UFO Over Bridge Sighting


“Alright, uh, so this was my middle school teacher in 7th grade, whatever, who was an English teacher. Um, and he was like an old man who would just tell random stories about his life. This one time, him and his girlfriend at the time were like, hanging out, I guess, just in- they were on like a bridge in a city on a date, you know, like a romantic date, looking at the stars on the bridge. 

They’re hanging out on this bridge, they’re sitting, they’re chatting, um, and they see in the sky this moving, like, thing. It looked sort of like- well, it looked like a spaceship, is what they said. It had- it was like, some kind of thing in the sky and had like, lights underneath it, and it was moving in sort of like a figure eight pattern in the sky, just like right above the bridge, uh, above the city. And they both saw it for a while, and they were watching it, and eventually it left. Um, and he- I remember my teacher followed the story up with like ‘kids these days- you guys wouldn’t have seen it because you would be on your cell phones!’” 


C is a University of Southern California student who went to middle school in Mercer Island, Washington in the United States. While unsure exactly when his teacher experienced these events, C guessed it happened about twenty to thirty years ago. He also guesses that his teacher has told this story to other classes of students. When asked about his and his classmates’ reactions, C said their reaction was skeptical but interested and polite.

He then followed up with an explanation of his teacher’s own stance on aliens: “Um, I don’t think he thinks it was aliens, necessarily? I think he believes- or, he told us he thinks it was a stealth plane, because they had like government stealth planes, and apparently he looked up what government stealth planes are like nowadays…and it apparently looked pretty similar to a stealth plane, so he thinks maybe it was that. Because it was kind of like black and V-shaped, I guess.” To explain the final part of his retelling, C also added that his teacher was very anti-cellphones.


Folklorists have discussed how alien beliefs are often indicative of the US’s societal predispositions towards the future, upwards direction, and technology, and this memorate has several elements that seem to support this notion. C’s teacher’s explanations for the ‘true’ identity of the UFO as a stealth plane seems to indicate an air of mystery, intrigue, and perhaps even fear surrounding unknown government practices and technology. In addition, the way that C’s teacher ended the story with a jab at the cellphone usage of today’s children showcases the fluidity of narratives and how the meaning behind a narrative comes from one’s mind. While C and his classmates see the memorate as an entertaining (if unlikely) legend, C’s teacher, with his anti-cellphone moral message and skepticism towards the truth of the event, seems to have refashioned his experience to somewhat resemble a tale.