Here Thar Be Monsters!

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22.7.10

An Article of Faith

It finally happened. But first, a little background.

I have spent my entire life entranced and bewitched by the Cosmos. I have absorbed volumes of books, spent hours at the telescope and chose Astrophysics as my science elective at university (got As). I have followed the spece programs of various nations with intense interest. I can tell you the average orbital distances of all the planets in our Solar System, and give you the running count of extra-solar planets, as well as descriptions of the more unusual ones. I can name most of the moons by planet and give you the orbital period for many of the objects that float around in our cosmic neighborhood.

So when it happened, one might say I was ready.

Of particular interest to me has always been extraterrestrial life. Certainly, as Carl Sagan and the Drake Equation have noted, the likelihood of other civilizations existing at some point in history is quite high. As Sagan aptly noted, if there wasn't, it would be a colossal waste of space. And so, I have spent hours pouring over fuzzy photos and shaky videos, trying to formulate an opinion on the subject of UFOs. Why was it no one could get a clear shot of one, or if they did, it looked faked to me. Having spent 35 years creating video, film and photos, as well as being pretty darned good with PhotoShop, I think I can spot most fakes, no matter how good they are.

So when it happened, I was mentally prepared.

I had spent hours thinking about what I would do if I ever saw a UFO. I had read many witness accounts and was familiar with what they lacked, primarily due to the excitement and/or fear of the witness. I had thought about various ways to tell size, distance and elevation using an assortment of imaginary scenarios. I had planned in my head a series of tests that I would perform if the opportunity ever came, so that I could report accurately and scientifically, without hysterical interjections.

So when it happened, I simply began checking off the mental list.

Now, Indonesia, and especially Jakarta, does not have a lot of air traffic. Being the capital, the airspace is jealously guarded, and being a relatively poor country, there aren't a lot of private aircraft around. In the three years I have been here, I could list on one hand the number of helicopters I have seen, and even living fairly close to the international airport, there isn't a lot of commercial traffic, either. When I hear or see aircraft, it is a notable event, given that at home, I would probably see a year's worth of Indonesian traffic in a day or two. Additionally, the airport is in far west Jakarta and at the time it happened, I was in far east Jakarta, well away from any commercial interference. Furthermore, having spent a great number of hours in private and commercial craft, including many hours in helicopters, I am quite familiar with their capabilities. Thanks to some former Vietnam pilots, I have been given especially deep insights into helicopters, not always enjoyable.

This was not a private craft, commercial jet or helicopter.

My sightline was particularly clear. I was on the fourth-floor roof of an office with an unobstructed view 270 degrees around. There were no nimbus or cumulus clouds, and some high cirrus clouds, but they did not obscure the view. The time was 7 p.m. sharp on Friday, July 9, 2010. The sun had set about one hour before and the air quality was fair with no heat distortions. Jupiter was about 30 degrees above the western horizon, giving me a clear directional indication and elevation guide. It was a new moon, so there were no other particularly bright lights in the night sky. There are no tall buildings but one radio tower in the immediate area, but instead of being a hinderance, the tower came in handy.

When it happened, I had a clear view with known objects that gave me direction, distance and elevation.

I was between classes and had a minute to go up to the roof and take a short break to clear my head. As was my habit, I walked to the edge and leaned on the parapet while looking out over the landscape. I looked at Jupiter for a moment. As I scanned the horizon, a movement caught my eye to the north-northwest. I didn't pay particular attention to it until it made a rather abrupt move, rising straight up a significant distance, halting and then slowly drifting towards the north before stopping again.

I looked closely at it. I could perceive a dark object with a row of lights down the side that looked like car headlights, but they were changing brightness and color. They would change all together, with various ones getting bright, others dimming and colors shifting. After a moment or two, they would change again. They were shining directly out, not down, up or in any particular direction, as far as I could tell from my perspective. It moved again, this time sharply to the west, stopping, then drifting down and to the west again. It was not a jet of any kind. Helicopters cannot make moves as sharp and fast as this object was making, and it was also remaining perfectly level in the process. There was no swaying or swerving.

As I watched it, I grew aware of what I was seeing. I began to make measurements. Within a minute or so, it moved behind the radio tower, so I knew it was more than one kilometer away. That meant, but the angular size, that it was about 20 meters long and at least 2 meters thick. The black on black made it difficult to see the exact dimentions, but the lights gave me a clue to the length. At this point, it was approximately 20 degrees off the horizon, comparing with Jupiter further west.

