there the night before,
I got to go there the
next day to talk to her.
She had a little yappin' dog,
and it was carrying
on and carrying on.
She looked out and
she saw this thing,
and the more the dog
barked, the more agitated.
It literally picked the end of
her trailer up on the corner,
and dropped it, and there's
no skirting around it.
When I looked the next day,
you could see that it was
not back in the same
position it was.
[Narrator] In the early
70s, the nation was still
enthralled by stories of
the Abominable Snowman,
but was now even more enamored
of his homegrown cousin,
Bigfoot, whose presence
in the Pacific Northwest
seemed to be corroborated
by a shaky full-color film
obtained by Roger
Paterson and Bob Gimlin.
But to the shock
of all involved,
a similar figure,
massive, hairy,
sometimes leaving large thee-toed
footprints in its wake,
was appearing on farms, along
wood lines, and crossing roads
throughout Westmoreland
and Fayette Counties.
Most distressing was the
creature's fearlessness
in approaching civilization,
and the damage it
sometimes caused.
But as these events of 1973
are coming to our attention,
we begin to see some
unusual patterns.
For example, we would have a
UFO sighting in a certain area,
within minutes to
hours to days later,
we would have a Bigfoot
sighting or vice versa.
And then the reports
got even stranger.
That's when we began to have
reports with UFOs and Bigfoot
seen together at the
same time and place.
As reports were unfolding
during that time,
some of the stranger reports
begin to come to our attention.
One case was September 27, 1973.
This was out in an area
where two women were waiting
for a friend to pick them up.
Suddenly they see this
huge seven, eight-foot-tall
huge man-like creature
with white hair,
running across the
road towards the woods.
Strangely enough,
in one of its hands,
it had a glowing ball of light.
It runs off into the woods
and a short time later,
this object comes across the
sky, projects a beam of light
down into the woods where
the creature ran into.
So these reports were
getting very odd,
and then we had the case that
occurred up in Fayette County.
It was the case that convinced
me and my team that there was
a lot more to Bigfoot than
any of us had any idea about.
There were several young men
at a farm in Fayette County,
not far from here, that,
in October of 1973 saw
a very large light in the sky
come down in a farmer's field.
What we found out was that
about nine o'clock that night,
about 15 people in
that rural community,
observed this object in the sky,
it was only about 100
feet off the ground.
It was as big as a barn,
it was bright red
and like a big ball.
And it was only
about 100 feet up
and it was slowly moving
down towards the ground.
After he was done
shooting at them,
they ran back to their truck,
went back to the farmhouse,
told the family what happened,
took them to a neighbor's
and called the state police.
And then a state police officer
was called in, and he was
called in after the fact,
after the craft disappeared.
He even mentioned how large
the area was illuminated.
There was a very large area
illuminated by this craft
or whatever it was that you
could literally sit down
and read a newspaper in
it, how bright it was.
Unfortunately there was some
ramifications that happened
to one of the witnesses
where he was walking through
the field and there were
investigators with him
and all of a sudden for no
reason, he dropped to his knees,
and apparently having visions.
Visions of end times, visions
of the end of the world,
destruction, chaos,
and that sort of thing,
and it psychologically
messed the guy up.
[Narrator] Some of the
most bizarre cases on record
erupted from the Chestnut
Ridge in 1973 and 74.
One family was chased from
the woods by an aggressive
ape-like creature
with prominent fangs.
A motorist reported
hitting a bipedal monster,
which vanished at
the moment of impact.
Another person claimed to
shoot a Bigfoot that had been
stealing apples from a
bushel basket on his porch.
In many cases, the unknown
figures announced their presence
with an unsettling wail
that witnesses compared
to a crying baby, as well
as a distinctive smell
like ammonia or sulfur.
These things happened
with such frequency,
especially during
the summer months,
that Gordon's investigative
team sometimes responded
to multiple calls on the same
night, with local newspapers
providing coverage
of each disturbance.
One location where repeated
oddities were reported
was the Superior
mobile home court.
In August of 1973, the police
were called to investigate
a close-range Bigfoot sighting,
and they even located and
preserved some unusual tracks
for Gordon's team to analyze.
For reasons still unknown,
this incident attracted
some unwanted attention
from a peculiar source.
The incident at the
trailer court happened on a
Friday night, we come home
from Westmoreland County Fair,
and the whole
neighborhood was abuzz.
I was trying to figure out what
was going on and they said,
the woman who lived across
from me heard a noise
at the back of her trailer
and she opened the door
and Bigfoot was standing there.
The people who lived in
that trailer heard like
scratching on the
end of their trailer,
they heard like a baby
crying sound from close by.
They opened up the back door
and only a few feet away
here's this large,
very broad-shouldered,
hairy Bigfoot creature
standing there.
One other witness saw it
running between the trailers
out of the area.
Everybody scattered
and people were tripping
and falling over each other.
They were all, the whole
neighborhood was shook up.
Four days later after
the incident happened,
I get an emergency
call from an operator.
Well, it happened to be the
woman who lived in that trailer
who, four days before,
had seen the Bigfoot.
What she called was,
she was very upset.
She said, "I think maybe
I did something wrong."
And I said, "well, what's that?"
She said, "well, this odd-appearing
man came to our trailer.
"He was asking all
kinds of questions
"about what we saw that night."
[Jack] I come from home
work and there's this car
sitting there and it had
Ohio Government plates on it.
He had some kind of an ID
on him about Ohio and UFO,
but she didn't pay a
lot of attention to it.
He had an Ohio license
plate on the vehicle,
and he wanted to know all
about what had happened here.
And there's a
footprint in the sand,
and he's about to take
pictures of the footprint,
and the boy who lived
there, the older boy,
he went and got his camera.
As time went on that evening,
he was going over and looking
at the footprints, and I guess
there were several local people
looking at the tracks there.
There was a young boy,
he had one of those
Polaroid Instamatic cameras.
And he started doing the
same, taking a picture,
and the government guy
said, "no pictures."
Started taking pictures anyway
and he ripped the camera
out of his hand, I don't know
if he ripped the film out,
I don't remember that
part, he took the camera.
He had just developed
a picture and he said,
"I just made a picture."
And this mystery
man, whoever he was,
grabs that picture from
that little boy's hand,
wrinkles it up and puts
it in his pocket and said,
"you just made a
picture for us."
And then he went over to the
tracks and with his foot,
he destroyed the footprints.
And the people were very
very upset over that,
started yelling at him and said
"we're calling the police,"
and he ran to his
car and they said,
"he sped out so fast, he
almost turned the car over."
That's the last time
anybody saw that fellow,
and we never found
out who he was.
[Narrator] The incident at
the Superior mobile home court
was extremely strange
yet ambiguous enough
to resist explanation.
It would become far more
clear that the United States
government had knowledge
of the incidents
being reported around
the Chestnut Ridge,
and knew who to
talk to about them.
On September 20th, 1973, Stan
Gordon received a phone call
from a man who
identified himself
as a US Government official.
The caller indicated a strong
interest in the Bigfoot
sightings taking place
in Westmoreland County,
and then, to Gordon's surprise,
asked that any convincing
evidence be sent to a
facility in Washington DC.
The spokesman even
provided a mailing address
and phone number
for what he called
the Bureau of Sports Fisheries,
Birds and Mammals Lab.
Less than two weeks later,
Gordon would be contacted by
and would meet with
two men from the office
of Congressman John H. Dent.
The visitors wanted
to learn more about
Gordon's research group
and their findings
and were courteous enough
that Gordon kept in contact
with them while the wave
of sightings continued.
Later on, Gordon would be
stunned to discover that the
government may have taken a
decidedly more active approach
in their information gathering.
So while we're
interviewing this witness,
backs years later, probably
in the 1980s, and we bring up
the fact we might have to
hypnotize him again and he said,
"why do you wanna
hypnotize me again?"
And he goes on to say that
these two men came to his home
to interview him and he thought
they were part of our group
and we said, "well, tell
us about what happened."
He said, "well, these
two guys come to my home.
"One's in a dark suit, one
in an Air Force uniform.
"The one in the Air Force uniform
has a briefcase with him."
They wanted the witness
to tell the story
of seeing the UFO
and the Bigfoot.
And then apparently
he was hypnotized,
and they told him
"thank you very much,"
that they believed what
he was telling them,
that they would be
in touch with him.
He never heard from
this fellows again.
[Narrator] While Bigfoot
seemed to be lumbering
through the woods of
Southwestern Pennsylvania,
if eye-witness testimony
is to believed,
the skies above the Chestnut
Ridge were filled with
all manner of lights, craft
and inexplicable shapes
flying under their own power.
In August of 1973 alone,
witnesses reported seeing
an hourglass-shaped object,
a sphere dropping fiery debris,
a circular craft with
illuminated windows,
a bright orange ball, red,
green and white lights
that looked like
Christmas tree bulbs,
and a boomerang-shaped object
all floating through the air.
Another really
significant UFO case
was September 3rd, 1987.
And this was on a major highway,
Route 30 near Greensburg.
And that evening, numerous
witnesses in the area,
including law enforcement,
they see this huge cylindrical
object, metallic,
about 300 feet long,
only about 300 feet up,
with multiple lights on it.
I don't recall anybody
reporting any sound.
It's moving across,
coming across Route 30,
across from the
old Greengate Mall,
where there is a
power substation.
So this object is moving
horizontally across the sky,
and then it turns vertical
in the sky and when it does,
all the power in the area
goes out for a short time.
Behind that mall was an annex
where they had movie theaters
and that was all blacked out,
and when the engineers went
to examine it, to investigate,
they found all three of the
master fuses had been blown.
Something that's
apparently unheard of,
and they were very interested in
what caused those
fuses to go that day.
[Narrator] In
September of 1973,
the aerial activity
seemed to intensify
over specific locations
in Derry township.
At one of these locations
called the Bell Farm,
a family and their friends
claim multiple eerie encounters
with both UFOs and
hairy humanoids.
Investigator Barry Clark,
a colleague of Stan Gordon,
spent a number of nights
staking out the Bell Farm,
and soon found himself at
the center of events that,
by his own admission,
he found haunting.
(dark atmospheric tones)
Three times we got a call
from different people saying
that if you looked up in
the sky at 10 o'clock in the
eastern part of the sky,
you would see a real
bright, large star,
just all of a sudden turn on.
So, the one night I left
interviewing one family,
and I went back out to the
farm, sometime after 10,
we were sitting there
maybe 10 minutes after 10,
all of a sudden there
was this bright star.
And we were watching it and
all of a sudden that thing,
it would turn blood-red and
then it'd go back to silver.
Turn blood-red,
go back to silver.
And then there were five flashes
like an arc from a welder,
and they were about
a second apart,
and then there were just
multiple small silver objects
went to it that looked like
bees going to a beehive,
waiting their turn to go in.
But when they got there, they
either reflected the red,
or they turned red.
So we stood there and
watched it in awe.
The guy's wife, she
screamed, jumped in her car.
She wouldn't come back out.
And I said, "there's something,
it's doing something."
And then we realized is
was actually coming down,
it was getting bigger, and
at that point we all left.
[Narrator] After the incident
at the Bell Farm, Barry
Clark decided that he was
finished with the paranormal.
Shaken by what he saw, he never
investigated another case.
But evidently, the paranormal
was not finished with him.
After stepping away
from the research group,
Clark experienced an
episode of missing time
while making what should
have been a short drive
between communities
on the Ridge.
This sensation that only
a short time has passed,
when in fact many
hours have elapsed,
is most commonly linked to
alien abduction scenarios.
Clark does not suggest that
he was abducted, but neither
does he have any answers
for what happened to him.
Only the disturbing
reality of time
for which he cannot account,
of which he has no memory.
And along with that
comes the suspicion that,
when one peers deeply
into the darkness,
there's actually
something looking back.
I've had some things go on
through my life after that,
and what bothers me
is I have a grandson,
who was born in 1986,
and from the time he was like
eight, nine, 10 years old,
he kept telling us about
people that were coming
into his bedroom through
a hole in his ceiling.
Now, he has had lapses of time,
you know, can't explain,
which I have had.
I've had incidents where
I have lost an hour,
an hour and a half, he doesn't.
So I don't know if what
I was doing back then
triggered something, and then
it carried on to my grandson.
I don't know how that works.
