UFO Sightings in the Yukon Territory

Look! It’s a young ME!

Everyone got excited about a light in the sky after sunset tonight, here in Dayton, OH.

We all went outside and it looked to my eye like it was moving, drifting, changing its brightness. Someone said it might be Mercury or Jupiter, so we all looked—and sure enough, that was where Mercury was supposed to be (though a little high). I’m sure now it was probably a weather balloon… shiny and drifting in the breeze… so bright.

We had a debate online about what it was, and it reminded me of this article I wrote about 10 years ago when I lived in the Yukon Territory (Spring, 2010 issue of Yukon North of Ordinary).

It was probably the best article I ever wrote–certainly one of the most fun–and it was for the magazine Yukon North of Ordinary, the in-flight magazine of Air North. I was asked to write it as a science fiction writer looking into sightings of UFOs. Everyone who commissioned this article thought it would be funny, light-hearted, and that I would have a great time talking aliens with folks, but that I would know the difference between fact and fiction.

Well. That didn’t go as anyone planned.

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Eisenhower and Churchill: UFO cover up?

Released in a wave of declassified UFO documents in England comes this gem: that Eisenhower and Churchill purposely covered up UFOs.  There was a short time in US history where talking about UFOs wasn’t censored–especially the military.  People in the military left and right were commenting on “saucers” and technology from “Mars”–and then, it’s said that Eisenhower decided to hush the whole thing down.

This New York Daily News article talks about a letter declassified in England:

A letter sent in 1999 by an unnamed person from Leicester, England, relays a story he was told by his mother, which came from his grandfather, who claimed to have witnessed the alleged cover-up.

“It is claimed that my grandfather, [REDACTED] was present during a debate between Winston Churchill and Mr. Eisenhower during World War II involving making a decision about an unexpected incident,” the letter states, dated Sept. 20, 1999.

The incident in question took place off the English coast and involved a Royal Air Force bomber crew, which was returning from a “photographic mission” in either Germany or France.

“The aircraft was intercepted by an object of unknown origin,” the letter explains, “which matched course and speed with the aircraft for a time and then underwent an extremely rapid acceleration away.”

Photos and/or film were supposedly captured of the object, which “hovered noiselessly” and seemed metallic.

The incident sparked a discussion between Churchill and General Eisenhower, presumably via telephone, who commanded the Allied forces during the later period of the war.

According to the letter, the grandfather who witnessed the conversation heard Churchill state: “This event should be immediately classified since it would create mass panic amongst the general population and destroy one’s belief in the Church.”

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/2010/08/05/2010-08-05_winston_churchill_dwight_d_eisenhower_covered_up_ufo_sighting_in_england_letter_.html#ixzz18FjARGfF

 

The story is backed up in several other newspapers–the document is real.  Now if the story is real, that’s another matter.  But if it is, then it will go well with this 1952 UFO buzz of the White House.

 

 

You want the truth?  We’ll get as close as we can.  Come to Longest Night, Dec 20, 21, 8pm, Yukon Arts Centre.

We’ll be talking about visitation…. aliens, UFOs, and the sightings that started them all.

 

 

 

 

Researching for Longest Night (Dec 20, 21): We Are Not Alone

Researching for Longest Night, I was told that Daniel Janke wanted real reports of UFOs during my segments.  Over the last week of researching,  I’ve become a bit jittery.  There’s a lot more than I really want to think about.  Check out this footage from NASA.

 

Don’t know about you.  But when I come across video footage from NASA, I start to believe.  Don’t know if you already believe or not.  But we’ll be looking at several high profile cases at the Longest Night performance this year–in between puppetry and music–since their theme is We Are Not Alone.

I’ll post more research here and let you know how it’s coming.  But you can come see the finished product DEC 20th and 21st, 8pm.  Yukon Arts Centre.  Tickets available now.

UFOlogy in the Yukon: What’s Going On Up There?

