Monday, October 26, 2009


I've been thinking about this for a while, thinking that it might be an interesting addition to our weekly interactions, it might possibly become a fixture like EOTWQ. My idea is that we write stories, ie; we relate events that the group might find interesting and worthy of discussion. I know there's been quite a few that have said, 'Sorry I haven't been around, been too busy etc' but perhaps we can lure them back, maybe even tempt them to contribute?

OK, since I'm first up I'll start by saying that I've never believed the popular press's take on UFO's, I do believe that there are unidentified flying objects but I don't think that they're related to any activity outside of our solar system. Having said that let me tell you about two UFO's that I've seen.

1. This event took place in Long Beach California in the 1970's on a warm golden summer evening at about 6pm. I was going to teach a class at the university and my route there included a residential street that was about 300 yds long and was a very steep hill, on my left were a row of typical California single story houses going the length of the hill and on my right was an open field. I stress this because it's important to understanding my visual perspective. I was driving a VW Beetle. When I was about half way up the hill I suddenly saw to my left, immediately behind the roofs of the houses an enormous sphere, it was larger than 2-3 houses and I could only see the upper 75-80% of it. I instantly stopped the car and applied the handbrake.
It was a translucent white sphere with an intense white center which was pulsing about 2 times a second, every pulse sent visible ripples of energy outwards towards the edges of the sphere. The evening sun was directly behind in the west but was below the level of the rooftops so I couldn't see it but I could see that it illuminated the sphere from behind.
All of my lifelong disbelief in UFO's vanished in an instant, I was immediately transformed into an absolute believer, I even remember saying something aloud to that effect. I sat transfixed for several minutes.
And then the penny dropped.
A slight detour. About a hundred plus miles north of LA right on the coast is Vandenberg Air Force base, it's the west coast equivalent of Cape Canaveral. They regularly used to shoot rockets from there down the Pacific range towards Australia, I'm not sure why but they often fired them around 6pm. There was usually a beautiful man-made light show that accompanied them; when the rocket reached it's peak altitude the water vapor in the exhaust contrail froze, the late afternoon sun to the west would cause it to burst into spectacular rainbows and then the piece de resistance, the high altitude winds would twist these rainbows into spectacular colored linear abstract patterns which would usually last 5-10 minutes. I often saw them and was always glad that my tax dollars were being put to such good use.
Back to the UFO. The penny that dropped was my realisation that what I was looking at was an exploding missile, the sphere was the smoke, debris, fuel etc. the pulsing center was the ongoing explosion which was actually pulsing visible light energy outwards. It must have exploded at about 60 miles altitude right over the Pacific immediately due west of where I sat. It was spectacular! I went back to being a disbeliever.

2. In about 1953-4 I was living in Suffolk and I'd just come out of the RAF, one clear, warm summer evening, again about 5-6pm, I was walking with my sister along a country lane, ahead of us we saw a small group of 2-3 people standing and staring at the sky. We joined them. If you were to hold a 12" ruler at arms length with your hand level with the horizon the top of the ruler would be approx. 20-30 degrees above the horizon. That was where we were all looking, there was a dull red sphere hovering there, I can't say how far it was but it was as far as the horizon or possibly much more. You know how big the moon looks? about as big as a ping-pong ball in the sky? This was about as big as a marble, bigger than any star or planet but much smaller than the moon. The image I had of it was that it looked like a dull red car tail-light and it just sat there. As we stood watching and talking between ourselves it suddenly started to move, it was directly to the south and in about 15-20 seconds it moved horizontally 90 degrees until it was due west, it absolutely wasn't an aircraft nor a helicopter. If it were and was at that distance it would have taken many, many minutes to travel that 90 degrees, this object did it in seconds. We watched it some more in the west and then suddenly as we stared at it, it vanished, just like that!
The next day I wrote a note to the local paper, The Bury [St Edmunds] Free Press asking if they knew anything about it, they printed my letter and replied that there had been numerous enquiries but they hadn't seen it and their enquiries to local RAF and USAF bases hadn't been fruitful.
To me, that was and still is an unidentified flying object, and I still don't believe in space aliens.

OK, so what do you think, is this sort of thing a worthwhile addition to our weekly trivia quest?


AliMunday said...

Hi GF - I think Storytime is a good idea but I can't say I've ever had a UFO experience. My brother lives near Rendlesham in Suffolk, which is a very popular UFO spotting area, but I don't think he's had any other-worldly experiences either (except maybe wandering back from the pub in the dark!)

treefrogdemon said...

I've got a ghost story: will that do?

little green sane said...

A clear August night in Milton Abbas.. we had wondered down the street (8 thatched cottages each side) looking like we had just returned from the Reading Festival (two of us had)... freaking out the natives as we went.

We went to the chapel.. a weird feeling late at night- then sat in the grounds of the abbey, a search light dotted over the ground then the loudest- lowest helicopter, flew just above us.. we were laying flat on the ground, mostly dressed in dark clothes.. so couldn't be seen.

