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UFOs and Me

John W. Pinkerton


Okay, okay, I know I’m flirting with nut case status by wandering into the world of UFOs. 

In the past I’ve always snickered a little at UFO believers, but there are some things which have caught my attention, and I’m having a hard time ignoring them.

When I was very young, my parents claimed to have seen a “flying saucer.”  Even as a youngster, I doubted they had seen what they thought they had seen.  Their description was quite simple: they were driving along in South Louisiana passing some oil fields.  They noticed an unusually bright light to their right which they discussed as they rode along wondering what it was.  Suddenly the light quickly moved vertically and disappeared.  Although I was only five at the time, I was skeptical.  I did, however spend a lot of time listening to static on the radio to see if I could pick up any signals from space men.

Even Jimmy Carter reported seeing a UFO in 1969 while in Leary, Georgia.  While preparing to give a speech to a Lions Club, he and others standing outdoors observed an extremely bright white light on the horizon.  It appeared to move closer to them changing colors to blue, red, and back to white and then disappearing moving away from them.  Carter even filed a report with the International UFO Bureau in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  I found this incident easy to write off as a peanut delusion being that I’ve never thought much of the former President’s judgment.  During his 1976 campaign for President, he stated, “One thing’s for sure, I’ll never make fun of people who say they’ve seen unidentified objects in the sky.  If I become President, I’ll make every piece of information this country has about UFO sightings available to the public and the scientists.”  We’re still waiting, Jimmy.

I’m sure you’re aware that extraterrestials and UFOs are popular topics for a number of different TV Shows: Ancient Aliens, Unsealed Alien Files, and Chasing UFOs to name a few.  Some of these programs are of pretty high quality.  They examine every aspect of the possibility that we’re being visited or have been visited or might in the future be visited by extraterrestials.  One of these programs regularly uses the phrase, “According to extraterrestial experts...” which doesn’t exactly reinforce the believability of the show.

I have never seen anything I interpreted as a UFO.  Then again, I haven’t been looking for them.  I have, however, met a lot of people who don’t seem to be grounded in the realities of this world and who may be aliens themselves.  But, no, no personal encounters with anything which gives me evidence of other worldly creatures visiting us.

All that being said, there are some things which I have seen on television and read reports of which cause me a moment’s doubt about my own infallibility when it comes to my disbelief in alien beings among us.

The one incident which causes me to doubt my own beliefs occurred November 17, 1986.  The incident involved a Japanese Boeing 747 cargo jet en route from Paris to Narita, Tokyo, Japan, with a cargo of Beaujolais wine.  If I were writing a fictional account based on this incident, I think I would have changed the cargo from wine to something more mundane.  But, I digress.  While over eastern Alaska, the crew reported observing two unidentified objects which departed to be replaced by one larger object which caused the pilot to request from the Anchorage Air Traffic Control a change of course.  The total time of the sightings was about 50 minutes.

The incident began by the crew observing a couple of objects to the plane’s left about two thousand feet below its altitude.  The two objects suddenly appeared about 500 to 1000 feet in front of the plane one stacked on top of the other.  The pilot described the objects’ behavior as follows: “The thing was flying as if there was no such thing as gravity.  It sped up, then stopped, then flew at our speed, in our direction, so that to us it (appeared to be) standing still.  The next instant it changed course.  In other words, the flying object had overcome gravity.”  The objects were described as cylindrical with thrusters.  They abruptly departed disappearing below the horizon to the east.

Soon afterwards, Captain Terauchi noticed a pale band of light moving at their speed, direction, and altitude.  Setting their radar to 25 miles, they observed an object at 8 miles.  Anchorage observed nothing on their radar, but Elmendorf reported observing the object.  As the cargo plane approached Fairbanks, the object became illuminated, and Captain Terauchi observed an object about “twice the size of an aircraft carrier.”  Terauchi requested a change of course to avoid the object: the request was granted.  Throughout the 45 degree turn a descent from 35,000 to 31,000 feet and a 360 degree turn, the object followed him “in formation.”  As the cargo plane approached Anchorage, the object disappeared.  The plane landed safely in Anchorage.

