Cindy Gail in 1967
I am trying to be brave, but it’s been oppressive and scary.
This blog was created in a flurry, and it was all about some deep need to share some of my nutty experiences to the world. Where this need is coming from? I wish I could answer that.
I know full well what my next post needs to be, and it requires bravery, or maybe the better way to say it, it requires abandonment.
I want to post a story about a 1974 UFO sighting. I saw something in my hometown in Michigan, but I’ve been stuck, unable to put it on this blog. Well, I didn’t really “see” anything beyond a very strange orange flash in the sky, but my friend told me he saw a UFO. It lasted just a second, it was silent and weirdly jarring. I arrived home almost two hours later than I should have, and the implications are disturbing. There is more to this story, but hopefully it’ll be the next post (above).
This event took place on a lovely autumn evening in the quiet suburbs of Detroit.
It was just a block from the house where I grew up, and I can point to the exact spot on the sidewalk. It was in front of a house I know well. This is where an elementary school class mate lived, and this home will forever be known as Cindy Gail's house. There is a sweet and emotional part of my childhood all wrapped up in this house. In 1967 I went to Mrs. Dunn’s kindergarten class and met Cindy Gail. I’ll add that she was my very first crush - ever. She had light red hair and freckles, and there was something so centered and calm about her. I remember her doing art projects, and they were always tidy and perfect, and I envied her sense of self.
Cindy moved away when we were both still in elementary school. We haven’t talked in close to 40 years, and I had no idea what happened to her.
Let’s fast forward to yesterday. I spent the day cross-country skiing in the foot hills of the Tetons. It was a glorious day, and I was with friends. But, the one thing that kept spinning in my mind was this oppressive need to post that story about the long-ago event on the sidewalk in front of Cindy Gail’s house. The implications of that night are a little bit scary, and I was wallowing in insecurities. Was I brave enough to share what happened? I didn’t know if I could go through with it.
As I skied I tried to visualize how I would post it on-line. I felt there needed to be some sort of visual graphic. Recently, I had used google-earth to pin point the exact spot in front of Cindy Gail's house. I obsessed over this image, with that little marker pin-pointing the spot on the sidewalk. I’ve spent a lot of time compulsively staring at that image, and all that it implied. I thought that this satellite view of my old neighborhood would work okay as a picture for this nerve-wracking post.
And I was planning to do it last night, if I could only muster up the courage.
After skiing I was tired and unmotivated. I stared at my computer, knowing what I needed to do, but it just felt so daunting. I can so clearly visualize that haunting spot in front of Cindy Gail house. I was stuck, unable to follow my heart.
My computer makes a quiet ping, and I check my e-mail, and two messages come in, side-by-side.
The first was - unbelievably - a facebook friend request from Cindy Gail.
I stared at my computer in utter disbelief. Oh my God, was this really happening? I immediately replied to the request, and added this message:
Mike Clelland (March 12th, 2009) wrote at 10:29pm:
Cindy Gail? You did a "show & tell" in Mrs. Wyler’s first grade class showing how to fold a piece of paper, gently lick the fold, and then you could easily tare the paper in a nice straight line. Clean and perfect.
I still do this, and EVERY time I do - I think of you!
(NOTE: I realize now that this was actually Mrs. Zimmerman’s 2nd grade class)
At 10:33pm, this Message comes back:
Yes, that's me!! I think of you whenever I see cartoons! Are you still wearing Wonder Bread bags inside of your boots? I was so envious that your mom did that.
We talked back and forth via facebook - and I was absolutely overwhelmed. I even tried to tell her how utterly weird the coincidence was - that she contacted me - tonight of all nights.
It would be hard to describe how magical and wonderful this felt. It literally felt like there was sparkling “Disney Dust” (the cartoon stuff from Tinkerbell’s wand) swirling around me as I sat at the computer.
Okay, and to make things even weirder - the second e-mail right after Cindy’s, that came with the same little ping - was from the infamous UFO abductee Whitley Strieber. He was now following my updates on Twitter - and boy-o-boy, did I have something funny to share with him!
If my life is a path, and if I pay attention, I can sense it’s direction. This path is leading me somewhere. It feels like all the little clues that the universe is whispering to me are inching me toward one thing, that I share my extremely curious life events with the world. Yesterday, I was stuck on that path, unable to move forward, frozen and cowardly. Then at 10:27 PM, I was slapped in the head by a facebook friend request from the cutest girl in Mrs. Dunn’s kindergarten class!
Now I have the courage to post the next story.
I’ve added this on Aug 6th, 2009.
Since we re-connected in March, I have been chatting (thru facebook) with Cindy Gail over the last few months. I talked with her last night, and a curious thing came up. It seems I remembered something wrong. I had assumed that Cindy had moved away from my hometown when she was in 2nd grade. She corrected me, she lived in that house on the corner (in the photo) until the end of 7th grade. That would have been the spring of 1975.
That means she was living right down the street from me when the orange flash event occurred. For some reason, this seems so strange. Maybe I just forgot, it was over 30 years ago. But we talked about the teachers in our elementary school, and it I remembered a lot of details, and as we talked I remembered some funny events involving her throughout my years in that neighborhood.
I realize now, that she may have been home, in her house just a short distance away from me on that autumn night in 1974.
- and -
If you've read this far, you simply must read about the curious reemergence (again, at a synchronistic moment via facefook) of Mike Lewis.
And - I've added this on Sept 2nd 2009.
I just got off the phone with Cindy Gail. She still visits her old next door neighbors (the couple are now in their mid-80's). She said they told her a story that they saw a glowing green UFO over her house! This would have been before 1977 (when they moved).
I begged Cindy to play the role of investigative reporter and dig up more on this very curious puzzle piece.
Note: the name Cindy Gail is a pseudonym.