Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Star Gazing & UFO Hunting!

Last night, Lesli & I drove up Chalk Hill Road, a windy road up the hills with wineries and ranches surrounding the area. We found the pull out where we had parked last August, for a night of star gazing and UFO hunting.The night was chilly with clear skies. The half moon bright in the sky with Jupiter shining proudly below it. We could hear the neighbourhood dogs barking, owls hooting and a few coyotes yapping off in the distance. No bears, no mountain lions. We felt safe. We had a blanket to sit on, our water bottles filled with warm tea, a bag of mixed nuts, raisins and dried fruits, Milka chocolate bars (the best chocolate ever!) and plenty of flashlights to guide our way in the dark. Our rental car (our Mustang ride) was parked facing the road, incase of the need of a quick exit. We looked up into the skies and saw a good dozen airplanes flying in the area, of which some we could not hear a sound. The stars were bright, and Lesli pointed out Orion and the Big Dipper. Lesli had found, via her cell phone, that a meteor shower would be visible (called Quadrantid meteor shower , best viewed at 3am) near the dipper.. and later on in the evening, we did see a streak appear which had us believe it was part of the shower. It was beautiful!

I had checked the forecast, clear skies after 10pm with temperatures dipping to 9C/48.2F. Perfect for sky watching. Back in August/11 we had enjoyed a clear evening as well, although with warmer temperatures. We had experienced over two dozen sightings of shooting stars, numerous airplanes flying above, and a fog rolling in after midnight. Last night a small puff of fog roll in close to 10pm. It did not encompass the area until after we left. We noticed it on our drive back down the hillside. Prior to that, we enjoyed the the chill of the evening sky-watching, while telling stories of our past experiences with the paranormal & UFOs. Our view of any shooting stars & meteor showers was not as visible due to the brightness of the half moon. Eventually the chill got the best of us, and we packed up before the sky had dropped into absolute darkness.

We wondered what we would do if an UFO had dropped by (I call it a “fly by”), or hovered above for a visit with us. Lesli called out to the sky, with one request that aliens do not visit her home. Good idea. I am not sure I could handle a visit into our home. Even though we had requested a “fly by”, we received nothing. We could account for all that we saw and experienced. Regardless, it was a beautiful night for star gazing, and a wonderful experience to hear the coyotes from one hill call to a pack on another hill. It brings me back to a time when I was outside of Edmonton (Alberta), in the rural town of Stony Plain, with a group of friends camping out, listening to a pack of coyotes calling another. We heard the replies, then witnessed one pack running across the hills, not far from us, to join the other. Nature at its best.

UFO hunting and star gazing is certainly one of my favourite things to do. It takes patience, focus, good preparation, a perfect place away from city lights, an extra layer of clothes & socks in cold weather conditions, hats, mittens, and a lot of hot tea and munchies. Don’t forget the flashlights! Best to ensure you are safe by sitting near your vehicle, keys at the ready for a quick get away, and a knowledge of what to do should you encounter a wild animal.  Do not sit there watching your cell phone.  You want your eyes to adjust to the darkness; and really, there is no need to be talking to others, texting or surfing the internet during a night of sky watching.  Is there?  Afterall, you want to be closer to the environment.

If you’ve experienced a UFO sighting, I’d love to hear about it! Tell us where you were, what you saw, and how you felt. We are always interested in your experiences!
Of course, Carl Sagan (whom I absolutely respect) and his scientific theories/explanations, has indicated he doesn't believe our earth has been visited by any extraterrestrial beings, that we should remain sceptical. I shall do so, until that day arrives when I experience what others have been talking about for years. As for UFOs, there are plenty of sightings if you take the word for what it means: “unidentified flying objects”, which can mean about anything and not necessarily aliens aboard a craft.

Talk soon, and happy UFO hunting!


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