- The Bridgewater Triangle is area of about 200 square miles within in southeastern Massachusetts in the United States. Since colonial times the area has been a site of alleged paranormal phenomenon, ranging from UFO and "black helicopter" sightings (including many with multiple points of corroboration including police and a local news team), to poltergeists and orbs, balls of fire and other spectral phenomena, various "bigfoot" sightings, giant snakes and 'thunderbirds', as well as the mutilation of cattle and other livestock.
Although known for centuries as an area of unusual and unexplained activity, the specific boundaries of the Bridgewater Triangle were first defined by paranormal researcher Loren Coleman in his book Mysterious America. The Triangle encompasses the towns of Abington, Rehoboth and Freetown at the points of the triangle, and Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, North Middleboro, Dighton, North Dighton, Berkley, Raynham, Lakeville, East Taunton, and Taunton inside the triangle. A similar, albeit lesser known area exists in neighboring Vermont called the Bennington Triangle.
Central to the area is the mysterious and largely untouched Hockomock Swamp, which means "the place where spirits dwell", and which was called "The Devil's Swamp" by early settlers. The Triangle also has been known to house several Indian burial grounds, as well as significant sites used by both natives and colonists during King Philip's War, which is said by some to be the source of several curses on the nearby land.
One of the most common phenomena reportedly observed in the area is "spooklights" or what otherwise matches the description of will-o'-the-wisp, sometimes known as ghost lights which are typically seen in boggy or swampy areas. The behavior of this phenomena is consistent with mysterious lights allegedly observed with in the Bridgewater Triangle, including those which are said to appear along train tracks every January. Also, Foxfire would likely be observed within the swamp, which if seen would no doubt appear to some as paranormal or "spirits" as has been suggested inhabit the area.
The area within the Triangle, centering on the Hockomock Swamp but also including developed areas of neighboring towns, offers the odd mix of paranormal phenomena associated with other areas of Native American historic significance. Similar reports have been made of areas such as Uintah County, Utah, the San Luis Valley, Yakama Indian Reservation, Elbert County, Colorado and Sedona, Arizona. Common to most these sites, the several areas within the boundaries of the Bridgewater Triangle were the locations of some of history's bloodiest battles during the King Philip's War.
Common to most of these areas is a mix of reported phenomena that includes reports of UFOs, mysterious animals and hominids, ghosts and poltergeists, animal mutilations, as well as in more recent history reports of clandestine military activity including mysterious unmarked helicopters. What is perhaps most notable about the Bridgewater Triangle, however, is that this reported activity for the most predates that of other areas, dating back to colonial or pre-colonial records.
Another area of unusual activity within the Bridgewater Triangle is the Freetown-Fall River State Forest. The forest land and that forming the town of Freetown was purchased from the Wampanoag Tribe in 1659, and many Native Americans have claimed that the odd and evil events which transpired over the preceding 350 years are the result of a tribal curse. For decades the Freetown State Forest has reportedly the site of various cult activity including animal sacrifice, ritualistic murders committed by admitted Satanists, as well as a number of gangland murders and a high number of suicides.
Among the recorded homicides are over a dozen confirmed murders in the forest over 1978 to 1988, as well as on-going police investigations in discovered mutilated remains of cattle and goats. Another gruesome discovery by Freetown police, following the report by the victim of a previous sexual assault at the site, was underground bunker otherwise hidden from view. Upon investigation police found a number of strange objects, include small chairs with belts or restraints, seemingly made for children.
Also found within the boundaries of the Bridgewater Triangle is the Dighton Rock. The source of great controversy, the rock contains a number of inscriptions by possibly pre-Columbian visitors ranging from Vikings, to Portuguese to Phoenicians (characteristics of each of these languages can be found on the rock.)
a.. Mysterious Tombs: When archaeologists excavated a burial ground located on Grassy Island in the Hockomock Swamp and opened the graves, the red ochre within the tombs mysteriously bubbled and dissolved. Photographs of the site would not develop. (source: A Prehistoric Skeleton from Grassy Island, Edmund Burke Delabarre, American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. 30, No. 3 (Jul. - Sep., 1928), pp. 476-480)
a.. 300-year History of UFO Sightings: The first UFO sighted over Bridgewater was in 1760, described as a "sphere of fire" that cast shadows in broad daylight. Another was sighted on Halloween night in 1908 by two undertakers. Dozens more UFOs have been seen in the vicinity from the 1960s through the present day. During the 1970s a number of UFO reports originated from the area of the Triangle, including an account by multiple witnesses at Joseph's Restaurant in Rehobeth in 1973, reports form two Boston radio reporters (channel WHDH) on March 23, 1979 and more recently as reported in the Sunday Enterprise local resident George LaCasse saw a red-light flying erratically.
