Saturday, March 7, 2009

out Kenny's window


The image above was drawn recently, and the event was over 30 years ago, so I no doubt that it's not quite exactly as it appeared - but it feels like it's close.

I was at my friend Kenny's house for a sleep over when I was about 12 years old and in 6th or 7th grade. It was around 1974. It was nighttime and we were in an upstairs room, and one of us pointed out the window and said, "What's that?"

The room was dark, and we both moved our faces right up to the window.

We clearly saw something, a craft of some sort. It was shaped like a coffee can with a pencil sticking out of the top. It was larger in the sky than a full moon, and we watched it for about a minute. It was descending near the horizon at a very controlled and slow speed. It was spinning slowly as it moved lower, traveling at an odd angle, and then—it was gone!

Accompanying the big "coffee can" was a tiny blinking light. It was easy to track this light in the night sky as it moved steadily toward the craft. It was when this little light "connected" to the big craft that it vanished. The little blinking light then flew off. This blinking light looked like nothing more than the running lights on an aircraft.

We were really excited. We decided not to talk about it, but instead we ran downstairs and went to the kitchen table where we knew there were paper and pencils. Kenny's Mom was at the table too, and she watched as we drew it. We both drew the same thing. I remember Ken corrected me and pointed out that the edges of the "coffee can" were slightly beveled.

Kenny also didn't see the blinking light as it approached the "coffee can"—he only noticed it after the thing vanished, and the blinking light trailed off in the night sky.

I still have the drawing. (see the post below)

This sighting left me with the very distinct impression that I was seeing something otherworldly, and this feeling is hard to describe - but it was overwhelming. And ever since then, whenever I read accounts of UFO sightings, I think, "Well, I've seen one."

This is the same drawing, but includes some descriptions and arrows to show the motions of the "coffee can" and the small blinking light.

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Text added December 10th 2010:

Recently, I had found a good analogy about how it felt to see that craft from Kenny's window.

I am old enough to remember an era before computer generated animation. Until a point in the early 80's there was simply no such thing, any animation would have been analog created using a camera and film. My eye, even at that young age, was attuned to visual and cinematic imagery. It was truly arresting when I saw the very first Computer Generated Imagery (CGI). As I recall, it was nothing more than a rotating cube, with simple videos on each panel (This short clip would be laughingly crude by today's standards). But there was a surreal smoothness about the motion, not the staccato movements of cell animation.

I was mesmerized, I was seeing something entirely outside of my reality. There was a paradigm leap, from clunky analog animation to something entirely different.

That is what it felt like seeing the coffee-can shaped object in the sky. I was seeing an entirely unknown form of imagery. It shook me to my core because it was so radically different than anything I had ever seen - or even imagined.

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This pencil image was used as reference for the newer drawing at the top of this post.


This was drawn, on Kenny's kitchen table in about 1974 in Northville Michigan, his Mom was sitting with us at table with both of us as we drew it. The details above show the blinking lights as they move toward the "coffee can" in the night sky. At first i drew the shape as a true cylinder, but Kenny corrected me, noting that the edges were beveled. If you look closely at the paper, you can see where I erased around the page and rounded the edges of the form.

I drew the blinking light in the original pencil sketch as if it were doing a sort of alternating "blink" and then a "double-blink." Presently, I can't remember exactly how it was blinking (and the updated drawing above shows just a single "blink" effect. I can state with absolute conviction that the small light looked perfectly ordinary, it was to my eye nothing more than running lights on an airplane in the night sky.

Also, when I would tell this story in my youth, I would say that when the blinking lights met the coffee can, the lights of the craft turned off. This was me trying to sound believable, but the way I remember it was that the coffee can shaped craft actually disappeared, the way it vanished was instantaneous. Just "blink" and then gone. It was only after I began to read UFO books (somewhat compulsively) in the early 90's that I shared the experience more truthfully, and I said that the craft disappeared.
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4 comments:

Michael R. MacDonald said...

Great recounting, Mike. Thanks for that. Your '74 drawing is very detailed!

Mark E. said...

That reminds me of what I pictured of the Biedney UFO from the Paracast episode where he talks about the one flying over his home in New Jersey as a kid. Have you heard that episode?

Red Pill Junkie said...

A flying 'balero'! Very fitting show for two children to witness :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ball_in_a_cup

http://www.topics-mag.com/edition27/mexican_games/balero.html

Mizmar said...

That looks like a very beautiful and unusual type of UFO you both experienced.