Sunday, August 16, 2009
Chariots of Fire
I was thinking about my recent post Angels, Demons, and Aliens where I mentioned the Biblical account of Elisha watching as Elijah was carried away by a whirlwind from a chariot of fire and horses, and I was reminded of my experience of watching a "chariot" of fire. Two of them actually. Around the year 2000 or 2001, I was walking home from a walk around my neighborhood and I just happened to look up and catch a glimpse of what I thought must have been a plane that exploded and was crashing. I wasn't really sure what to do. But then it got stranger because what I thought was a crashing plane, flew back up higher in the air. Not only that, it began to fly in what seemed to be intelligently controlled zig zagging patterns and was able to do so very quickly. Whatever it was, it quickly became evident that is not a known aircraft. No kind of airplane or helicopter could fly in the patterns this object did, much less at the speed it was able to do it. It was also clearly not a meteor because it was not falling, and anytime a meteor is glimpsed; it is only for a fleeting moment.
As for the object itself, it just appeared to be some sort of flying fireball. I don't really know if it was actually flaming, or if it was just glowing a reddish orange color. As for size, I would say it was approximately three times the visible size of Venus in the sky. As for how big the object itself really was, it's hard to say because it was pretty far away. I really don't even know how far to estimate the distance away it was, but at one point I did see it go down behind some clouds on the distant horizon; indicating it was pretty far away.
I called a friend of mine on my cell phone shortly after I realized this was some sort of unidentified flying object and asked him to go outside and see if he saw it. He did go out, and after looking around for a moment, spotted it himself. I decided to ride over to his apartment (it was only about a couple miles away) while keeping an eye on it. At one point, I saw two of the objects flying around, but he never saw the second one. I don't really remember for sure why I never bothered to try and get pictures of the objects, but I think I may have been out of film (I didn't have any type of digital camera back then besides a cheap little webcam type camera). At least one of the objects was visible for probably around 20 minutes. If I had known at the time it was going to stick around that long, I would have probably picked up some film or a disposable camera at a drug store. Unfortunately, when you're watching a UFO that seems to be able to fly however it wants to, you're reluctant to take your eyes away from it for to long for risk of losing sight of it. Ultimately, the last one that was visible flew out of sight either shortly before I arrived at my friend's house, or shortly after I got there (I don't really remember, I just remember us standing out in the parking lot talking about it). One of his neighbors (who was actually another friend of ours brother-in-law at the time) walked outside at this point and said something to us and we told him what we saw. It was too bad he hadn't come out sooner, because he had a video camera he could have filmed it with.
I don't live to far away from Fort Bragg, which would indicate to some people that it probably had something to do with the military. It may have been, but if it was, I've never seen the military do anything like it before or since (and I've lived near Fort Bragg my entire life). Besides, the objects were actually flying in the opposite direction of Fort Bragg for most of the time they were visible. I did however notice there seemed to be more conventional aircraft in the sky that night shortly after our sighting of the fireball UFOs, leading me to wonder if the military was investigating or chasing whatever the objects were. Me and my friend decided to call 911 and ask if anyone had reported seeing strange lights in the sky (originally we were going to just call a radio station and ask instead of tying 911 up with a question, but we couldn't remember any of the stations phone numbers and couldn't find a phone book either). The operator said there hadn't been any reports of strange lights in the sky, but also said that Fort Bragg was doing some jumps that night (the 82nd Airborne consists of paratroopers who train by jumping out of planes). Whatever the objects were, they certainly weren't paratroopers. For one, paratroopers don't glow or burn like these objects did. Two, these objects were larger than a person. And three, paratroopers fall…they don't fly around the sky for approximately 20 minutes. To this day, we still don't know what we saw in the sky that night.
I don't specifically remember asking anyone besides my sister if they saw something strange that night, but I think I did ask other people. I think my friend did too. I don't recall anyone else we know seeing them, although I think I vaguely remember my friend saying something about someone he worked with saying someone they knew had seen something. My sister and her family had not seen it, but she mentioned seeing some sort of metallic looking object with a white glow one night. At some point after that, I think I saw what my sister and her family had seen that night. I'm not 100% sure what it was, but I think it was actually the International Space Station. Sometimes it is visible to the naked eye. The fireball UFOs we saw that night are not so easily explained. They are even somewhat unique among UFO sightings, as typically most UFO sightings involve saucers, triangles, cigar shaped, and bell shaped UFOs. These just appeared to be fireballs. I sometimes wonder how much more we might be able to see in the skies at night if we just took the time to look.
I just wish we could have seen those fireballs closer up. Perhaps then, we would have been able to tell what those "chariots" of fire were that night.