|My first motorcycle and first tarantula|
Both of the following events took place in the late 1960’s, around the time of my hoax. I had a lemon of a motorcycle at that time--an 80cc Yamaha--that never did go as fast as it was supposed to, and that was notorious for collecting carbon in the spark plug and killing the engine. Nevertheless I put up with it. Once I even carried two other riders on the back, and when spotted by Shipley, the town cop, and seeing that he was coming after us to ticket us for three-on-a-bike, I whipped around a couple corners and smashed through a hedge, ending up in someone’s backyard. Shipley never did find us.
But it was on a clear evening, when I took Geneva for a ride. We were cruising in the twilight on a paved road in the woods northwest of town when suddenly there was a bright flash of light. My motorcycle died immediately, and I coasted over onto the shoulder, furious that it would conk out now, while we were having such a pleasant time. Because I was so angry, I distorted the facts, thinking that the bike conked out and made me mad enough to imagine the flash of light.
As Geneva stood by, I got the tool kit from under the seat and took out the spark plug to check it for carbon. It was too dark by then to see a flake of carbon stuck in the plug’s gap, so I pretended there was and blew on it and fiddled with it to make sure it was okay. As I was screwing the plug back in, Geneva asked, “Did you see that big flash of light just before the bike conked out?”
“You saw it too?!” I asked.
Neither of us could figure out what it was. We were out in the wilderness. The weather was clear. And whatever it was seemed to kill the engine. Any ideas?
The other event occurred while I was visiting my sister Gloria’s family in Bellevue, Washington. Night had fallen, but some of us were outside in front of the house, play-fighting with boffers--foam swords I had purchased out of the Whole Earth Catalog (see how constructively I used these boffers in my post, Our Love Story). During a break in the fighting, we gazed at the stars, and I saw a “star” moving slowly across the sky. It looked just like John Glenn’s capsule when I watched it pass by in February of 1962, when Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth, and I told Gloria’s kids so. We were all fascinated, assuming we were seeing a satellite. It was too high and too bright to be a plane, and too tiny to be any kind of searchlight (besides, the sky was cloudless). But when the object was directly overhead, without slowing down it suddenly made a ninety degree turn and headed off in another direction! I can think of nothing that would do this, and several of us saw it. Any ideas?
So, do I believe UFO’s exist? This second sighting was definitely of an unidentified flying object, so I’d be a fool to say I don’t believe in UFO’s. But I sure would like some explanations. For that matter, I believe Bigfoot exists (see Sasquatch Encounter).
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