A Saucer Full Of Secrets - I
My General Feelings on UFOs and Conspiracies
by Ray Levasseur November 1, 1996
I'm writing this article, partly in response to the recurring questions I get about the existence of UFOs and secret underground bases. My response to anyone reading this is, 'your guess is as good as mine.' I will share some thoughts and feelings I have around the subjects of extra-terrestrials, government cover-ups and conspiracies. I do not claim to have a lot of expertise in these areas, other than my own personal research and readings. I do not pursue these subjects with the zeal of a Fox Mulder or John Loengard, who are merely TV characters in search of the holy grail of truth. For me this is mostly a hobby of sorts, and makes for light hearted bedtime reading :-)
My interests in other worldly possibilities began back during the 50's when I was a young boy. We were caught up in McCarthyism (a Commie hiding behind every bush) and the ever escalating Cold War. It was a time of rampant paranoia, existing just under the surface of the "Ozzie and Harriet" American middle America I was raised in. The nuns in school would hustle us into the basement of the school for our weekly "duck and cover" nuke attack drills. This scene was repeated countless times in schools and businesses all over America. As I got older I came to realize that, in reality we were being herded into mass graves...if a real nuclear attack ever took place.
If that paranoia was not enough, the 50's saw the escalation of UFO sightings. This period also saw a plethora of "big bug" movies about atomic mutated insects on the rampage, plus an entire host of other nuclear spawned biological menaces. As an added bonus, countless alien/UFO films were pumped out of the movie studios. These nasty critters always had a single goal, the conquest of planet Earth and total eradication of it's human inhabitants. Well...a few aliens did come in peace, but we always managed to shoot, main or kill every one that dropped by with cures for cancer and other human ills. My friends and I took in hundreds of hours of low budget science fiction movies, every Saturday trekking to the Rialto or Strand theater for the "double/triple dare" weekly feature.
My sister was a civilian employee at an Air Force base. She regularly brought home titillating 50's stories from pilots about sightings and chases they were involved in. But then, many were off chasinf lights and apparitions in the sky during this period. After a while the story changed to, "this is all make believe. There are no aliens or flying saucers. I sucked up every sci-fi monthly and "Bizarre Tales" rag that was on the news stand. Dad was convinced that all this stuff would rot my brain...then in 1967 I entered the Navy to work on radar and computers. Some have asked, "I bet you were privy to a lot of secret stuff?" Naw, it was pretty boring. Although I held a Secret clearance, the technology was fairly mundane and attainable through any issue of Popular Electronics. I did hear some sea stories about pilots involved in high speed chases of craft capable of incredible maneuvers (probably those pesky Russians). You hear lots of stories and "scuttlebutt" while out at sea. I was also a ham radio operator; during many a rag-chew come mighty wild stories from hams who were also licensed pilots....they were just that, stories.
The most "interesting" story I heard was from a sailor who was on another aircraft carrier. These are truly amazing vessels, towns unto themselves. While we were out at sea and in a stand down condition (no flight operations going on) we could go up to the flight deck for some fresh air. I usually worked on the night shift, which tended to be quiet. We would take breaks, going topside with our coffee to sit under the stars. The night sky takes on a totally different character when you are a thousand miles out at sea, with only the moon, stars and the ship's running lights to interrupt the blackness of night. It's almost like traveling through deep space, except the ocean below is a point of reference (up/down). Watching meteor showers was much more spectacular out at sea, than on land based populated areas.
Back to the sailor's story. We were in a liberty port, and like all good sailors, headed for the nearest bar. Navy uniforms make it fairly easy to tell what a sailor's specialty (if any) is. We wore the insignia of "Aviation Electronics" technicians, which was an atom with wings. Most other job specialties had their own symbol. A group of guys called us over to their table. They were also AT's and from a sister carrier. They began talking about something a few of them had witnessed while out at sea. Like ourselves, when ops were quiet they too would escape topside. One guy acted as spokesman, but others would nod or add their own observation.
The story, for what it's worth begins:
They were above decks lined up along a catwalk, peering out over the water. It was a crystal clear moonlit evening and the moon clearly reflected off the water. They noticed a grayish cigar shaped object hovering over the water. At sea it can be difficult to gauge distances, but the guy felt whatever it was to be 1000-1500 yards to port and 100-200 feet off the water. The moon clearly reflected off the surface of the object and it definitely looked metallic. All of a sudden a brilliant searchlight came from the underside and scanned the water, extinguishing after minute or so. Whatever it was seemed to be pacing their ship.
They all concurred that suddenly the bottom of the craft began to glow bluish and executed an arcing curve. They now could see that whatever this thing was, it was disk shaped and very big. He estimated it to be almost as wide as the flight deck of a carrier. It swept forward of the bow, where they go the clearest view of it's disk shape. There was another color shift on the underside, then it shot straight up, "like a raped ape!" to quote the sailor. They did not hear a single sound from the craft.
