Nineteen former pilots and government officials … told reporters their questions can no longer be dismissed …”We want the US government to stop perpetuating the myth that all UFOs can be explained away in down-to-earth, conventional terms,” said Fife Symington, former governor of Arizona… “Instead our country needs to reopen its official investigation that it shut down in 1969,” Symington told a news conference. [source]

I saw an UFO (pronounced “ooofo”) once too. It was a sight I can never forget. Let me tell you about it.


I was in an airplane, a 737 to be exact, departing from Boston. It was night (early, but the sun was down for the count) and it was one of those nights you only get in Boston when the fog runs all the way from the bay to the clouds. In other words, for Boston, a pretty clear night. I’d lay odds you could almost see the Citco sign from Memorial Drive as plain on the Irish on Mayor Flynn’s face.

I was on the right side of the plane in the window seat.

After takeoff, we were gaining altitude and engaged in a steady left turn. Then we switched to a steady right turn. I don’t remember where the plane was going, but I’m pretty sure it was somewhere in Europe.

I’m the kinda guy who sleeps during takeoffs and landings. I get groggy on airplanes. There’s something about the pressure changes and the pungent smell of fresh jet fuel and the constant muffled chatter of the flight attendants and passengers settling into their routine of avionic boredom. So my memory of these turns are a bit foggy, foggy like that night’s weather.

I was asleep, but I was aware, like a cold snake must be aware of its surrounding but unable to, or maybe just uninterested in, doing anything about it.

Just then the crappy little airplane pillow they give you in economy to make you feel less like the chump you are for flying on this crappy airline slipped from where it was jammed between my noggin and the edge of the window, jolting me awake. That’s when I happened to glance out the window, and I saw it.

There was no doubt in my mind that it was an UFO. It was a cigar shaped thing hovering there among the wisps of clouds, who knows how far away. It had lights all along its side, and it was flying above us, keeping pace with us, then disappearing in the clouds. It was not an airplane, I could swear to that. That was a plain to me as the Irish on Mayor Flynn’s face.

After a moment of continued grogginess, I suddenly realized I was seeing an UFO, and that this was my Big Chance to try to get to the bottom of this UFO thing.

So I snapped awake and started taking notes. The object came back into view again, still above us and to the right. Then slowly it settled down, its lights as strong and visible as ever, to exactly our level, following along side, keeping pace. Like it was tailing us. Then, slowly, it started to sink lower and lower …. still passing in and out of visibility … until it was way down below us.

It was just then that I realized that the plane I was in was coming out of the right turn I mentioned above. The sensation that the “cigar shaped object” was above me was actually an effect of relativity. The old pre-Einsteinian relativity that still pretty much applies in real life. Not that hot-shot academic Cosmic Relativity that only seems to work when you are traveling at unthinkable speeds or if you are unthinkably massive, like a Black Hole.

Since we were in a turn, and I could not perceive the horizon or anything else that would objectively tell me where the Earth was, and since I was waking up from a sleep, I understood the earth to be somewhere directly below my keester … right where it is supposed to be, below the seat I was sitting in, because that was the direction of my perceived gravity field.

But as any freshman Physics Major, even the pimple-faced snotty kind they seem to breed at MIT, could tell you, gravity and acceleration are the same thing. The Earth was exerting gravity off to my right somewhere, but that was small change compared to the acceleration caused by the turn the airplane was taking. The acceleration was exerting a sensation identical to gravity from roughly the direction of the bottom of the 737 or even a little to my left. The combined effects of Mother Earth’s gravity and this airplane’s acceleration provided my senses with a hypothesis my senses could not disprove in the absence of visual cues, like the horizon, or the Islands in Boston Harbor, or a sexy blond dame in a trashed out night club in Somerville with legs that go all the way from her attitude down to the grimy, beer soaked floorboards. This relativistic lie caused my inner ear, my eyes, and my brain to perceive of this large cigar shaped object with lights all along its side as being above me, when it was actually below me the whole time.

Boy, was I being taken for a ride. I felt like such a chump.

This UFO was nothing more than a run of the mill cruise ship plying its way across Massachusetts Bay, playing its dubious role of playground for the not so rich and not so famous who were really nothing more than wannabe world travelers who couldn’t stand the idea of being away from their golf greens, their kidney bean shaped swimming pools and their cranberry juice cocktail martinis.