My article on Ufology in the Yukon appears now in Yukon, North of Ordinary.  The magazine is the inflight mag of Air North, one of the finest airlines.  I love Air North for its service, the fact that I know all the flight attendants, and for the Midnight Sun coffee and the cheesecake.  I’m proud that Air North ran the article.  They were both skeptical and worried that an article about UFOs in a magazine you read on an airplane might get people to thinking they were pushing the idea that UFOs exist.  But they ran the article, and I’m very happy to see it there.  The article focusses on the people who see UFOs, that they are normal everyday people.  Ronald Reagan saw a UFO, and the Pope just okayed the existence of extraterrestrials, so things are changing for aliens—we’re getting okay with them.  This article just lets you know that folks do see them, that they are normal people, and that in any other condition 32 eyewitness accounts that matched would be enough to prove something of this magnitude.  But, as of yet, no spaceship has dropped enough hard evidence to make us all believe.  That doesn’t stop these brave men and women who sometimes speak out, sometimes against ridicule.  Many keep it to themselves.  It’s good to listen to their stories and make up your mind later….  

The article doesn’t itself endorse UFOs, but, like every issue, it does seek to promote the good folks of the Yukon, those who have seen UFOs and those who want to believe.  God bless Yukon, North of Ordinary.

For the article follow this link to What’s Going On Up There? (there is a place there to download the whole issue as a PDF)

If you have seen something unidentified in the day or night sky and want to report it, there is a website for that as well.  Martin Jasek and friends keep the UFO*BC website open for sharing experiences and for reporting sightings.  If you’ve seen something, fill out this online form.

Pope Says Okay to believe in E.T., But Not In Gay Marriage

Well, the Vatican seems to be open to aliens.  I like that.  It’s heartwarming.  It’s progressive.  Though only speculative reasoning by the Vatican’s chief astronomer, the Pope threw open his arms to his “brother aliens.”    Fr. Jose Gabriel Funes is Chief Astronomer for the Vatican.  

The astronomer began the interview titled, “The Alien is my Brother,” by saying that, “Astronomy has a profound human value. It is a science that opens the heart and the mind. It helps us to put our lives, our hopes, our problems in the right perspective. In this regard, and here I speak as a priest and a Jesuit, it is an apostolic instrument that can bring us closer to God”, said Fr. Funes in the interview. 

And further on the subject of the aliens, the good astronomer had this to say:

Asked is he sees a contradiction between the Catholic faith and believing in aliens, he said, “I think there isn’t (a contradiction). Just as there is a multiplicity of creatures over the earth, so there could be other beings, even intelligent (beings), created by God. This is not in contradiction with our faith, because we cannot establish limits to God’s creative freedom. To say it with St. Francis, if we can consider some earthly creatures as ‘brothers’ or ‘sisters’, why could we not speak of a ‘brother alien’? He would also belong to the creation.”

Alas this brings up lots of interesting questions and contradictions in the Vatican’s positional stance on other issues closer to home.  This excellent post from the Guardian sums up the contradiction nicely.

That the Catholic church isn’t freaking out at the possibility of alien existence for one thing gives me hope that they might stop freaking out about other things that really do exist. Contraception, perhaps, or homosexuality. The Vatican might become open to the possibility of married priests, or female ones. And that would be super.

But, yeah, no.

E.T. ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.  But the gay couple, we won’t carry them.

They’re now a threat to Creation itself. (Step back, Climate Change!).  Says the Pope in his address to world diplomats–a plea for the environment and creation:

“Creatures differ from one another and can be protected, or endangered, in different ways, as we know from daily experience. One such attack comes from laws or proposals which, in the name of fighting discrimination, strike at the biological basis of the difference between the sexes,” he said.

“I am thinking, for example, of certain countries in Europe or North and South America,” he said.

Well, this speech, January 5 2010, came just after Mexico City declared gay marriage legal, and as Portugese Parliament was doing the same.  Hmm.  

I love that the Vatican embraces Aliens and what had been only science fiction before, but I hope they turn their attention to more immediate matters: the millions of gays and lesbians who want equality, and would like just a little of that love the church wants to dole out on Extraterrestrials they’ve never seen.  Irony seems a paltry word to describe this kind of injustice.  It’s cruelty inscribed in Jesus’ name.   This would make Jesus weep a second time.  

