I wonder what happened to UFOs? When I was younger, people around the world reported seeing them in the sky. Those living in Alabama and Mississippi trailer parks had a front row seat. Maybe the crafts used magnets for propulsion and metal structures attracted them. Or maybe it was the smell of fried chicken that enticed them to the south, but UFOs were more common here. Jilda and I lived in a trailer park for almost ten years, but we never saw any UFOs.
I worked for The Community News in the early 1970s. One evening I got a call from a reader that lived in the Red Star Hill community below Dora. “We can see UFOs down here.” Ever the newsman, Jilda and I hopped in my trusty, rusty Plymouth Valiant and headed down to Red Star Hill.
We arrived as dusk faded into the darkness of a moonless night. There were about 20 people standing around swatting mosquitoes off their arms and looking into the sky.
After greeting us, Mrs. Combs pointed to the east and said, “They would hover there for a few minutes and an instant later they’d be over there.” She pointed to the south. “They had flashing lights that changed colors, and moving faster than any airplane I’ve ever seen.” Several neighbors nodded in agreement. I had no doubt they saw something in the sky.
We stood outside with eyes glued to the sky for a long while. A photograph of an unidentified flying
object would be big news. I saw a couple shooting stars, but no UFO.
When the munching mosquitos became unbearable, Mrs. Combs invited us inside for a glass of ice tea. Jilda and I both knew Mrs. Combs for most of our lives. We sat on her sofa and talked about UFOs and the possibility of intelligent life “out there.”
Fast forward to the present. Astronomers announced in February that they’d found seven inhabitable planets. That means they could potentially support life. One scientist said, “…They are all about the same size as earth. And they’re at the right distance from their star so that they could have a kind of climate that, you know, you might enjoy in Washington D.C.” The planets are in the TRAPPIST-1 system which is 39 light years away. Since we haven’t developed a Star Trek hyper drive yet, it might be a minute before we can travel there. But who knows?
I think the work has already begun. I read recently where the billionaire businessman Elon Musk is working on a project to send a manned spacecraft to the moon in 2018. His goal is to make space travel available to regular citizens with pockets deep enough to pay for a ticket. I think I’ll wait until they work out the kinks before buying a ticket. But taking a honeymoon cruise around the moon would be exciting. It’s fun to think about. It might only be a matter of time before Wal-Mart opens a location on Lunar Avenue.
If a UFO came to our planet today, there’s a chance we’d be out of luck. Once they saw all the insane things going on, they might assume there is no intelligent life here and move on to other parts of the Universe.