I am just getting around to describing an event that occurred when I was six years old, in or around the summer of 1979, that left a strong impression with me that lasts to this day and has informed my world view as I have gotten older. I have never forgotten it, and my brief (less than a minute, probably more like 15-20 seconds) encounter is burned in my brain like a movie. I have talked about it my whole life to friends and family and other people that I felt would be mature about it, and my story has changed ZERO through retelling and the passage of time; my memory is crystal clear on this event in spite of my young age at the time of the event, and the experience was interesting enough that it doesn’t need embellishment or creative additions or for me to try to speculate on it for it to be the most interesting thing I have seen with my own eyes before or since.
I was 6 going on 7 and with my mother in a diner in Albany, GA, sitting at a booth with wide windows that stretched the width of the restaurant and went floor-to-ceiling (typical diner layout where the walls are essentially windows all the way around), affording a clear view of outside including the sky. It was a clear night, and having recently become a young and frequent airplane traveler with my family, I was fascinated with airplanes and obsessively watched planes in the sky.
This night as I was watching planes slowly fly across the horizon through our table’s window pane (Albany has a small regional airport and a significant military presence, as I will expand on later, hence the airplanes), I saw something which I thought very unusual at the time, and I am still fascinated by it. I was young, but the experience is burned in my memory as though it was yesterday, and I feel that my memory is still very pure, and hasn’t been complicated by the information on the UFO phenomenon that I have since come to be interested in.
I was young and unfortunately did not know which directions (N,S,E,W) anything was at that point in my life. No idea which direction it flew. I noticed out of the corner of my eye a very intense green light in the sky through the far left side of the window pane at our booth. It was travelling left to right on a horizontal (to the ground) trajectory (straight horizontal line) much quicker than the obvious airplanes I was watching (there were several planes over the course of our visit to the diner). The green light phenomenon behaved differently from anything I had ever observed, and I loved to watch the sky for airplanes all the time. It moved from left to right at a seemingly quick clip. I locked eyes on it, and when it reached the middle of my vantage point it abruptly stopped (on a dime, instantly), pulsed (became visually bigger by about double), then just as quickly went back to it’s original size and took off at about a 45% angle towards the sky. When it took off from this momentary stop, it went so fast that if I had blinked I would have thought it had simply disappeared. But i saw it leave, and it was gone in a fraction of a second. The first half of the flight path, prior to it pulsing, took probably 15-20 seconds, long enough for me to lock eyes on it, get excited and try to get my mom and other adults’ attention. But when it left it was gone in the blink of an eye. No one else saw it, but my obvious excitement caused a great deal of others to get excited in the restaurant. Everyone felt I was sincere and too young to have just made it up, that I had definitely seen something strange. Being so young I don’t think I even knew about the UFO phenomena and was just excited over this unusual light and I wanted an adult to see it and tell me what it was, I didn’t have the vocabulary or knowledge of the subject to call it a UFO or to speculate that it was alien. I figured an adult would know what it was. I just recognized it was unusual compared to planes which I knew something about (and was obsessed with), and was extraordinarily fast. There was talk among those at the diner about calling the paper, they really took me to be sincere in that I at least believed that I saw what I saw. My mom decided to not allow the paper to be called because she is not the type to want the hassle and complication in her and my life, and she didn’t want me to be mocked over it or get a reputation as a weirdo in such a conservative area of the country. Star Wars was all the rage with my age group and it would have been easy to chalk it all up to an active imagination from a Star Wars-obsessed boy, which I admittedly was, along with every other kid in my age in the 70s. But that was a movie and I never made an association between that light in the Southwest Georgia sky and movie science fiction. I just didn’t have “UFO” in my vocabulary or as a point of reference.
One thing that I swear happened, or that i felt strongly (and still do) had happened, was that the phenomenon seemed to be aware that I had seen it and had locked eyes on it. I feel that when it stopped and pulsed before shooting off, that that was a communication to me, like “Hello, we know you see us, and we see you and are saying hello”. I can’t explain why, but I truly felt right there at the time that I had exchanged some sort of simple greeting with the phenomenon, or that it had specifically acknowledged me, and that the interaction was friendly and as real as if someone physically in my presence were to talk to me. I can’t explain in words why I felt/feel that way, it was just as though a message or feeling entered my head, I’ll use the word “telepathically” now (although I knew nothing of telepathy or anomalous phenomena at the time of the event to have used that word or concept) and it was a real phenomenon that I didn’t have the capacity, imagination, or environmental influence to invent at that age.
