Strawberry Ice Cream, Phoenix Lights, & Mysterious Blips: Why I Believe in UFOs

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to believe in UFOs.

Like The X-FilesFox Mulder, I figured the truth was out there. Buried beneath a government cover-up, most likely. After all, the Roswell Incident is infamous. Roswell Army Air Field in New Mexico issued a press release claiming they’d captured a “flying disk” in 1947. And then it was retracted. Nothing more than a weather balloon, they claimed. Tell me that doesn’t scream conspiracy.

Maybe there were recovered spacecraft in a hangar at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio, where my dad was stationed in the late 1970s. That’s where (and when) my fascination in UFOs really blossomed. I read everything I could find about Project Blue Book and kept my eyes on the skies, hoping for my own close encounter of the unknown kind.

Later, as an adult, I became acquainted with a retired Airman who had been stationed at Area 51. While he never crossed paths with ET, he did tell me interesting tales concerning strawberry ice cream stockpiles in the cantina. That baffled me until I learned that strawberry ice cream is allegedly an alien guilty pleasure.

When I met Tara, she regaled me with stories of strange objects she’d seen in the sky during her many trips across remote stretches of Nevada.

They wanted some comments from me, but I wasn’t at liberty to do that. So, all I could do is keep my mouth shut. And General Ramey is the one who…told the newspapers…it is nothing more than a weather observation balloon. Of course, we both knew differently.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Jesse Marcell, who gathered debris from a ranch in Roswell, New Mexico, in July 1947.

My pseudo-belief was tempered with a heavy dose of skepticism. I could never quite sign off on the whole “UFOs are real” thing. I have never had much patience for conspiracy theories. In fact, I ended a friendship with somebody who refused to believe the U.S. wasn’t behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Another close friend is sure Courtney Love murdered Kurt Cobain.

I just can’t even with that.

In Washington state, one of my coworkers was very outspoken in her belief that UFOs exist. I listened to what she had to say, but personally, thought she was a little daffy. Some of the stuff she talked about seemed way too farfetched.

But you know what? I think I’ve come around now.

My feelings began shifting last year, when the Pentagon released three videos shot by Navy pilots depicting unidentified flying objects. They are moving impossibly fast and performing maneuvers that defy explanation.

Hmm. That was certainly interesting.

Then, on June 25, the Pentagon released a nine-page report detailing 144 unexplained UFO sightings, including those in the Navy videos. UFOs, by the way, are now officially being referred to as UAPs (Unexplained Aerial Phenomena) to indicate that the government is taking them seriously. Tomato, to-mah-to. They’ll always be UFOs to me.

Every day for at least a couple years.

U.S. Navy Lt. Ryan Graves on how often he spotted UFOs.

The report didn’t clear much up. Only one of the 144 sightings could be explained, leaving the Pentagon to concede that there are at least 143 unexplained sightings since 2004. Basically, the report concludes:

  • There is no evidence for aliens, but…
  • There is no evidence aliens don’t exist.

Those looking for a definitive answer were probably disappointed, but the mere fact that the Pentagon won’t rule out the existence of UFOs and aliens is kind of astonishing, in my opinion. It lends credence to a subject that has long been taboo among scientists.

My personal belief is that there is very compelling evidence that we may not be alone.

Luis Elizondo, Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, U.S. Pentagon

So, when Netflix released a six-part docuseries called Top Secret UFO Projects: Declassified a few weeks ago, I was all in.

It’s a very compelling program. Go into it with an open mind, and you might find yourself walking away a believer. For somebody like me…already teetering on the edge of belief…it’s enough to finally convince me. Of what, exactly? In a nutshell, I believe the government has known about the existence of UFOs for decades and kept it a secret from the American public. In all likelihood, they have recovered wreckage from some of these aircraft and reverse-engineered the alien technology. It’s possible that some UFO sightings aren’t even extraterrestrial in origin, but byproducts of all this secret research.

Famous photo taken by Paul Trent in McMinnville, Oregon (May 1950)

I know, this all sounds kinda nutty. I remind myself of that coworker I used to roll my eyes at. Why she went on and on about Blink-182’s Tom DeLonge was beyond me. What did he have to do with UFOs?! (Plenty, it turns out.)

And yet…I just can’t get over so many unexplained incidents, some of which have been observed by multiple eyewitnesses. Aside from Roswell (total cover-up!), here are a few particularly intriguing ones:

  1. Pilot Kenneth Arnold reported seeing nine “circular-type” unidentified objects flying in formation north of Mount Rainier in 1947.
  2. Fighter jets were scrambled over Washington, D.C. twice in July 1952 when UFOs were spotted on radar by numerous air traffic controllers. The incident, known as “The Big Flap,” involved onscreen blips that flew between 100-130 mph before zipping away at speeds approaching 7,000 mph. Headline in The Washington Post: “Saucer Outran Jet, Pilot Reveals.”
  3. In December 1980, three people in Dayton, Texas, were driving through the woods when they were followed by a hovering diamond-shaped craft with flames coming out of the bottom. Mesmerized, they got out of their car, only to experience health problems including burns, blisters, nausea, vomiting, and weakness. This is referred to as the Cash-Landrum Incident.
  4. Hundreds of eyewitnesses spotted lights from a mysterious V-shaped craft hovering over the skies of Arizona in March 1997. Dubbed the Phoenix Lights Incident, it’s one of the most well-documented mass sightings in U.S. history. Pilot Fife Symington said, “I know just about every machine that flies. It was bigger than anything that I’ve ever seen. It remains a great mystery.”
  5. A UFO was caught on video flying across the Rafael Hernandez Airport Runway in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, at speeds approaching 120 mph, in April 2013. At one point it splits into two parts before dropping into the ocean. A report by the Scientific Coalition for UFOology concludes, The object…is of unknown origin. There is no explanation for an object capable of traveling under water at over 90 mph with minimal impact as it enters the water, through the air at 120 mph at low altitude through a residential area without navigational lights, and finally to be capable of splitting into two separate objects. No bird, no balloon, no aircraft, and no known drones have that capability.

