During the summer of 1969, when I was 18, I visited Block Island, and decided to camp out atop the Mohegan Bluffs on the south shore. I found an abandoned weather-beaten wooden lean-to shaped like a Boy Scouts tent, sunken into one of the bluffs, about halfway up the slope, or just a little more. (I have always called it a lean-to, but strictly speaking, it was a bit different in that the two narrower sides were open and the roof came to a peak in the middle.) It was nine or ten feet long and maybe five feet high at the peak. The post facing the slope in back had a lot of strange writing on it in a language I didnt recognize some sort of Far Eastern script. I remember that the letters were well formed, the work of a skilled hand.  After awhile the tide came in, and along with the growing darkness, a thick fog. That night I heard all sorts of strange sounds, which I attributed to fatigue, nervousness, and the noise of the sea and wind. At first I thought I heard voices on the shore below but there was no sign of any human visitor. My ears are playing tricks on me, I thought. After awhile, it seemed as if several people were speaking a few feet away, near the farther end of the lean-to. Yet their words were not quite recognizable; it was as if they were speaking in an adjacent dimension. This too I chalked up to fatigue and an overactive imagination.  Determined to still my childish anxieties, I started to read Jack Kerouacas Desolation Angels, in which the author describes his months as a forest ranger in the Pacific Northwest, and how he had conjured up all sorts of similar fears living alone in the woods. Then, just as I was calming down, there was a loud CRASH against the front wall of the leant-to, the side that faced the sea, as if it had been struck by a rock. This was no figment of my imagination!

In terror, I ran outside, and called out. But there was no reply. I wanted to examine the wall of the lean-to, but could hardly see a thing in the dark. The wind was blowing and the tides were making a lot of noise at the shore below. I quickly scrambled up the steep clay incline, using both my hands and feet. The fog was so thick that could hardly see, but I dared not stop.  As I got over the crest, I sensed a presence over my head but I didnt look up, just kept running into the miasma across the bed of rubbery green stuff that grew profusely atop the bluffs. A moment later I found myself encircled in a wide ring of light, despite the fog. It was as if a huge floodlight had been focused on me from above as I ran, although this seemed to be physically impossible. Then on the upper periphery of my vision, I saw what I imagined was a giant bird perhaps the size of a small plane silently gliding over my head, seeming to obliterate the light as it flew by. (This eclipse of the light I cant explain, either. In the MUFON checklist, I identified the craft as a boomerang shape, but Im really not sure what shape it was. I couldn’t accurately estimate the size of the craft either, but did my best on the checklist.) Eventually I reached the paved road that led back to town. A few minutes later, a car came by. I stepped out of the shrubbery, put out my thumb, and it stopped. Two guys in their twenties, year-round Block Islanders, gave me a ride to town. On the way, they asked me what I had been doing near Black Rock Point at night. When I told them what had just occurred, they were astonished. Didnt you notice that all of the houses out there are empty? Everyone knows thats the most haunted part of the Island! Nobody goes out there after dark!  Because of this, for decades I believed that the entire episode was some sort of poltergeist phenomenon or a ghost story. But when many decades later, I told the tale to my grandson, he pronounced it a UFO experience, and I am now inclined toward that theory.  NOTE:  The above image is CGI.

This case is under investigation by Field Investigator Eric Smith of MUFON Rhode Island.