The phenomenon itself was a very intense green light, roughly the size or a small but easily visible star. Like a pinprick way up in the sky. When it pulsed it became roughly double in size. The green light was very pure, very bright, very sharp, not fuzzy at all around the edges. Small but very defined. The color of green was purer that any green light I have seen before or since, just pure, deep, and beautiful, unwavering, not flickering, and very deep and intense (though small) in a way that is difficult to put into words but not like a typical light in the sky. It was a very, for lack of better vocabulary, unearthly in it’s perfection and depth and brilliance. It did not change color at all. Just the most amazing brilliant green I have ever seen, something no light I have ever known quite reaches in terms of brilliance and depth, and also focus (no halo, so blurred edges, just very tight and compressed if you will).
As I mentioned, I didn’t have any knowledge or background in UFO lore or the phenomenon or flying saucers or whatever AT ALL at that age. I didn’t have the information to speculate it was alien or to call it a UFO. Those concepts just weren’t something I knew about yet. I did not try to classify it at the time or act like I had a theory on what it was, I wouldn’t have known where to start, I was just very excited and my excitement excited those around me. Everyone believed that I saw something that had genuinely aroused me, I didn’t invent it, nobody thought I did, and my main concern after the event was to ask the adults present to explain to me what it was. I tried like crazy to get an adult’s attention in the short time I was observing it, just so a grownup could explain to me what it was. I assumed that adults present would know and that it would be some mundane thing that I got all excited about but that adults would explain as common. But it was the adults that brought the idea of a UFO into the conversation and some advocated calling the media. Unfortunately, by the time I made enough of a scene to get peoples’ attention, the phenomenon was gone. I was the only direct witness, but many people witnessed my reaction and listened to my description. My mother and I still talk about it. She says that I was fully taken at my word, that I could not have faked the excitement, and that the consensus was that, at best I had seen something very strange, and at worst I had seen nothing especially strange but that I was truthful in my belief that I had.
I will repeat that I did not have the knowledge of the very real UFO phenomena to have applied a UFO hypothesis to what I saw. I didn’t have the basic knowledge at that age to say UFO, Flying Saucer, Alien, or anything like that, I simply wasn’t aware that those were things or debates that were in society’s culture. Totally ignorant of the phenomenon. I was in first or second grade.
Full disclosure, and this is something I have come to know as time passed: there was and still is an active Marine Corps Logistic Base in the area and I believe that a now defunct Navy Base was still operational in Albany at the time as well. I am fully acknowledging that I may have seen a military craft doing something that to me was unknown exotic technology and seemed un-airplane like, but certainly could have been military technology. That’s the simplest explanation, really, and I’m not claiming it was an ET craft by any means. It’d be cool if it was for sure, but I will not pretend to know something that I don’t know, or ignore the real and likely possibility that I indeed saw something of this Earth. Maybe it was military or even something else. But I have never seen anything before or since that was anything like it. The indescribably strange nature or the green light, the ability to stop/pause on a dime, and then to take off from a complete stop at an inestimable but incredible rate of speed at a 45% angle from it prior path…it was an awesome display of aeronautics if nothing else.
A few things I must freely own up to: I have no idea now big in size the object/light was, how far away it was, how fast it actually moved, the direction of travel or it’s elevation. I was simply too young to be thinking about those things or have any perspective. I doubt anyone could have figured it out actually, it was a pin-prick of light very high on the horizon, above the airplanes that I saw by quite a bit, with nothing that I recall to provide a scale comparison. No mountains. There is no photo obviously to try to make measurements. I do know absolutely that from my vantage point it was the size of a small but clearly discernible star (except when it briefly pulsed and seemed to temporarily double in size.) Was it huge and far away? Was it smaller and closer? I don’t know. Before speeding off, if it had simply maintained it’s original speed and direction it would have crossed the width of my view considerably faster than the airplanes I was watching. It took planes two minutes or more to cross the horizon from my vantage point and you could easily trace their path slowly and see their normal airplane lights and beacon lights (I knew about identifying common airplanes because I had recently become an air traveler and planes were basically my #1 fascination at that time). This was definitely not just a garden-variety airplane. Maybe a black-project development from our military, but nothing normal as far as I knew or know now, and I am an avid sky watcher.
