Read: The 37th Parallel

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I saw a UFO once. US281, just south of Johnson City, Texas. Had to be late 1980s. Middle of the night, piloting my old Landcruiser.

I saw a UFO once. US281, just south of Johnson City, Texas. Had to be late 1980s. Middle of the night, piloting my old Landcruiser, creeping along at 50mph trying to save gas. Looked out the driver’s side window and saw three, small, blue triangles stacked as one large triangle. I had never seen anything like it, so it peaked my interest. It was a near full moon and I was approaching an angle where the object would be backlit. As I looked up at the object I knew immediately it was something I had never seen before. I pulled over because I thought I would be able to hear the propulsion system, thinking it might be a solid clue as to what this little beast actually was. I turned off the FJ60 and was met with complete silence. It was RIGHT THERE but it wasn’t moving and wasn’t making a sound. “That’s odd,” I thought. I looked at the object, looked down at the clock, and then looked back. Gone.

I’m not saying what I saw was an alien craft. All I’m saying is I don’t know what it was, hence the “U” in “UFO.”

Most of the time when I see “alien people,” otherwise known as UFO buffs, freaks, nutbags, or whatever other term you want to use, I encounter people who seem to find conspiracy in just about everything. My guess, many UFO buffs also think the election was stolen and also believe Hunter Biden is in fact an alien. (I’m in the yard listening to FOX and waiting for the Easter Bunny.) However, there is a second side of this story. Sometimes when I meet “alien people,” I encounter someone who is uncomfortable even bringing up their experience. These people are unsettled because they have seen something they can’t explain.

Several years ago, I attended the UFO festival in Roswell. I made of my all time favorite New Mexico images during this event, but I also had an experience I will not forget anytime soon. This event was attended by all types. There were those linked to the reported 1940s crash of an alien ship. There were people linked to the rancher who found the debris. There were people linked to the military base where the debris was taken, and yes, there were people dressed as Coneheads, Chewbacca and plenty of people dressed as fat, no-so-little green men.

But along the edges of the crowd I noticed a subset of upset, “normal” people. They just didn’t belong, but there they were and they were visibly unsettled. Me being me, my first instinct was to talk to these people. So, I did. “You look out of place,” I would say. “Why are you here?” The answer was always the same. “Goddamit, I came here for answers.” “I saw something I can’t explain and I need to know what I saw, what I encountered.”

Ben Mezrich has encountered a few “alien people,” as well, and his book “The 37th Parallel,” like all Ben Mezrich books reads like an action novel. If you don’t know Mezrich you probably know his work. He is prolific and incredibly successful. The Accidental Billionaires adapted to screen in The Social Network, Bringing Down the House adapted to screen in 21. Also on his list are Once Upon a Time in Russia, Ugly Americans (one of my favs), Rigged and Busting Vegas. The dude put it out and puts it out on a regular basis.

The 37th Parallel follows a UFO and animal mutilation inspector as he makes his rounds across the western United States. Without question this man is all in. A sheriff’s department reserve deputy and microprocessor genius, he finds himself getting deeper and deeper into the world of UFOs, UFO research and science. He also finds himself inspecting numerous animals blown apart in mysterious ways. He eventually realizes there is an uncanny string of these paranormal activities stretching dead center along the 37th parallel. (cheap housing?) I would tell you to get this book and read this book but you have to want to play along with the idea that we might not be alone. I do want to play along, but I am also a healthy skeptic. Get it, read it.

Comments 1

  1. Your experience is very familiar. I know a guy who went out to the Olympic Peninsula for a couple of nights, near La Push. He stayed in a place near the water. He was outside, fairly late. Saw some things flying that he just couldn’t explain. Unsettled him enough that he threw his stuff in his car and drove back to Seattle. I saw him that night, and he was rattled. Did not want to talk about it but also needed to talk about it. The next time I bumped into him, he said, about that thing, let’s never talk about it again. But a few months later I sent him an article about people on the Oregon/Washington coast who had similar experiences.

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