In Episode 234, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger explore Bantam Lake in Morris, Connecticut, searching for the crash site of a UFO. On April 10, 2012, multiple witnesses, including a Connecticut State Trooper, saw a glowing ball of light as big as a whale drop down in the vicinity of Connecticut’s largest natural lake. Was it just a meteorite, or something even more otherworldly?
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Produced and hosted by: Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger
Edited by: Ray Auger
Additional Voice Talent: Lauren Middleton
Theme Music by: John Judd
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*A note on the text: Please forgive punctuation, spelling, and grammar mistakes. Like us, the transcripts ain’t perfect.
[CAR STOPPING AND DOORS CLOSING]
JEFF: We can walk from here, Ray.
RAY: So we just parked our car in the Bantam Lake boat launch, here in Morris, Connecticut.
JEFF: That’s right. This week we’re checking out a story related to the lake.
RAY: I looked this up on the way here. Bantam Lake is Connecticut’s largest natural lake. It sits up here in Litchfield County in the northwestern part of the state. It’s 947 acres in size, and reaches a maximum depth of 25 feet.
JEFF: So not the deepest lake.
RAY: No. 25 feet isn’t that deep at all. So what are we looking for?
JEFF: Ray, we’re exploring Bantam Lake, searching for the crash site of a UFO.
JEFF: Hi, I’m Jeff Belanger.
RAY: And I’m Ray Auger, and welcome to Episode 234 of the New England Legends podcast. If you give us about ten minutes… we’ll give you something strange to talk about today.
JEFF: Thanks for joining us on our mission to chronicle every legend in New England one story at a time. Did you know that most of our story leads come from you! This one did. Thanks to Chuck Bezio for tipping me off right after I spoke at the Morris, Connecticut, Library.
RAY: It’s pretty nice when our community sends in the leads. It helps a lot! Which is why we ask you to help spread the word about what we do. Subscribe to our podcast, because it’s free. Then please like and share it with your friends. Posting a review for us on Apple Podcasts also goes a long way in helping others find us so they can share their own local legends.
JEFF: Before we jump into Bantam Lake’s UFO, we want to take just a minute to tell you about our sponsor Nuwati Herbals!
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RAY: Okay, Jeff, we’re looking for a UFO crash site at Bantam Lake in Connecticut?
JEFF: We are. You know how many of the stories we chase date back decades and sometimes centuries?
RAY: Sure! Tons of these stories have been passed around for generations.
JEFF: This one occurred in 2012.
RAY: 2012, as is ten years ago?!
JEFF: That’s it. I must admit, I missed this story when it first happened. Fortunately, it got a lot of coverage in the news and on the Internet, so we can piece it together.
RAY: So we don’t have far back to travel this week.
JEFF: We don’t.
RAY: Then let’s head back to 2012, and check this out.
JEFF: It’s early in the morning on April 10th, 2012. Just about 2:00 AM, when a man driving in his car near Bantam Lake sees something huge and glowing green falling from the sky!
[HUGE WATER SPLASH]
JEFF: The glowing object appears to fall right into Bantam Lake. So the driver reaches for his cell phone.
[9-1-1 DIALING TONES]
OPERATOR: 9-1-1 what’s your emergency?
JEFF: The driver reports he’s just seen a green, glowing object the size of a whale fall into Bantam Lake.
RAY: Okay, that sounds like something impossible to miss. But it also sounds like it could be a hoax call. Who’s ever heard of something like that happening?
JEFF: Sure. I completely agree with you, but around the same time, a Connecticut State Trooper 10 miles away in Warren calls in to his dispatch that he’s just seen a glowing object fall out of the sky in the area of Morris and Bantam Lake.
RAY: Okay, so between the 9-1-1 call and the state trooper, the police now know SOMETHING just happened.
RAY: With so little information, police and fire are dispatched. Right now the thinking is: maybe a plane just fell from the sky? Maybe there was an impact near trees or a home and now there are casualties.
JEFF: But a quick search around the neighborhoods in the vicinity of the lake verify that there’s nothing burning, and nothing seems amiss.
RAY: Still, out of an abundance of caution, emergency officials get in their boat…
RAY: And head out on the lake searching for any sign of aircraft debris, or oil slicks. Law enforcement also contacts the FAA to ask if there are any reports of missing aircraft. But there’s nothing. No planes are reported down, and there’s no obvious signs of debris on the lake.
JEFF: The sun comes up, and first responders take another look on the lake. Again, it’s only 25 feet deep in the deepest part of the lake. So if something like a plane went down, you should be able to see it, at least on sonar. But there’s nothing to be found.
RAY: After further investigations, the National Weather Service verifies that there was indeed a meteor shower last night.
JEFF: So the meteorite theory is gaining traction. A meteorite would make sense. It could appear to be glowing and fall from the sky. But something as big as a whale… that would cause much more catastrophic damage to the area.
