I Saw a UFO in 1968… The Government Finally Admits It Was Possible

As I mentioned in my last regular post of the summer, I will post a blog on occasion when something catches my attention. The UFO report due out in a week or two definitely fits the definition.

My interest in UFOs has kept my eyes focused on the skies ever since I saw one in 1968. It has also taken Peggy and me to interesting places— like Area 51, shown above in a remote section of Nevada desert. Naturally, I couldn’t resist taking a photo of the sign. Nobody rushed out to arrest us. Wait, is a Man in Black armed with a neuralyzer knocking on my door?

It’s almost impossible to believe.

I’m not talking about UFOs, which I find easy to believe. I’m talking about Republicans and Democrats agreeing on something. At this point in our history, it seems like the possibility of UFOs zipping through the skies of the world is much higher than the possibility of Republican and Democrats working together in the public interest. (Hopefully, I’m wrong.)

And now, both Democrats and Republicans are speaking out about the need to crank up our intelligence on Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs), or Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs), to use the modern term. Obama, Trump, and Biden all agree. As do Adam Schiff and Marco Rubio. A report is scheduled to be released this month that will detail what we know, or at least what the government is willing to share with us.

Leaks have suggested that the report will admit that not all UAPs can be explained away with the usual claims that they are the result of some type of natural phenomena or an over-active imagination. The fact that many of the sightings have come from military pilots makes such claims particularly difficult to maintain. These folks hardly fit the definition of delusional eccentrics. One pilot noted that sightings have been reported almost daily for the past two years— often around military installations. No wonder the government is excited.

So far, America’s political leadership seems focused on the possibility that another government may have developed a technology far superior to anything the US has— at least publicly. It’s more palatable than admitting to the existence of extra-terrestrials from outer space (or Earth). And also easier to obtain funds for. The first hypothesis is merely scary. The second is mind-boggling and will forever change our perspective on who we are.

I doubt the viability of the ‘other government’ scenario. For one, can you imagine how difficult it would be to keep such a secret? Then there is the temptation to exploit such technology to gain political advantage. It’s hard to imagine any modern nation failing to do so. And finally, we are talking about a technology that would have been available for over 80 years given modern day sightings. And probably much longer.

The 2000-6,000 year old pictographs at Sego Canyon in Utah are among the strangest I have ever seen. Admittedly, such visions may be drug induced as part of a shamanistic ritual, but I have often thought of their other-worldly, alien appearance. And could the object to the right be a flying saucer?
I love this cartoon from the Roswell, New Mexico UFO museum.

Our present day governmental efforts to get a handle on what’s out there, date back 14 years when Harry Reid, (D. Nevada and then Senate Majority Leader), persuaded two colleagues, Ted Stevens, (R. Alaska) and Daniel Inouye (D. Hawaii) to join him in sponsoring a bill that would dedicate $22 million to assessing whether UFOs posed a threat. Reid said it took him about ten minutes to persuade the two to go along with him. Stevens, who claimed to have seen a UFO when he was a pilot during WWII, signed on at once.

Assuming the existence of aliens for a moment, three questions come to mind: Who and/or what are they, where do they come from, and what are their intentions regarding humanity? Our initial vision of bi-pedal greenish creatures with big eyes is based on original claims of the Roswell crash of 1946 which may— or may not— have happened. (If you want to watch a hilarious but R-rated view of the crash, check out the movie, Paul.)

The where raises an interesting question. If they are frequent visitors from another galaxy, then their technology has taken a quantum, faster than light leap. Or maybe they use worm holes in space. Or come from a parallel universe. All are popular subjects of science fiction and modern speculative physics. Or maybe they operate from a base on earth. I could see a mother ship dropping them off eons ago and urging them to observe evolving species, particularly the one that liked to go around bashing each other’s brains with large clubs.

The intentions question may turn out to be the most important. As far as we know, the aliens have taken a hands off approach, monitoring but not interfering in our evolutionary and technological development. Why? Is there some kind of Star Trek ethic of not interfering with primitive societies. Or are they making a determination about our behavior. Are we intelligent beings who should be welcomed into the galactic community at some point in the future? Or are we a nasty virus that poses a threat to the Universe and needs to be destroyed? Apparently, the jury is still out. Do they see us on the edge of self-destruction and foresee a need to step in and alter our path? Their focus on military installations suggests a concern on what damage we might cause in outer space or what damage we might do to each other. Or what if they are scouts, preparing for a future invasion. Lots of questions and no real answers. Yet.

As for my sighting of a UFO in the fall of 1968, I was in Sacramento at the time. I had just returned from my stint as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Africa and a Peace Corps recruiter in the South. I had moved to Sacramento to open a Peace Corps Public Affairs office for Northern California and Northern Nevada. One evening, I stepped outside my apartment on La Riviera Drive next to the American River when a round, saucer shaped object caught my attention. It disappeared into a cloud. Before I could think of the implications, the object came out of the cloud going in another direction, accelerated and quickly disappeared from view. The UFO was not something fuzzy I saw in the distance on a dark night when I had been indulging in a hallucinogenic drug. It was still light out and my view was crystal clear. There was no doubt in my mind as to what I had seen. And I have never doubted the existence of UFOs since.