God is not science fiction, and probably aliens are not science fiction (I’ll give the Pope two points there).  Pope Benedict, gays aren’t monsters, gay marriage no threat to reproduction or creation in the world.  But the Church, unfortunately, is fast scripting themselves as Fantasy–out of touch with their own directives, mandates and missions, even their own Author.  Instead of walking away from the Church, I challenge people to go back in and help fix it.  Update it.  Teach it.  Vote out the bad policies.  Uncover God where He’s been shrouded.  Shake the dust off people’s shoulders who have been sitting there comatose for years.  Tell them there’s more than singing, more than preaching, more than baptizing, more than dinners and potlucks—there is a host of things to do work on, a host of people to reach out to, a host of folks in need.  

This plot is slumping.  Cut to the action again.  Bring in new characters, better dialogue.  

This novel idea, Christianity, has more potential, and could be a bestseller–could even change the world— but it’s gonna take a lot of work.

Leaving America is playing in Edmonton

Just heard some good news.  My 7 part radio series “Leaving America,” about my immigration journey from Texas to the Yukon, is now playing on CBC in Edmonton!!  (Thanks Diane Walton and Marcelle Dubé for letting me know).  For more thoughts on the similarities between being an Alien and being an alien see my post on “Immigration and Aliens“.

Very happy to be here.  And parts 6 and 7 are set completely in Canada.  Part Six is with my good friends in Calgary and includes romping through Vulcan, Alberta, nights of Battlestar Galactica, viewing the William Shatner Show, and the Glenbow.  Thanks to Kirstin Morrell for making the transition to Canada so filled with good memories!  She knows how to show aliens around.  The rest of the series talks about Canada through the eyes of someone heading there and what I love about the place I’m going.  As well as adventurous moments in travel through the States.

Immigrants and Aliens

I’ve wondered if the history of science fiction aliens is actually a reflection of the history of immigration. And the Fantasy journey, is that not just a long migration looking for a “home” made by wandering, often restless characters, sojourning here and there. There is a long history of the association of immigrants and aliens and science fiction/fantasy. Being an immigrant, I can feel the resonance now more than ever before: the quest to get to some other place, the endless traveling, the passing through towns–that fantasy quest part, and also the outsider/alien that science fiction loves to cast in the starring role–the uncomfortable character facing crowds of others who are “alike” or who have something in common , or the invading horde of “aliens” taking away our lives, changing our culture, threatening our identities–and surprisingly bonding those who used to think they were so different into a “same” so there can be a common villain in the “Alien.”

Not that everyone takes a negative view of “aliens”—E.T. is simply a lost anthropologist/researcher, and Close Encounters is a giant Cultural Exchange Program (we take some of yours, you take some of ours…).

A few nights ago, me and some Clarionites (go CLARION SAN DIEGO, 2007) were talking about the lone-status of “aliens” in Star Trek, a time and series which touted such huge cultural exchanges between species, but we often saw only one of any particular race in Starfleet. One Ferengi (Nog), one Klingon (Worf), two trills (Judzia and Ezri–and them only one at a time, sharing the same symbiant), one Betazed (Troi), one from Tasha Yar’s planet (Tasha), one Vulcan at a time (Spock and then Tuvok), one changeling (not in starfleet, but still alone), one hologram, one android. These are planets full of people all mixing together and in the 24th Century we are still having problems understanding other cultures, still having problems seeing whole mixes of populations in Starfleet, on ships, etc.

Yes, the storylines reflect where we are in relation to aliens. We are seeking to understand them one person at a time–we concentrate on the loneliness of the immigrant adapting to all the human (white) people on the Enterprise or Voyager. But they don’t reflect the movement towards globalization that even today we are experiencing–where populations have a wider diversity, where there is no singular pure population in many places that reflect ONE culture. Star Trek may have cured poverty, cured all illness, solved political rifts, but they cannot conquer “alienation.” They only underline and reflect how essential alienation is to science fiction…it probes the human spirit as outcast, alone, different.

As authors are we trying to make all the Others familiar? Or do we just identify with those outcast “aliens”, those that were not born somewhere, but who live there anyway? What is the relationship between chronicling the journey of an immigrant and the journeys of our science fictional/fantastical outcasts?

I don’t know. I just know that it’s interesting that in a future of an endless universe with endless cultures and repeated exploration, there remains the story of movement through strange lands with strangers all around us who see us, too, as strange. It’s as if, as authors, we must tell an immigrant story.