I’m old enough to say I totally geeked out over the X-Files television show back in the 90’s. In fact, I would put myself right up there with Spooky Mulder in saying, “I want to Believe!”. I grew up in the countryside outside of the tiny hamlet of Blanchard, Louisiana and my night skies were brilliant and clear. There were many nights I would take an old blanket out and place it on the ground, recline and just watch the stars go by. Many times, I would see meteorites falling to the Earth streaking across the sky in brief brilliance. I watched as satellites blinked and slowly made their way across the darkness. One night, in coordination with a broadcast on network television, I watched one of the Gemini spacecraft soar across the heavens, a tiny blinking white dot against the cosmos.
I yearned, I longed, I even prayed to see a UFO. Just once, I wanted a flying saucer to land on my front lawn. Back then, aliens were not quite as hostile in their fictional depiction. It was the age of Progress, a time enlightened by the success of the American space program. Our hope was the stars. Our future lay beyond the solar system. Star Trek promised a future Utopian society where racism, sexism, disease, hunger, and strife were a thing of the past. If we could only get out there! And, in our unyielding optimism, we knew that friendly, highly educated aliens were just waiting for us to mature to a level that could withstand the truth of their existence.
The night sky was black velvet sprinkled with a million tiny diamonds. It was mid June and the air was thick with the fragrance of honeysuckle. Fireflies blinked lazily in the darkness. Crickets and frogs sang their choral arrangement to the heavens.
I was two hundred feet from the warm, yellow pool of light at the back door of my house, wrapped in inky darkness. At age ten, I was definitely creeped out by the dark, especially the kind of dark we had in the country. I could barely see my hands in front of my face as I emptied the trash into our trash bin.
The crickets stopped. The frogs fell silent. The night smothered me in deafening humidity and above me, the stars were eclipsed by something blacker than black; darker than dark moving above the tree limbs. I gasped for breath, paralyzed with fear as the thing moved silently across the heavens; heavy and ominous. My hair stood on end and I could hardly breath.
I dropped the trash can and fumbled in my pocket for the matches I had brought to burn the trash. The small box of matches exploded under my clumsy efforts and matches showered away into darkness. One was left barely hanging in the box. I grabbed it and stroked it against the side of the box. The blue sparks were swallowed by the night. Finally, the match burst into flame; brighter than the sun pushing the night away. I dropped it into paper wadded in the trash bin and the trash caught fire, light spilling all over me. I looked up. The stars were back. The crickets and frogs tuned up slowly and returned to their symphony. I ran to the back door, into the porch light, into the house and back to sanity.
I don’t know what I saw that night. For years, I tried to reason my way around the object that hovered above me. I knew that our house, although far away in the country often had airplanes fly over from the nearby Barksdale Air Force Base. Maybe it was an experimental aircraft. Maybe it was a weather balloon. All I know is it was an unidentified flying object; a UFO.
I am currently writing the fourth book in the Jonathan Steel Chronicles. It will be about UFOs, aliens, and alien abduction. Based on the information in one of my favorite books, “Lights in the Sky and Little Green Men” I hope to explore the mythology of UFOs and E.T.s.
I am announcing a special contest beginning today and ending in two weeks. I want to hear your stories. Have you ever seen a UFO? Have you ever had a “close encounter”? For the next two weeks, I would like for you to send me your story. Include your name and address and the top ten entries, as judged by me, will receive an autographed copy of “The 13th Demon: Altar of the Spiral Eye”.
I will publish the top ten stories in this blog in the month of July so look to the night sky and tell me about your special “encounter” with a UFO!!!! Send your stories via the contact tab.