Sixty years ago, many people swore that aliens crash-landed in Roswell, New Mexico. The government swore that the wreckage was really a top-secret helium birthday balloon from a really important government official’s surprise party that had somehow untied from the balloon bouquet on the dessert table and crashed in the desert a few minutes later. The people cried, "It’s a military cover-up!" The military released an announcement that proclaimed, "We stand by our original press release that stated the first cover-up excuse. We have no other excuses because we have been abducted by aliens and are currently unreachable as we are traveling out of our cell phone calling network."
In November 1996, twelve airport employees witnessed a metallic, saucer-shaped craft hovering over gate C-17 and a United Airlines jet that was sitting on the runway. Apparently someone on the jet had called for help as they probably were forced to sit at the gate for five hours with only one sack of peanuts to share among all the passengers while the pilots decided to take off due to bad weather 15 hours north of the airport. After one airport employee yelled, "The friendly skies have no room for scary space creatures!" to the aliens, the spacecraft accelerated up into the overcast skies, leaving a hole in the cloud layer. Rumor has it that one of the pilots had a digital camera and took photos of not only the spacecraft, but also of the cute flight attendant who was frantically trying to find more bags of peanuts in the drink cart. No photos ever surfaced because the pilot forgot to delete the picture of the flight attendant and his wife discovered it one night when she was downloading photos of their family vacation.
In 1997, many people, including the Governor of Arizona, swear they saw something in the skies over Phoenix one night. "It was big … really big!" said the Governor (who was known for such profound statements on a regular basis). A series of optical phenomena or in layman terms — lights — were seen by thousands of people that night. Again, the military identified the group of lights as flares (a.k.a., fireworks) dropped by an A-10 Warthog aircraft whose pilot apparently missed the 4th of July and wanted to celebrate in the skies above the desert. UFO proponents (a.k.a., retired hippies) proclaimed that the lights were from an aircraft unknown to man.
This year, a retired United States Air Force Colonel claimed he saw two UFOs hovering over his home in Arkansas. A turquoise colored UFO was reported seen in North Carolina also this year and in Hawaii, several people saw UFOs flying the friendly skies. On July 4, my friend Diane swore she saw something unusual in the skies over Omaha. "I can’t explain it," she said excitedly to me on the phone the next day, "But we all saw it. Everyone in the neighborhood!"
"Were you drinking?" I inquired innocently.
"Of course not!" she replied indignantly.
Once I thought I saw something suspicious in the skies above my house. I went inside and pulled my husband out on the deck. "Look out there," I exclaimed as I pointed to the horizon. "It’s a flying saucer!"
"It’s a glow-in-the-dark Frisbee," he replied dryly as he went back in the house.
There have been many times since then (especially after I’ve watched the Twilight Zone marathon all weekend on cable television) that I’ve squinted hard and looked into the dark skies, stared at a suspicious glowing light in the distance and wondered, "Is that an alien spaceship?"
Then the practical side of me takes over and I realize that it’s probably just Santa out for a test drive in his new sleigh.