As is undoubtedly the case with most people, I’ve seen lots of strange stuff. Attack hippies on fire off the shoulder of Pearl Street, for instance. But as with most strange stuff, the bulk of such things are readily explained, and are honestly pretty mundane.
From time to time, though, I’ve seen stuff that’s harder to explain. Stuff that other people might ascribe supernatural explanations to. In most of these cases, I assume one of two things:
1: My eyes were just a little “funny.” Not having perfect vision, for instance. And lots of the happen at night, when things are hard to make out anyway.
2: Psychological aberrations. I don’t do mind altering drugs of any sort, don’t drink or asphyxiate myself for kicks, nor do I have psychoses or schizophrenia, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get tired, or that my blood sugar never goes goofy, or that … who knows. Any advanced computational system can get glitchy from time to time.
Still, there are sometimes things that happen that are a bit of a puzzlement. Long ago, well before I started pilot training in my college days, I learned that if you wanted to keep a career as a pilot you didn’t report UFOs. And something I’ve noticed many, many times is that a whole lot of people who report weird stuff promptly expand on the observation into unwarranted speculation. See a UFO? Fine. Assume that its an invasion from Zeta Reticuli? Ahhh, no. Hear a bump in the night? Fine. Declare that your house is haunted? Dude, no.
I live out in the sticks. This has afforded many opportunities to experience some damned strange stuff. Urban areas are swamped with the lights and sounds of people and machines, but out here there’s a level of quiet that you come to expect and anomalies are more readily detected. And so… I’ve detected a lot of anomalies. And… what the hell. I’m getting old, I have no chance of becoming an airline or military pilot, I’ll never be an astronaut. I figure I might as well recount some of these, they may provide some momentary amusement. Most can likely be shrugged off, but in the moment they often make my hair stand on end. I remain a skeptic and a materialist, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a good moment of weird. These will be non fiction, recounted as accurately as I can. Some stranger than others. Some might make for useful or interesting plot points in stories if someone wants to use them. If so, let me know.
Ok, the first one to report was Sunday night. Well after sundown I went outside to look at the night sky; it was nearly cloudless, which was great, but there was a full moon that kinda blotted out a lot of the stars. Off to the west are hills often seen in my photos, and they were pretty well lit by moonlight. With snow on them, they showed up pretty well. There was one bright star getting close to setting behind the hills, a minor sight I like to watch. And over the span of two or three seconds, the star faded as it went behind the hill.
Perfectly normal and mundane. Nothing odd about it, just s nice sight.
Then the star came back.
A couple seconds after it disappeared behind the hill, it popped back up. Then, a few seconds later, it disappeared behind the hill again. This all occurred while I was standing still. There are no trees or structures on the hilltop that the star could have been momentarily obscured behind then emerged from, just flat rock. Since the hilltops are several degrees above the horizon, there shouldn’t be issues with the sort of atmospheric effects that can make, say, the sun setting over the ocean eventful
Now, one possibility is… a cow. Or a deer, perhaps, standing on the hilltop. The star went down behind the deer, disappearing from my sight… then the deer walked away, revealing the star again. And then the star finally set behind the hill proper. This could certainly explain it in a perfectly rational, natural way. But in the moment it was really rather startling to see. Once a star sets, it’s supposed to stay the hell down.
Next time: your narrator breaks out the boomstick.