I hate to sound like one of these Alien abductees, but I also grew up next to military base, and about 13 years ago, I saw something that I, with all my rationality, cannot satisfactorily explain.
As a bonus, there was also a private airport right next to this military installation. So, Needless to say, I am quite familiar with the hum of many a Cessna or Piper as well as their progression through the skies.
As a person who drinks fermented beverages that are known to ‘excite’ the senses, I just need to add this caveat: Back in the day this particular event occurred, I had not been drunk so much as once yet. (In fact, I only reached for the bottle, the first time, nine years after this particular event.).
Only on one evening in my life did I see something that made me wonder (not conclude) if an otherworldly agency was not putting on a show. But before I delve into the mysterious events of that evening, 13 years ago, I first wish to colour the background against which this story plays.
I am a victim of the Drake equation, so I am convinced there must be complex and intelligent alien life out there, somewhere. But I don’t go around wrapping my head in tinfoil and trying to interpret every burp, squawk, or fart I pick up on my RadioShack receiver (in fact, I don’t even own one). I also don’t attribute supernatural or extraterrestrial machinations to whatever discomforting or unexplainable phenomenon I encounter, for I am more than willing to accept that my own ignorance may just be reaching for a fantastic explanation that fits where none is actually warranted.
Having now put some distances between myself and the many ‘credible (plainly gullible) witnesses’ of the unconventional, rationale-defying luminous phenomena in the skies of the world, I feel ready to tell the details of my encounter.
It was about 6:30PM, and I was marveling at the alpenglow bloodying the clouds on the horizon. The next moment, I had an overpowering sensation to look directly above me. (It felt like something was watching me and wanted me to know it was there.) The instant I looked up, a bright light, roughly the size of Venus in the night sky, either rapidly shrunk to nothingness or receded back into space at an astonishing speed, because it was gone in slightly more than a second.
Big deal, right? Who cares? So what! Hardly the stuff of headlines, but that is my absolutely boring, uneventful, discountable yet 100% true account of something strange that I observed in the skies over Pretoria, South Africa. Something that I can’t explain (satisfactorily to myself and, sometimes, others) using rational definitions. Planets and stars don’t simply disappear; planes make a noise (this thing was silent), and meteors rarely travel in a line so straight towards the observers eyes as to appear like a ball in the sky, rather than a streak; not only that, but if a fragment entering our atmosphere makes such a big, bright glow, usually it is followed by an explosion as the mass breaks apart in the atmosphere, and I’ve seen such explosions with my own eyes).
Now, were I being invited to appear on local radio/television shows, and were I the object of attention and inquiry of many a regional reporter, I would indeed feel the urge succumb to that ancient tendency of the story-teller locked away in the DNA of our species and ‘thwart the truth from getting in the way of a good story.’ If sufficient amounts of money (or other barter) were shoved into my open palm for an exclusive, I may even be tempted to embellish—adding a thrilling account and some enigma to ready my testimony for prime time.
I, at least, admit that I would find it difficult to resist the lure of attention, quick money, and fifteen minutes of fame, but I like to think that I would, indeed, stand firm even if such tempting circumstances enveloped me, and that I would stick to my lackluster story with the same brevity and honesty as I have demonstrated in this article.
I do, however, question the fortitude of people with otherwise uneventful and boring lives, and what they would do if afforded a similar opportunity to be the center of attention and the recipients of hard currency for what they may come to consider to be but an innocent exaggeration intended to bring a bit of thrill and excitement to an otherwise sleepy town. One needs only peruse the Facebook profiles of some of these people to understand that exhibitionism is their true calling in life. The mind boggles at the thought of just how much they would inflate their story to outdo the others cropping up in the same town like weeds.
What perplexes me is how readily such ‘witnesses’ and their many professional interpreters will admit to profound levels of personal incredulity regarding the events, yet slip into seamless and elaborate explanations that are laden with ‘certainties’ and ‘truths.’ So profound is the contrast that I often wonder what sense of confusion or uncertainty these people ever had about their or their associates’ experiences.
That there are luminous artifacts appearing in the night skies that bewilder and thrill the common man there can be no doubt, but such sights, most likely, are produced by the glitchy visual driver in our brains. Homo Sapiens are bearers of a very erratic and error-prone biological processor known as the human brain. Many of us suffer from one or multiple mental illnesses too benign to impede us socially and professionally but also too invasive to permit us a sane view of the world around us.
It is no wonder that we still pray to concrete statues, talk to imaginary beings, pray before ancient torture devices, and speak of blood and sacrifice as ways by which our impurities can be cleansed.
Within this writing mass of billions who ‘believe’ in the irrational, the undetectable, and the unexplainable are numerous individuals who would obey instructions given by a disembodied voice without verifying its source or authenticity. We see this every time a building is bombed or individuals murdered by people who claim to be acting out supernatural instructions given to them by a supernatural being or beings.
The average person is all too happy to reach for the most complex, unproven, and untestable explanation whenever they would otherwise be forced to admit to confusion. People don’t like to be confused, and our brains have evolved to give any explanation—no matter how elaborate—to just have some explanation for observed phenomena that deviate from our expectations of reality.
The irony of all is that it is supremely easy to come up with fantastically complex and highly unnatural or unlikely explanations to explain the simplest confusion we experience regarding the world around us. I don’t necessarily subscribe to Occam’s Razor, but I don’t accept that people can just shove in whatever explanation fits without verifying that they could even reasonably resort to such explanations. It seems that wherever and whenever a bit of deep thought and analysis are necessary to deduce the truth, the common person grabs for a supernatural explanation. These supernatural explanations, however elaborate they may be, actually explain nothing.
