High Strangeness: November 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011


Somehow the greater UFO community seems to have missed this: the U.S. Government has acknowledged the reality of UFOs. The State of New Hampshire recently erected the most carefully-worded historical marker in the country, marking the site of the famous "Betty and Barney Hill Incident."

I'm glad we can finally give that a rest...

Alien Evolution -- Part 2

I've been thinking more about yesterday's blog post about "Alien Evolution," and came to conclusion that the aliens might not be changing at all.

So, sure, this alien abduction researcher can point to evidence showing that aliens used to abduct humans in  isolated outdoor areas back in the '60s and now they abduct people right from their bedrooms, and the aliens used to wear snappy uniforms and visor caps in the '60s and now they treat our planet like it's one big nudist colony... but what if the only thing that's changed is our perception of the phenomenon, not the phenomenon itself?

Is it too Freudian to wonder why people in 2011 experience naked beings invading their bedrooms and kidnapping them? And, oh yes, probing them? Maybe that's oversimplification, but it's true that what makes humans insecure changes over time. We had different nightmares in the 1960s than we do in 2011. Why wouldn't our perceptions of a threatening alien encounter change over the course of five decades? The end result is the same: the abductee feels completely powerless.

Kind of makes you wonder what an alien abduction in 2050 might look like...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Alien Evolution

So it turns out that aliens evolve, and rather quickly at that. I learned this at the Burlington Vortex Conference last month, and, unlike the bit about the dimwit alien "greys" dropping their human abductees off at the wrong addresses, this claim actually seems to have some evidence behind it.

It was related by someone who knows a thing or two about aliens, Kathleen Marden, whose aunt and uncle Betty and Barney Hill are two of the most famous UFO abductees of all time. Marden was 13 when her aunt and uncle were abducted by a aliens in a UFO on a deserted highway in New Hampshire in 1961 ("The Interrupted Journey," 7/27/11), and the abduction has shaped Marden's life since then. She has spent most of her adult life studying alien abduction cases and trying to understand why they happen and what they mean, and her presentation of her research is pretty fascinating.

One of the most intriguing aspects to me was the evolution angle, although evolution may not be the right word for what Marden was describing. It may be more accurate to say that aliens have changed their style over the years. Back in 1962, when Barney & Betty had their experience, for instance, aliens showed a strong preference for abducting humans outdoors in isolated locations: deserted highways, derelict shipyards, abandoned forests and the like. This suggests that the aliens like fresh air. I'm sure it suggests a lot of other things, too, but that's the first thing that comes to mind. But, Marden says, the aliens have changed their approach since then... These days they are more likely to abduct humans in their bedrooms. The humans' bedrooms, not the aliens'. I don't think aliens have bedrooms, or pajamas, and I'm not even sure if they sleep.

But back to the story. The fact that aliens in 2011 prefer to abduct their victims directly from the victims' bedrooms suggests that fresh air is no longer a big thing to the aliens. Also, who would you rather abduct: someone who is awake and screaming hysterically, or someone who is sleeping like a baby and maybe drooling a little out of the corner of his or her mouth?

How else have the aliens changed things up over the years? Well, when Betty & Barney were abducted back in 1962, their alien captors wore uniforms that covered their entire bodies, and wore hats with visors, similar to baseball caps. This suggests that the aliens had just come from a ball game or were on their way to a ball game when they abducted the Hills, although there is no evidence to back this up.

In 2001, the aliens sport a much different look. Gone are the full-body uniforms and the baseball caps. These days, you're most likely to be abducted by an alien grey who is grey all over, so to speak. That's right. Nekkid aliens. I'm not sure if that constitutes a change in style so much as an abandonment of style, but it does help explain why the aliens don't abduct people out in the woods anymore...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Peace N Love

I knew when I got into this UFO Field Investigator racket that it wasn't going to be all rainbows and ice cream. It's a tough, thankless job, with long hours, no pay, no health, no dental, no paid vacation, no expense account, and no 401k. And, strangely enough, no awards. You'd think that after 60-some years the UFO research community would get its act together and put together an awards ceremony. You know, get everybody together for dinner and cocktails and give out an etched crystal award for Outstanding UFO Investigator of the Year?

