Tag Archives: del rio

Memorate: My Great-Grandparents’ UFO Sighting


Informant J is a 73 year old Mexican-American man and is the collector’s grandfather. He is from San Jose, California, but his family moved there from parts of Texas and Mexico. For the majority of his life, J was a manager at a regional grocery store, and studied art in college with a focus in jewelry making. J is now retired and his hobbies include guitar playing, metal working, and reworking vintage cars.


(Please excuse typos, this is an unaltered text message from the informant): “There was an incident that happened when my parents were traveling to Del Rio Texas. They were in the middle of the desert headed for DR when they noticed a bright light shining behind their car they thought it was another car coming up behind them with their high beams on or maybe a bright light from a train. My dad as afraid to pull over for fear that it might be something nefarious. Needless to say they traveled 20 miles or so and they still had the light shining on their car. After traveling a bit farther the light shifted to above the car and  suddenly the light disappeared and everything was dark again. My mom said that she was pregnant with me and they were freaked out about what had occurred. There were a large number of ufo sightings in that area during that period of time. No one could explain what had occurred!”


My grandpa mentions that this happened to his parents when there were common UFO sightings in the area at the time. Based on what I know about my family, this happened either in 1949 or 1950, right before my grandpa was born. I find it interesting that a bright light alone was enough to convince my great grandparents that a UFO may have been traveling alongside them. This memorate doesn’t involve contact with any actual ‘alien’ creatures or strange technology – just a bright light – but the popularity of alleged UFO sightings in the late 40s and early 50s is definitely at play here. My family members were probably more likely to believe that what they saw was a UFO or alien spaceship because that was a common occurrence in the community around them. A quick google search provides many results for Texas alien sightings in those years. Although this memorate doesn’t reference a specific legend or named figure, aliens in general function similarly to legends – in that there is a negotiation of belief surrounding them and peoples’ ideas about them are influenced by their peers. It’s also notable my grandpa was told this happened while his mother was pregnant with him – he is a staunch believer in the supernatural, as was his mother.