The same way I am beginning to forget a lot of things these days, this one totally exited my memory…… until last night, and now I can’t shake it.
During the 1980’s and early 90’s we lived in an area in the Hudson Valley that was rapidly morphing from rural farmland to suburban neighborhoods. That evening I was driving home from…..I can’t remember where now, but I think it might have been either a night class at the community college or coming back from the shopping mall, given the time, the road and the easterly direction I was headed. Along the state highway, just passing a former dairy farm, suddenly just above the trees I saw what looked like a huge plane coming down extraordinarily low to the left and above me, facing west, so large and so low that it was clearly about to crash into the field. I hit the brakes and yelled out something like “Holy $h*t!” as it appeared to be just grazing the tree tops as it came into view. I could see the lights on the underside of it, mostly white and red, the underbelly massive and in sort of a triangular shape, almost resembling a huge manta stingray in the sky. My mind braced for the expected impact, explosion, fire, horror……which did not happen.
With an eerie disbelief and creeping comprehension I realized that the object was barely moving. It was not crashing, it was not coming down….it was cruising very, very, very slowly, right above the tree line and coming out across the field. And it was not making a loud noise, it was hardly making any noise at all, more like a low, humming sound, if that. Barely moving. No loud engine sounds like a plane would make. Triangular shape, lots of lights. Not crashing. Cruising very, very slowly, right at the top of the trees. Big. And very close.
I was still moving forward in my car as this was happening. I pulled over to get a better look, but then it was gone behind some trees on the other side of the field and I could not see it at the angle I was at. A few other cars had pulled over also. Honestly, I will admit I got a little scared and I did not get out of my car, but pulled back out into the road and drove home as fast as I could.
At that time, there was not a source of instant information the way the internet is now. I did not own a computer then. There was no easy way to inquire about what it could have been, to contact others as it was happening. We didn’t have cell phones, let alone with built in cameras for instant recording either. I remember debating about calling the police to report what I had seen and then waffling back and forth about it. I didn’t want to appear like some nut case reporting UFO’s. But on recall, I actually think I did finally call our sheriff’s office to report it, because what if it was a plane? Just a weird….plane. What if it did go down and people were hurt? I know I kept picking up the phone and putting it down, and did make a few phone calls after that….I had to tell somebody. The following day I checked the local newspapers and found nothing written. I called my friends. I spoke to a few people about it afterwards. Someone mentioned a theory that perhaps it was a few guys in ultralights, flying in formation (in the dark?). This thing was too large to have been just one though. And again, it had a whole lot of lights.
I have no idea what it was. Okay, maybe it was just an ultralight. Or two. Or more. Just some big hoax that some ultralight pilots happened to be pulling that night back then. And eventually I forgot about it.
Until last night, when I was talking to my friend E., who told me her husband was reading a book from the library about UFO sightings in the Hudson Valley, which mentioned exactly what I saw that night, seen by others around the surrounding counties during the same time period. She recalled our conversation from that time …..and then it all came back to me again, not only the image of it, but the emotions I felt while seeing it. I couldn’t sleep last night, remembering that same weird, scary, excited feeling that I had after witnessing something clearly very unusual, something strange, something Not Normal. E. said what I had experienced was called a Close Encounter. A Close Encounter! I had never thought of it that way.
You know, I do believe there is probably other life out there. How could there not be? The odds are too great that there must be. I don’t know that I could be convinced about strange space craft landing and taking people away in their mother ships, but I think we are not the only ones out in the universe. Or necessarily the only ones here, if you want to get into talking about dimensions. But that is another subject.
When I was younger and living in an apartment in Ashland, Oregon, during the most unbearable of the hottest nights of summer a number of us in the building would take our sleeping bags to the roof to escape the heat and sleep up there under the stars. We would lie on our backs and watch for shooting stars and track the satellites as they slowly arced across the sky. One night we were watching the tiny dot of a satellite on its path, when it suddenly stopped its trajectory, made a ninety degree turn and continued on its way. Everybody saw it. We all went “Whoa, did you see that?” I don’t know what it was, but it was Something. And so, that giant triangle of lights I saw in the sky that night could have been something too, except much, much closer. A Close Encounter. Gives me shivers!
I shared my memories with the Significant Other. “Yeah, yeah, yeah sure” he said.