Monday, June 20, 2011

My First UFO Sighting

(Top and middle drawing are mine and my daughter's is below)

I have waited patiently for decades hoping to catch a glimpse of one of those extraordinary flying things called UFO's.  I have watched all those cable network documentaries and YouTube videos with seemingly realistic (albeit fuzzy-grained) photos of all kinds of bizarre flying contraptions.  I've listened to all of the government conspiracy and coverup theories, Area 51 pilgrimmages ending at the military perimeters, theories of hidden underground aircraft hangers, technology acquired through cooperative or dead aliens. 

I have spoken to a few people who claim to have actually seen UFOs in the sky and were permanently struck by what they saw because it was so unusual.  I met Travis Walton, the logger featured in the movie "Fire in the Sky," who claims to have actually been inside a UFO and dealt with living aliens.  I have been approached by others who have told me bizarre stories of alien encounters. The stories are always so utterly fantastic that you have no choice but to severely question their sanity.  Some people might find this ironic, but while I have no problem believing in the reality of ghosts, I have never felt I had sufficient evidence (and absolutely no personal experience) to justify a similar belief in UFO's or aliens.

This month, on June 19th, my 18-year-old daughter and I went to the movies.  We went to our local movie theatre in Parsippany, New Jersey, only 5 minutes from home.  When the movie ended, we walked out into the parking lot toward my car.  It was 11:45 pm on a Sunday night and the entire parking lot was empty.  There were no people anywhere.  My daughter suddenly got very excited and told me to look up in the sky toward the eastern horizon.  The night was a very, very black, velvety night with a cloud cover midway in the sky making it appear even darker.  The moon was no where to be seen.

I saw a strange collection of yellow, orange and red lights hovering somewhere between 500-1,000 feet up in the air roughly a half a mile away.  We had a very clear view because we were in a large empty parking lot in a low, flat mall.  At first, the object appeared rather murky.  The lights seemed to reflect in a hazy way off the clouds.  However, the lights created a stationery, massive boomerang shape (not your typical straight-edged flying disk or cigar-shaped object) that appeared, to my best guess, taking into account cloud reflectivity, to be about the size of a baseball field.   It was significantly bigger than any airplane I have ever seen in my life.  It did not move.  There was no noise.  It appeared to hover over one spot.  Now, since I live about 20 minutes from a small airfield, I am accustomed to seeing airplanes which sometimes appear to "hover" as an optical illusion because they are on a trajectory coming straight towards me or straight away from me.  However, we watched this object for just about one minute and the size did not change at all.  There were no blue or greenish lights which would have suggested a regular aircraft.  The wing-like boomerang edges were clearly hunched downward unlike any ordinary plane wings (in fact, the newest airplanes manufactured by the airplane manufacturer where my husband is employed have wing tips that flip upwards toward the end - not downwards).

There emerged out of this hazy, boomerang-shaped object, an exceptionally well-defined,very clear, white, about 10 feet in diameter, that appeared on the right side of this object.  The orb stood still, then moved toward the center.  Then the orb seemed to move around the front center of the stationery boomerang, then disappeared momentarily behind it, then reappeared on the right side.  If this had merely been the reflection of some "headlight" at some point it would have appeared as a long, beam of light and not a perfectly round white orb.  It stayed perfectly circular no matter how it moved.  This was totally bizarre.  What was also strange was that the orb was perfectly defined while the larger boomerang object remained hazy in the clouds. 

After about one minute of watching this object (seemed quite long at the time), and realizing it wasn't moving and wasn't a typical aircraft or even a reflection of lights coming from a radio tower or from the ground, my daughter said, "Look its disappearing!"  Sure enough, it began to disappear - but not in the way that an object moving away from you in the sky normally disappears by getting smaller as it travels away.  This lit object remained exactly the same size and the "wings" of the boomerang shape simply disappeared, as if the object were a telescope closing up, until the outer edges were swallowed up and it imploded until the center finally blipped out into total darkness within 2-3 seconds.  It didn't get smaller, it simply disappeared!

I asked my daughter to make a drawing of what she saw and I also made a drawing.  I wanted to compare what we both saw.  Our drawings appear above.  Mine shows the relative size and distance of the object from our parking lot.  I drew the white orb and with dotted lines, showed where it moved.  I tried to show the haziness of the outline of the boomerang object.  My daughter's drawing is a close-up view of the object.  It is virtually identical to mine.  She drew arrows to show how the white orb moved around the object. 

We called the local police department that night to see if anyone else had seen anything "unusual" in the sky, but alas, no one did.  So, I now feel I have been inducted into the growing elite club of people who have seen a UFO with their own eyes.  But I am just as confused as I was before I saw it - except now I know it's not impossible.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Wicked Weather on Steroids!