Hey, do you think the pilot saw it too?

So, the Ex Governor of Arizona believes in UFOs. Who else believes in UFOs? I have a theory that the number of people who believe they were abducted by aliens compared to the number of people who believe that they are aliens works out about right. In the cosmic scheme of it all.

Somehow, I think the following additional bits of information are relevant here:

“The subject of UFOs came up in a recent debate among presidential candidates, with Democrat Dennis Kucinich saying he saw a UFO.”

Uh oh…

Six percent of the American People believe that the Apollo Moon Landing was faked (wikipedia). So, that means that 18 million Americans think the Apollo Moon Landing was faked.

Ten percent, or three million, Canadians believe in UFOs* and and in fact claim to have seen one.*

One source indicates that about 18 percent of Americans are pretty sure that we’ll eventually find Bigfoot … alive … as well as the Loch Ness Monster.

It is said that 15% of the population has on at least one occasion experienced the “Old Hag Phenomenon,” which is where you think an Old Hag is sitting on your chest … “[this is] often accompanied by strange smells, the sound of approaching footsteps, apparitions of weird shadows or glowing eyes…”*

Since it is well known that about 4% of the population are Old Hags, this all works out if one Hag sits on an average of slightly more than three people. Or should we call them victims. I don’t know.

Seventy-one percent of Americans claim to have had a paranormal experience.*

About one percent of pretty much any surveyed population is full-blown schizophrenic, but closer to 30% of Americans are said to have had at least one psychotic episode.* Which, by the way, is high as industrialized nations go.

So it all pretty much works out. As plain as the Irish on Mayor Flynn’s face.

Comments

  1. #1 Ahcuah
    November 14, 2007

    2 comments:

    Regarding which way is down, according to a human factors office mate I had once, your eyes are the main thing telling you which way is down. Your sense of down (provided by pressure and your inner ear) can be off by as much as 15 degrees if your eyes are telling you differently. That’s how those mystery houses work.

    While I am not a fan of Kucinich, if you listen to what he actually said, it does not appear that he was kooking out. After acknowledging that he saw a UFO, he added “It was unidentified“. The implication to me was that he was not claiming it as an alien spaceship, but merely as something that was unidentified, flying, and an object.

  2. #3 IanR
    November 14, 2007

    Everyone sees UFOs all the time. Quite frankly, if you can identify a plane, it’s probably not flying (it’s hard to read the ID on the tail of a plane from the ground).

    I did see an UTITS (unidentified thing in the sky) once. I don’t know what it was – some sort of a rectangle of light. While I think it was just some really weird lightning, I have no idea what I saw. I have not been able to identify what it was. So I’ve got the U part down… :)

  3. #4 Petra
    November 14, 2007

    “Hey, do you think the pilot saw it too?”

    I would HOPE the pilot was awake at that time and knew where the earth was! ;)

  4. #5 Nathan Myers
    November 14, 2007

    There’s nothing wrong with seeing and reporting a UFO. There really are flying things that are hard to identify. The problem is people who go ahead and identify them anyway. The ones who jump to the conclusion that they are space aliens are very annoying to those others who identify them as time travellers from the future, US DOD black projects, or supersonic aluminum Nazi hell creatures from within the hollow earth.

    Pilots reported above-the-clouds electrical phenomena for close to a century before they were taken seriously. The real problem is not people who insist that the Greys are operating aircraft. It’s so-called “scientists” who aren’t interested in evidence that doesn’t fit their current theory and research program.

  5. #6 Warren
    November 14, 2007

    I’ve never seen anything in the sky I couldn’t explain, though I have seen the occasional unusual event;* and I’ve never seen an extraterrestrial-sourced craft anywhere, ever, nor do I expect to.

    ====

    * A satellite reentry and burnup; a missile launch; and (while not unusual) the Aurora Borealis are my personal favorites.

  6. #7 MrsWhatsit
    November 14, 2007

    The Old Hag Phenomenon is likely due to sleep paralysis.

  7. #8 jeff
    November 15, 2007

    ah, you so smart. I want be like you meester Laden.

  8. #9 H.Bos
    May 15, 2008

    why should a strange story told yesterday carry less weight than on told many hundreds of years ago?