The informant describes the legend of her aunt’s experience with extraterrestrial life. The informant describes that this story has been shared and told many times within her family and is generally accepted as truth within the family. The informant explains that this legend holds importance for her because it happened to someone she is close with and trusts. The story goes as follows:
One calm night, Aunt Jane was lying in her bed looking out over the ocean. She was still awake late into the night, as she is known within the family for sleeping very little. As she was looking out over the ocean she saw a “flash, flash” on the horizon. A few seconds later, she saw the same “flash, flash” again, but this time it had traveled really far on the horizon. There was no possible way it was a boat or a plane or anything like that. So she kept watching it and it was moving really fast still and the next thing she knew, a really bright green light swooped down through her front yard, around the house, and flew off into the distance. Aunt Jane is wholeheartedly convinced this was an interaction with a UFO.
The informant’s story of her aunt’s interaction with a UFO is quite entertaining and relates to similar legends of individuals interacting or seeing UFO objects. It is hard to say what the green flashing light was, but what is more certain is that the story demonstrates the interest people have in extraterrestrial life. There is a certain fascination people have with finding or interacting with life outside of what is known to man that may have some cause in the abundance of these legends. It is also interesting how the informant’s entire family is convinced that this event occurred to the person they know. This may demonstrate the increased belief one holds when hearing events that have happened to those close or related and trusted.
My grandfather still recalls an incident that occured on a flight to Washington D. C. approximately fifty years ago. He remembered being in the aisle seat, while the plane was approaching the airport at twilight. Looking out the window, he saw an object that he describes as having a “saucer-like bottom” and a smaller inverted saucer on top. It was off in the distance, passing through the clouds on a parallel path to the airplane. He said he could not estimate its size, as he could not tell how far away the object was. Along the edge of the saucer, he mentioned what he called lighted windows or lights. He was not the only witness of the incident; he recalled a man whose name I will abbreviate F. B., in the seat next to him, that also saw the object. After the incident was over, my grandfather and F. B. separately sketched their own impression of what the craft looked like, and both the drawings matched. My grandfather maintains an agnostic view toward the object he saw in the sky. He indicated that if he were a skeptic, he would try to rationalize it by calling it a reflection of the airplane itself in the clouds; however, he does not hold to this theory. Rather, he said it excited him, as it occurred in the era when UFO’s were a big cultural phenomenon.
Are these UFO’s still a cultural phenomenon, or have they faded out? Certainly sightings still occur widely and the subject matter is still quite popular; consider that the paranormal-oriented radio show Coast to Coast AM is the most popular late night talk-radio show in the world. Why do UFO’s excite people so much in the modern world? I propose that in America and other developing nations that engage in free enterprise and capitalism, the opportunity of technological innovation promotes a forward outlook on society, civilization, and life in general. As airplane flights were becoming available to the masses in the mid-twentieth century (when my grandfather’s sighting occurred), UFO’s foreshadowed futuristic technology in the minds of a forward-looking people. In other nations, which have more monarchic or dictatorial governments, and in less-developed countries, past-oriented outlooks on unidentified flying objects are more common. Explanations usually involve ancient times or spirituality. As free trade and global business continue to spread, however, the idea of beings and craft from other parts of the universe or from other dimensions of reality will probably continue to evolve into a global concept.