Bats and UFO's and Drones, Oh No!
As a child, I spent a lot of time outside, even at night. We lived in the county on a modest budget at best. We weren’t the kids who could walk to the nearest shopping center for entertainment and money was often too tight for a family night at the movies. So, we played in the neighborhood while our parents stood watch from their lawn chairs in the front yard. There were enough kids in our neighborhood whose families were in the same situation for us not to think we were weird. This was life and we thought we had it made. Ours was the epitome of a “neighborhood”. All the parents looked out for all the children and that afforded us kids a lot of freedom. We could do almost anything as long as it didn’t involve anything too stupid or dangerous. We climbed trees, rode bicycles, camped out, played baseball, and flew kites. Well, we probably did a lot more than that but I probably shouldn’t rat out the other kids in this article.
Looking back, about the only thing that drove us inside was too much snow, a violent storm with lightening, and…bats. See, the county installed one of those dusk-to-dawn light poles on a vacant lot beside our house and that big old light was a bat magnet. On a hot summer night bats would swarm in from miles around and fly around that light like B52 bombers. No bug was safe and neither were the neighborhood kids.
My point in telling you this is to demonstrate that there was a time, even in my lifetime, when things were simple. Yes, they were.
I was probably in my early teens when I first remember hearing about UFO’s. I was fascinated by the idea that there was life out there in space that we knew almost nothing about. If I had a nickel for every hour I spent looking for those UFO’s I could buy myself something nice.
I was a dreamy kid; the kind of kid that made you wonder if I ever really listened to you. My mind was always somewhere else. As much as I enjoyed my friends, I also liked being alone. My favorite place was secret. I had created myself a little hideaway in a cluster of pine trees near our house. They were thick and full and their branches hung low enough to the ground to make the inside of the cluster invisible unless you knew where to look. I made a bed of fallen pine needles and with each season, the bed became thicker and more comfortable. I could spend hours there in total comfort staring up at the sky looking for those elusive UFO’s. I’m sure I saw a few but since I was alone, I never could prove it with a witness. So, I kept my secret to myself.
When I was older, my aunt (who also believed in UFO’s) introduced me to Art Bell. I couldn’t wait to listen to his radio show in the wee hours of the night. Art Bell believed in UFO’s too and the guests on his show would tell of sightings. Some of them even claimed to have been abducted by aliens and returned to earth. I wanted to be abducted soooo bad. Around the age of 15 my parents probably thought I had been abducted because they kept telling me that my attitude was not the attitude of the daughter they raised. I was a rowdy, rebellious teen and my parents just did not understand why. We lived through that phase, thankfully.
A Worried Song
Now is probably a good time to explain that I was also a kid that worried about things. I worried about bugs getting killed, stray animals that found their way to our door, kids in third world countries, and air traffic. I really worried that those UFO’s were going to run into an airplane and that people were going to get hurt. It seemed a natural thing to worry about because we knew where those airplanes were but nobody on earth knew where those UFO’s were or when they might fly overhead. So, I took the job and I worried until I was old enough to figure out it wasn’t my job. I figured out that if thousands of airplanes could fly at the same time and not run into each other, then radar must be working well enough to warn them about a UFO.
Well, I’m all grown up now and I still worry a little. I certainly don’t worry about UFO’s anymore and I’m usually in bed before the bats come out. But, I am really concerned about this new business of drones.
When I heard that our military was using them in the Middle East I was okay. Then, someone told me that the government was using them to spy on us. That bothered me on principle alone. I don’t think it’s the governments business that I drink flavored water or scare away dark spirits by smudging my house with sage. They sure shouldn’t be listening to my telephone calls to my 85 year old mother. Personal freedom still means something to me because I don’t deliberately do anything to hurt others.
So you might be wondering why I am worried about drones. Well, it’s because it’s not just the military and the government that has drones. Private corporations now have drones and I’ve seen them in action. During a recent derailment of a train in my town, a private corporation flew their drone in to take pictures of the chemicals spilling into our river. It was amazing to see the video footage and realize the power of the camera on that little flying machine and I realized that once our skies become filled with drones, nothing will be a secret anymore. I’m starting to worry.
Before I end up sounding like a paranoid lunatic, I’ll bring this to a close. I was inspired to tell this story because I read a hub this morning by Availiasvision titled “Ridiculously Awesome Items You Can Buy on Amazon”where I learned that I too can buy a drone on Amazon.com. Anyone can buy a drone on Amazon.com. That is some scary stuff. Can you imagine a sky full of privately owned drones and nobody knowing where any of them are or where they are going? Isn’t that going to be a nightmare for air traffic controllers?
Just when I thought I was getting over my need to worry, the drones have arrived in the private sector. I guess I should look on the bright side and be grateful for the jobs that will be created as a result of the increased sky traffic. If we’re going to have all those drones flying willy nilly wherever they want, whenever they want, surely we will have to hire thousands of Emergency Responders to handle the traffic accidents and drone tow trucks to retrieve them from the clouds when they stall. I’ll just bet that Triple A (or AAA) is already looking at it so maybe I don’t need to worry so much.
Bats were so simple!
See the train derailment video by East Coast Drone
© 2014 Linda Crist