He told us, they ran back down to the lab to tell the other guys what they had seen, but were laughed at (of course). What seemed strange was that 5-10 minutes after they returned below decks, all access was secured and a couple of fighters were scrambled. Usually there are no launches during a stand down. The next day he said that the shop supervisor got them together for a warning. They were told on no uncertain terms, "you did not see anything and are not to talk about it."
The story ends:
There was a saying I heard in the Navy, "you know how to tell the difference between a fairy tale and a sea story? A fairy tale begins, "once upon a time", and a sea story starts with, "this ain't no shit!" Perhaps this was just another sea story, but it is interesting that I always remembered that night in a bar.
Ray meets Zoron....almost:
The closest I came, or want to come to a
close encounter of any kind
The closest I ever came to witnessing a UFO was on two occasions. The first was around 1962 or so, when I was 15 years old. There was a large wooded area, streams and meadows, etc. that we played in as kids and hung out as hormone enhanced teenyboppers. Across a part of this area were strung interstate power transmission line towers. It was a hot Summer eve, late dusk as I recall. We would all meet at "Cowboy Rock", a large climbable rock formation that resembled a big Stetson hat if viewed at a certain angle. Well anyway, here we were sitting on top of the world (or the cowboy hat) listening to a top 40 station on my transistor radio. Now this was way before drugs and drinking became a "in" thing to do. At least in my crowd drugs and stuff were unheard of. We were the geeks, dweebs, nerds and social rejects, who got their rocks off launching model rockets in this same meadow. In our high school, no self respecting "pretty" girl would throw over a football player to date a "Oh here come those geeks from the Science Club" guy.
There was a more remote part of this area, which was accessible from a long dirt fire road. We sometimes also hung out here for cheap thrills. This was where the popular guys took their dates parking. Some nights we'd climb up high in the trees and drop eggs on kids making out in cars. One of my friends built an infrared sniperscope from War surplus junk. On another night we hauled all 100 pounds or so of his electronic surveillance equipment to a clearing to spy on the jocks and their dates, "WOW! he's taking her bra off!" Of course there would be the mad scramble for the eyepiece, "lemmee see, lemmee see...oh jeeeezzzz! lookit those bazongas!" Yet on another night, I brought out my newly constructed organ pipe, shotgun microphone and amplifier for a field test. The headphones would get passed around so everyone could cop a listen to the moans and sweet nothings coming from the cars.
On this particular night all was quiet, and we settled for hanging around on the rock. It must have been around 8:00-8:30pm when one of my friends yelled, "holy Jessssusss look over there!" The power lines ran to the South, on the edge of the woods. Just above the towers a large silvery/gray disk slowly hovered above the lines along their path. It made NO sound at all, but there was some sort of corona discharge between the disk and lines. We watched for about a minute, then freaked out, scrambled down from the rocks and into the woods to the North. When we reached the edge of the woods, we looked back. The disk was just hovering, then shot straight up, ZIP! We hightailed it back to a friend's house to tell his parents what we'd seen. He was frantic, "Mom! Mom we just saw a flying saucer, out by Cowboy Rock! Mom a REAL flying s-a-u-c-e-r!" His mother acted like this was an everyday thing, "that's nice dear."....I don't think his mom took us too seriously.
When I got home, the reaction was also predictable. Mom said, "that's nice, a flying saucer huh?" Dad's reaction was the crazy bunch of geeks I hung out with were having a negative influence, "you're such a weird kid. Why can't you find a nice girl and date like normal kids?" The incident was soon forgotten, except among my friends. From that evening on, whenever I visited the Cowboy Rock area, particularly at night, and especially if alone, I never again felt comfortable. This once almost pristine piece of real estate is now covered with strip malls and housing developments. Alas! Cowboy Rock was dynamited and hauled off somewhere.
In the early 70's. I was living with a girlfriend and on especially clear nights we would take a blanket out to the field behind the apartment we lived in, spread it out and lay under the stars. This evening we went out to view the meteor shower. As we laid there, she got my attention, "Ray! "Ray!, look at that", pointing toward a brilliantly bright, fast moving light. It had to be 5-10 times larger and brighter than the brightest star and was booking it across the sky, from West to East. We both figured it was a large meteorite, but it had no tail. All of a sudden it stopped dead, made a couple of zigzag maneuvers, then made an abrupt 90 degree turn, disappearing over the horizon at incredible speed. She looked at me, "are you thinking what I'm thinking?" We asked neighbors if they witnessed anything peculiar, but nobody else seemed to be star gazing that evening. Soon after that, the incident was forgotten. So that concludes my only personal UFO stories, for what they are worth.