Captain Terauchi made an official Federal Aviation Admininistration report of a UFO.  He also gave an interview to the press.  His airline grounded him for speaking to the press and gave him a desk job.  Years later he was reinstated as a pilot.

The FAA reviewed all of the pertinent data and responded that it was probably an early flight of a Stealth Bomber.  A meeting that included the FBI, the CIA, President Reagan’s Scientific Study Team, and others was held with the FAA.  At the conclusion of the meeting, all present were told that the meeting was secret and that their meeting “never took place.”  John Callahan of the FAA reported that the government had concluded that this was the first recorded Radar of a UFO and took possession of most of the data related to the incident.

In an official public account, the statement by the FAA that it was a UFO was retracted, the radar confirming that something had been detected was attributed to a “split radar image.”

The official report was another “swamp gas” explanation.  Why do I tend to believe the pilot’s report?  Well, who doesn’t trust the Japanese...other than that unfortunate Pearl Harbor incident.  Seriously, the pilot and crew had no reason to lie.  Heck, it cost the pilot years of his career in the air.

The Japanese 747 incident doesn’t exactly make me a believer in UFOs, but it does make me scratch my head.

We’re often reminded by the TV programs about aliens, that the pyramids of Egypt must have been built by aliens because of its precision and strange internal configuration.  I’ve always blown this off as not giving the industrious Egyptians enough credit for what can be done with enough slave labor and not much else to do considering that they didn’t have televisions, radios, phones, movies, etc.

The sight that blows me away is Puma Punku in Bolivia.  They have been determined to be the oldest stone structures...ever.  I suppose we could attribute the precision with which the stones are cut to beginner’s luck.  But what about their weight?  One stone alone weighs 800 tons.  The stones are granite and diorite; only the diamond is harder.  The stones are finely cut, perfectly straight.  The holes cored in the stone are perfect and of consistent depth.  On top of these facts, the stones are interlocking. 

The religion of the Tiahuanaco people has  a religious explanation involving a sun god Viracocha.  Hmmm.

I don’t know what the explanation for Puma Punku’s construction might be.  But I have real difficulty ascribing the achievement  to a primitive people in South America.

Now, I know just as you do that with a stretch of the imagination one might attribute Puma Punka to the human environs of the area.  But I have to ask where are their tools; surely there would be evidence of the machines used to cut the stones and move the stones eight miles from the quarry to the site.  I’m just asking.

Of course, there are hundreds of other sightings, legends, religious stories, and encounters which makes one quote Vince Lombardi, “What the Hell is going on out there?”

Well, we certainly can’t depend on the federal government telling us the truth about what they know about the possibilities of UFOs.  They seem to be a secretive lot that slap a “national security” brand on anything they don’t want to talk about.  Do they fear that our citizens will run wild in the streets if they are told that the government knows that ETs exist?  Do they suspect that the pillars of society including religion will collapse?

I can’t speak for your religion, but mine, and I do mean “mine,” would survive.  Heck, religion survived Copernicus’s assertion that Earth was not the center of the universe.

Even the Catholic Church, one of our more conservative religious institutions, in May of 2008 declared that belief in extraterrestrial life was fully consistent with the Christian faith.  To show you the extent of their acceptance of ETs, Father Abriel Nunes penned an article published in the Vatican’s official newspaper entitled “Aliens Are My Brother.”  Perhaps the church knows more about aliens than they are willing to share, or they’re just hedging their bet.

There seems to be a lot of speculation what aliens may look like; I, however, don’t give a damn what aliens might look like; I just wonder if human flesh is on their menu.  If it’s not, I think we should ask them for a little help.  How about a battery for a laptop that can last more than a few hours?