a.. Satanic Rituals: The Freetown-Fall River State Forest (within the Triangle) has been the site of several gruesome murders linked to admitted Satanists or otherwise consistent with Satanic Rituals. Local graves have been disturbed with skulls stolen, in some cases later found in the Freetown Forest. Sites have been found with evidence of ritualistic animal sacrifice. Since the 1980s many instances of sacrificed cattle and goats have been invested or otherwise recorded by the Freetown police.
a.. Reports of Black Helicopters: Local resident Mary Lou Jones-Drown reported hearing "very loud helicopter noise" in Rehoboth on June 25, 2002. No helicopters were apparent in the air when the noises were heard. She was able to locate and interview witnesses who told her that mysterious helicopters "equipped with spotlights" were seen flying over the Palmer River School on the north side of Route 44. A local farmer reported "two black helicopters with spotlights were flying in formation above the trees. The choppers came from the southeast, from Mount Hope Bay in Swansea." Another report concerning July 26, 2002, described "it was like gray camouflage or a striped helicopter type." Similar reports were made August 7-9, and again on August 15, 2002. (source: Joseph Trainor, "UFO Roundup," July 9, 2002)
a.. Sightings of Bigfoot: The hairy hominid has been seen many times around Hockomock Swamp. In April, 1970, the creature allegedly picked up the rear of a police car.
a.. Men in Black: A variety of odd and strange behaving characters, consistently old men dressed in black with distorted facial features, have been witnessed within the area of the Triangle, notably near the Raynham Park and Elm Street in Bridgewater.
a.. Thunderbird sightings: For decades reports of giant birds or pterodactyl-like flying creature with wingspans 8-12 feet have been sighted in Hockomock Swamp and neighboring Taunton, including a report by Norton Police Sargent Thomas Downy.
a.. Phantom Dogs: In 1976 an Abington resident reported seeing a large phantom dog with red eyes was seen killing two ponies. The witness, the ponies' owner, said the beast ripped their throats and was almost as big as the ponies themselves. Responding to the incident, Abington Police officer Frank Curran engaged the suspected animal, fired his weapon with no effect.
a.. Assorted Strange or Out-of-Place Creatures: reports unusual animals date back to pre-colonial times, with more modern reports from a variety of government and other officials have documented unusual animals including alligators, black panthers, giant turtles as well as a giant snake "as thick as a tree trunk" reported by Civilian Conservation Corps workers in 1939.
a.. Indian Curses: According to one tale, the Native Americans had cursed the swamp centuries ago because of the poor treatment they received from the Colonial settlers.
a.. Ghosts: Visitors to Hockomock Swamp have experienced such haunting activity as the smell of smoke when there is no fire; a bonfire atop a rock that mysteriously vanished and ghostly voices in the Algonquin tongue.
a.. The Phantom Hitchhiker of Route 44: Many people have encountered the spectre of a long dead hitchhiker along the wooded area of Route 44 while driving from Seekonk to Rehoboth. The man is sometimes well kept, other times he is dirty with his clothes in disarray. A few details that remain constant in every encounter: his hair is always red, and he's always dressed in a plaid shirt. One woman reported running over a man fitting that description late one night. The man seemingly appeared out of nowhere, and the woman, taken by surprise, had no time to prevent a collision. When she jammed on her brakes, and leapt out to investigate, she found no evidence of anyone being in the road at all. She did hear, however, a cackling laugh emanating from the woods alongside her. Frightened, the woman returned to her car and continued on. A few minutes later, the same thing happened again. The man appeared, and once more she hit him. Too frightened to leave her car, the woman rolled down her windows to inspect the road. As before, there was nothing or no one to be seen. The disturbing laugh returned, this time much closer, as if a few feet from the car. Sufficiently terrorized, the woman peeled out at full speed.
a.. Spectral Lights and Orbs Spectral lights and orbs are perhaps the most common phenomena witnessed throughout the Triangle, usually over the local bodies of water such as the Hockomock itself or nearby lakes and ponds like Assawompset Pond, as well as behind the Raynam Dogtrack, near the Rehoboth Cemetery, and Elm Street in Bridgewater.
a.. Haunted Trainline: Similar to the spectral lights, a variety of strange lights and sounds has been witnessed along the Raynham/Stoughton MBTA (train) line, which occur with regularity every January
a.. Animal Mutilations: Various incidents of animal mutilations have been reported, particularly in Freetown and Fall River, where local police were called to investigate mutilated animals believed to be the work of a cult. Two specific incidents in 1998 were reported by Fox25 News: one in which a single adult cow was found butchered in the woods; the other in which a group of calves were discovered in a clearing, grotesquely mutilated as if part of a ritual sacrifice
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