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What To Do When Spotting UFOs

Updated on April 3, 2014

I recently saw a question posted on an internet message board, asking what someone should do if they see a UFO. I stared at the question for a long time. Do? What should someone do? Is there really anything to do in such a situation? (Its like asking, what if I see a Leprechaun---what should I do? Say, "Hello, Leprechaun," and keep on moving, I guess. Beyond that, I'm stumped.) Yet many of my fellow internet surfers were all over the UFO sighting question: they came out, keys a tapping (think: guns a blazing), to disseminate all sorts of 'inspired' advice; advice, I'm sure, they deemed both sound and practical. Yes, unlike me, they knew exactly what to do. Indeed, they had been waiting their whole lives to be asked.

More than one wise soul counseled that if you ever see a UFO, you should try to remain calm. (No argument here: remaining calm is a prerequisite for engaging in almost any situation in life that does not include being set on fire.) But did you know that one of the most important reasons to remain calm when confronted by a UFO is so that you may better communicate with it, using telepathic powers? And if contact is established, it is further advised to reassure the UFO (via ESP, or possibly cue cards) that your intentions are peaceful and, say, would it mind moving from left to right, please, if it understands? (I guess telepathy is not necessarily a two way street.)

Of course some of the more down to earth advice given was to call your local air or military base to see if they were conducting secret tests or flying any experimental aircraft.in the area But that only makes sense at first glance because if the base says yes then, well, its not so secret now, is it, hun? And yet, if the robotic military voice on the other end of the line says say no, is that, therefore--a yes? With so many people having trust and daddy issues these days---and not just with their mommies, girlfriends, and wives ---but with any person in authority, there's just not much sense in contacting the base if you're going to run their response through your own private paranoia grid. That's just setting yourself up for a sit and spin. (And a foam.)

Well, you can see, dear reader, where this is all going. And I feel no need to beat this horse to death by going into detail about how silly and unhinged some people interested in some subjects can sometimes be. You either get where I'm coming from already or you never will, and which ever camp you fall into, you already know who you are. (Hint: if you're pissed off at me right now, you're definitely not in my camp.)

Nevertheless, if I may be indulged by pinching the dead horse's bottom just a wee little bit, I'd like to point out a very simple fact about UFOs, and that is the definition: UFO is an acronym, standing for Unidentified Flying Object. And yeah, yeah, I can hear people already grumbling, "Tell me something I don't know you pompous twit." (My hearing is quite good, you see.) But I only point this out afresh, so that I can underscore what this definition does not imply.

It does not imply that a UFO is a flying saucer operated by little green men.

It does not imply that it is a military aircraft, secret or otherwise.

It does not imply interdimensional travelers of any variety, including Bigfoot, Santa Claus, Jimmy Hoffa, or even Dr. What.(Yes, I meant Dr Who, but when mistaken for a UFO, I see him as more of a Dr What.)

So the definition does not imply anything at all really, other than the object is unidentified, that it appears to be flying, and it appears to be a three dimensional solid. I say "appears" because one should never rule out hallucinations, swamp gas, holograms, or extensive drug use as possible explanations for unexplainables in the sky. And UFOs are unexplainable---that's the whole point.The minute they're explained and identified, nullification of UFO status occurs. And its poor form to keep on referring to a UFO just recently positively identified as a flying saucer from Planet Eczema (there have been a rash of sightings of late, I'm told) as a UFO.

But we've had over fifty years of sci-fi movies, tv shows, books, and late night radio shows (supposedly) documenting, and, in my opinion, crafting an ever more detailed mythology of UFO weirdness, that has slowly but surely seeped into the minds of the general public. So much seepage, that many people aren't content to simply think, "Hmmm...sky anomaly," anymore. They don't care about defintions. No, they think in cinema, open their eyes, look up at the sky and exclaim, "Roll'em!"

See a strange light in the sky?

Action! Take 1: Here comes the little green men in one piece suits carrying rectal probes in their holsters.

See a strange light in the sky?

Action! Take 2: Wow, guess the top brass is terrorizing the local civilians with their new toys again.

See a strange light in the sky?

Action! Take 3: Why, it is none other than an emissary from planet Nbiru, come to announce the imminent fiery destruction of planet earth and all her many, many shoddy lines of credit!

So Where Am I Going With All This?

I'll tell you exactly where I'm going. I'm going right back to the summer of 1981, and you're going to come with me. The location is my great grandmother's farm house in the piney woods of east Texas. Its hot, muggy, there's no air conditioning, just a glass of iced tea stands between you and a total heat stroke. (I hope you brought your shorts and tank top.) Its somewhere between dusk and night time, and in the living room, my dad, mom, grandmother, and I are lounging around on sweaty couches, talking and watching television. Well, my mom and grandmother are doing most of the talking and dad and I were doing most of the television watching.

What was on that night? Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I'm sure you've heard of it. Now my dad was always into the whole UFO thing, just completely fascinated by the idea of extraterrestrials, space ships, ancient astronauts, the whole works---he was a trekkie, if that explains anything. (And, no, trekkiness is not a passed down genetical trait.) So, anyway, Dad was really getting into the tv program that particular night, what with the little egg heads from space touching down to hang out on Devil's Tower with Richard Dreyfuss, his washed out blonde friend, and some of our own government eggheads who happened to bring along their own high tech synthesizer. (Just your typical musical.) But, as exciting as all this was, Dad grew more and more irritated as the evening went on because of my grandmother and mother's constant chatter. Long story, short: by the time the movie was over, Dad was positively surly at this state of affairs, and, of course, Mom asked him what's the matter? Well, he lit into them, telling both my grandmother and mother that the movie we had been watching was important---much, MUCH more important than their chit chat and, well, dammit, he was upset that they had talked over the whole thing spoiling the moment.

After a short, awkard silence, my great grandmother then said the darndest thing. She told us how, back in 1948, while she had been mending fences on her farm, around noon day, she had seen a UFO. A big red, sphere-like UFO. "Yep," she said, matter-a-fact, "It just floated over the tree tops for a minute, not making a sound, was about the size of the sun, maybe a little bigger, then, zip! It disappeared on the eastern horizon."

Another awkward silence. Then...

"Where you scared?" my mom asked.

"No."

"What did you do?" I asked. (Ha, ha. Yes, I see the irony. But was only 10.)

"Nothing to do," she answered, "Just kept working on the fences. Didn't want the cows to get out."

"Did you tell anybody about what you saw?" my Dad asked, astonished.

"Not 'till today," she said.

Well why not?!

She shrugged. "What difference did it make?"


Wow. That was a different time, wasn't it, 1948? (1981, too, for that matter.) Remember those days, when a sky anomaly was just a sky anomaly? Remember when people weren't hysterical about every little thing they didn't understand and were content to just go on living another day. I mean, whether that light up there is really a government issue flying saucer or an interstellar alien proctology lab, or, even just a really greasy moon fart---does that really change the fact that the cows will get out if we don't mend these fences?

Stay calm. Don't panic. Restrain your own inner Richard Dreyfuss. Whatever happens in the sky, the work of life keeps going on down here on earth. I guess that was the message from my Grandma. (So keep looking up, kids---but only if you think you can handle it.)

And---cut! That's a wrap!

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