Every now and then a news story comes along that makes me want to repost this particular thing I wrote a long time ago. And it has happened again. First, the news story:
National Geographic Channel has run a poll in which they found that 36% of Americans “believe UFO’s exist.” This is in line with previous results. There are other findings as well, but one item is new. The survey asked people who would do a better job of fighting off Aliens if they come to earth and, well, wanna fight. Obama killed Romney on that question.
So just keep that in mind when you are in the voting booth, America.
The last time something came up that wanted me to repost my story, it was this:
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]
OK, so, now for the original story about how I was almost abducted by aliens.
I saw an UFO (pronounced “ooofo,” I think) once too. It was a sight I can never forget. Let me tell you about it.
I was in an airplane, a 7-something-7 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 often 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 that turns my reticular formation into mush. So my memory of these turns is a bit foggy. Foggy like one of those nights you so often get in Boston.
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 two-bit 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, and then reappearing again. It was not an airplane, I could swear to that. That was as 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 gravity 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 bad 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.”
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.
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.* Funny. Somehow I knew that was going to happen.
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.
Photo of alien in the UFO Museum and Research Center, Roswell, New Mexico by Ron Sheridan