About Those UFOs
Take Me To Your Leader
When I was a kid, way back in the 60’s, people seemed to have many things to be afraid of. One of those things was aliens. Back then President Kennedy had made it a national goal that we would have a man fly to the moon, and who knew what we would find? People spoke fearfully of aliens in flying disks, spoke of their fears that aliens were going to take over the world, and some whispered quietly of deals the aliens had made with the government to teach us their technologies. It sort of made sense, television was still new, cable had not yet begun, and no one could figure out how these things had been dreamt up. Star Trek entertained us with the notion of 'going where no man has gone before'. They were not talking about a Porta Potty (yeah, I had that thought that once when I was a kid). They were talking about far away galaxies, with strange aliens to meet. Despite all that, I knew better, after all, I was nearly ten years old. That is, I knew better until the day I saw something I could not explain.
I lived in the northeast part of Illinois for a while as a kid. There was a Navy Training Center nearby. Every now and then you could see planes flying in and out of the area, some fairly low overhead. When they flew low you could see some of the details of the airplane. It was a fairly common thing. We grew used to hearing the planes pass over and keep on going.
One day I was out playing in the yard when one flew overhead and kept coming back around. Wondering why I kept hearing the same plane, I looked up, then, aghast, looked again. There was a really large disk following that plane around, and it was flying directly over the plane. I watched for a while in disbelief, then in horror as I recalled the stories of UFO’s.
There it was again! Excited and afraid at the same time, I ran inside to get my Mom to come out and look. Nearly dragging her by the hand, we went outside and sure enough the plane came around again, with the disk still over it. No matter how much that plane circled, it could not get away from the disk. Mom saw it, I saw it, and then Mom said “Look closer, the disk is attached to it.” I looked, and sure enough, there were attachments between the disk and the plane.
So I asked, “Did the UFO catch the plane?”
Mom said “No, no, that is a Navy Officers airplane. Haven’t you ever seen one before?”
Relieved, I said, “No."
Moms know everything. But I curiously asked "Why does it have a disk on it?”
Mom patiently explained to me that when you are in the Navy, the higher the rank you earn the more privileges you get. The she explained that high ranking Navy Officers have certain privileges. For instance, these officers were allowed to carry their swimming pool with them when they fly.
Still curious but willing to accept any explanation besides aliens, I asked “Why doesn't the water slosh out?”
Mom, in a matter of fact tone, replied “Because it’s a covered swimming pool.” Then she quietly said “Shh. Don’t tell anyone. Officers get angry if you tell something that might take their privileges away.”
Special Privileges for Navy Officers? - The Flying Swimming Pool
Flying Swimming Pools
Now I was convinced. I was not going to be so gullible as to believe in UFO’s. I was also convinced I knew something special that I could not share, and when the subject came up, would stubbornly declare “There is no such thing as UFOs”. And if pressured on the subject, I would say “Those are Flying Swimming Pools.”
It would be years later before I realized they were not flying swimming pools either. Maybe someday that will be the subject of another article.