Stella Lansing was a middle-aged housewife from Massachusetts who in 1961 began experiencing strange, and otherworldly events that over time led her down a bizarre path of UFOs, Strange humanoid creatures, Men In Black, and visions of other worlds. Most of which she managed to capture on different types of film. It all began in a cool September day in 1961 when Stella noticed a bright hovering orb outside her home in Northampton, Massachusetts. The object hovered at tree line level off in the distant sky before zooming closely to her, stopping in mid-air between her house and her neighbor’s garage.
The object appeared to be observing her, before it suddenly zoomed towards where she stood. It hovered only yards away from her, before shooting away and disappearing. Although another four years would pass by before another encounter, she would soon start to see these mysterious objects more and more regularly. That terrifying incident, although short, marked the beginning of Stella’s journey.
While driving to a friend’s house to deliver candles to them in the middle of the blackout, Lansing would see the orb-like object again. She was alone on the road, except for the orb that appeared to follow her, weaving in and out of the telephone poles along the way. Out of nowhere, a dark car appeared on the road alongside her. For reasons she couldn’t explain, she believed that the orb was “driving the car!” It eventually pulled over to the side of the road and came to a stop. Lansing kept her vehicle moving, noticing that the orb had also changed direction, and was now heading over the fields that ran alongside the highway. She kept the orb in her sight until she could no longer see it, and then carried on to her friend’s house. Incidentally, many researchers have drawn connections with strange UFO sightings and the East Coast blackout.
The black car then rolled off the highway, down a hill to a standstill. As Stella slowly drove past it, she got a sense that the occupants of the car were looking as the bright orb suddenly dipped below the telephone wires and into a nearby field. From there, Stella saw the light fly northwest before flaring up into the dark sky. She kept her car moving until she reached the safety of her friend’s house. Two years passed and Stella continued to see strange lights in the sky that at times would follow her. She had mentioned her experiences only to her family and close friends by the mid to late sixties. Still unaware of what these lights were or what they wanted, she would never imagine what horrors would soon come to visit her.
However on Halloween night, 1966, the experiences took a terrifying turn. Stella had a terrifying encounter with a strange, grotesque creature. Stella brought her car to a stop in a parking space overlooking the lake. It was just as she was about to switch off her headlights that she saw a strange figure emerge from the water. Quickly reaching hysteria levels of panic, all that Lansing would recall with any detail later, was that the figure “was wearing a black skullcap!” Scared out of her mind, Stella punched her car in reverse and pulled away from the shoreline that was uncomfortably close. In the panic of things, she managed to see that that humanoid-looking thing had crawled its way onto shore and began running towards a peninsula that was about sixty meters away from her house.
As Stella adjusted her car and headlights to shine towards the location the creature scurried off into, she saw a basketball-sized orange orb of light. Surrounding it was a fuzzy mist. The light glowed dimly and the hairs on the back of her neck stood on end. Without warning a large, brighter orb of light suddenly swooped down behind her house and then flew low across the water. The red bright object was seen by Stella’s two teenage neighbors who had seen the bright light come from the sky above and swoop down by the lake. Not far behind them was Stella’s family. They were completely oblivious to the bizarre phenomena happening just up the road. Although Stella had been attempting to capture pictures of these objects for some time, following the Halloween encounter by the lake, she obtained an 8mm camera. If she simply recorded the events, then she would surely catch more of what she was seeing for analysis.
Stella happened to once again see strange lights. It was on the night of February 18, 1967, that Stella stopped her car on Route 32, near the intersection of Warren road and Flynt street. She got out of her car to get a better look at the light. She noticed that another passenger car had pulled off the road and the driver too had gotten out due to the odd nature of lights. It was on 18th February 1967 – almost three months since the Halloween encounter – when Lansing used the 8mm camera in an attempt to capture the strange orb phenomena she had been seeing since the start of the decade. Driving along Route 32 in Northampton.
It was on April of 1968 that Stella finally purchased a Bell and Howell projector of her own. A new piece of technology that allowed her to slow down the footage she shot that fateful night to two frames a second. Revealing unnerving images she had failed to see before. The bright object she filmed on that desolate road that night in 1967 contained a few frames of the heads and torsos of strangers. Strange men in what Stella believed to be a craft of some sorts. In one of the images of the orbs from Route 32 in February 1967, Lansing could clearly see the heads and bodies of strange men. She would later say, “I never saw the people when filming it. I can’t tell you what object they came out of or what they were in. The only thing I could think of is that they must have come from the soft white object!” According to Lansing, this white craft remained hovering over them all the while she was filming. The four strange men that Lansing had captured would become known as “The Occupants!”
By 1970 she had been already taking photographs that contained strange lights or structures superimposed on them. A mysterious clock-like pattern also began to appear on her films and photographs. Strangely enough, they geometric patterns appear on the film itself, overlapping the frames of the footage. However remarkable these images appear at first glance, no official investigation was done on Stella’s claims and impressive evidence. There had been no real interest until one day in 1971 when Stella walked into a UFO conference and told her story to a Dr. Berthold Eric Schwarz, M.D.
In 1971 – a decade since the orbs had first made themselves known to Stella, she would meet Dr. Berthold Eric Schwarz at a UFO conference. Dr. Schwarz had a keen interest in the paranormal – including ufology – and was extremely interested in what Lansing had to say. Particularly when she offered to show him the proof of her claims in the films she had shot. Schwarz performed extensive medical, physical and neurological examinations of Lansing – all of which came back perfectly standard and normal. However, he soon learned that years of sightings and being witness to strange activity had more than taken their toll on Lansing, mentally. So much so, that she had voluntarily entered the state hospital for psychiatric evaluation in 1967. It was determined during her stay there – at least by the doctor in charge of her case – that she was a Paranoid Schizophrenic. This caused her to suffer hallucinations, which resulted in the sightings of UFOs. Far from being crazy, this really showed Stella to be perfectly normal given the years of strange events she had seen.
On 15th April 1971, Schwarz, Lansing, and an unnamed women, made their way to a particular spot where many of her sightings had taken place. It was late night, and as the car was brought to a stop and the headlights killed, the three of them were plunged into darkness. However, it was only a matter of minutes before they were joined by a pair of glowing yellow orbs above them – just as Lansing said would happen On this particular evening though, while the three of them stood in awe of what they were seeing. As the three observed the craft, they were completely unaware of an approaching black car that had its headlights off. The car stopped about a hundred feet from where the three stood. It suddenly blasted its bright headlight beams in their direction.
The incident that night lead Dr. Schwarz to believe that something unexplainable was happening to Stella and that it was in no way a cleverly done hoax since the distant UFO lights had no way of being projected onto the night sky. Dr. Schwarz even refuted claims by many that they were subjects of a mass hallucination. An explanation that is often used to explain multiple witnesses sighting the same phenomena. An impossible hypothesis since there exists no such thing as mass hallucinations.
However in 1991, when a television show (Sightings) picked up on Lansing’s story, they obtained the film and transferred it to VHS tape for purposes of the broadcast. The picture that showed “The Occupants” image, when viewed on the newly transferred VHS tape, now contained strange and mysterious voices, only audible over this particular section of film. To say it shocked all those involved, including Lansing, is an understatement. Stella Lansing continued to research the phenomena she managed to capture and tap into. However, at the time of her death in 2012, she still had no answers as to what she was seeing, or why. There is undeniably a connection between the strange sightings Lansing experienced and the bizarre images she captured in her film. Was that some kind of unintended consequence? Or were they some kind of message or attempts at communication? Perhaps they were even images of another dimension or reality? All theories are on the table it would seem.