Grant McGee: Local Columnist
So Clovis had its own UFO incident, eh? Very cool. The story of the 1976 sighting was on the front page of last Sunday’s Clovis News Journal. There are pictures of it. People are talking about it again.
The article got me thinking about UFO encounters I’ve had and heard about.
My first UFO encounter happened in the spring of 1979 when I was living in the mountains of southwest Virginia. It was night and the family dog and I were out for a pre-bedtime walk. I saw a light cruising along the high ridge of Clinch Mountain. It was traveling from north to south; a bright beam moving along the edge of the mountaintop, not making a sound.
I had seen B-52s and jet fighters on training runs from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina pop over that mountain regularly. But those jets made noise, this didn’t.
I thought I saw a UFO not long after I moved to Roswell in 1990. I had no idea there had been an infamous UFO incident in Roswell years before. Roswell to me meant cattle, oil and pecans in a city out in the middle of nowhere.
It was just after sunset when I saw the bright, shiny thing in the western sky. It turned out to be a weather balloon launched from Fort Sumner. I was so disappointed.
Then there was that thing I saw in broad daylight in the sky above Tombstone, Ariz., in February 2002. A weird corkscrew vapor trail caught my eye because the sky was totally clear. Then whatever had made the strange trail suddenly shot away leaving a straight-arrow streak before disappearing. I’ll never know what it was, maybe a meteor maybe something else. But that’s why they call UFOs UFOs.
I had a friend who thinks she may have been abducted by aliens on her way back to Roswell one night. South of Cline’s Corner she noticed lights dancing erratically in the east. Moments later one of the lights came zooming at her car and appeared as a triangular shaped craft hovering about a quarter-mile off the highway over some rangeland. Her car went dead. She stepped out of her car and started to walk off the highway toward it. Suddenly there was a bright flash of light and the next thing she knew she was standing by her car again.
I often wondered about this story because as time went on my friend seemed to be able to tell taller tales than me.
It seems so strange to be standing on this planet we call home and to think that we’re the only civilization in the whole universe. During my trucking days, thoughts like that would cross my mind driving in the night and looking at the twinkling sky. My co-driver in those days was Frank. He was from Trinidad. He was born a Hindu but converted to Christianity. He saw the Lord in everything. Frank dismissed talk of UFOs and extraterrestrials with the wave of his hand.
“There are no such things as space aliens or worlds with people like us,” Frank said in his thick Caribbean accent. “The Lord gave us the moon and the stars so we wouldn’t be so lonely at night.”
Maybe so. But I’d still like to talk to these folks who zip around in our skies.
Imagine the places they’ve been!
Grant McGee hosts the weekday morning show on KTQM-FM in Clovis. Contact him at: