Go Back Report # 181



       It was five degrees above zero and blizzarding in the remote New Hampshire town of Wakefield (pop. 1400) at noon on January 10, 1977. Horse farmer William McCarthy was looking out his window at the falling snow when he was surprised to see a hole in his pond. The pond, 105 by 75 feet, had been frozen solid just the day before, when McCarthy's horses had played over the surface. He put on his coat and went outside for a closer look.

       The hole was perfectly round and cut smoothly through 14 inches of ice. Eight inches of slush surrounded the hole, suggesting that something had melted through. Peering into the hole and through the clear water underneath, McCarthy saw something that looked like a one-foot-square box. He stared at it long enough to remove any doubt in his mind that he was seeing what he thought he was seeing. He raced back to the house and brought family members over for a look. Then he went to the barn to pick up a rake, a hoe, and a pole, hoping to use them to haul the mysterious device to the surface.

       Back at the pond McCarthy saw that the box seemed to have sunk three feet into the muck at the bottom. Frustrated in his attempt to retrieve the object, he called a friend, Bob Palmer, who arrived around 2:30 P.M. Concerned that they might be dealing with radioactive satellite or aircraft debris, Palmer notified the police who soon arrived in the company of a local Civil Defense (CD) representative. The Geiger coun­ter indicated a reading alarmingly above normal (three roentgens per hour versus normal background radiation of .001 roentgen). The McCarthys were warned to stay away from the water, and the CD man and the police left to inform their superiors. Half an hour later the police phoned with the news that State Deputy CD Director Weslie Williams would be coming to the farm to do further testing.

       By 4 P.M. the circle of slush had expanded to 10 feet. No one showed up, however, and finally the family went to sleep. At 2 A.M., alerted by the barking of his dog, McCarthy woke up to see three men at the pond, whose entire surface had now turned to slush. The investigators, who included Williams, had two Geiger counters with them. One malfunctioned; the other read two to three roentgens per hour for the area around the water. The CD men left to notify their superior and through him Gov. Meldrim Thomson, Jr.

       When McCarthy observed the pond a few hours later, he discovered a second hole, this one about 50 feet from the original. Not long afterwards someone from the attorney general's office warned McCarthy not to let his animals drink from the pond; he reappeared later in the day to express concern about possible water seepage. He also directed McCarthy and his family not to discuss the affair with anyone else until the official investigation was completed.

       The next day the pond was frozen over again. Disregarding warnings, McCarthy walked out on it and looked down through the clear ice where the hole had been and to the pool bottom. A fresh six-inch wide trench stretched from beneath the first hole all the way to the second. To all appearances, the object that had entered via the former had left via the latter.

       By Thursday morning, in spite of official efforts to keep the story quiet, reporters and curiosity-seekers were descending on the McCarthy property as ru­mors ran rampant. State police escorted all but the officially connected off the farm. Investigators tried unsuccessfully to drain the pond, then saw a six-by-three-foot opening where the original hole had been. Distant observers thought they saw the searchers retrieve a black object and place it inside a van, which quickly left the area.

       State authorities acted quickly to deflate the story. By the end of the day, a statement from the governor's office declared that more sophisticated equipment had found no abnormal radioactivity in the pond and the surrounding area. The black object witnesses had seen, the authorities contended, was a container filled with soil and stone samples collected for analysis.

       Media accounts treated the incident as a UFO case, even though no one reported any anomalous aerial phenomenon which might arguably be related to it. The reality of whatever may have happened was quickly buried underneath piles of rumor, specula­tion, and sensationalistic reporting. On the other side, attempts were made to explain the pond's curious melting as the effect of "water currents from springs." No springs, however, flowed into the pond, which McCarthy had created and which was filled by runoff water from rain and snow.

       Whatever its cause, UFO-related or otherwise, the mystery of the hole in McCarthy's pond remains unsolved.                                                                                                                  

This reference: The UFO Encyclopedia by Jerome Clark Vol. 3 pp. 544-545 © 1996

Mr. Clark’s sources in descending date order:

       Hamilton, William B., and Peter Anderson. "Shallow N.H. Pond Still Unfathomable." Boston Evening Globe (January 14, 1977).

       Keeley, Robert. "NH Natives 'Saw' Mystery Object, State Officials Say They Didn't." Boston Herald American (January 14, 1977).

       Sutherly, Curt. "Wakefield Wrap-up." UFO Newsfront (January 31, 1977): 1.

       "The Wakefield Incident: Telling a UFO from a Hole in the Ground." International UFO Reporter 2,2 (February 1977): 8.

       Sutherly, Curt. "The Inside Story of the New Hampshire UFO Crash." UFO Report 4,3 (July 1977): 22-23,60-61,63-64.

       Hendry),, Allan. The UFO Handbook: A Guide to Investigating Evaluating and Reporting UFO Sightings. Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Company, 1979.

       Fowler, Raymond E. Casebook of a UFO Investigator: A Personal Memoir. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1981·           

UFOCAT PRN – 108913

UFOCAT URN – 108913 UFO Investigator (NICAP) January 1977, p. 2


UFOCAT URN – NONE    International UFO Reporter Vol.2, No. 2, Feb. 1977, pp. 8-9

UFOCAT URN – 093701 J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies, June 16, 1977. On site

                                        Investigation, by Raymond E. Fowler

UFOCAT URN – NONE    INFO Journal, Vo. 5 No. 6, March 1977 by P.J. Willis

UFOCAT URN – NONE    INFO Journal, Vo. 6 No. 6, March/April 1978 by Steve Hicks   

North America – United States, New Hampshire, Carroll

Wakefield         Latitude 43-34-05 N, Longitude 71-01-50 W (D-M-S)

Reference: http://www.fallingrain.com/world/

UFO Location (UFOCAT) - Latitude 43.57 N, Longitude 71.02 W (D.%)           


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