Monday, January 21, 2008

couldn't quite identify it

'I'm in the sky tonight.'
- Foo Fighters, 'Next Year.'

When we left off, I mentioned that I have seen a UFO in my lifetime. That's true, although perhaps it would be more accurate to say I have a memory of seeing a UFO. And by that, I mean I recall once seeing an object in the sky which I could not identify. That's all it means and nothing more.

I'm not haunted by this. In fact, I'm largely indifferent to the whole UFO phenomenon. I'm not convinced UFO's exist and I'm not convinced they don't. If you were to ask me if I believe in UFO's, I would say yes, absolutely. But that's it. I don't wear a tin foil hat (except out to dinner), I don't go to Area 51 on my vacations and I think The X-Files was a good show to begin with and then fairly quickly became overrated. In other words, I'm not crazy.

Here's my story (or the story as I remember it). It was a fall night -- dark -- and my brother and a friend were in our backyard playing football. I was probably about 8 years old. We were waiting for my dad so he could drive us to the high school football game, or somewhere. We were going somewhere. Anyway, I think we had stopped playing football and perhaps my brother and our friend had gone inside -- though they were possibly still with me in the backyard. At any rate, I (we) looked up and there was something large in the sky and it looked a lot like an air hockey paddle. It was stationary and loomed just a bit off in the distance. There were electronic lights all around the round bottom edge of it and it hovered just the tiniest bit off-kilter.

That's it. I don't remember what happened next. I don't remember if it flew away (though it must have) and I don't remember if any of us even said anything about it other than 'What the heck was that?' It was more puzzling than disturbing, but still kind of disturbing. We were kids, after all, and kids want to know -- and understand -- everything. That was something we (I) couldn't understand.

Two things: 1) I really can't guarantee my brother and that friend of ours were there when whatever was in the sky was in the sky. They were there to start with, but I can't say they were there to see whatever there might have been to see. 2) Though I believe this happened, I can't say for a fact that it did. I'd swear that the crux of the memory is accurate, but so many details are lost or fuzzy it's very possible I just imagined or made the whole thing up.

So I guess that's my UFO story. As UFO stories go, it's not much to write home about. Like I said, I'm not haunted by this at all and I don't think about it that much. If there are UFO's and spacepeople inside of them careening wildly over our heads, it's clear they don't want to play bridge or canasta with us and I can't say I blame them. In fact, I'd say they have the right idea. Ours is a dangerous world.

(Even so, would one lousy game of bridge kill them?!)

Song #206 -- 'Next Year' by the Foo Fighters.


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