Opinion | Tony Jones: Gazing into the night sky with an open mind
I went out on the back patio a few nights ago in Dillon to turn off the lights. After pulling the plug, I took a moment to admire the night sky, the splash of the Milky Way smeared across it and the countless stars that speckle it. It’s always amazing to me to remember that when gazing into the Milky Way, you’re looking at our galaxy and that the spill of milk across the night sky is in fact billions of star systems. One cannot observe those billions of star systems without wondering how many may harbor life as Earth does.
It also reminds me of the recent report from the federal government basically admitting that there’s something(s) flying in our skies that they can’t identify. They’ve coined a new term for this: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, or UAP. This rebranding may be a marketing ploy as the acronym UFO summons images of flying saucers and gray beings that have been the fodder of popular culture since the 1950s. It’s a stretch to take such things seriously when you got Will Smith blowing them out of the sky on the big screen.
But now reports of UAP are being given a level of credence by government officials previously denied them. Despite the relativity of the Drake equation to the possibility of aliens zipping around our skies, it seems something is going on. The Drake equation is a calculation that, if believed, largely rules out interstellar communication and/or direct contact between sentient intelligent species from different solar systems because of the immensity of our universe and other factors that contribute to what may be a negligible window of time during which such contact may occur.
But now that the Department of Defense is fessing up that some UAP have them puzzled, it may open the door for others to talk about encounters they’ve had but not spoken about for fear of ridicule. With this report detailing encounters with UAP by military personnel, other UAP witnesses may feel emboldened to speak out. When they do, they’ll join the ranks of pilots who’ve documented the encounters they’ve had and folks like former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who are pushing for more transparency about UAP.
I encountered a UAP last year, observing it from that same patio previously mentioned. Relatives had just arrived for a visit, and we went out back to chat. It was cold, the sky was dark and the stars were bright and well defined. Suddenly I noticed a series of lights traveling slowly across the night sky. It consisted of five equidistant pinpoint lights, each one trailing a long unbroken string of light that seemed to connect to the pinpoint of light behind it. We stood there on that patio marveling at the sight and trying to figure out what it could be, but to no avail. Don’t believe me? I took video of it and will share it with you if you’re interested. I recorded 30 seconds of that UAP passing overhead, but we actually watched it for several minutes.
My granddaughter has also experienced something unexplained in the sky. She and her boyfriend had just parted ways and were each traveling west in the Thornton area, but in different cars on different westbound roads. While chatting with her beau on her cell, she saw something in the daytime sky, a bright light that zoomed into view out of nowhere. That light then flew off with an incredible burst of speed. It disappeared into the distance toward the foothills in seconds. Her and her boyfriend then both asked each other the same thing — did you see that?
So look up and keep your mind open. With Summit County’s expansive night skies and limited light pollution, it’s an ideal area for stargazing. With your eyes directed to the heavens, you never know what you might see up there. Take a moment to enjoy the sight, if only for its grandeur. But if you see something else up there? Well, welcome to the crowd. You’re not alone. If you’ve got a story about a UAP encounter you’ve had in Summit County, I’m all ears.
Tony Jones' column "Everything in Moderation" publishes biweekly on Thursdays in the Summit Daily News. Jones is a veteran of the IT industry and has worked in the public and private sectors. He lives part-time in Summit County and Denver. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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