The helicopter disappeared.. but odd light glowed in the sky, our adrenalin was at such a high level that we were almost panicking... but we calmed down and watched them dance and glow.. with out the faintest idea what they could be... except UFOs.
Now those that were tripping, and those that weren't, all saw this so no excuses there!!!!

(when it stopped at ten o'clock, a couple of us worked out that Bournemouth had a Firework display and laser show on that night and even though it was many miles away - the lights were reaching our little fluffy dark clouds above our heads - we didn't tell the others) - we then splatted our clothes in green fluorescent paint and ran through the village making alien noises.

(You make your own fun in the country, don't you know - that's why mushrooms grow there).

sourpus said...

I can make a contribution here.

The only problems with my 'I saw a UFO' story are that a) I was twelve and b) I was in the local graveyard at 9.30 at night, walking through it on one side, while my best friend, who had dared us both to do it, was walking through on the other. The wrought iron graveyard fence was breached anyway, and bordered the park and play area where we would sometimes loiter (for want of anything better to do) on a Friday evening.

We must have been about 50 meters apart as we walked slowly through the cemetary, with our view of eachother obscured by a thick line of tall shrubbery, although we could hear each other well when the shouting began. The sky above us was clear and just about the only thing we could see clearly as we stepped on.

Almost simultaneously, we both spotted a light in the sky which was moving in a curious way. If the sky were a map we were looking at, the light we saw would move a few centimeters slowly along (not unlike an aeroplane might) and then suddenly shoot across to the other side of the sky (more like several meters) as if it were a rocket on bonfire night, and then just stop and begin moving slowly again, in aeroplane fashion.

My friend and I were taken aback and were screaming and shouting and running towards each other's sound, but trying not to take our eyes of the object we had both seen. We clambered back through the wrought iron fence and onto the playing field where we started out. We stood on the field with our mouths open, chattering loudly our amazement at what we were witnessing. No aeroplane or missle or flying entity known to man could move like that, that was all we ere really certain of.

The light would shoot across the whole sky, 180 degrees at one point, causing us to spin around on the spot as we tried to trace the path of the 'craft'.

What happened next never ceases to fill me with wonder. All I can remember is walking back towards the swings, where some kids were playing (they stopped us and asked if we had seen the same thing as they had!), but my friend told a different story. Even to this day, he swears that the craft (resembling a saucer) came in close (a few hundred meters) above our heads. I dont remember this at all, but he swears it happened, even to this day.

When we got home, we blathered to our parents about it and were more or less indulged by mostly ignored. My friend scetched what he saw and sent it to the local UFO society, who sent back a nice letter saying that on the night in question there had been literally hundreds of sightings in the area of Leicester where this all took place.

I dont think its a matter of 'believing' or not, to be honest. So, I dont 'believe in' space aliens either. I know what I saw though, and it weren't something I ever saw again. But it was for real.

Juhani said...

More info:

Do you believe in UFOs? Have you ever thought that there might be civilizations in outer space whose level of development is centuries or even millennia ahead of us and whose knowledge in technology we can only dream about? Have you also thought that these inhabitants of distant planets, also called humanoids and who resemble humans, visit this planet occasionally and that some people can even see them? Or perhaps you have even had physical contact with them and perhaps you have received messages from those humanoids?

Let us consider whether UFOs are really UFOs or if there is any other explanation for their existence. We do not need to doubt those people who claim to have seen "flying saucers" and humanoids but it is, however, possible that these appearances are false. (In this chapter we will not examine "natural" explanations for UFOs, such as sighting the planet Venus, satellites, weather observation balloons, or other similar objects that can easily be mistaken for UFOs.) This possibility should by no means be overlooked, since there can be a great deal of other kinds of objects in addition to these supposed "flying saucers" and their owners. By "the other kind" we specifically mean the world of evil spirits, to which the Bible so often refers and which can from time to time deceive us. If we, however, choose to ignore this alternative, then we ignore the following Bible verses too:

- (Eph 6:12) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

- (Eph 2:2) Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience:

B-Mac said...

I saw one, one sunny afternoon, when I was about 11 or so. My brother saw it too. Hanging out of his bedroom window, we saw a cylindrical shape in the sky over the London Fields. It had to be a UFO, as no other flying object has the ability to stop dead in the sky and move off at right angles almost instantly. It zipped about the sky for a while, then vanished forever.

I'm not suggesting it's little green men, oh no, it's more likely to be a time machine, from the future.

B-Mac said...

I think as adults we see the things we want to see. As children we're less selective, and more open to experiencing things that language cannot cover.

sourpus said...

Juhani - 'Do you believe in UFOs?'

No, I dont think any of us 'believe' in stuff, we're all too keen on reality, thanks.

'If we, however, choose to ignore this alternative, then we ignore the following Bible verses too:..'

Er, yes that's right I think we do..


goneforeign said...

He must have a 24hour search machine constantly scanning the known universe for utterances of the magic words; ufo

ToffeeBoy said...

Oh dear - we don't want the UFO crazies on here. We have intermittent dealings with them at work whenever a new batch of MOD files is released (and no, I don't mean rarities and B-sides from The Who and The Kinks).