Monday, October 26, 2009
STORYTIME - UFO'S
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?