Many witnesses in Hawaii put unidentified flying objects back in the news last week when they said they watched a bright blue oblong UFO hovering in the skies above Oahu. Several recorded their sightings on cell-phone cameras.
One witness said she watched the glowing object before it nose-dived into the ocean. Then, from the same direction, another smaller white orb came, then vanished.
Between an assortment of cable channels that focus on abundant evidence of the UFO phenomenon--and the increasing number worldwide of people who witness and document them--the subject is more acceptable and popular than ever in mainstream society.
There always will be those who make sport of creating hoaxes. But the numbers of encounters worldwide are in the thousands--sometimes accompanied by evidence, which makes it clear the witnesses are seeing something tangible and inexplicable.
Take my experience at age 11 and living with my military father, younger brother and sister and our mother at Fort Chaffee. It was almost dark that evening as my younger brother and I continued playing outside with neighbor kids.
I could tell from the smells occasionally wafting from our home that supper was near. The street lamps had just flashed on when I looked a few blocks down our street to spy a blaring firetruck arriving at a home.
Any self-respecting 11-year-old and his 8-year-old brother couldn't resist sprinting down for a close-up view amid all that excitement.
After watching the fire for several minutes, I realized it had become completely dark. We were likely in trouble for wandering away from the house at dinner time without telling mom or the colonel.
Starting back home, we'd gone about two blocks when I looked skyward. There, hovering directly overhead, a very large glowing sphere was slowly pulsing from dim to bright without making a sound. It was not that high above us, probably the height of five or six telephone poles.
Standing there, my brother became frightened and began to cry, wanting to run the rest of the way. I was mesmerized by what I was watching and held him back.
After what seemed like a minute, the craft, still silent, began drifting slowly and slightly at first. Then, in less than a second, it zipped over the horizon at a speed that defied our known physics, and was gone.
Back home we excitedly reported what we'd seen. Mom listened sympathetically. Dad said it was past time to eat. The experience faded to form yet another memory in my life.
Still, the imprint was enough that 60 years later, I recall that remarkable evening as though it occurred last week. Feel free to believe as you will on the matter of UFOs, but no one will ever convince me we didn't witness one that early evening in 1957.
It reminds me of this comment from Richard Dolan, a historian who investigates UFOs and resulting cover-ups. "There is scarcely a person on Earth who has not heard of UFOs; many believe in them," Dolan wrote. "Few, however, can say much about them. Fewer still--even believers--can find much time to think about them. Life finds a way of keeping us occupied with other matters."
In closing, I'll creep out on the slender limb to make a prediction about the mysterious objects we see in the sky and even beneath the oceans.
At some point, I suspect in the not-too-distant future, humans will discover that these, as well as other unexplained phenomenon in this world, are manifestations from one or more dimensions that come and go at will within our narrow visible light spectrum by lowering their energy frequencies for brief periods then flashing back to their dimensions.
Have your own UFO story to share?
I've always been one to do my best to gain perspectives from those who came before me and whose personal experiences offer truths about life from which we each can learn more about ourselves.
For example, I've come to believe a great way to understand how relationships work on personal and professional levels is to recognize that to anyone else we interact with, I am not the most important person. They are.
If we seek to interest others, or if we want something from them, the information we choose to share should reflect how our information first will affect them and their views, rather than how it impacts us.
Here are a few more that help provide encouraging insight:
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who don't mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing."
Now go out into the world and treat everyone you meet exactly like you want them to treat you.
Mike Masterson is a longtime Arkansas journalist, was editor of three Arkansas dailies and headed the master's journalism program at Ohio State University. Email him at [email protected]