That's probably never going to happen, but tonight I feel as though I just won an award. It's not etched crystal, and I didn't have to dress up to get it, but I feel as though I just had an Oscar handed to me by someone who hands out Oscars.

After a few negative comments on YouTube directed at my Burlington Vortex UFOs video, I was beginning to wonder if posting the video had been a mistake. But then tonight I noticed that there was a new comment from someone going by the name Nxxxxxxx, and I decided to take a look. To my surprise, the comment was positive:

'~) Great Capture, so pleased for you all.
Peace N Love.

It was so nice not to be accused of being a Satanist that I wrote back to thank Nxxxxxxx and invite him/her to follow my postings. A few minutes later I got this reply:

Greetings & Thanks For The Invite ..
Am Pleased To Accept.
Peace for All

This is why I got into the UFO Field Investigator game: for all that peace N love. Thanks for the award, Nxxxxxxx.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Left Out

Last summer I paid $35 to become a member of MUFON, the Mutual UFO Network. For that money, I was supposed to get a full membership and the monthly e-Journal. Millionaires can pay $50 and get hard copies of the Journal. Billionaires can fork over $55 to get the Journal in both hard copy and electronic formats. But I am neither a millionaire or a billionaire, so I got the cheap membership and saved a few trees.

I got the July e-Journal and then the August e-Journal. They were pretty interesting, but how could they not be when the August issue had a picture of bigfoot on the cover? I read them both from e-cover to e-cover, and found enough interesting material to blog about a few items. I was pleased, and looked forward to the next issue.

Which never came. September came and went. October came and went. November came and is going fast. No new e-Journal. What could have caused them to suspend publication for three months? Surely my $35 dollars must be good for a few months of e-publishing.

Today, in my quest to discover the truth, I went to the MUFON website and found evidence of the ultimate betrayal. They did NOT suspend publication of the e-Journal. They just suspended publication of the e-Journal for ME.

I don't know how to feel about this. MUFON has been moving on without me. They have amassed three months' worth of sighting reports, have held three monthly meetings, have possible solved the riddle of UFOs in its entirety, without letting me know.

There may be a good explanation for this. In the November issue, MUFON Director Cliff Clift mentions that the organization recently transferred all their data to a new Case Management System. Maybe I just slipped through the cracks. Maybe nobody is getting their e-Journal. Maybe just the millionaires and billionaires are getting theirs.

Time to write a letter.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Investigation -- Part I

Because I have not heard back yet from anyone regarding the mass double UFO sighting that took place on October 29, 2011 at the site of the Burlington Vortex, so once again I'm going to undertake my own damned investigation.

The first time I filed a sighting report, back in August, the friendly folks at MUFON asked me to download this nifty free planetarium program called "Stellarium." Using Stellarium, I was to recreate the night sky at the moment of my UFO sighting to see if there were any objects up there that I might have mistaken for an alien space ship. I played with the software a bit and didn't find any planets, stars, galaxies or nebulae in the sky that my wife, daughter and I could have mistaken for the object we saw. We were already pretty sure that the glowing orange object we saw floating a couple hundred feet off the ground wasn't a planet, star, galaxy or nebula, but it was nice to be certain, I guess.

I realize that I need to more thorough and exacting with The Big One, however. So I've gone back to give Stellarium another try. I punched in the coordinates for Burlington, WI, on October 29, 2011 at about 10:30 pm, looking east, and here's what the program gave me:

The night sky looking east from the Vortex on October 29, 2011

Now, the first thing that looks wrong to me is the huge red letter "E" on the horizon. That was not there. The second thing that looks wrong is all those little orange starbursts with labels like "NGC 2281" and "M 35." Those are distant galaxies that were not actually visible to the naked eye that night. They appear on this map because I was trying out all sorts of buttons on the Stellarium control panel and kind of lost track of what I had turned on and what I had turned off. I left them there because they look cool and because I forgot which button would turn them off.

