Out of this world

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Out of this world

Image courtesy of Can Stock Photo (www.canstockphoto.com)

Image courtesy of Can Stock Photo (www.canstockphoto.com)

Image courtesy of Can Stock Photo (www.canstockphoto.com)

Image courtesy of Can Stock Photo (www.canstockphoto.com)

David Disney, Lode Writer

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Ever since I was a little kid, the idea of extraterrestrials has fascinated me. The idea that we are the only life forms in the universe seems impossible to me. That said, I am skeptical about aliens having visited our little blue marble. With my opinions out of the way, let me tell you about some spooky sightings people have had with some strange critters throughout the years.

One of my favorite alien stories takes place in a rural U.S. town (what a shocker). Hopkinsville, Kentucky is a small town not unlike Houghton. One night, the Lankford family was having a small get-together at their farmhouse outside of town. Later that night, they paid a visit to the town police station with a disturbing story.

Earlier, the family had apparently seen a spacecraft land near their home. Out of it came “little green men” with round heads, large eyes that glowed in the dark, pointed ears, and bodies that resembled a hairless monkey. Several of these creatures surrounded their home, looking through windows and crawling on the roof. The family began shooting at the nimble critters with pistols and shotguns, missing them.

Police agreed to follow the family back home, more interested in a possible gunfight between drunk rednecks than possible alien lifeforms. No traces of goblins were found, only a few bullet holes in the house. Nowadays the explanation is that the family got a little too tipsy and mistook owls for aliens.

I know what you’re thinking: “Big deal, a bunch of people got a little drunk and shot at birds, that’s my typical Friday night!” But what if I had a story that happened in broad daylight, to 60 people? Let’s look at a sighting that took place in the small Zimbabwe town of Ruwa.

The year is 1994, outside the Ariel primary school. The kids are outside playing during morning recess as the teachers sit inside at a staff meeting. All of a sudden, the children come back early, all of them visibly distressed, if not terrified. They tell the teachers they had seen some alien craft land near the playground, and that a creature emerged from it and stared at them.

A few months after the incident, researchers, including Harvard psychiatry professor John Mack, came out to the school, interviewing the kids and teachers. The kids’ stories matched with each other, and the school staff all expressed genuine concern for the kids. They had never seen the group of 60 kids all act with such fear, all at once.

The Ariel encounter, to me, is the most interesting UFO story. Something about a group of 60 young kids all telling the same story, down to describing the same actions the creature took and the way it looked, is convincing to me. I mean, in second grade I knew some people who would tattle on kids for chewing gum outside, let alone lying to the entire teaching staff. For not one person to have come out and say it was all a joke seems unbelievable to me.

Believe it or not, you must admit there is something fascinating about a good UFO story. There is something very human about being curious in the things we can never really know. Keep an eye on the sky, and don’t look out your windows at night.