RAY: News outlets are asking the same questions. And suddenly we’re all getting a uhhhmmm CRASH course…
JEFF: I see what you did there…
RAY: On meteorites.
JEFF: One of the dangers with meteorites is speed. If you lie on your back and I drop a bullet out of my hand onto your chest from say… one foot away, it’s not going to hurt you.
RAY: I don’t imagine it would. I’d hardly feel it.
JEFF: Right. But if I fired that same bullet at your chest from six feet away and it was traveling about 1800 miles per hour…
RAY: THAT will do some major damage.
JEFF: Yes it will. The bullet isn’t that large, but it’s going to rip right through you because of the amount of energy behind it. Meteorites enter Earth’s atmosphere at 30,000 miles per hour, but once they hit the atmosphere, there’s a lot of drag, which super-heats the meteorite to over 3,000 degrees. It’s so hot, it glows, its surface boils as it begins to disintegrate.
RAY: Most meteorites burn up in the atmosphere. We call them shooting stars. If they’re large enough, they don’t get the chance to burn up completely, and they can hit the ground causing a crater. We read one article about how a meteorite the size of a pea caused a one-foot crater in a person’s front yard.
JEFF: So if that meteorite was the size of a whale and traveling faster than a bullet…
RAY: A splash may be the least of your problems if you live around Bantam Lake.
JEFF: A splash would be the least of your problems if you live in New England! Something that big hitting the ground would vaporize a huge area. So people start wondering if this event could be something other-worldly. Could it be a UFO?
RAY: The other concern locals have around Bantam Lake is that if a meteorite landed in the lake, is it radioactive? Are they in danger? Locals start reaching out to their elected officials. They want answers.
JEFF: in the coming days, the local media fills up with experts commenting on this event. If it was a meteorite, there’s no danger of radiation. It’s just a hunk of metal and rock. But… if it wasn’t a meteorite….
RAY: If it wasn’t a meteorite, then what the hell was it?
JEFF: And talk of UFOs landing or crashing at the lake continues to grow. Reports and speculation spread on the Internet… And that brings us back to today.
JEFF: In the absence of concrete answers, the UFO legend grows. The witnesses to this event were reliable and corroborated, and a search for anything more logical yielded nothing.
RAY: So we’re left with a UFO – and unidentified flying object.
JEFF: Technically true. Unidentified, and it was a flying—or falling—object.
RAY: Falling for flying… still a UFO.
JEFF: Right. So the real problem here is the size. A meteorite that large would have been devastating on the region. Plus, when a meteorite hits Earth’s atmosphere, it glows from the intense heat and friction. Once it gets through the atmosphere, if there’s anything left of it, it typically cools enough to stop glowing by the time it hits the ground.
RAY: So can we rule out a meteorite?
JEFF: We can’t, and here’s why. We consulted with a few people on this, and what this could come down to is the position of the witnesses.
RAY: What do you mean?
JEFF: We know the Connecticut State Trooper who called in the object was in Warren, Connecticut, which is about ten miles to the northwest of Bantam Lake. If the driver who called 9-1-1 was also located anywhere to the northwest of the lake, then both witnesses would have had the same line of sight on the object.
RAY: Okay, I get that.
JEFF: So if a large meteorite hit the Earth’s atmosphere at an angle that made it appear to be heading directly toward the ground, and it was glowing brightly in the sky – which can and does happen—it could look like the large green ball shot right into the ground, when in reality it burned up in the atmosphere hundreds of miles away, or it skipped off the atmosphere and kept going out into space.
RAY: I get you. Without much perspective something like that could look like it just hit over the hill even if it was hundreds of miles away.
JEFF: We don’t know if the witness who called 9-1-1 actually saw it splash into the lake. From where he was positioned he may have seen the green glowing ball fall past his line of sight, say a tree line in front of him, and assumed if that streak continued, it must have landed in the lake.
RAY: I see what you mean now. From the driver’s perspective, he’s not wrong. But we’re also not positive.
JEFF: We’re not. And in that gap of knowing, a legend was born. And today, out here on Bantam Lake, we can’t help but gaze skyward and wonder if we’ll catch a glimpse of a shooting star, or something maybe even other worldly. Either way… you better make a wish.
RAY: And I wish more of you would join our growing community of patreon patrons! This group of insiders is the backbone of what we do. For just $3 bucks per month they get early access to new episodes, plus bonus episodes and content that no one else gets to hear. To sign up, head over to Patreon.com/NewEnglandLegends.
JEFF: We appreciate when you get involved with us. Download our free New England Legends app for your smart phone. Join our super-secret Facebook group where you can exchange stories and legends with thousands of other people who also love this stuff. And be sure to follow Ray and I on social media. You can find all of those links on our Web site.
RAY: We’d like to thank Lauren Middleton for lending her voice acting talent this week, and our theme music is by John Judd.
JEFF: Okay Ray… you ready for some Bantam Lake UFO post-game discussion?
[POST DISCUSSION HERE]
RAY: Until next time remember… the bizarre is closer than you think.