All I know is, it was about
1975 when these things started.
I talked to one other person
that was involved back then
that said that they were afraid,
that they were telling about,
seeing things in the mirror
when they looked at themselves
and incidents like that, but,
it's quite scary when
it happens to yourself.
It's nice to read about
it by somebody else,
but when it's
really your life...
(dark atmospheric tones)
I became friends with
a guy named Sam Sherry.
He lived right in the
heart of the Chestnut Ridge
up in Ligonier, Pennsylvania,
a little town called Wilpen.
It was 1986 and he was
fishing at a place called
Sleepy Hollow.
It's a popular spot for fishing
and it's a little breezeway
or a crossover between Route
30 East and Route 30 West,
and one night Sam was
out there fishing,
and he heard some
noise to his left,
and he looked over to see a
figure standing on an embankment
a little further down the
creek from where he was,
and this was Loyalhanna
Creek that he was fishing on.
So as he's fishing
and doing his thing,
he notices this figure's moving
closer and closer to him.
And it got to the point
where it was so close to him,
that he could make out very
good detail of this thing.
And as he described it,
it's not your typical
Bigfoot creature that he saw.
It was an upright-walking
creature that had very sparse
hair on its body, almost
like it had mange.
It appeared to have a mohawk
on the top of its head.
And this creature was
very tall, had long arms
hanging down well
past its knees.
Sam saw this thing walking
closer and closer to him,
ambling closer and it
kind of unnerved him.
So he got in his
vehicle to leave,
and just before he
was able to leave,
this creature stopped
the vehicle from leaving,
put its hands on the
driver-side door,
stuck its head in the window,
and he was literally
face-to-face with this thing.
He said this thing
actually opened its mouth,
he could see there was
no teeth in its mouth,
or it was missing
a lot of teeth.
It was pushing down on the car,
preventing him
from driving away.
He hit the horn on his
car to scare this thing,
this thing stepped back like,
oh-my-gosh kind of expression.
Sam took off and left.
And he said in his tail
lights as he driving away,
he could see thing waving
at him as he drove off.
Although the Chestnut Ridge
has yet to see another outbreak
of reports quite like
the flap of 73 and 74,
unusual sightings
have not stopped,
and if anything, they've
become more bizarre in variety.
Otherwise sober-minded individuals
professed to have seen
enormous dark-colored birds
in flight and on the ground,
which are sometimes
referred to as Thunderbirds,
as well as Black Panthers,
upright-walking canid
creatures known as Dog Men,
winged humanoids and even a
22-foot-long flying lizard
resembling a dragon.
In many cases, observers
struggled to describe
what they have seen because
there are no categories
that correspond to what
they have perceived.
All they can do is react
to the invasive presence
of what appears to be a monster.
But there's all kinds
of strange creatures
that have been seen.
The most recent was the Dog
Man sighting that took place
literally miles down the
road from where we're at
here in 2015.
Four women were going to a
place called Ruringrun Park,
and they pulled into a
pull off at the trail head
to get out of the vehicle
to start hiking the trail,
and as they got out of the
vehicle, they started into the
trail head and they noticed a
figure walking towards them.
The one woman claimed that
this thing wasn't a person.
It was actually a
very tall, muscular,
salt and pepper
hair-covered creature,
that had a large snout
like a wolf or a dog,
had pointy ears and
had a tail on it.
And it was standing
upright on two legs,
and it just approached
them out of the forest.
Three of the four women
got back in the car.
She stood there watching it and
it stood there watching her,
and the stare-off went on
for several minutes before
this thing turned and walked
back off into the forest.
There have been many reports
over the years of not only
Bigfoot sightings, but
reports of Thunderbirds,
those huge generally
dark brown or black birds
with massive wingspans
like a small aircraft.
A Thunderbird basically is a
large bird with anywhere from
eight to 20 feet in
length of wingspan.
Some witnesses describe
the Thunderbird as having
black feathers all over its
body while other describe
the Thunderbird as having
like a reptilian-like membrane
skin on its body, almost
like a Pterodactyl-like thing
flying through the sky.
I only ever heard one that
came from a guy that said that
he was up on the Derry Ridge,
and this large Thunderbird,
well, didn't name
it a Thunderbird,
but this very large bird flew
right over the top of him.