But now, down to business. What does it all mean? Well, I have to say that I find it most interesting that the constellation of Gemini had just risen, because, you see, I am a Gemini! I also find it most interesting that the two brightest stars due east at 10:30 pm were the red giant star Aldebaran ("The Follower") and the red "supergiant" Betelgeuse ("The Armpit of Orion"). I'm not sure what to make of it all, but I will never look at Orion the same again.

The two UFOs seen that night appeared in the sky somewhere in the vicinity of Aldebaran and floated quickly and quietly towards us, through the constellation of Taurus, until they were almost directly overhead. This is the overhead view:

The night sky directly above the Vortex on October 29, 2011
The UFOs both passed close to Jupiter and then flickered out in the vicinity of the constellation of Triangulum, which is, as constellations go, shockingly unimaginative. Which just goes to show you that even Ptolemy could have an off day.

But I digress. Has my little astronomical experiment shed any light on the Burlington Vortex UFO sighting? It could, in time, once I've gone through the MUFON sighting archive to see how many other flaming orange objects have ever appeared near Aldebaran, passed Jupiter and then disappeared near Triangulum. I will share my theory with you: perhaps Triangulum was named Triangulum precisely so that no one would ever pay attention to it....

Monday, November 21, 2011

Become a MUFON Field Investigator... Maybe

It wasn't that long ago that MUFON Director Clifford Clift was telling me that his UFO research organization needs people like me. At the time I believed him, but now I'm not so sure.

Just three weeks ago I filed a UFO sighting report with MUFON central. In it, I detailed the sighting that took place during the "Haunted Woods Tour" that I took while attending the Burlington Vortex Conference. It was a pretty amazing sighting, involving two different UFOs captured on video by both me and one other person here, and witnessed by the entire group of 30 or so people out on the Tour that night.

I thought my MUFON friends would be all over this one, but I have yet to hear from anyone at HQ about an investigation. Why would they ignore a case that is so obviously "The Big One?" What are they afraid of?

In a related matter, I have not heard word one from MUFON HQ about the revised UFO Field Investigator Handbook and Exam, despite repeated requests. I fully expected to be a fully-trained and Certified MUFON UFO Field Investigator by now, roaring through the night in my UFO chase vehicle and bagging aliens by the dozen, but here I sit, waiting and wondering; wondering if the Exam is really being held somewhere but I'm not being told. How long do I wait to be allowed into a UFO research organization before I officially become the world's most pathetic person?

Once again, it's up to me to go Lone Wolf and solve the mystery of the Burlington Vortex UFOs myself!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Truckers Know

The woman at the Vortex Conference who told me, somewhat erroneously it turns out, that the Nine Circles of Hell had been relocated by the U.S. Government to the inside of a hollowed-out mountain in Dulce, New Mexico, was there with her husband. They were awfully nice folks, and I hope to God they have kids someday, because the stories they had to tell really deserve to be passed on from generation to generation, they were so wonderfully wigged-out.

There was the Hell in New Mexico thing, of course, and you'd think that story would be pretty hard to beat, but the husband gave it one heck of a try. He's a trucker, hauling mail on overnight runs between the Twin Cities and towns in northern Wisconsin, and he told me that truckers who drive all night see things that no one else sees... which makes sense, because the rest of us are all sleeping.

A lot of truckers, he told me, have experienced a temporal anomaly on a stretch of I-94 in western Wisconsin between Menomonie and Knapp. That puts it smack-dab in the middle of my trucker friend's mail run to and from the Twin Cities, and sure enough, he has experienced the anomaly himself on more than one occasion. He explained that truckers who pass through this anomaly often find themselves 15 minutes ahead of schedule when they get back into real time-space. Strangely, it also works in reverse, causing some truckers to fall 15 minutes behind. Which explains why you never know when your mail will be delivered in northern Wisconsin.

I was intrigued. I had just driven that route several weeks earlier, moving my son to his new apartment at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and decided that when it was time to go pick him up again I would make the trip at night in an 18-wheeler. But I didn't have to, because shortly after I talked to the trucker I had a flashback to that recent trip... and it suddenly seemed to me that I had blanked out along that same stretch of interstate, and that I had completely missed an exit that I had thought about taking to look for some dinner. Had I actually lost 15 minutes passing through the strange anomaly? Or had I just spaced out along a boring stretch of highway? My wife and kids have one theory; I have a different one.

