Last week, as we were driving back and forth between our house and Idaho, my husband and I spent quality time listening to podcasts. If you’re not familiar with podcasts, you should really check them out! They are digital audio files that you can listen to or download from the Internet, and they typically have a certain theme. One of our favorite podcasts is Astonishing Legends, a place where they look at legendary strange and unusual events from throughout history and they also interview people who’ve had close encounters with the unexplained. Right up my alley!
On the way home from Idaho, with Sarah, Andrew and Ian also in tow, we listened to a four-part series about the Mothman Prophecies. Although they touched on the movie, most of the information was taken from research about the actual events that happened in the 1960s in the small town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia and surrounding areas. It was pretty scary.
For those of you who like to listen to something straight-through, without interruptions, we would have driven you crazy. Because throughout the podcast, when something interesting was just discussed, someone (usually me) would put the playback on hold and want to discuss the new idea. One thought was that most people only had one encounter with the paranormal, if that, in their lifetime. We all looked at each other and laughed.
The other idea was about UFOs. It brought back a memory I’d like to share today.
It was the summer of 1987 and my husband was a scoutmaster for a Boy Scout Troop in Chicago. There were about 30 boys in the troop. If you’ve been the spouse of a scoutmaster, you understand that a great deal of your vacation, if not all of it, will either be spent alone or in family camps provided by the BSA. So, that summer, my four oldest children and I shared a small cabin in the family camp of the Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan Scout Reservation in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, while Richard was miles away with the Scout troop camping. Our cabin was set aside from the other family cabins by a fairly large copse of trees and Spring Lake was on the other side. It was quiet, rustic and secluded. Very secluded.
The children ranged in age from eight years to a 6-month old infant. We brought in our supplies for the week and, because we only had one car at the time, were pretty much stranded at the camp. But it was beautiful and peaceful. The stars at night were so clear, the water of the lake was sparkling blue and the weather was perfect.
The cabin was rustic! We had running water and electricity. I think we even had our own bathroom, but we might have had to share shower facilities with the rest of the camp in a main shower building. The cabin consisted of one big room that had two fold-out beds and a counter-kitchen on the other end of the room. And a tiny bathroom. It was not luxury camping.
The three oldest children shared one pull out bed, sleeping like puppies, arms and legs intertwined and I shared the other bed with the baby. I have to admit, I was a little spooked at being fairly far away from everyone with four small children. (This was WAY before cell phones.)
One night, I was really restless and couldn’t sleep. I looked over to the “kids” bed and saw that they too were restless in their sleep. Pillows were strewn on the floor and their dreams were disturbing them. I got up, put pillows all around the baby so he was safe, and walked around the small cabin, checking all of the locks. I was more than a little spooked, I was really nervous about something.
The feeling got stronger. More ominous and disturbing. Somehow, I knew the cause was outside. I thought, for a moment, about taking a look outside the cabin. But I’d seen the movies, I knew what happened to people when they walked outside. They were never seen from again.
I stayed up, sitting at the small, Formica kitchen table and watching the door until sunrise, then I finally felt safe enough to go to bed.
Later that morning, as I made breakfast, I turned on the small radio that was on a shelf near the door. The only station we could get was the local AM radio station, replete with the farm reports, the weather and the local news. Suddenly, the dee-jay was reporting on a strange phenomenon reported by several residents of Pearson, Wisconsin, as well as a number of the local law enforcement officials who had receive calls about it. It seems the night before, a number of UFOs were sighted above Spring Lake. The lake that was right next to my cabin. The reports coincided with time I was pacing through the cabin and checking the locks.
As I was writing this story, I found a quote that I thought was interesting.
“Behind the scenes, high-ranking Air Force officers are soberly concerned about UFOs. But through official secrecy and ridicule, many citizens are led to believe that unknown flying objects are nonsense.” Former CIA Director, Roscoe Hillenkoetter, public statement, 1960.