Our recent violent weather seems to be like regular weather on steroids!  You do not have to be a genius to notice that the global weather patterns are changing dramatically before our very eyes.  It's not our imagination.  It's real.  It seems like everyone living in the United States is experiencing something unusual in terms of weather for their region.  The Northwestern states have experienced extraordinary precipitation (300 percent of the normal precipitation) and cold temperatures resulting in 20 foot high banks of snow and unusual flooding of the Missouri River in Montana and the Dakotas - and the snow melts haven't even started yet!  It was the 10th snowiest April on record in the U.S.  It was the wettest April in the Northeastern states in 117 years!  There has been seemingly continuous flooding in Northeastern states like New Jersey and New York.  Further South, the Mississippi River Basin had its highest flood crest seen since 1937.  And yet, in the Southwestern region of the country, the states have been experiencing record dry and hot temperatures.  Nine states in the South and East ranked in the top 10 warmest Aprils on record.  There has been extreme drought due to the lack of precipitation in places like Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada, and Texas.

This has also been a year of terrifying and violent tornadoes - 1,425 tornadoes a record amount already this year.  Not only have we had more tornadoes than ever, but they are also more violent.  There have been five "EF-5" tornadoes already this year (the most violent classification) and the second highest number ever on record!  Moreover, the tornadoes have been popping up further east and in heavily populated urban areas as never before.  They are no longer contained to Kanas fields and Tornado Alley.  Four violent tornadoes swept through Springfield, Massachusetts!  Other tornadoes tore a path of destruction and left many dead in places like Joplin, Missouri, Smithville, Mississippi, Hackleburg, Alabama, and in Oklahoma.  Clearly, we're not in Kansas anymore, Toto!

Not only that, but hurricanes have become more numerous and also stronger than in the past.  The past decade, from 2000-2009, has seen the most Category 5 (the most violent classification with winds 155+ mph) hurricanes in all of recorded history.

Mother Earth herself has seemed to rise up in fury.  The countries bordering the Pacific Ocean in the so-called "Ring of Fire" known for experiencing more earthquakes than anywhere else on earth due to the shifting tectonic plates under the ocean, have also recently experienced what seems like abnormally violent earthquakes and related tsunamis and tidal waves.  Japan's multiple catastrophic earthquakes and tsunami this spring are the obvious example.  But there have also been large earthquakes in Chile, Haiti, and Greenland.  Not to mention, lots of volcanic activity.  Last spring, the enormous Icelandic volcano erupted and temporary disrupted all European air traffic and flights.  There was another smaller eruption this spring.  Just yesterday, the Puyehue volcanic mountain range in Chile erupted, spewing ash high into the atmosphere and causing the evacuation of 3,500 local inhabitants.

Are we experiencing the Biblical End of Times?  Are these the global scourges warned about?  Are we on the brink of global destruction and worldwide famine and starvation?  Is the violent weather a clear sign that the Mayan Calendar predicting the end of the world in 2012 is correct?

Before we get too theatrical about the whole thing, let's consider this:  We are very, very, very tiny creatures in this universe.  Our planet works on much larger cycles.  Weather is cyclical.  Climate change is cyclical.  We can only see this from within our very little, short-lived perspective as human beings.  Almost all of the weather patterns are driven by temperature changes in our oceans.  The two biggest producers of weather patterns are El Nino and La Nina.  El Nino occurs when surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean rise, and La Nina occurs when temperatures drop.  We are currently in a very active La Nina phase.  These cycles alternate roughly every five years.  So why is it so extreme recently?  Very simple: natural (normal cyclical) and manmade (abnormal and non-cyclical) global warming have both caused 1) higher sea temperatures due to trapped heat and 2) our polar ice caps to melt at an alarmingly fast rate causing cooler temperatures closer to the poles.  As a result, warm and cold air masses are colliding and creating thunderstorms, abnormal rainfall, snow due to colder air, flooding as a result of precipitation, drought and heat due to warming tends, tornadoes, and hurricanes.  The jet stream, more active than usual, has pushed all this crazy air further eastward into states unaccustomed to such violent weather. 

Want to change the future?  Want to stop most of the violence within this natural weather cycle?  Don't raise up your arms and cry out that this is the End of the World and God's Will!  Change the course of human history.  Make it your personal responsibility to reuse old things, refuse to buy things that guzzle natural energy and encourage the rest of us to make a living off your greed.  Don't buy things with excessive plastic and packaging.  Don't give in to the "Keeping Up With the Jones" and buy things for show.  Realize that only we, as tiny individual human beings, are our own salvation on this planet.