My First UFO
Sounds kind of like a baby book entry.. ‘my first tooth, my first step, my first word’. And now it’s time for another diary entry in the book of life ~ My First UFO. My, how things change. This story is an old one, I was just a kid. I don’t actually think I’ve recorded it before, much less spoke of it. Those sorts of conversations go like this~ “have you seen a UFO before?” answer, “yep” reply, “that’s cool” and then the conversation ends right there. So, how many folks have really seen a UFO you ask? The answer is , more than you’d think. It took me about 15 years to realize what this event meant to me and how it truly changed my life for the better.
I really hate it when someone asks me “where ya from?”. To this day I still have no good answer. I can change my demographic in a half-breath. I’m from Maine. To some folks~ that means a lot. I didn’t live there long, so I really can’t relate. I spent my younger formative years in a hip urban burb with rows of townhouses, sidewalks, kids running everywhere, dogs barking, people yelling, and street lamps blasting light into every dark corner of the block. A little backyard, metal swing set, a dirty alley with scary garage ‘huts’ and rows upon rows of trash cans ~ the loud, clang-y ones that always tumbled away when the wind blew.
We moved out of there when I was maybe 4 or 5 years old to 5 acres of grass, trees and cornfields. It was the BOONIES. A flatlander’s paradise. My hell and salvation rolled into one. There were the strangest noises there, cows mooing at all hours of the day and night, the whisper of wind through the pine trees, a train horn that echoed across the endless fields… and smells. No more filth, rancid garbage rotting in the sun, no authentic cooking next door, no old dirt. I could smell the rain, the grass, the deer, the wildflowers, the farm animals (which wasn’t always the most pleasant..), it was so bizarre, but it was what it was. And DARK! When the sun went down, and the moon wasn’t out, you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. Hence, my first (of many) night lights… But, when the moon was full, it was the most glorious sight in the world. Who knew the moon had a face? WOW! (I laugh now, but to a kid, it was amazing) Oh, the country… It was the most lonesome time of my life.
I commuted to the “big city” for school every day which was great. The education was excellent, as such, all my friends were in ‘the big city’ too; leaving me to play with all my imaginary friends. Yep, I was that kid, but I left them all outside. I had pet rocks (before they were cool) a pretty impressive collection in my opinion, terrariums (before I knew what that word was), I fed the cows grass from our yard, read everything I could read, climbed tree’s, collected bugs, etc. etc. etc…
My favorite part about living in the country was the night sky. I’d become fascinated with it. I hope you all have had the opportunity at least once in your life to look at a night sky unpolluted with lights. Oh, to look up and see the stars twinkling with color, watch the Milky Way appear to swirl about in the heavens right in front you. To actually be able to see the constellations and very star that the books point out. My dad bought me my first telescope around then and I’ll never forget… he had timed it perfectly… we drove out to the highest point in the county to see Haley’s Comet jettison past for just an instant. I was mesmerized.
In the 3rd grade, my dad helped me make a Science Fair poster that involved (remember these?) Lite-Brite’s and a lamp. My teacher had donated her room so I could light it up for all to see~ I was a proud girl. I was almost obsessed. I often camped out to stargaze, I studied all the books I could get my hands on. I knew all the planets, their cycles. The rising times and phases of the moon. Orion has become a fast friend (yes, I was still a dork, even then). To lie on the blanket under a summer eve and feel like the night sky was no longer a distant, flat bowl, but now palpable and enveloping your very being, that was my peace. That was my love. And I still love it today.
High School was a traumatic time, as are most for your average teenager. I still looked at the sky, but it was different. I had other interests, other hobbies, I had a job. I was still secretly glad I could occasionally impress friends, few and far between, with my knowledge of the night sky, tho honestly, who cared? I was more impressed with the new jets and fighter planes that flew overhead, occasionally one would ‘sonic boom’ and it was great. My dad had once cut in the tall grass ‘FLY NAVY’ and I recall someone taking a picture of it and sending it to the house. But, nighttime had taken on a whole new life.. studying, listening to music, sneaking long distance phone calls racking up the bill and playing my guitar. I had no use for the night sky. On few occasions I snuck outside (to sneak a bad habit) on the west side of the house behind the garage. Hey, it was high school, don’t judge me..
School had just started up, it was my junior year, a beautiful night. Yep, you know how this is gonna roll out… I snuck outside after my parents had gone to bed. (There was probably an angry teenage fight beforehand, I don’t remember) So I crept out, shut the door OH! so quietly and tiptoed around the house. Venus was sitting low on the western horizon, bright as could be in all her majesty, between the landscape that hadn’t changed in the 12 years we’d lived there.
I started reminiscing about the sky and how much I missed just relaxing, still fixated. As I’m watching this bright, beautiful light, my brain cramped. Venus wasn’t on the Western horizon at all, that’s not Venus. I know I arched my neck as if I could honestly see it better by ‘looking closer’, because I almost fell forward, when I sensed this ball of light looking back at me. Oh, it was creepy! The light then shot off to the right in a perfect straight line and stopped, just stopped. Then it kept the same horizontal line and shot back to the left, passing the point of origin where I first noticed it, and stopped again. Asking myself ‘what the…’ was pointless, because it moved AGAIN directly to its starting position. I was transfixed. I couldn’t move. I stared at it, and it right back at me for what seemed like a small eternity. My mind was on mute. That’s not the end of this story, folks.
This light~ this fantastic, piercing light grew brighter, almost blinding and then made the fastest, most beautiful arc northbound I’d ever witnessed. The green/yellow glow coming from behind the farmer’s tree line of ‘the big city’ was no match for this brilliance. It shot like a meteorite right over the near-distant city into the ether.
What could I do? Well, I just stood there trying to wrap my mind around what just happened. It was amazing, it was horrifying, I felt so small and meek. Do I crash the door open, wake up the whole house and scream “I JUST SAW A UFO?” (that thought went as fast as it came) Do I cry? Do I crumble and fall? I couldn’t decide what I was feeling, so I did none of them. I sprinted like an Olympian to the front door, snuck back in the house like an expert sneaker-outer, agonizingly clicked the lock and dove into my bed, under my covers. Exhilarated, terrified, worried that they’d come back, I felt like I couldn’t tell a soul. My parents would’ve asked what I was doing out there anyways.. and I certainly wasn’t going to answer that one.
That was “My First UFO” sighting. Did they ever come back? I’m pretty sure they did, but my sister would have to be interviewed on account I don’t remember being there at all. ~ figure that one out… I still can’t.