I don’t know what I saw, but it has been quite meaningful to me and is frequently in my thoughts even 30+ years later, and the experience has always stayed with me, become a part of who I am, and has shaped me in some strange ways. I felt I was communicated with by the phenomenon, that we had the equivalent of a real-world “head nod”, like a non-verbal communication, something like “Hey what’s up, I see you seeing me, so hello! and now we are gone”. I felt like that message imprinted in me and it was real. I still feel as though I had a brief, non-threatening contact of sorts. Whether I saw something otherworldly or not, I am different for having seen it, because I feel fairly sure that I know something that the rest of the world doesn’t truly know, saw something few ever see, and they argue and speculate about it, but I know that anomalous stuff is in the sky DEFINITELY and it’s special knowledge that many argue about but few possess. I may be wrong, but my gut says I saw something very special and had some form of casual contact with the phenomenon. I knew it was there and it knew I knew it was there, and it just sort of said “hi”. This may be the active imagination of a kid, and I will freely acknowledge that this could be something mundane and that I had a curious nature and an active imagination as a kid. And Star Wars had all us kids thinking about space ships and whatnot. But I just didn’t know about UFOs at all and wasn’t creating a UFO experience simply because I didn’t have any knowledge of the UFO phenomenon and thus could not have associated my experience at that time with something that I didn’t have any perspective or knowledge of. I was just amazed by an amazing sight in the sky, and had the unshakable feeling (still do) that whatever it was acknowledged me in a friendly way via “psychic” (for lack of a better word) communication.
As I got older I became more fascinated by the UFO phenomenon, and now I consider myself as knowledgeable about the subject as many experts and far more than the “man on the street”. This experience fed that lifelong fascination. I continue to watch the skies every night from my back yard in the country, and I have seen other spectacular lights and seemingly anomalous movements semi-regularly. I don’t pretend to know what any of them are, and I don’t claim that they are Alien, many are probably satellites, exotic military craft, drones, you name it. None have been so clear as to seem like a sure-fire classic UFO case. Once I was even faked out by Venus. My wife was once faked out by fireflies out of season. I’ll be the first to admit that strange things in the sky can and often are mundane, and they can appear anomalous due to any number or factors including human error.
That said, this 30+ year old experience and, whatever I saw, it strongly impacted me. I am a different person with different beliefs and a different way of looking at life than if this hadn’t happened. I’ve never been normal since, not in a bad way, I just feel like more is out there than general society wants to acknowledge, and I can’t ignore what I at least THINK I know about the nature of our world and universe, and the (to me) fact that stuff happens in our skies that we can’t easily explain. Most people are willfully ignorant to this and just think you are weird if you show enthusiasm for UFOs and whatnot. Those that believe, it’s preaching to the choir. I have zero evidence, and nothing I say here will change anyone’s opinion, and it probably isn’t an important thing to have written as far as contributing to the greater conversation.
But I wanted to write it down for myself if nothing else. I have been telling the story to select people for my whole life, and my mother and I still talk about it frequently, but I have never documented it. Now I have decided to. It feels great to have written this down and shared it, a bit of catharsis, and now I feel like I can think about the meaning of this experience less and use my mind on stuff that is future and present-related, not live in the past so much. It’s a strange thing when your world view is so profoundly shaped by a <1 minute experience from 35 years ago that no one else witnessed. Not a bad thing, I just hope that now that I've put everything in writing and explained the story as well as I can given the limitations of my vocabulary and published it in a forum, it can take it's place as a cool memory but not something I have to dwell on in middle-age. I kind of need to move on.
I hope somebody with the time, patience, and interest to read this long convoluted story will enjoy it and maybe it will help someone make sense of their own experience. If this benefits nobody, that's unfortunate but really this is mostly something I (selfishly) need to do for myself in documenting this experience which has so profoundly impacted me, and maybe now it will require less mental energy from me going forward.
A final note that may be neither here nor there…I was born during the UFO flap of 1973. Sightings were being reported all over the place in Georgia. 1979 was active too, and as I delve through archives I find that I was not the only person observing strange things in the sky. Jimmy Carter had his sighting in Georgia within a few years of mine, and many others (a disproportionate number) were reported and witnessed in Georgia around that time. Also, I have always felt and at times have manifested some psychic abilities, although I can't control them or use them in any practical way. It's not up to me, but sometimes I find myself just simply knowing something that there is no way I should know. Occasionally I have found that I seem to have some control/influence over certain people I meet, that they trust and follow me blindly, without me encouraging it, and I have no explanation for it, just the observation that I seem to be able to control and exert influence on certain (not even close to all) people, it's not something I try to do or can control, I just seem to occasionally induce certain people to behave in a way that suits me without really trying, like in whats seems to me a primitive telepathic way, some people I can tune into sometimes, but not with a great deal of control, it just happens. Hard to explain and maybe a whole different rabbit trail. I can't say for sure, but I feel like this very low-level bit of psychic ability and awareness of things seems to have begun when I had what I believe was communication from the phenomenon during the event.