|America had its head broken open during World War II, and out came the visions. Visions of global power, infinite markets, ideological struggle, and exotic flying machines. It’s not clear if the number of UFO sightings actually spiked in the years that||
By Rich Cohen
The Paris Review
followed or if it was just our imagination, but something changed. What had been a trickle of encounters dating back to the pioneering days of aviation became a torrent. Often described as saucers, these noiseless, shimmery machines were seen above highways and wheat fields and supermarkets in Forth Worth, Texas; Great Falls, Montana; Monmouth County, New Jersey; Salem, Massachusetts; Carson Sink, Nevada; Washington, D.C.; Miami, Florida; Norfolk, Virginia—the list goes on and on—in the late forties and early fifties. The timing makes it impossible to consider such phenomena without also considering the cataclysm that, more than any set of founding documents, gave birth to our colossal, unknowable, world-striding modern nation. In other words, before you can grapple with UFOs, you have to ask yourself: what the hell did that war do to America?