(dark atmospheric music)
Yeah, I grew up in Lower
Burrell, I joined the army
and then in 2005 I retired,
moved out here to Derry.
I just got done
cutting my back field.
My family was down at
Keystone State Park there.
I went down to get
them to bring them up
to show them what the
field looked like.
I came back up to the field,
I'm looking out there at the
end of the field and it looked
like there was a tree stump.
So we drove out there
to the tree stump.
I go, "that isn't a tree
stump, it's a deer."
It looked like a big deer,
about this tall, maybe five,
five and a half feet tall,
sitting up on its butt.
You know, it was like this.
And I'm getting closer
and I'm thinking,
that doesn't look
like a deer anymore.
And it picked up its head and
it was staring at me like this
like it was mad.
Huh, so I stopped 50
yards maybe from it.
I'm looking at it.
"That's a bird."
It got up and it took one swipe,
and it starts coming
towards me and I'm like,
"oh, Judas Priest."
Came over top of our bus
and my yard is shaped like a
rollercoaster and
when it hit that,
it came up like
that into the air.
It was big-chested,
just claws like this.
If it wanted to and
it swooped down,
I'm not saying it's
gonna pick you up.
It'll pick you into pieces
and take those pieces away.
Strange events like this go
on all across Pennsylvania.
And there's certain areas
where sometimes you get more
activity than others, but the
one area, of course, that,
year after year we seem to
get more than normal activity,
is areas along the
Chestnut Ridge.
There's been all kind of anomalies
up on the Ridge such as
underground sounds and mystery
booms and strange lights and
people seeing small little
lights coming near their homes.
And they appear, as I said,
very close to the ground,
or very very high
up in the trees.
There's no rhyme, nor
reason, nor explanation
for the pattern they move or
why they move, or direction.
They just, they move, and
it seems almost as if like
they're intelligent
enough to move,
so they don't want
you to see it.
Like you see it over here and
you'll be focused over here
and then it'll appear over
here and then when you look
over here, it's gone and
it's back over here again.
(dark atmospheric tones)
To this point, that is the
biggest event that's happened
in my life that I have
no understanding of.
In August of 2015, myself
and a friend of mine, Eric,
we were on the West Virginia
side, near Preston County,
in a very remote location
about two miles off of anywhere
that would have been
near any civilized area.
Well there's a couple times
where I've experienced this,
and I don't know what it is.
I really don't have
an explanation,
and I don't think anybody
does at this point.
We were out doing a
Bigfoot investigation
in this very active area.
This night was pitch-ink dark.
I couldn't even see Eric, I
couldn't even see my hand.
I mean, there was
no Moon that night.
You couldn't see through
the canape of trees.
No residual light
from the stars.
So we were in
total ink-darkness.
[Eric] And I noticed off
in the woods, to my left,
probably about 100
yards away, this light.
And it first looked like
someone just carrying a lantern.
If you would swing a lantern
as you're walking through
the forest, you could see it
moving back and forth rocking.
What appeared to be a
light permeating underneath
the canape of trees, was
moving around very slowly,
but erratically
at the same time,
almost balloon-like
but it would stop,
and then it would move again.
And as more people focused
on it and more people started
to see this light moving
through the trees,
and we were trying to
figure out where it was
emanating from, where it was
coming from, if maybe there was
somebody over there in the
woods with us that night.
As it got a little bit closer,
you could see, if you've seen
the lava lamps of the 70s,
it has this pulsating light
change going on inside of this
spherical object.
I know for a fact it
was within 60 feet of us
when the next thing happened.
Well, I didn't see Eric
and he couldn't see me.
Well, he has a 500
lumen flashlight.
He lit it up with a flashlight.
This window opened up
in this black darkness.
It was a translucent, silvery,
almost like it was light
projecting out of it.
This thing went in,
this window shut,
and then we're standing there
in total darkness again.
I have no idea
where it came from.
I started talking to
other people about it,
seeing if they had seen it,
other people researched up
in that area and little by
little, I began to hear people
talking about seeing these
floating light in that area.
[Narrator] Is there a simple
cause for the glowing orbs
being detected in the
forests of Pennsylvania?
