What I Saw

The year was 1976; I was 25 years old living in Denver in a house on 5th and Pennsylvania in Capital Hill. One warm, summer evening I was sitting outside on a lumpy couch on the front porch. I was reading a book using the inside light from a lamp in the living room shining through the window, when something caught my eye. I looked up.

I am 70 now. Forty-five years have passed and I have never spoken publicly about what I saw. I have told only a few trusted friends. I kept my story close to my chest for several reasons. I didn’t want to go public because there wasn’t anyone to validate what I saw and I didn’t think I would be believed. I didn’t want to be seen as just another wack-a-doodle weirdo claiming I saw a UFO. There were enough of those goofballs around. I didn’t want to be ridiculed. I also felt sworn to secrecy in an odd, unexplainable way.

What caught my eye was a bright light. A light so bright it didn’t seem natural. The sun was setting, it was quickly growing dark. The night was still but I noticed the tops of the trees across the street starting to move as if a big wind appeared out of nowhere. I stood up, staring at the lights. What appeared was something out of a movie. A huge flat oval, ringed in lights was hovering just above tree-line. The object appeared to be made of a metallic silver. Silently the oval started to slowly move down the street – still hovering above the trees and houses. There was no sound.

As if in a trance I followed, keeping my eyes on the lights, at first walking fast and then running down the street with my hair flowing behind me, my heart rapidly pumping, almost being pulled. I could not look away. I felt hypnotized as if my mind had left my body. When we got to the end of the street, the object suddenly lifted and disappeared as fast as it had appeared. It simply dematerialized. I couldn’t say how big it was – it seemed massive.

The trees stopped moving, the night was still once more. I looked around in a panic, wanting to find someone who had witnessed what I had seen. There were no cars driving by, no one walking. Only me. I walked back home in a daze yet keenly aware of what I’d seen. My heart beat slowed to a normal rhythm. It was almost 10:00, I was surprised it was so late.

I called the TV stations to see if anyone had reported seeing an unidentified flying object that evening in or around Denver. I first called Channel 9 (local NBC) and talked to someone – the person I spoke with said no and quickly hung up. I called Channel 4 (local CBS), same response. No one would talk to me. I left my name and number, just in case, and never heard back. I went to sleep and the next day checked the newspapers, TV news stations — nothing. 

The few times I did tell my story at a party – after alcohol fueled questions about UFOs – I felt as if I had betrayed a trust. I stumbled through the story, emotional and teary and then immediately wanted to take back my words. I couldn’t explain what I was feeling. I had nothing invested in people believing me or my story.

As time went on I tucked my story away. I never spoke of what I saw except to those few trusted friends who, although they said they believed me, I could tell they were giving me a side-eye. They knew me. They knew I wasn’t a conspiracy-theory nutcase. I wasn’t then, I’m not now, I never was. When the “are we alone?” question comes up and those who are convinced we are being visited by aliens speak up, I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut. I’m neutral. I’ve never felt a great need to know the truth of what happened; I know what happened and I trust what I saw. I’ve never felt a great need to go public with my story; I still feel protective of what I saw.

Now that NASA has publicly come forward with what looks like convincing evidence of higher intelligent life forms flying in and around Earth’s orbit, I felt it was time to tell my story. 

I’m left with one question: Why me? Is there some extraterrestrial technical ability to choose a particular human to reveal yourself to – screening out all others? An invisible cloak? And if so, again, why me? And furthermore, how fucking cool is that?

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