See what I mean about hoping this couple has kids?

Later, at the book signing, I ran into the trucker again, and we got into a conversation with the Roswell guy. The trucker revealed that he used to be a cop in Arizona, and that his partner's dad had once worked a security detail at Area 51... Do you sense a story coming on? So did I, and so it did.

I'll keep it brief. The partner's dad once told his son about a memorable day at Area 51 when the base Commanding Officer had ordered that LSD be slipped into all the lunches served at the Commissary. I know what you're thinking: Employee Appreciation Day. Wrong. It turns out that some alien corpses recovered from a crashed UFO were due to arrive at the base that day, and the C.O. was taking precautions against a possible leak. You see, the government classifies any person who has ever, ever taken a hallucinogen as a psychotic. Therefore, after the LSD experience, everyone who worked on base was officially psychotic. Therefore, if any base employee ever leaked any news about the government capturing alien corpses, the government could simply dismiss the reports as the ravings of a psychotic.

I know, it sounds too silly, and too complicated. And yet...and yet, it follows a certain perverse logic. And I was so thoroughly entertained by the trucker's endless stories and the excited certainty with which he recounted them that I had to buy in.

My son is coming home from college this weekend. I told him to pay attention to the flow of time between the exits for Knapp and Menomonie, just in case.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dulce, New Mexico

I know where hell is. I don't want to know -- who would? But I know just the same.

I learned where hell is while I was at the Burlington Vortex Conference last month, from a financial planner from Minnesota. I had heard her refer to a secret mountain base at a remote place in New Mexico called Dulce, and I had to ask her more about it. She told me that there is a mountain outside of Dulce that's been hollowed out to house the Nine Circles of Hell. No matter what your personal feelings about Hell, that's big news. I took it in stride, but it's been haunting me ever since.

Now the Nine Circles of Hell come from Dante's Inferno, written in the 14th century. This Dante fellow described a vision of Hell where specific levels offered specific torments for those judged guilty of specific crimes, although, to be accurate, rings 7 through 9, inclusive, each have their own variety of levels, so you could really say there are 20 circles of hell. I think Dante missed an opportunity for a couple of sequels there. Anyway, the point is, apparently only 9 of the circles made their way to Dulce. 

I wish now that I had asked my financial planner friend a few more probing questions. She suggested that the U.S. Government was involved, and I would have really liked to know what they hoped to accomplish by hollowing out a mountain and locating Hell inside it. At first glance, it doesn't make sense that our government would be in the Hell business. Upon reflection, however, it still doesn't make sense.

So, I decided to probe the collective unconscious of the human race, Google. It turns out (and I'm a little ashamed I didn't know this) that the Dulce Base is actually not inside a mountain; it is, rather, inside the Archuleta Mesa, and is home to the world's largest population of alien beings. Well over 18,000 of them live inside the Mesa, by some accounts. It's all a huge biogenetics lab jointly operated by the U.S. & the aliens, and, sure enough, the aliens really are segregated onto different levels. I'm not going to go into detail because, frankly, you wouldn't believe it, but there are greys and reptoids and human clones and octo-humans and... Well, let's just hope that Mesa holds.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Photographic Evidence

I am happy to say that, after a week and a half, Mxxx, the hostess of the Burlington Vortex Conference, has come through with a photo CD from the Haunted Woods Tour. You may recall that on that tour, 30 or so brave souls made their way into the heart of the Vortex itself, saw some stuff, and went home.

I didn't know it at the time, but I spent the entire tour shifting in and out of other dimensions and being touched by strange light energy entities. The photos prove it.

This first shot shows me undergoing a "dimension shift." I'm the guy a little to the right in the black jacket and glasses; the one looking like he has no idea he's shifting dimensions...

Here's a shot of me -- black jacket, glasses, a little to the right of center -- getting a little crazy and trying to shift into several dimensions all at once...

