The Hippo


May 24, 2020








Michael Mitchell’s comic book. Courtesy photo.


Thursday, Sept. 3
Dusk to 10 p.m. - Family sci-fi movie (Swasey Parkway)
Friday, Sept. 4
4 to 8 p.m - Exeter First Friday celebration with UFO theme
Saturday, Sept. 5
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. - Speakers
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. - UFOs Over Exeter for sale (Krypton Comics, 103 Water St.)
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Children’s activities (Founder’s Park)
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Groove Lounge Cantina Band (Bandstand)
11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. - Lunch (Bandstand)
Noon to 2 p.m. - Incident at Exeter UFO site talks every half hour (maps at Town Hall)
Noon to 4 p.m. - EAC “Other Worldly” art exhibit (Town Hall)
1:45 p.m. - Exeter UFO Hall of Fame Induction
7 p.m. - “Meet the Speakers” (Hampton Inn & Suites, 59 Portsmouth Ave.)
Sunday, Sept. 6
10:45 a.m., 1 and 2:30 p.m. - Speakers
Noon to 4 p.m. - EAC “Other Worldly” art exhibit (Town Hall)
Noon to 3 p.m. - Lunch (Bandstand)
6th Annual Exeter UFO Festival
When: Thursday, Sept. 3, through Sunday, Sept. 6
Where: Downtown Exeter; all lectures are held at the Town Hall (9 Front St.)  
Cost: $10 donation for admission to all the festival’s lectures, and a $10 donation for admission to the “Meet the Speakers” event.

Out of this world
UFO fest celebrates “incident at Exeter” anniversary

By Angie Sykeny

Fifty years after the reported New Hampshire UFO sighting known as “the incident at Exeter,” UFO researchers are still speculating about what really happened that day.

This year’s Exeter UFO Festival will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the incident with UFO-inspired activities, entertainment and lectures in the downtown area, Thursday, Sept. 3, through Sunday, Sept. 6.
The festival began six years ago, primarily as a symposium for UFO theorists to meet in the town where the incident took place and exchange ideas, but it has since grown into a family-friendly event.
“The festival brings [the incident] notoriety and brings it back to people’s minds,” said Bill Smith, president of Exeter Area Kiwanis, which is organizing the festival this year.
There will be more than 10 speaker events covering a variety of topics including the incident at Exeter, stories of other UFO sightings, alien abduction reportings, crop circles, conspiracy theories about government cover-ups and more. The speakers are authors, documentarians, researchers, historians and people with personal stories about UFOs.
People will also have the opportunity to go to the exact location where the incident was reported to have happened and listen to a local UFO researcher recount the story.
Other festival activities include a family-friendly science fiction movie showing outside, kids crafts and face painting, live music by the Star Wars-inspired Groove Lounge Cantina Band, the Exeter Arts Committee’s “Other Worldly” art exhibit and hot dogs and hamburgers for lunch.
If you’re looking for a souvenir, local comic book artist Michael Mitchell will be at Krypton Comics, selling and signing the comic he created in the spirit of the festival and the 50th anniversary. UFOs Over Exeter is a narrative of the incident based on the reports of whom Mitchell considered the most credible sources. The comic is designed with retro artwork to resemble an authentic comic from 1965, the year of the reported sighting.
“It’s such an interesting story with twists and turns,” Mitchell said. “We thought it’d be interesting to retell the story in a graphic form and with a retro look to bring it alive and put the audience in the moment of when this event was unfolding.”
Smith said the festival is a fun way to celebrate a famous event and a chance to learn more about UFOs from qualified speakers.
“Whether people don’t know much about [UFOs], they believe, they’re on the fence, or they’re doubters, they should go and listen and get more information that maybe they didn’t even know existed,” he said. “It’s open to everyone; just bring an open mind.” 
As seen in the September 3, 2015 issue of the Hippo.

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