Are UFO's Real?


I've always loved Napa, California and spent my summers here as a kid on my cousin's ranch. So trekking through the mountains at one in the morning and looking down over the city wasn't a completely new experience for me. We used to go to this platform we had on his ranch that overlooked the whole town. It was a perfect place to take girls to when I was a teenager: scary enough that they wanted to cuddle, but not so scary that I would be wondering if we were about to be attacked by wolves or bears.

But we were here for something else now: UFO's. Not that I believe in them. We, as a species, are hundreds if not thousands of years away from interstellar travel. If a civilization has achieved interstellar flight, we are the equivalent, technologically, of what the amoeba is to us. How often do humans study amoebas? Not very. They lose their fascination quickly. So I simply do not see any logical reason why such an advanced species would visit us.

And that's not even to mention the problems with interstellar flight; the nearest star system being 400 light years away, if we assumed this advanced civilization could travel the speed of light which is impossible for an object of the size needed, it would take them 400 years to get here. 400 years to study amoebas. It's simply too far-fetched for me to believe.

But, I was convinced by an acquaintance named Jim that something strange had been going on in the hills surrounding Napa and so I drank a liter of Diet Coke and tagged along.

Talk about a motley crew. Two of the guys there were so stoned they could barely walk. One of the women there was young and flirtatious and kept asking me what kind of car I drove. I think she might've been about 16. And Jim was hitting golf balls off the side of the mountain into the valley below.

We started walking and I was impressed by how black the sky looked and how the stars sparkled like jewels. Napa, from this peak, has almost no light pollution so the stars look unlike anywhere else in Northern California. We trudged up this trail for about half an hour and began going around the far side of the mountain.

"What are we looking for?" I asked.
"Black helicopters. You'll see them coming up here."

We sat on some rocks and pulled out snacks. I didn't talk much since I just kept steaming about the fact that I could be sound asleep in a warm bed instead of out here with stoners and a horny kid.

As I was contemplating leaving, I heard a thumping in the distance. It grew louder and louder, and sure enough, a helicopter spun around the mountain and disappeared on the other side. The people I was with started snapping photos and mumbling to each other in hushed tones.

"See," Jim said. "Why would there be helicopters out at one in the morning? There's nothing up here, it's all just ranches and homes."
"It could've been a news copter," I said.
"That thing was black. The news copters all got their logos on the sides."

I couldn't disagree with him. It was a black helicopter out at one in the morning flying over a mountain that was filled with nothing it could be interested in. I waited for it to come out from the other side of the mountain, but it never did.

"See," Jim said again, excitement in his voice.
"Dude, there's tons of ultra-wealthy people up here. It could just be some private copter."
"No way, man. No one has black copters up here."

We started walking again and this time, I was actually a little spooked. I knew this area well and knew most of the people up here. No one had a helicopter. But it had to land somewhere.

As we ascended to near the top, we all took positions on a grassy knoll and watched the sky. I put my backpack underneath my head and stared up at the night sky. It was one of the most peaceful moments in my life and I contemplated the universe and other planets and where fate had brought me in my life. I noticed the 16 year old inching closer so I quickly moved over next to Jim and made sure his hulking, sweating, beer-soaked body was between us.

"It's coming, dude," he said. "You'll see it."
"What am I gonna see?"
"Just wait."

So we hung out another hour.

"How long are we gonna be up here?"
"I dunno. We're sometimes here till daybreak."
"What? Jim you didn't tell me that. I got stuff to do tomorrow."
"Chill out, man. It'll be worth it, I swear."

So another hour passed. I was just staring absently at the sky when I felt Jim lean in close to me. "There it is."

Far up in the sky, well past where planes could go, I saw several blinking lights. They seemed like they weren't moving but that could've been an optical illusion because of how far they were. I closed my eyes, and like a cartoon, rubbed them again to make sure I could see clearly. The blinking lights were still there.

"It's just lights, man," I said.
"You've never seen lights up that high. There's no planes that go up that high."

I watched the lights as long as I could but before long they zipped to the right at what seemed like an incredibly fast speed and were gone.

That incident never really settled well with me. The lights and the helicopter and the speed with which they moved. Maybe it was just too late at night and it started affecting my vision? One thing I can say: perhaps there's things that we haven't quite fully come to understand that have perfectly logical, almost mundane, explanations? I'm sure the aurora borealis was a mystical, unexplainable experience to the first Alaskan explorers but as science and our knowledge progressed we came to understand that it's just light particles reflecting off of electrons in the atmosphere. Knowledge seems to take the magic out of existence.

I don't know what those lights were. But to be honest, in this science-technology driven world where myth and magic are becoming less and less relevant, I have to admit I get more than a little pleasure from having experienced this mystery. And nothing adds spice to life like a little mystery.

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  1. Wonderful article, as always. Perhaps beings from other planets might like to live on ours and kick us off rather than study us???? After reading your article, one particular question comes to mind: Do you feel compelled to make mountains out of mashed potatoes? :D

  2. I'm sure the government runs all kinds of experiments the general public will never know about. My personal theory is that they kind of play into the UFO thing to keep people thinking about aliens instead.


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