That calls for a mic drop.

I’m convinced the truth is being doled out in manageable bites to prevent mass hysteria. Eventually, we’ll know everything.

What do you think? Are UFOs real?

29 thoughts on “Strawberry Ice Cream, Phoenix Lights, & Mysterious Blips: Why I Believe in UFOs

  1. You might like The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch. 2 seasons now about a mysterious ranch in Utah. Part supernatural, part UAP. I had always heard the legends of the Skinwalker associated with Native American culture and originally tuned in thinking more historical/native myth & legend documentary. You want some interesting reports to chew on and puzzle over, this might be right up your alley Mark.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve heard of Skinwalker Ranch but don’t know much about it. Thank you for the recommendation. I definitely want to delve more deeply into UFOs now.

      One of the things I learned from the Netflix docuseries was the fact that, in some Native American cultures – like the Lakota here in South Dakota – aliens are accepted as part of the universe in the same way as buffalo and blades of grass. The Lakota call them “star people.” In fact, Black Elk, a renowned Lakota medicine man, basically had a close encounter with aliens. Pretty interesting stuff!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s intriguing to investigate, and as I think someone else commented, it seems pretty presumptuous to believe humans are the totality of all life forms even though that could lead down a slippery rabbit hole of discord based on belief systems…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I have no idea if UFOs really exist but if they do I hope the aliens are like Mork, fun-loving and without any hostility toward us. It’d be nice to have some friends around the universe. 🛸

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nanu nanu!

      True story: Mork & Mindy was my favorite sitcom at the time. I even had a yellow Mork & Mindy lunchbox that I brought to school every day. Not surprising, given this was the period when my UFO fascination really began to blossom.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I do believe that people see things that have no explanation, but I’m less likely to believe in aliens. And while I think the government covers up stuff, I’m more inclined to believe it’s because they need to cover their ass or keep secrets from our enemies (who we seem to have in increasing numbers).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I figure, if UFOs exist, somebody (or some thing needs to pilot them. Unless they’re drones that can be controlled from light years’ away. Which I suppose is possible if they’ve got the technology to build UFOs in the first place.

      A lot of them could also be top-secret weapons and aircraft. Who knows!


  4. I’m skeptical of everything, but I am especially skeptical of eyewitness accounts. People think they see stuff all the time. How are UFO sightings any different from Big Foot, the Loch Ness Monster, or supposed religious miracles? Humans are very, very bad eyewitnesses. (I learned this sitting in on my mom’s law school class when I was 8. There was a guy in a gorilla suit involved. Subsequent studies about the human brain and the pliable nature of our memories have only reinforced this fact.)

    Video evidence, though? Still skeptical, but less so. However, it’s interesting that much of it is coming out in a time when special effects are commonplace. The U.S. military lies all the time. But are they lying about the aliens or the supposed alien coverup?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The video evidence kind of pushed me over the brink. That Puerto Rico video, which I had never seen before, is especially compelling. If you watch the whole thing through, they’re right: the craft literally splits into two. Blew my mind when I saw that.

      Honestly, I think Paul Trent’s 60 y/o black and white photo is one of the more compelling pieces of evidence. He insisted on his deathbed it was all legit, and I can’t figure out why a rancher who shunned publicity would make something like that up. Not that we are ever able to know peoples’ true motivations.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow. What a great read this morning. I am a believer. Well, I’ve always *thought* there must be something to all these sightings over the years. And the government? Would they try to lie to us? Cover up truths? Asbsofreakinglutely.

    My oldest is a very deep thinker, avid reader, and all-around intelligent person. I asked her a few months ago when the topic of Aliens/Ufos came up if she believed in them and she said something about the fact that why should we believe WE are the only intelligent species out there?
    Strawberry Ice cream and the Blink 182 guy? Those were both new to me fun facts!

    Thanks for putting this post together, I know must have been a bit of work. I loved the videos!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, and thank you for the kind comments! It took a lot more research than most of my today-I-kayaked-and-the-water-was-nice posts, but I really enjoyed putting this together. It’s nice to share something more in-depth once in a while.

      Mostly, I’m glad nobody has called me a kook. Yet. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Several years ago I visited a friend from college who is one of the smartest people I know. He had several books on his shelf about UFOs. I was like, whaaaa? So he shared some stories. Honestly, I still don’t know what to think. When are they going to go beyond just stuff in the air? When an alien lands, I’ll feel definitely about it.

    Liked by 1 person

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