I was fascinated from a young age by the possibility of life beyond our planet. This was decades before Carl Sagan came along with his “billions and billions of stars” and the mathematical probability that the human species was unlikely to be the lone set of sentient beings in the universe. So, not surprisingly, I read whatever I could about UFO sightings, especially on what later came to be known as “close encounters of the third kind.” In my middle years I even had lunch with the then chair of the Northwestern University Astronomy Department, Dr. J. Allen Hynek, the most famous UFO researcher of his day.
My first UFO sighting was from the backyard of a friend’s house in Wilmette, Illinois, a northern Chicago suburb, in 1960 or 61. I had just received my B.A. and was taking a gap year at my parents’ place in Chicago before returning to graduate school. An Asian Indian friend, then a grad student at Northwestern in accountancy, and I were mowing the lawn for our elderly host. I happened to look up at the clear afternoon sky, where I saw a hovering round, silver object about the size of a quarter held at arm’s length. “Kasi,” I called out to my friend, and pointed. He looked too, then told me to stop looking. I should have asked him why but never did. Anyway, when I looked again, the object was gone.
A few years later I was on a bus from New York City to a retreat location across the Hudson River in Nyack, New York. It was a late afternoon in spring. As I looked out the bus window, I again saw a single hovering silver object. The sighting lasted only a few seconds before the object took off at great speed and disappeared. My final sighting occurred in the evening in Honolulu in the fall of 1971. I had just driven into our carport and was starting to cross our backyard to the rear door of our house. I looked up over our roof and saw something like a white croissant zigzagging its way toward me and the Ko’olau Mountains behind me. My mother-in-law was inside the house, and my first instinct was to run to get her. I wanted a witness. But then it occurred to me, by the time I got her out, the “phenomenon” would likely be gone. At first I thought the thing night be a plane; however, there were no flashing lights. A bird? No. Its motions were too erratic and unbirdlike. So then, like a good sci-fi reader, I tried to communicate with “it” telepathically: “Can you hear me? If so, stop.” It paused in mid-flight and just hung there. Then I asked, “Do you believe in God?” This time I gave no way for it to answer. The object disappeared from sight and then came back. The next day one of my university students reported that people had called into to his radio station the prior night to report having seen a UFO headed toward our mountains. So, are UFOs real? Can they be from another dimension or world? Who knows? I simply wanted to share my experiences with you.
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