Aliens go on sabbatical:
During the years I was with the above mentioned sweetheart, UFOs, Sci-fi, conspiracies.....all the stuff that makes for alienating guests at cocktail parties, took a back seat. We were at a cocktail party one evening, where I got to meet a rather attractive woman. She had worked in one of our benevolent covert agencies (the CIA I think) in some crypto sort of job. Being curious (as well as 99% in the bag) I struck up a conversation that of course led to secret stuff. Now her defense went up, and when it came around to the gummint's secret experiments on American civilians and the whole UFO cover-up, she clamed right up. "Awww c'mon please," I begged. Her only reply to my queries was a cold, "the American people do not have a right to know EVERYTHING that goes on. Some of these are a matter of national security and society would collapse into chaos if people were told about every single classified project that they had no business nosing around in." And that marked the end of our conversation as she moved on among other party goers. She did leave me with the warm, fuzzy feeling that "we can all sleep soundly in America, those in power have everything under control."
Well...my girlfriend and I did see Star Wars when it opened....about 17 times to be exact. Star Wars was safe, sort of like a fairy tale or sea story. After all it did open with, "A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away." Other than that, she was not much of a Sci-Fi fan. After she and I went separate ways in 1980, I began to catch up on my sci-fi again. Those who cannot handle the hurts of reality escape into flights of fancy. Or....is that, "reality is for people who can't handle science fiction?"
Some of the aliens were at least likable in the movies, "Close Encounters of the Third Kind". And of course "E.T." where a movie theater full of grownups break down blubbering over Elliot's plea, "E.T. please don't die." The 80's were a mixed bag, "Starman" being an inter-galactic love story. A trailer park kid makes good and becomes a cosmic here in "The Last Starfighter." There were some fun movies, portraying aliens as good guys. There were still those (better left undisturbed) alien forces as in "Alien", which was oral sex of the worst kind, the remake of "The Thing", where curiosity killed all the leading characters. Some of these movies did manage to keep me awake for a night or two.
As I recall, it was....ohhhh, during the Winter of 1988 that I picked up a copy of "Intruders" by Bud Hopkins. I was in a local bookstore, the cover picture of a gray caught my eye. Actually the picture sent a shiver up and down my spine, 'ahhh light bedtime reading.'
I read Intruders from cover to cover in a couple of sittings, and of course just had to also read, "Missing Time", also by Hopkins. For about a year, I began to pick up every book I could get my mitts on that dealt with the subjects of UFOs, aliens, abductions, gummint cover-ups, Roswell, Area 51...and all the stuff paranoid nightmares are made of. What's also strange about the period from 1986 to 1989, were the people I began to meet for coffee, mostly UFO and conspiracy buffs. Most of these folks were like the Lone Gunmen from The X-Files; weird, geeks and convinced there was a cosmic conspiracy brewing. It all made for some interesting brunch banter, but did not help my sleep patterns much.
Where I stand on the UFO Issue Today:
Like everything else, I was into many subjects before they became part of pop culture; UFO's are no different. When I was a kid, I ate and slept this stuff. Now that everyone seems to be jumping on the UFO/Alien bandwagon, I've lost interest, save watching Dark Skies and the X-Files. I'm not sure exactly if this activity is actually on the rise, or has the mass media just found another cash cow to beat into the ground.......or!....could this be part and parcel of "Millennial Madness."
One big problem I have with UFO's is why they never show up in populated areas, not that I would feel warm and fuzzy if a large squadron of mother ships stationed themselves over every major city as they did in "Independence Day" or the TV mini-series, "V". They always find the remotest areas to crash or land in. The day one crashes in Central Park, I might become a believer in the phenomena.
Another area I have a hard time swallowing is the secrecy issue. I don't care how tight a lid the "spooks" try to keep on a UFO flap, something "this" BIG cannot remain a secret for as long as Roswell and the like has.....or maybe I under-estimate our secret government's ability to squelch even the most blatant appearance of strange craft. One thing for sure is, I have a deep gut feeling that we are on the cusp of something very BIG.
My Christian roots tell me that this may well be more a "spiritual" than physical manifestation. If this is the case, then I want no part of it. I will say this with confidence, the second coming of Christ will not be marked by appearances of flotillas of alien craft. Something much more sinister may take on this appearance, the lieing signs and wonders in the sky.
I will wind up this little essay by saying that I take for granted our government knows much more about UFOs than they let on. This could be for any number of reasons, many of which are none of our business. I assume that somewhere there are secret meetings held in smoke filled rooms. Seated around the table are the Smoking Man, Captain Frank Bach types. Perhaps they discuss how to break whatever news it is they have to the public. I won't hold my breath waiting for any such revelation to come from the White House during the "State of the Union Address."
For now, I'll tuck it away in the popular American folklore folder, along with Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, AIDS as biological weapon, the Kennedy assassinations. If the truth EVER does come out, it will either be much more shocking or boring than fiction.
To be continued.....?