At this point, it made another jump diagonally south and up, a span of about 10 degrees, in less than a second and stopped again. There was no sound from the object, as of engines whining or laboring. Even at the estimated distance, I should have heard something to make a move like that possible. As far as I could tell, it moved only across my field of view. I didn't detect any motion toward or away from me. I started to watch the light patterns, trying to detect any rhythm or correspondence with motion, but there didn't seem to be any connection, and the pattern seemed fairly random.

It was slowly drifting around, staying within a confined part of the sky. Judging by nearby objects, it was either about a kilometer away, or immense to appear the size that it did at greater distances. I continued to watch it for five minutes or so. It lazily drifted around, interrupting with incredibly fast jumps up, down and diagonally across the field of view. In order to get more information, I moved from one spot on the roof to another about six meters south. Using parallax and triangulation, I estimate that the object was about one and a half kilometers away, thus giving me approximate dimensions. I also got a pretty good idea over what landmarks it was hovering, so later I could check to see if there was anything in that area that would account for this thing.

It was getting close to time for me to leave, but I was having a hard time pulling myself away. I was slowly moving toward the door when the object simply vanished. It's hard to say whether I took my eyes off of it or not. As I think back on it, I have tried to determine if it moved incredibly fast directly away from me, folded into another dimension or just turned off the lights. The latter seems the most reasonable. At no time did I ever hear a sound from the direction of the object. When I got to my class, I related the story and two students mentioned a series of recent sightings in central and south Jakarta, including multiple objects at the same time and, as one student said, a 'mother ship.'

The next day, and several times since then, in both daylight and nighttime, I have looked at that the area closely from the same vantage point. Other than the radio tower, there are no tall buildings, no power lines, no objects at all over three stories tall. There are no tall objects in the background or mountains that could be mistaken for closer objects. Asking around the area, there were no promotions, fairs or other events that might have had some kind of areal display. There is one building about ten stories tall with a construction crane that is significantly further west of the radio tower, and so is well removed from the area of the sighting and could not explain what I saw.

I have listened to the tales of old sea-dogs, who on a long night at sea are sitting on deck and watching the amazing display of stars in a part of Earth where there is no pollution or lights or other interference. They have told me tales of watching the lights dance, the craft flying around the ship, sitting at the radar and tracking them. They have related tales of not one or two, but dozens of objects doing what I saw, for hours. They have used words like, "playful," "sinister" and "curious" to describe them. With a conspiratorial twinkle in their eyes, they say there's no way those are from around here.

I have read Filer's Files, watched breathless Fox specials, seen episodes of In Search Of…, and looked at endless photos and videos from around the world. I have heard very serious folks relate tales of abductions, injections and implants. I have patiently read Whitley Streiber and Erich von Daniken. I have reasoned and debated. Pondered and hypothesized. I have wished, hoped and wondered.

What happened that night a couple of weeks ago is similar in every aspect to hundreds of reports. The rapid and impossible maneuvers, the blinking lights and the surmised dimensions match dozens of accounts.

So the obvious question at this point is, "So do you believe now?" As if this issue could be reduced to some faith-based mysticism.

Do I believe in UFOs? Of course! Anyone who has spent more than a couple of hours reading up on the topic would have to believe in them. It's not a matter of faith, but of fact. There are sightings of aerial phenomena that cannot be explained.

Do I believe in aliens? Can't answer that one. Not enough evidence, or as Data might say on Star Trek, "Insufficient data, sir."

Do I think UFOs come from other planets? Well, what I saw certainly looked like a device, not swamp gas reflecting Venus. I could even anthropomorphize and say that it seemed to move with purpose, but I am only speculating. If it was a craft or device, it certainly moved like none I am familiar with in reading Jane's.

What I am prepared to stipulate is that what I saw was real, to me. I had no co-witnesses, so I cannot speak to its objective existence. If it was a craft or device, it moved like no other I have every heard of, nor did it make any sound that I could hear. It's origin and fate are unknown and I can only speculate. One thing I am sure of is that the characteristics of my sighting match the details of many others I have read or heard about.

Do I believe?

I believe I'll have another round and ponder some more.



[I would like to thank my colleague George Ure over at UrbanSurvival for his kind endorsement and glowing praise. A special welcome to any readers who have joined up thanks to George. Sampai jumpa!]

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous24.7.10

    sound you saw from the wrong side of view and what you see is what you get....you created the phenomenon that's why you cannot see the real objects....the black dark of night block your sight and make you difficult to see the real light.....so, try to see the object by clear mind and do by yourself.....Never try to see the object by send black spot from other view of people or use black spot of games.....when you do all of this all,you will see the object very clear and you will know which one is black and which one is light....

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