Perhaps an atmospheric condition
or weather-related
anomaly is to blame.
Or is there something
more than natural
generating light in
those dark places?
What is it about the Ridge
that seems to produce a
parade of the monsters?
Do these creatures crawl
forth from the belly
of the Ridge itself?
And what about the strange
lights that appear in its skies?
Are they terrestrial in origin,
somehow generated by
the great earthen mound?
Do we even know the
right questions to ask
about this window
into the unknown?
In this region,
mysteries tend to layer
one on top of the other.
People, they sort of
make the connection between
Bigfoot or UFO or UFO
along with Bigfoot.
I am no expert by any means, I
think there are power sources
in the area and I think
there might be a link to
power sources having
something to do with this.
I know, if you
look on the internet,
after that I started looking
on the internet what I seen.
There's a lot of stuff that
goes up on the Chestnut Ridge.
Is it strange?
Probably it's everywhere,
they just don't pay attention.
But density of forest?
I'm not sure.
I don't know why this
area seems to attract
the phenomenon, I really
don't, but it seems to be
concentrated in the
state in this area.
It seems like the mountain
areas around here and the West
Virginia area have a lot of
strange things happening.
Over the years, we saw
certain patterns emerging,
and we thought, gee, we're
getting close to some answers,
then another case would show
up that would completely
dismiss your thoughts
and theories.
And you're always hopeful
that you're gonna finally come
to a conclusion, but the more
I receive reports, even the
last few years, some of the
cryptid reports we're getting
are so strange and so unusual.
They're not even close to the
normal Bigfoot or Thunderbirds
or Panthers and other anomalies
we get reports on, so,
there's a lot more
out there going on
than any of us have
any answers for,
and I think we're dealing with
something very strange and
unusual and right now beyond
our scientific understanding.
[Narrator] Some who have
encountered the inexplicable
along the Chestnut Ridge
have been able to go
on with their lives.
The occurrence becomes
an intriguing footnote
in their personal
history, nothing more.
But for others, the
experience has a profound
and lasting effect,
shifting their world view,
changing their thoughts
about what is possible,
what is real.
Like Sam Sherry, they become
obsessed with having just
one more encounter to justify
what they've been through.
To prove it to the skeptics
and maybe to themselves
that they're not
losing grip on reality.
Or like Barry Clark,
they would rather not know
what happened to them.
They'd prefer not to remember,
but to forget.
And maybe if I went
and had regression,
maybe I would
understand more, but,
like I said now,
I don't know if I
wanna know any details.
I know what's
happened, happened,
and I've had some physical
stuff left behind,
but do I really wanna know?
If I did do that, would it
be worse than not knowing?
It's kind of...
Kind of a Catch-22.
[Narrator] Today, the
village Kecksburg has embraced
its enigmatic past, hosting
a UFO festival each summer,
that has attracted
thousands of visitors.
Families bring children
to play in the shadow
of the UFO replica,
once used in the filming
of a TV program about the crash.
Locals are somewhat used
to camera crews in town,
as media interest in the
incident never wanes for long.
The people of this community
have done their best
to turn the events of
1965 into a positive.
Once again, I started this
when I was 10-years-old in 1959
so this year is gonna
be 58 years of research.
Why do this?
Well, I guess it's just the
fact that I'm continuing
to be curious, I'm still
learning more and more
about the phenomena out
there, I've learned that
this is a very strange world,
and there's a lot of ongoing
things out there that we
have yet to understand.
And I guess I'm always hopeful
that that next phone call
that might come in on my
hotline or the next email I get
might be the case
that, once and for all,
gives us the evidence
that will prove
that at least one of these
phenomena really do exist.
[Narrator] But countless
questions remain.
What fell near Kecksburg,
and what does the United States
government know about it?
What was unleashed on
this region in 1973,
and did it ever really stop?
How do we talk about phenomena
that are continuously
shifting, always
just out of reach?
How do we describe
the apparition,
already disappearing
in the mist?
It seems that the rolling
slopes of the hills,
the silent presence of
the Chestnut Ridge itself,
is the only thing permanent.
That, and the persistence
of human curiosity.
(dark atmospheric music)