Are aliens and UFO/UAPs for real? I found this charming character in a diorama at the Roswell UFO Museum.

Roswell, UFOs, and Billy the Kid… The 10,000 Mile Bike Trek

Are aliens for real? What about UFOs? I found this charming character in a diorama at the Roswell UFO Museum.

Are aliens for real? What about UFOs? I found this charming character in a diorama at the Roswell UFO Museum.

 

“While working with a camera crew supervising flight testing of advanced aircraft at Edward’s Air Force Base, California, the camera crew filmed the landing of a strange disc object that flew in over their heads and landed on a dry lake nearby. A camera crewman approached the saucer, it rose up above the area and flew off at a speed faster than any known aircraft.”

—NASA astronaut, L. Gordon Cooper.

 

I was getting tough, no doubt about it. In four days I had biked from Springerville, Arizona to Roswell, New Mexico. The first three days, I had crossed the Rockies and half of New Mexico, checking out Pie Town, the VLA, and the location of the world’s first atomic bomb blast. On day four, I had cycled up into the Capitan Mountains and found the gravesite of Smokey Bear. But my day wasn’t over. Twelve miles down the road was the community of Lincoln that had been the center of New Mexico’s infamous Lincoln County War in 1878.

My intention was to call it a day in Lincoln and go in search of Billy the Kid, or at least his ghost. He’s said to haunt the area. But I really couldn’t find any place I wanted to camp so I just kept pedaling— another 57 miles. For much of the afternoon, I travelled along the Rio Hondo River with its small ranches, pine trees and cottonwoods, a welcome break from the dry deserts I’d been crossing. Dusk found me flying down a hill into Roswell. I was bushed, it had been a 90-mile day across another mountain range, but I couldn’t help scanning the skies for UFOs. The area is known for being the crash of a flying saucer in 1947, an incident that is still debated today. I had seen one once. I wanted to see another.

The UFO/or weather balloon crash site was on the other side of this mountain.

The UFO/or weather balloon crash site is on the other side of this mountain.

So today’s post is about desperadoes and little green men. There’s a lot to cover. I’d best get to it. I’ve blogged about Billy the Kid before. Here’s what I had to say:

Henry McCarty, aka Kid Antrim, aka William Henry Bonney, aka Billy the Kid initiated his life of crime in Silver City during the 1870s stealing butter from the local ranchers. And then he got serious; he was caught with a bag of stolen Chinese laundry. His buddy Sombrero Jack had given it to him to hide.  The local sheriff decided to lock Billy up for a couple of days as a lesson that crime doesn’t pay but the Kid escaped through the chimney.

Two years later, at 16, he killed his first man. Five years and some 11-21 murders after that (depending on press reports), he would be shot down by Sheriff Pat Garret. Billy liked to twirl his guns and enjoyed the polka— a fun guy.

There wasn’t much fun involved in the Lincoln County War; lots of people got killed. It’s the age-old story about the new guys riding into town and trying to dethrone the old guys. The ‘old’ guys in this case were Lawrence Murphy and James Dolan. Arriving in the early 1870s, Murphy and Dolan had built large ranches and Lincoln’s only dry goods store and bank. They controlled the law and were able to set prices to maximize profits. Corrupt friends higher up in New Mexico politics had enabled them to gain lucrative contracts selling beef to the US Army. They made lots of money; they didn’t want to share.

Enter from stage left, John Turnstall, a wealthy Englishman, and Alexander McSween, a lawyer. Backed by John Chisum, one of the largest cattle barons of the Old West (he had a herd of 100,000 cattle), they set out to obtain what Murphy and Dolan had. So they established cattle herds and built a dry goods store and bank in Lincoln. Soon they were taking business away from Murphy and Dolan, an intolerable situation. Dolan challenged Turnstall to a gunfight which Turnstall avoided. Instead, he hired Billy the Kid, someone eminently qualified to fight his gun battles for him.

This is a copy of the only known photo of Billy the Kid. It's found in what was once Murphy and Dolan's dry goods store and headquarters in Lincoln, NM. Later it would become Sheriff Pat Garret's Office. Billy would escape from here by killing two deputy sheriffs.

This is a copy of the only known photo of Billy the Kid. It’s found in what was once Murphy and Dolan’s dry goods store and headquarters in Lincoln, NM. Later it would become Sheriff Pat Garret’s Office. Billy would escape from here by killing two of Garret’s deputies.

