Sometimes I ask myself if humans are really the most intelligent species in the universe. With wars, crimes and man-made disasters, I wonder. I hope not. I want to believe that there are beings who might be more evolved, rational and better caretakers of their planet. Then I recall an incident that makes me think maybe, just maybe, there is something or somebody else living among the stars.
In the 1970s, when I was young, my family lived in Scottsdale, Arizona. At that time there were small housing tracts interspersed with large, mostly empty stretches of desert filled only with cactus, quail, spiders and slithery reptiles. Some houses were located off dirt roads and many people owned horses. It wasn’t like modern day Scottsdale with its mansions, air conditioned malls, freeways and golf courses.
One evening shortly after sunset, my mother, the dog and I were sitting on the back patio. Suddenly, a large, bright white sphere appeared in the sky. I remember thinking it was unusual because it was completely noiseless. Even at that age I knew aircraft made loud sounds. It continued to hover for some time.
Then a second, smaller ball of glowing light emerged from the first object and slowly descended toward the ground. (The second ball of light morphing from the first looked similar to the movement of oil blobs in a lava lamp.) After the second object was out of sight, perhaps reaching the ground, the first object took off into the atmosphere in the blink of an eye.
At one point, there was a small plane headed toward the glowing orb but the object disappeared before it arrived. I think the whole incident took place over 20 minutes and remember hearing about it on the local news.
I’m not the only one who saw something unexplainable in the sky in the ‘70s. In 1974, then California Governor, Ronald Reagan, reported seeing an unidentified flying object while he was in an airplane. He told the Wall Street Journal, “It was a bright white light. We followed it to Bakersfield, and all of a sudden to our utter amazement it went straight up into the heavens.” His account was corroborated by the pilot and other passengers.
According to the Christian Science Monitor, in 1985 President Reagan met with President Gorbachev of the Soviet Union. One result was that they pledged to help protect each other’s nations if ever attacked from outer space. What did they know about UFOs at the time? Did this frank discussion between two leaders during the Cold War help break down barriers? We’ll probably never learn the answers to those questions just as I will never know what that glowing object in the sky was hovering near my house.
What I do know is that it affected both my mother and me in different ways. During this sighting, our Dachshund was busy tearing up an outdoor patio cushion. My rather strict mother, who always kept a tidy house, was so absorbed in the unusual sight that she let the dog continue to rip up the cushion. After that, I think she became more relaxed about housekeeping in general.
As for me, I learned to keep an open mind, a sense of wonder and to think outside the box. Also, that life is the biggest mystery of all and that it will throw out a strange curveball occasionally. I find that I reflect those lessons in my writing.
While this clearly had an impact, I’m torn about what really happened. The skeptic in me wants to believe those lights were nothing more than experimental military aircraft. However, my inner dreamer can’t help but be excited by the possibilities. What if there are others?
WWK Blogger Paula Gail Benson has two short stories running in Kings River Life Magazine this weekend, "Pelican Spring" and "The Mama Factor." Both are Mother's Day short stories. You can read them by going to: http://kingsriverlife.com/category/kings-river-reviewers/terrific-tales/
Linda Rodriguez is a finalist in two categories for the International Latino Book Awards (given out at BEA the end of May)--one for Every Last Secret and one for editing Woven Voices: 3 Generations of Puertorriquena Poets Look at Their American Lives (with Gloria Vando, Anika Paris, and Anita Velez-Mitchell). Congratulations, Linda!
The second SinC Guppy anthology, Fish Nets, has been released by Wildside Press. WWK authors, Gloria Alden, Warren Bull, Kara Cerise and E. B. Davis have short stories in this volume, which can be bought at Wildside Press, the usual retailers and will be available at the Malice Domestic Conference. Look for "the story behind the stories" on May 1 here!
Upcoming Salad Bowl Saturdays include authors Carolyn Mulford on 5/25 and Liz Mugavero on 6/1. If you are interested in being a guest blogger, send a message to Jim Jackson at email@example.com.