Is Dan Aykroyd attracting UFOs to Martha’s Vineyard?

Or could it be J.F.K.?

—Kate Feiffer

Picture two aliens in a spacecraft. For seven gravity-free nanoseconds, they’ve glimpsed nothing but black ocean, then lights! Civilization! Their GPS tells them, “You’re closing in on Martha’s Vineyard. You are advised to hold here, because the social activity in the high season is more frenzied than anything we’ve studied anywhere else on the planet, with any of the species.”

So that’s a hypothetical about why our Island has been prey to a lotta lotta UFO sightings.

Chilmark resident, ghostbuster, and movie star Dan Aykroyd has made it a point to examine alien activity here or anywhere in earthly precincts. In the documentary, “Dan Aykroyd Unplugged on UFOs,” (, released in 2005, he states, “There should be no debate anymore that UFOs exist.”

But back up a sec: Let’s look at E.T. tableaux over our own hemisphere. Normally it’s a sign of abject lunacy to admit you’ve glimpsed flickering lights over Katama. Heaven forbid you reveal you’ve been abducted by aliens for one of those unmentionable probes. Yet it happens!

Aykroyd says in the documentary, “This is real. People are being abducted. Mind control is in play here, and we have to be vigilant.”

Aykroyd maintains that 54 percent of Americans believe in UFOs. If you take a straw poll of all your Island friends and neighbors, chances are a few of them will have seen — well, something “rich and strange,” to pull Shakespeare in on the discussion.

And many of the alien hijinks are recorded in local papers and newscasts. Like the September 1953 story in the Vineyard Gazette about a Daggett Avenue woman who stood in her yard and eyeballed orange lights over Cassiopeia. An April 1958 dispatch from the same source reads, “Signs in the sky continue to disturb Vineyard residents,” and the article goes on to specify these same residents seeing “shapes like half-moons.” Oh, and here’s a good one: In 1967 from the deck of the Navigator restaurant in Edgartown, diners witnessed three lights draped low over the harbor, “pulsating.” One man was so distraught he fled the restaurant without paying his check. Yeah, we’ve heard that one before.

But here’s the jewel in the crown of our local UFO phenoms: In the summer of 1963, according to the Vineyard Gazette, J.F.K. — yes, J.F.K. — sat on board his launch with 12 friends in waters northeast of Martha’s Vineyard.  All of a sudden, a disk-shaped object materialized within 100 feet of the boat. The sphere looked to be about 60 feet in diameter. The bottom shone bright, just like Steven Spielberg’s “come and get it” spaceship in “Close Encounters.” While J.F.K. and his colleagues gaped, the object shot up at tremendous speed and vanished.

The president had apparently bought in to the whole Roswell/Area 51 code of omerta, because he instructed his guests, “We don’t talk about this!”

Obviously at least one of them did.

The sightings continue into our present age. On Sept. 19, 2009, Vineyard eyewitnesses called the Dukes County Commission to report strange lights in the sky (so that’s what the commission is set up for). Facebook and Twitter went nuts with the news. Reports flooded in of Derby fisherman spotting multicolored spots on the southern horizon. A fisherman with his son and his son’s friend beheld a weird vision over Squibnocket at dusk: a bright, tiny beam that morphed into a football shape, burned, exploded like a firecracker, then vanished.

So back to the question of whether or not Dan Aykroyd, in his trips to these shores, involuntarily brings alien cruisemobiles with him. He himself admits, in various online interviews (including a Huffington Post show detailed on aol: that he’s seen UFOs zooming over his house on Martha’s Vineyard.

If we consider the law of attraction, it’s commonly accepted that the more you think of something, the more that thing follows you around. For example, during the many years that I researched and wrote about ghosts here on the Island, the more ghosts trekked with me down the streets, winking off lampposts, climbing up stairs, and even messing up my computer when I wrote about them (OK, down, boys!).

The next time you spot Dan Aykroyd strolling up Circuit Avenue with the fabulous Bill Murray, or eating pizza on the Chilmark Store porch, take a look later at the nighttime skies.

Aykroyd has a good idea of what to do if we make contact: “Let’s go to some neutral place, scientists and world leaders … let’s sit down and have a forum with the extradimensional beings, and kind of get to know each other.”

The Lampost, anyone?