Now this one is cool, because I honestly have no idea what the orange Fairie-looking thing is up in the tree above my head...

Explain this if you can: A light energy entity emerges from the LEDs of the digital recorder I'm holding in my hand. It's almost as though the light energy entity wanted us to think that it was caused by an overexposure of the LEDs, so as to appear "fake"...

Again, no explanation. I am walking through a massive tree trunk, even though I have no conscious memory of having walked through a massive tree trunk...

In this shot, my flashlight magically becomes a ray gun. I wish...

Because walking through one tree is never enough for me, here I do it again. Actually, there's so much weird energy going on in this shot it's a wonder I wasn't fried to a crisp right there on the trail. I'm passing through a tree, that naughty energy entity is looking like the LEDs on my recorder again, and it actually seems as though a group of energy entities is attacking me about the neck and shoulders, while a glowing orb sneaks up behind me on the right edge of the photo. Whew...

After that, it's almost a relief to have the strange orange Fairie hovering over my head again...
I know what you're thinking: that is a lot of phenomena to encounter in one short hike, especially with a double UFO sighting thrown into the middle of it. Well, you're right, it is a lot. But some of us just don't know when to quit. That's why, before the whole thing was over, I somehow managed to work up a dimension-shift while floating in a cloud of ectoplasm... You probably don't know this, but that's like pulling off a quadruple Axel in the Haunted Woods Olympics. Behold...

My God, I am exhausted...

Monday, November 7, 2011

Phil Larson is Lying

"We, the undersigned, strongly urge the President of the United States to formally acknowledge an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race and immediately release into the public domain all files from all agencies and military services relevant to this phenomenon."

So begins a petition recently submitted to the White House by a group called "Paradigm Research Group," and signed by 12,708 truth-seekers. Another, similar petition, submitted anonymously, was signed by 5,387 Americans. By my count, that's 18,095 people in the U.S.A. who think that all you have to do is "strongly urge" the President to do something and he will do it. Uh, that only works for some of us.

Anyway, the White House recently instituted a new policy whereby it will respond within 30 days to any public petition signed by more than 5,000 people, and so today the petitioners got their answer. Responding to both petitions at once (so as to save taxpayer dollars), the White House announced that "The U.S. government has no evidence that any life exists outside our planet, or that an extraterrestrial presence has contacted or engaged any member of the human race. In addition, there is no credible information to suggest that any evidence is being hidden from the public's eye."  Read the full, unedited, stupid, insulting, pathetic, laughable, preposterous, shamefully lame statement here.

Hey, you 18,095 people, I feel bad for you, but what did you really expect? Next time, go for something a little more demanding than "strongly urging" the President to come clean. Establish a sense of urgency. Threaten to hold your breath if he doesn't do what you want. Imagine the power of 18,095 people holding their breath all at once. Obama would be at your mercy!

And, White House, I'm not letting you off the hook. Could you put just a little more effort into your responses? All you can come up with is "The U.S. government has no evidence..." and "There is no credible information..." which you've been trotting out since Rutherford B. Hayes was strongly urged to reveal the truth about Bigfoot. Then you make it worse by issuing the statement from the desk of "Phil Larson," who works in "space policy and communications at the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy." Oh, sure... I always go straight to Phil Larson when I want the U.S. government to clear up something important for me, don't you?

I'm not buying it. Not until Phil flipping Larson himself swings open the front gates to Area 51 and invites us all in for tea and cookies. I can't word this any better than the petition did:  

"The people can handle the truth."

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Jxx Factor -- Part II

A while back I wrote about my old high-school friend telling me about his out-of-body experience, and I told of how convincing his story was because he was such an unimaginative guy and never could have cooked it up on his own ("The Jxx Factor," 10/3/11). Well, last weekend at the Vortex Conference, I ran across a guy who had a similar story to tell.

One of the presenters, Fxxxx X, gave a great talk on ancient archeology, but found time to tell of a UFO sighting report that he had heard first-hand in Chicago back in 1955. He actually heard it at his family dinner table when he was a child of 8, when his father had invited a business associate home to dinner, as he often did. This associate, a woman, had been a dinner guest often enough that young Fxxxx knew that the conversation would be all about business, and very dull business at that. But on this night she started talking about her recent vacation out west.