Being thwarted, Murphy turned to the local law, his law, Sheriff William Brady. Faster than you can say trumped-up charges, three deputies were out on the trail of Turnbull. Naturally they had to shoot and kill him. This irritated Billy no small amount and the war was on. Then things really got complicated with competing bands of outlaws and lawmen, local cattlemen, the US Army, two New Mexico governors, and the President of the Unite States involved. Ultimately the Kid and McSween were killed along with 16 or so other folks including Sheriff Brady. Murphy and Dolan ended up bankrupt. McSween’s widow seemed to end up owning much of the stuff. There must be a moral of some kind here.

Murphy's sharpshooters used this tower in the Lincoln County War. It was originally used for protection against marauding Apaches.

Murphy’s sharpshooters used this tower in the Lincoln County War. It was originally used for protection against marauding Apaches.

A letter of appeal that Billy wrote to Governor Lew Wallace who had been appointed to clean up the mess in Lincoln County and the corruption in New Mexico's government. What interested me was how neat, and how well written the letter was.

A letter of appeal that Billy wrote to Governor Lew Wallace who had been appointed to clean up the mess in Lincoln County and the corruption in New Mexico’s government. What interested me was how neat, and how well written the letter was.I doubt you will find penmanship like that in our schools today.

Peggy and I found these red peppers in Lincoln. They made it onto my blog because I thing there is an unwritten law in New Mexico that anyone who blogs about the state has to include a shot of red peppers.

Peggy and I found these red peppers in Lincoln. They made it onto my blog because there is an unwritten law in New Mexico that anyone who blogs about the state has to include a shot of red peppers.

This rock is here because I found it near Lincoln along Highway 380. I think Billy would have liked it.

This rock is here because I found it along NM Highway 380 near Lincoln. I think Billy would have liked it, or shot it.

My road shot for the day. I really enjoyed the trees and green grass I found riding along the Rio Hondo River. This may look dry and barren to you. Believe me, it wasn't.

My road photo for the day. I really enjoyed the trees and green grass I found riding along the Rio Hondo River. This may look dry and barren to you. I thought I was in Eden.

Now, on to little green men.

A little green man contemplates what to do about earth while standing on the streets of Roswell.

A little green man contemplates what to do about earth while standing on the streets of Roswell. Don’t worry; the sign on the right says he’s under 24 hour video surveillance.

It was 1968. I was standing outside on my small porch in Sacramento, California, innocently minding my own business and sipping scotch when aliens entered my life. A round, disk-like object flew into a cloud going in one direction, and then flew out going another, accelerating at an unbelievable speed. It was only seconds of my life, but ever since, I have been interested in UFOs.

My flying saucer looked a lot like this, except it was clearer.

My flying saucer looked a lot like this, except it was clearer. (From a photo in the UFO museum.)

You might imagine my excitement as I approached Roswell. The story of the 1947 crash of an unidentified flying object near Roswell has been the subject of numerous news stories over the years. A local rancher had found mysterious debris on his property and turned it over to the military. At first the military reported that a UFO had crashed. As a media storm gathered, the military quickly changed its story and said it was a weather balloon. Meanwhile, tales of dead alien bodies being found begin to circulate.  A nurse reputedly said she had seen the aliens and drew a picture. Everything, it was claimed, had been shipped off to Area 51 in Nevada.

It was the grist for dozens of sci-fi movies, books and TV shows— and one of the greatest conspiracy theories of all times. It continues to rage, refusing to die. And probably never will as long as people continue to see disk-like objects zipping across the sky.

Roswell loves its aliens and the UFO story. It’s cash in the bank; it draws thousands of tourists annually. When Peggy and I went through there retracing my bike route in April, we wandered around town taking photos of businesses that displayed alien-related themes. We also spent a couple of hours at the UFO Museum, which is dedicated to uncovering the truth about the crash, and continuing to propagate the UFO story. It’s all fun. BTW, if you want a silly but fun R-rated movie that ties aliens, Roswell, and Area 51 together, Peggy and I recommend “Paul.” You might also want to check out my blog: Area 51— Where Alien Conspiracy Theories Continue to Breed Like Rabbits.

I've always wondered about the food served at McDs.

I’ve always wondered about the food served at McDs.

It isn't required, but Peggy and I found numerous businesses in Roswell with alien themes. This was a print shop.

It isn’t required, but Peggy and I found numerous businesses in Roswell with alien themes. This was a print shop.

As expected, you could find cute T-shirts...

As expected, you can find cute T-shirts…

Fun signs...

Fun signs…

And other alien stuff.

And other alien stuff.

The UFO Museum is filled with interesting facts and speculation about the UFO crash.

The UFO Museum is filled with interesting facts and speculation about the UFO crash.

This news story was based on the original release from the US Army, before it begin claiming a weather balloon had crashed.

This news story was based on the original release from the US Army, before it claimed a weather balloon had crashed.

I'll conclude today's post with this cartoon I found in the museum (grin).

This cartoon was the last thing I found in the museum. I left smiling.

NEXT BLOG: On to Texas. I am surprised I am not still bicycling across it.