Posts from September 2010.

Unexplained Lights in the Sky

Let me start this by saying, I’m a thoughtful and intelligent person. I’m an amateur astronomer. I sit in my backyard often gazing at the night sky. I know the difference between a planet, a star, a galaxy, a meteor, and a plane. Now that I’ve said my peace, the following will be that much harder to believe.

I was sitting outside with my dogs — they were supposed to be doing their business, but instead they were being cute and cuddly — gazing at the night sky. My eyes fixed to a bright light above. I immediately thought it was Mars, because it was about in the same place as Mars was a few weeks ago. But then I realized, Mars hadn’t risen yet. Venus? No. Then, the planet I was trying to identify started moving across the sky. Yes, I said it. While I was staring at, what I thought was a planet, trying to identify it, the damn thing started moving.

OK, not a planet. Am I looking at a plane? No blinking lights. It’s moving away from me, bearing SSE, and it’s very bright. The bright lights on a plane face forward… they are landing lights. No, this was not a plane.

Then I got excited, and scared. Was it a meteor? No fiery tail. But could it have appeared to be “not moving” because it was actually coming towards me?

As I watched, the light dimmed, getting very small and changing to a red tint. I was now convinced I was witnessing a meteor burn up in the atmosphere from a very unique and frightening perspective. I was pretty excited at that fact. It’s not often you get to see a meteor last that long in the sky, let alone one coming straight for you.

I reflected on my identification process. The effect of the object dimming almost made it look like it had climbed high into the sky. I was thinking how that would be very easy to mistake as something flying away from you instead of coming at you and burning up. Then the unthinkable occurred.

It did not burn out. Let me say that again because even I don’t believe it. It did not burn out. The light went red, and got very small and very faint, but it did not go out. Instead, what I witnessed was incredible and unbelievable. The little red dot seemed to change from red to a whitish blue and move north in the sky.

So, what I think I may have witnessed is a real life UFO. I can’t think of another explanation. The shrinking, dimming and the red color change was the object climbing upwards through the atmosphere. Then I watched as it crossed half of the sky (that’s a 90° arc or more from my perspective) in ten seconds. I noticed it shifted slightly blue when it was approaching and red when it was receding from me. I make no estimates on the altitude or speed of the light. I will however stick to what I observed.

This just happened moments ago. After I lost sight of it, I wanted to tell my wife, but she was putting the kids to bed. Believe me, you do not want to interrupt bed time with exciting stories like this — not if you know what’s good for you. So I grabbed my laptop and wrote it all down.

What did I see? I can only say it was a single point of light, that was very bright, then dimmed, then went across the sky. I wonder if the local airport saw anything on Radar?

A sad summer…

Not that I think anyone reads this, but if there is a person out there that does, or if years from now when I’m suffering from Alzheimer’s I need an overt reminder, last year I had a really bad week. My Dad went into ICU and was eventually diagnosed with MDS, a form of Leukemia. So, from that week in September, till July 4th, my Dad fought his disease. On July 4th, 2010, he succumbed to pneumonia.

I saw my dad just weeks before when I took a few extra days off to visit him on my way to Michigan for the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals. It was only 600 miles out of my way and only an extra day of vacation from work to visit for three days. At work we were (and sadly still are) navigating a huge merger and unfortunately the pressure there on top of everything else prohibited me from spending more time with my father during his last days on Earth. It saddens me, but I take comfort in the simple phrases, “That’s life,” and “You have to do what you have to do.” They were phrases I heard from him often. He missed a lot of my childhood too. Not that I blame him. He was doing what he had to do to keep a family afloat, although, sometimes against his will, but all that is water under a very old, very distant bridge. I was doing what I had to do. I keep telling myself that. And I know that he understood.

I’m the kind of adult to make myself a big bowl of ice cream before dinner and when my kids complain I reply, “It’s good to be an adult!” Now I feel quite the opposite. Being a responsible adult, I was compelled by cynical, rational, dependable, logical thought to do what I had to do instead of doing what I wanted to do. Although, maybe to be fair I cowardly hid behind my responsibilities to avoid mental anguish and heartbreak? It was so difficult being with my father the last two or three times I visited him. Each time it tore a hole in my heart. I can honestly reflect and see that I did take comfort in my responsibilities and felt a little like they were excuses to avoid my obligations to my father. If I were to grade myself, I’d give myself a B+, I did a good job, but I could have done so much better.

And since my last post, I’ve been in a really bad place all summer long… last spring… last winter, and all of last fall. Life is just starting to feel like it’s beginning to return to normal. I know I’m still grieving. I also know that I won’t know when I stop. It’s not like you can put a date and a time stamp on the end of the process.

If someone sees this writing, far in the future when technology allows time travel into the past, please do me a favor, visit Mike Esposito at the Barry Tepp Company in Metuchen, NJ, USA at 11 Lenard Street, (Latitude 40.547102, Longitude -74.372678) some time between 1973 and 1974 and give this message to him, “Your son Andrew has sent a message through time. He loved you with all his heart and missed you terribly. He knew everything you’ve done in your life, all your secrets were revealed, and he forgave you and loved you unconditionally until the end.” That would be nice and shouldn’t mess up the time line any, he came to know that. It would just be nice if he knew it sooner.

Dad at the NJ Aquarium, Aug 2008