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By Rod Myers, Naturalist
After the interest expressed in my article, The pale blue lightwhat was it?, Ive decided to tell you about a close encounter.
Myself and a friend, who wishes to remain anonymous, were on an undeveloped area of the Rockford College campus several feet from some of Saint Anthony Medical Centers undeveloped property. It was July 10, 1987 at approximately 10 p.m. The sky was clear and windless, and a sliver of a moon hung low in the western sky. We were quietly listening for owls, which often call there. Suddenly, a form appeared just north of us, low in the sky. The object was heading south in a straight line, moving 10-15 mph, and passed nearly directly over us. It made no sound, and it had no lights.
The only reason we saw the flying object was because the parking lot lights from St. Anthony Medical Centers north parking lot lit up the underside of the craft as it approached. The parking lot was on one side of the Saint Anthony Forest, and we were on the opposite side.
Approximately 30 seconds later, an identical object at the same height, traveling at the same speed in the same flight path, going the same direction, flew over. To say the least, we were extremely puzzled. We guessed the flying objects were 60-80 feet off the ground, and they must have flown right over the hospital, but the trees blocked our vision, so we couldnt tell. The UFOs were triangular in shape, but the angles were not equal (see drawing).
The UFOs were a light grayish brown with a black stripe near the entire back edge. At least, thats how they appeared with parking lot lights illuminating them.
I called the airport the next day and asked whether they had any unusual objects registering on their radar, but they hadnt. But the UFOs were low in altitude and might not have been detected for this reason.
After a week, I decided the UFOs were a top-secret military project. But the UFOs didnt make any noise, and that was the main sticking point in my military project theory. All the people I talked to about the incident, whether military people, ex-military or just civilians, all agreed that every man-made object that flew was very noisy, except for gliders, and these things werent gliders. Ask anyone whos lived near an airport, whether military or commercial, and theyll tell you that aircraft noise will drive you nuts; even so-called stealth bombers are not stealthy in the audio range.
Im taking a big step in writing this story. Some will think Im goofy, and you can think what you want, but Im not a UFO nut. I am an active member of the Rockford Amateur Astronomers Club, a group of intelligent, dedicated people who, as a whole, are conservative, as is the science of astronomy. However, a segment of the club, perhaps 25 percent, believe as I do that we are not alone. We believe that abundant life exists beyond our planet, and some of it is very intelligent, more advanced than us. They have been exploring other planets for thousands or millions of years.
Two years ago, I discovered www.ufocenter.com on my one-year-old computer. Ufocenter.com is the website for the Seattle-based National UFO Reporting Center run by Peter Davenport, an ex-biotech executive. I e-mailed Peter, telling him about our sighting and the possibility of the craft being military. To my surprise, Peter answered my e-mail, saying, Whatever those things were, they were not of this world.
Peter Davenport has a well-respected reputation in scientific circles. He methodically expels hoaxers sightings with good, old conservative science.
In a recent interview with the Associated Press, Peter Davenport made the following remarks about UFOs and their occupants. The evidence suggests to me that they are here on a daily basis. Davenport does not believe theres smoking gun evidence that aliens are among us, but the evidence nonetheless is mounting. Evidence such as close encounters, animal mutilations and possible alien artifacts, not to mention crop circles.
I will not be surprised if in the final analysis, we discover that we are in a galaxy that is teeming with intelligent life and that much of that life has been racking up the frequent flier miles to Earth, he commented.
In the same article, Barnard Haisch, an astronomer and director of the California Institute for Physics and Astrophysics located near San Francisco, said, I think theres some pretty good evidence that something is going on. I know most of my colleagues are pretty dismissive of the topic, but the more you learn about it, the less dismissive you can be.
Haisch edits a leading astronomy journal, has written more than 100 published articles and has created a website, www.ufoskeptic.org, which gives an objective look at UFO issues.
The UFOs my friend and I saw in 87 were small, 15 by 10 feet. They were possibly too small for living occupants, which leads to the possibility of the craft being robotic. In an article written by Michio Kaku in Februarys Astronomy magazine entitled, Who Will Inherit the Universe?, the author explains that the best way to explore the galaxy is with artificial intelligence. Basically, what that means is to send robotic probes throughout the galaxy. The probes are called Von Neumann probes, named after the mathematician who established the laws of self-replicating systems.
A Von Neumann probe is a robot designed to create factories in some distant star system. It would then reproduce itself by the thousands by using mined raw materials in its factory on some dead moon. A dead moon would be ideal because of low gravity, giving freshly built probes the resistance in taking off for new worlds to explore. A freshly replicated probe would travel to a new star system, thus starting a new factory to build new probes like self-replicating viruses. At this pace, the galaxy could be explored in a million years.
So whos visiting Earth? Probably a mixture of intelligent and artificially intelligent life. If you had the means to see other worlds, would you settle for Galena? I think not. Its safe to say that traveling, exploring and visiting are universal pleasures.
Those who visit Earth from other worlds are confronted by one human conglomerate that knows more about UFOs than any other human entity. Yes, Im talking about the U.S. Government and its military. If visitors from other worlds are here on a daily basis as Peter Davenport suggests, then those visitors must deal with the U.S. Government and its military on a daily basis. Earth is not a travel democracy.
Our government secretly views UFOs as a threat but publicly denies they exist. But the U.S. Government knows UFOs like a birder knows birds. And if you are lucky enough or unlucky enough to have had an encounter with a UFO(s) and you make it known, you can bet your butt the U.S. Government will get to know you.
Rod Myers is a local resident with an interest in the environment and disability issues. He has an associates degree in science and a bachelors in fine arts. Rod is a member of the Audubon Society, the Wild Ones Natural Landscapers and Rockford Amateur Astronomers, Inc.