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…Of The Second Kind

June 6, 2012

I’m a skeptic by nature.  Don’t get me wrong, there are certain things which seem to defy logic which I honestly believe have occurred.  For the most part, though, when people claim to see ghosts, or bigfoot, or the Loch Ness monster, I find it pretty unbelievable.  Then, there came the night of my close encounter with a UFO.

Bear with me on this one.  At the time, I was working nights, and I was living in the untamed desert of the San Tan Mountains.  This meant I was travelling dark, dirt roads at night when nobody else was around.  So, as a long standing skeptic, it was difficult to even admit when something had happened, especially to those who knew me.  Later that night, I got my customary phone call from home:

Hollie: So, how’s work?

Me: Work?  Hm.  Fine, I guess?

Hollie: Okay, what’s wrong?

Me: What makes you think something is wrong?

Hollie: Because I know you.  What’s wrong?

Me: Something happened on the way to work.  I don’t want to freak you out, though.

Hollie: What happened?

Me: Well, I took Brenner Pass to work.

Hollie: Okay. Well, I don’t like that road, but you’ve driven it enough times I think you can handle the hairpin turns.

Me: Yeah.  That’s not the freaky part.  There was a… a…. a UFO.

Hollie: (laughing) What?

Me: Yeah.  A UFO.  I was travelling along and suddenly this glowing green triangular object flew silently overhead.

Hollie: (laughing less) Are you… serious?

Me: I’m afraid so.  The car died on the spot, all the lights went out.  It was like the electrical system suddenly failed.

Hollie: Then what?

Me: The object flew over the next hill and the lights came back on in the car.  I was able to start the engine and drive on.

Hollie: (after a long pause) Wow.

In ufology, there are three kinds of close encounters.  The first kind is a visual sighting of a craft.  The third kind, as the 1977 Stephen Spielberg film taught us, is a sighing of a craft and alien occupants.  The second kind, which was the type of encounter I had, is one in which a craft is seen WITH effects on objects (like a car suddenly dying as the craft passes overhead).

The Second Sighting

Over the next few weeks we began seeing reports of a green flying triangular shape seen in the skies in the area.  Sure, it was on UFO boards and other unreliable news outlets, but the reports were there.  Then, after a few weeks, I encountered the object again.  This time I spied the object as it traveled across the sky.  I was coming down from the peak of the San Tans onto a long straight road and had a great view of the object as I watched it continue flying, then hover, and then land.  And from my vantage point, I could see exactly where it landed: at the “closed” United States Air Force base.  In that moment I realized that the object which had rattled me so deeply was nothing more than an experimental aircraft.  After all, the airspace above the San Tans was the testing grounds for the SR-71, for the Stealth Bomber, and now, for whatever this thing was.  I was ashamed that I had been so shaken by it.  I had suspended disbelief… and that wasn’t like me.

But, I took something away from this experience: that even incredible stories can come from credible sources.  Just because you don’t believe in UFOs, or bigfoot, or ghosts, or whatever, doesn’t mean there isn’t something behind the stories being told.  To the eyewitness giving the account, these can be very real and very frightening events.

Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut…

Then again, sometimes people are just crackpots.  Seriously.  Sometimes people WANT to see the paranormal, even when all they have is… normal.  Just plain ol’ every day normal.  This brings me to the paranormal photo files on  There’s loads of images which are truly frightening, and a number of images which are strange, but also easily explained.  Then there are those where the photographer desperately WANTS to see something that just isn’t there.

Yard enigmas?

See the evil in this picture? Me either…

This, for example, was posted as Front Yard Enigmas.  I don’t see anything enigmatic here… at all.  Unless, by “enigmas” the photographer means “pine cones,” in which case I see a number of enigmas.  The photographer states:

I’ve taken several pictures that have had strange things show up that I did not see when the pictures were taken. I live in northeast Texas. These pictures were taken in my front yard during the past year.  It may be of interest that a few old cannon balls have been found in the area, possibly from the Civil War era.

No.  No I don’t think that IS of interest, unless of course these cannon balls can grow into pine trees.

Cloud angel?

Here, the photographer states that this is an angel in the clouds.  They go on to state that this is the SECOND angel they have seen in the clouds.  This is the sort of person who sees the virgin Mary in a piece of burnt toast.  You see it because you WANT to see it.

It’s called pareidolia.  This is the phenomenon where the brain interprets random input by assigning meaning to it.  It’s how you see shapes in the cloud as a child.  Or how this (: appears to be a smiley face to someone chatting.  Or, how we see demons and skulls when looking at dirt and bushes.  What, you don’t see them?  This guy did.

This next person seems to see ghostly figures in the trees:

tree ghosts

They must be… stick figures.

The author states:

This photo was taken in the afternoon, and as you can see, there is a young man looking at the ground leaning against the tree. And also the two strange ones lurking in the other tree.

Personally, I see branches.  “As you can see, there is a young man looking at the ground,” you know, if you turn your head just right… and make squinty eyes… and it probably wouldn’t hurt if you took a hit of acid first.  Then there’s all kinds of crazy shit in this picture.

If you want to see this nonsense for yourself, click on over to the paranormal photo gallery.  But, be forewarned, it’s 466 pictures long, and for every legitimately spooky and unexplained image, there are several cases like those above.

…Also, I may or may not have posted all about my close encounter on some of those UFO boards… Okay I did.  And then I tried to later post a clarification stating that the craft must have been US military. But my retraction wasn’t accepted… the forum concluded that the government had gotten to me and was trying to silence me (the phrase MIB was used… and not in reference to a Will Smith movie).  Yep.  Pareidolia apparently works with online message boards as well.

  1. That’s what they want you to believe…

    And then the anal probing starts.



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