Director expresses interest in Sheffield UFO story

Thom Reed describes his experience as a 9-year-old in Sheffield in 1969 when he, his brother, mother, and grandmother all witnessed and came in contact with what they and others in the town describe as a UFO in a field near the Sheffield covered bridge. A Hollywood director has expressed interest in turning the eventual book into a major motion picture.

SHEFFIELD — A Hollywood director is interested in turning a famous town tale of visitors from beyond this world into a major motion picture.

Louis Morneau, director of 2012's "Werewolf: The Beast Among Us," has communicated with local radio station WSBS that he wants to make the movie and awaits a book on the subject that is currently in the works.

The movie would concern a series of UFO sightings — notably, a 1969 occurrence reported by several dozen people in South County — starting in 1966 and most famously told of by former resident Thomas Reed.

"He basically told me he's interested in doing it, but wants to see what Thom comes up with for a book first," WSBS Program Director Jesse Stewart said.

Reed said he recently sat down with Morneau at Peet's Coffee & Tea in Santa Barbara, Calif., to discuss the prospect.

"There is going to be a major movie," Reed said. "We've been in touch back and forth for the past year and at this point we're friends. Once the book is done he plans to start pitching [the movie] to producers."

A reporter from The Berkshire Record will research and write the book, according to Reed.

Reed expressed hopes that the film would be shot on scene in Sheffield, Great Barrington and other locations in the county.

"I don't see why they wouldn't," he said. "New York City is very nearby."

In February, Great Barrington Historical Society admitted materials concerning the 1969 siting into its archives, deemed the event an "off-world incident ... historically significant and true."

The society based its decision on documentation from the radio station, several eyewitness accounts — people from Sheffield, Great Barrington, Stockbridge and South Egremont are said to have witnessed the object and some gave testimony to the U.S. Air Force — and polygraph results on Reed showing a 99.1 percent truthful reading under questioning about what he and his younger brother saw.

Then, this month, a 5,000 pound granite monument was placed near the Covered Bridge on Boardman Street commemorating the 1969 sighting.

Around 40 people gathered last Wednesday to view the new monument, which was collectively paid for by Reed, others who said they saw the UFO in 1969 and their family members.

Town officials have since said the monument is on town property and must be moved. Reed and town officials are expected to resolve the problem this week.

Contact Phil Demers at 413-496-6214.