So, when a bunch of rednecks out in the bushy provinces of the land say they saw things that defy reason, I can sympathise with their confusion, because I know that these are the people who were utterly failed by the national education curriculum. It is only when highly educated people come with their extra-terrestrial hoo-ha that I suffer cerebral discomfort and feel the need to vent my resulting frustrations. Are these luminaries charlatans trying to secure the quick buck from the many gullible and scared simpletons, or are they smarter than I am and giving accurate explanations for experiences that rebels against logic?
My sense of personal certainty atrophies in light of the numerous testimonies delivered by highly experienced and lucid men and women who once staffed various international, top-secret military installations. I don’t just believe their recounts of unexplainably (at least by conventional reason and knowledge) phenomena, as I realise that the term top-secret is usually a proxy for the magician’s hat—out of which all absurdities can and readily do appear, yet no real supernatural agency is at play.
I thus say that I am a skeptic and highly doubtful that our erratic and borderline insane primate species has been made the object of study of more intelligent beings not originating from our home planet.
To give any such a description for what may be the product of mass mental illness or reactions to an increasingly stressful and economically tumultuous world is something I cannot entertain without experiencing an intense feeling of dishonesty overtaking my person.
The media is often labeled a collusive agency in bed with the most secretive and demented elements of government to ridicule the phenomenon and all who claim witness to it. But such a claim dismisses the media’s role on spilling barrels of ink in support of the testimony rendered by police, doctors, and otherwise ‘expert’ eye-witnesses. The pressing feeling from any media report concerning the alien is that one should accept the trusted testimony of those with initials before they names or who work for law-enforcement agencies. Because we all know that medical doctors, policemen, and the local vet are absolutely incapable of malice of mischief and would never exaggerate or fabricate any story, right?
These people are so pure, honest, credible, and qualified, that we might as well consider special pardons for them if they are ever suspected of committing a violation of the law. Doctors won’t murder, police cannot be corrupt, and the local vet just loves tending to sick animals too much to risk imprisonment on a pack of lies.
The worst part is if some of these ‘credible people’ decide to make a career out of introducing the unwashed masses to the universal ‘truths’ that are supposedly connected to the specters that haunt our planet. There is many an ex-military commander, ex-medical doctor, ex-physicist, or ex-engineer who may have discovered that their post-career pension funds are perhaps not as inexhaustible as they had hoped for and now find new wealth and fortune in peddling books, presentations, interviews, and guided tours of the paranormal.
The rudimentary assumption is that why would these people risk their reputations to endorse something that may be utterly bogus? The answer is simple, look at how old and retired some of them are. Seriously, they need not bother with explaining their public conduct in their next job interview, and it is not like they are doing something malicious. God knows they could be selling people tap water and call it holy medicine, or they could be invoking the holy ghost and telling people to throw away their pills because Jeeeeezuz has cured them of their ills—ironically announced by the interceding and errant organic conduit called a priest!
These paranormal practitioners are damn professional and very convincing. I dare anyone who doubts this to look at one of Doctor Steven Greer’s many riveting presentations. Even a hardcore skeptic like me wants to believe him. Such a well-spoken, intelligent, calm, wise, and matured person is exactly the sort of alpha male that the primate genes in all of us are programmed to follow. When we discount our biological needs for social acceptance, comfort, and leadership and we assign spiritual and fundamental truth to them, that is when we damn ourselves to live out the chimpanzee tribe and all the limitations it forces upon us, despite our intellectual capabilities, which require decades to develop and maintain.
Also, the innumerable theories and conspiracies peddled by the ‘professional’ ufologists are not theories at all. A theory is what you have left after you have done a series of controlled experiments, recorded the observed phenomena in unfailing detail, and discounted all explanations that do not account for what was observed during the experiment. But the limited scope of the experiments we perform in science means that we cannot find one explanation that explains everything. So we have to live with numerous theories that sometimes complement each other and sometimes don’t. That is how shaky ‘theories’ are at the highest and most tightly controlled levels of science. Now imagine the wide margins for error that exist when theories originate at the trailer-park level, the pub and diner level, or the commercial and convention level where the professionals make their living selling elaborate Alien and UFO conspiracy ‘theories’ supposedly meant to enlighten/warn all of us.
I propose that these whimsical claims have their roots not in the supernatural, but the very natural and frequent misfirings of the human mind. When some of these ‘abductees’ testify, I consider what I read up in psychology books and I see more need for them being diagnosed as having Capgras syndrome than having been molested by ultra-intelligent beings not originating from this planet. Many more abductees look and sound like rape victims who have pulled an otherworldly theme over their very earthly experience. One can almost detect an audible ‘cranial backfire’ when some of these people take the mic.
Many articles like this one like to announce the authors conclusion after undertaking a study in the otherworldly, but like a real life X files, my study of this most interesting subject has yielded nothing concrete or certain. The truth is out there, as the cliché goes; however, the scratched lens of scrutiny that is the human mind—through which all these phenomena are observed—I feel, has produced many of the scattered lights that seem to defy our expectations.
I don’t know nor do I assume to know some great truth that we must all in time awaken to. I feel the entire UFO / Alien spectacle is a modern form of our primitive urges to have something better than us watch over us and lead us into tomorrow.
And if I ever find myself at the end of the common grey’s phalanges, the first thing I’ll be seeking when I wake up after the encounter is a thorough psychological evaluation by a panel of experts, not a microphone to voice my experience to the other fruits in the basket I would then, most likely, find myself in.
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