She and a friend were driving from Chicago to Los Angeles in her new Cadillac. In 1955 there were no interstates, of course, so the two women had to cross the southwest desert on some pretty lonely stretches of road. On one of those lonely stretches, the Cadillac suddenly lost all power and coasted to a stop. There was nothing visibly wrong with the car, and it had plenty of gas; it just decided to quit.

It was in the middle of the day, so there was no immediate danger, but still the women were worried about how they would get help. They didn't have long to worry, though, because suddenly the huge car lurched forward, as if pushed by a fearsome gust of wind. The next moment a silver disc the size of a football field zoomed overhead, no more than 20 feet above the highway, and flew off into the western sky. A moment later, the women were able to start the car and they resumed their journey with no more incidents.

What made this story so memorable to Fxxxx was that the woman telling it was, in his words, "Incapable of lying." Just like I was with my old friend Jxx, Fxxxx was utterly convinced by the woman's testimony because, even at age 8, he knew her to be so completely rational.

Score another one for the Jxx Factor.

Friday, November 4, 2011

1,500 Words

I haven't blogged much this week because I've been putting my energy into the article I'm writing for Milwaukee Magazine on the Burlington Vortex Conference, but I'm happy to say that the effort has paid off. Bxxxx, the editor of MM, liked the first draft of the article well enough that he asked me to expand the story from 1,200 words to 1,500 words. And he asked me to make it better. I can live with that.

Back to a regular blogging schedule next week!

When It Rains UFOs, It Pours UFOs

I was a little hesitant to file yet another UFO sighting report with MUFON so soon after my August report. What would they think to have me back with another sighting after only two months? Would I seem desperate? Needy?

And how would they handle the case? Would they send the same MUFON Field Investigator a second time in a row? Would he have his ID badge with him this time? Would they give me the same ominous warning not to talk to anyone about my experience? Because once again, I've told pretty much everybody I know... and posted the video on YouTube.

I'll find out soon enough. I just filed this report with MUFON, regarding my sighting last week in the Haunted Woods outside of Burlington:

"About 30 people were taking part in the 'Haunted Woods Tour' as part of the Burlington, WI, Vortex Conference. We were hiking through the woods at about 9 pm, after dark, with no moon, had just reached “The Vortex,” when someone in the group called out, 'What’s up in the sky?'

"We all looked where he was pointing, up beyond some tall pine trees to the east, and saw a flaming orange object flying silently towards us about a mile away and a mile up. The object flew towards us at a slow, steady rate, sometimes zigging and zagging slightly, but always heading right towards us. When it was almost right overhead it disappeared.

"Then a moment later another one (or the same one) appeared about a mile away to the east and a mile high, and followed the exact same path, also disappearing when it got just about overhead.

"The objects didn’t have any apparent shape, and didn’t make any noise. They appeared to be made of flickering, flaming orange light.

"All 30 people saw it, many took pictures and some took video. My video is posted on YouTube as Burlington Vortex UFOs."

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Bad Stuff

I have a lot of good stuff to write about the mind-blowing Burlington Vortex Conference, but first I think I should get the bad stuff out of the way.

First, about the photos taken during the "Haunted Woods Tour." Mxxx, our host and tour guide, took dozens of photos during the hike in and out of the woods and the whole time we were in the heart of The Vortex. I saw a lot of them as they were taken and, boy, they were something... Now, am I going to claim that every photo of "ectoplasm" was really cigarette smoke caught in the camera's flash? Am I going to say that every photo of a glowing "orb" floating in the woods was just a lens flare? Am I going to insist that every photo of a "Dimensional Shift" was really just a blurry photo? No, I am not, because that would not be fair to Mxxx, or to The Vortex.

What I want to do is post the photos here and let you, the reader, decide. But there's a problem. Before I left the Conference, Mxxx gave me and everyone who went on the tour a CD of the photos. When I got home I discovered that my CD was completely, and somewhat suspiciously, empty. I emailed Mxxx yesterday and asked for another copy, and haven't heard back. I'm going to give her a few days to come through with something, but if there's nothing in the mail from her by the weekend, I may have to re-evaluate that whole Vortex thing.

