In the year 1999, I drove from San Marcos, TX to Sugar Land, TX to meet my girlfriend’s family. She had already made the trip a few days earlier, but I couldn’t go with her because I had to work. After my shift ended, I drove to Sugar Land alone, and I decided to take a more scenic route through the country instead of a major highway.
Around 11pm, I was driving down a two-lane country road, about an hour outside of Sugar Land. There were no buildings or street lights in any direction, nor were there very many cars on the road. The sky was moonless, not that I would have been able to see it because of the low cloud ceiling. I kept glancing upward, because… well, I really like clouds, and it’s not very often you get to see a low cloud ceiling blanketing the sky in Texas. Usually, mountain-sized clouds lumber across the gigantic, open skyline, high in the atmosphere.
That’s when I noticed something even more out of place. I kept seeing lights flash from the clouds above the field to my left. I couldn’t see any aircraft, but lights glowed through the clouds, as if something bright was flying inside them, obscured from view. It couldn’t have been an airplane because I was keeping up with it driving 50 miles per hour. At first, I assumed it was a helicopter, but when I looked closer, I realized there were nine lights, each a perfect circle. Six were arranged in a ring that rotated clockwise. In the middle, the other three lights rotated counterclockwise in a perfect circle. Every once and a while the lights would change directions in unison. Then the outer ring of lights would rotate counterclockwise and the inner ring would spin clockwise.
I strained my eyes to see the source of the lights, but it never came out of the clouds. I started to get the feeling the source of the light was either invisible, or it was being projected upwards from the ground like a spotlight, but the lights were traveling over corn fields and patches of trees. I followed the unidentified flying objects for at least half an hour, constantly almost crashing as I looked up instead of at the road. They stayed steady at fifty miles per hour the whole time. I kept waiting for them to suddenly accelerate and shoot out of sight, but they never did. The show ended when they veered North and moved away over farmlands where I had no road to chase them.
When I got to my girlfriend’s house, all I could talk about was the UFO I saw. She was intrigued for a minute, but she didn’t take it seriously and got bored with my ranting quickly. I was bursting with excitement, but I had nowhere to direct it. I didn’t have any video since smartphones didn’t exist at the time. I wanted to tell the whole world about my experience, but since I couldn’t prove what had happened, there was no one I could convince.
A few months later, I joined the U.S. Air Force. After completing basic training in San Antonio, Texas and military trade school in Biloxi, Mississippi, I got stationed at Aviano, Italy, which has had its own share of UFO sightings. Some Italians believe there’s an underground bunker underneath the base that contains a crashed UFO and the body of at least one alien.
The base did belong to the Nazis during WWII, who dug miles of tunnels underneath it, but the American forces supposedly collapsed them all so enemies couldn’t use them to sneak behind the perimeter. So I suppose there could be large spaces under there nobody knows about, but I had a top-secret security clearance, and my job took me to every building. I never heard or saw anything to suggest Aviano has a UFO or aliens.
One Friday after work, I drove a car full of friends North across the Italian/Austrian border to the city of Graz to check out the nightlife. By the time we neared Graz, it was already dark, and there was a low cloud ceiling, which is very common in Austria. Not far from town, I saw the exact same pattern of lights shining down through the clouds, spinning in concentric circles.
My eyes bulged, and I shouted for everyone to stick their heads out the windows. They all got excited when they saw the lights too. I told them we were going to follow the UFO as far as we could, and they all agreed, not that I had asked. The chase didn’t last long, as we caught up to them hovering above a very fancy McDonald’s restaurant, which had a spotlight on the roof projecting the circles across the bottom of the clouds.
All my friends mocked me abusively… as if they didn’t almost pee their pants when they first saw the “UFO” themselves. I deserved it though, and I continued to beat myself up for years afterward. The worst part wasn’t the shame. I want to believe there are alien spaceships in our skies. For a few years, I lived in a reality where that was a confirmed fact, but that magical time of my life ended in a McDonald’s parking lot in Austria.
My story does teach something novel about our world though. If you’ll remember, the lights I saw in Texas were traveling at fifty miles per hour for half an hour, in the middle of nowhere. The only explanation is that some red necks put a spotlight in the back of their truck and went driving through the countryside freaking out motorists like myself. That’s fucking hilarious, and it’s almost as bizarre as alien spaceships. I have to wonder how many other UFO sightings were caused by humans behaving absurdly and probably drunk.
If you enjoyed this post, you’ll also like these:
Conspiracy Theories and Theorists
- My theory on every major conspiracy theory
- My unifying conspiracy theory
- My ghost story
- Have a sane perception of conspiracy theories
- Don’t give conspiracy theorists your money
- This Was Your Life: The conspiracy theorist (Comic)
My Life Stories (in chronological order)
- What’s it like to be a twin?
- The eggnog story
- The cow-poline story
- The time I got shot
- My ghost story
- The “good porn” story
- How I became a Christian and then lost my faith
- Piancanvollo’s traveling snail
- The time I got HIV
- An American Expat Visits the “Occupy Auckland” protest: Part 1, Part 2
- The time I worked in an apple orchard
- The time I worked in a vineyard
- My experience with the TSA
- This is how we live now: Part 1
- This is how we live now: Part 2
- This is how we live now: Part 3
- What it was like in Houston during Hurricane Harvey
- The aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Houston
- An imagined conversation with my abusive, narcissistic father (Comic)