Second, while the 30 people on the Haunted Woods Tour were shifting in and out of The Vortex, Mxxx announced that we had a special guest on the tour, a writer for a local magazine, who turned out to be me. No sooner had my cover been blown than a woman grabbed my arm and said she had to talk to me in private. I remembered having spoken to her earlier on the tour, when she had told me about how some Fairies in the Haunted Woods had thrown mud at her dog the last time she had been there. As she clutched my arm and led me insistently away from the crowd it was obvious that she didn't have dogs or Fairies or even mud on her mind this time.

First she pointed out a spot where she had, on a previous tour, seen five malevolent beings watching her. Except that wasn't the right spot. It was actually over there! No... there! No, wait, it was way over there! By the time she was done spinning me around I was pretty disoriented, which may have been her goal, because what she told me next defied belief. She informed me that that very night was the beginning of a countdown...

I took a lucky guess: December 21, 2012? The day we're not supposed to make any lunch plans? She nodded gravely and asked me if I knew what was going to happen on that day. I didn't want to make a big deal about it, so I said I thought it referred not to the actual end of the world but perhaps to the end of a historical age. She shook her head sadly, almost condescendingly, as if to say, "You poor, poor, deluded creature." I was obviously misinformed. And there are obviously no metaphors in her universe.

What I learned then has haunted me since Saturday night. The woman took a deep breath and said that on 12/21/2012, the third dimension will cease to exist.

Could be, could be. But, listen, if you think existing in only two dimensions is bad, like I do, wait 'til you hear what will happen next: the earth will split into two planets. One of the new planets, she said, will rise up into goodness, and that's the one we all want to be on. The other planet... you can guess.

There is a battle brewing between the forces of good and the forces of evil, she told me. When will that battle start? Ah, that's where it gets really interesting. Again I got the sad head-shaking, and she said with an air of disgust, "It was supposed to start tonight!

"But," she said, her voice dropping into a conspiratorial hush, her head and eyes flicking around to make sure no one else could hear, "someone didn't make the proper preparations!"

It was clear that that someone was among the crowd of people on the tour that night, but I never did find out who it was. Nor, I should say, did I want to.

It's a damn shame that my adventure had to end with this unsolicited, unwelcome warning of a half-sized, two-dimensional earth, not to mention the revelation that there is dissent and possible treachery among the people on the tour... I was enjoying the experience so much, on so many levels, and I really wanted to go out on a high note. I mean, we had just seen two UFOs, for God's sake, and I had just heard the man saying, "Thank you, Mr. UFO." That is a high note!

I did not approach this woman or bait her into telling me about the end of the world. Why she felt the need to pull me aside and deliver such an apocalyptic buzzkill is a complete mystery, but I wish she had kept her negative energy to herself.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Burlington Vortex UFOs

To recap: last Saturday I attended the Burlington Vortex Conference. I spent the day listening to presentations by UFO superstars and chatting with all sorts of interesting people. That night I joined about 30 other pilgrims on the "Haunted Woods Tour" to experience the Vortex first-hand. As far as I could tell, the Vortex never actually showed up, but what did show up was even more interesting...

At about 10:30 pm, the entire group of 30 stood in the woods and watched a flaming, flickering, brilliant orange light approach from the east, about a mile up in the sky, then slow to a stop over us and flicker out. A moment later a second blazing orange light repeated the pattern, moving towards us slowly and silently from the east, only to stop and blink out overhead.

Like a good Lone Wolf UFO Field Investigator, I was expecting the unexpected, I had predicted the unpredictable, I was prepared for the unpreparable. for. I was ready. I pulled out my Flip video camera and recorded the whole thing in HD.

You'll see that the images of the two UFOs aren't that striking -- they're little orange lights in a big, black sky -- but the audio is fun, because you can feel the excitement and appreciation. For those three brief minutes that we all shared our UFO sighting, we 30 were the human race in its entirety, and I loved every last one of us.

Here, then, is the video....