Under the Stars

LAST NIGHT I STAYED at a little bedroom with a big skylight three feet over the bed, lots of windows and stars.  That took me back to the days I used to sleep in the back yard with my telescope and watch the sky.

It was then when I saw (I think) a pair of UFOs.  It was at midnight, clear and dark, no moon.  It was the Fall of 1951, no satellites, then.   I was nodding at my constellations when, south of Lyra, moving from west to east, came two star-colored lights, in formation, about as bright as second magnitude stars, and way up high.  No sound, no contrails, and faster than any airplane then or now.  They flew some 130 – 140 degrees, from one edge of the sky to the other, in three, maybe four seconds.  Then gone.

I haven’t seen any UFOs since that night.

Years later I flew with the Air Force for a while, went through gunnery school southeast of Phoenix, less than an hour by F-86F from Las Vegas.   Learned some things I’d remember forever, but wouldn’t even think about till I opened a book two days ago.

Millennial Hospitality Is one of five books by Charles Hall.  They are detailed stories of his life in 1967- 1968, when he was an Air Force weather observer in the desert north of Las Vegas.  He had quite a few encounters with what he called the Tall White aliens, not far from the gunnery ranges used by the pilots of Nellis AFB.

I’m reading the second of his books now.  Fascinating (to me), in spite of the unending details of his stories.  Fascinating?  Why?

Because he wrote about details that I remembered from the gunnery range.  I believed that he had in fact lived some of his story, that he had personally been there.   He wrote about skip-bombing on the ranges, for instance, something as far as I know no one else finds important enough to mention.  He wrote about picking up bombs to recycle them (who would write about the bombs, except those who knew they were 25-pound solid iron practice bombs, with a shot-gun smoke shell in the nose to mark where they struck the ground).  He wrote about the air-to-air targets that were dropped after each session with aerial gunnery pilots.  Nobody writes about these things…they were tucked under fifty years of flying for me and they were part of his life at the time.  It would have taken days, working on a gunnery range, even to know the details.

He  said he was there for two years, and the aliens he wrote about might have been real.  It was the first account about the aliens, apart from the stories that they they’re abducting and releasing us from time to time.  Those stories are probably true, but they don’t tell us much about who the aliens may be.  Nothing about what frightens them, how they protect themselves, who they think we are, what kind of humor they like, what happens when they go to Las Vegas, what they buy, whom they love, their anti-gravity units, what’s in it for them by coming to Earth, what humans they talk with, why they’re kind to us, why they kill us, sometimes.

North of Las Vegas/Henderson, of course, are the supposedly secret Areas 51, 53, 54… and there are some 850 reports of sightings listed by National UFO Reportinc Center.

See http://www.nuforc.org/webreports/ndxlNV.html .  We can see reports in any American states by changing the NV (Nevada) in the address to the abbreviation of any state.  Click on the date to see the full report.  How many people, do you think, see some UFO and then call a number to report it?   I never thought to do that, so there could be a few more events than listed there.

Reading Mr, Hall’s recollection takes some patience, but he will tell you his ideas about the Tall White (Nordic) aliens.  He said that he was the only person allowed to wander about the aliens resort in the desert.  “Wander about” is done with some care.  If you see one, he says, don’t you dare try to approach them or touch them (or even worse don’t try to touch their children) without specific permission from them to walk closer.  I sense that this much of his books is true.  I’m willing to be wrong on that, but I enjoy having a little information now, and I’ll update it whenever I can

It’s easy for me to discount the author’s accounts of his successful experiences, guiding two 707’s and later, a flight of F-105s by relayed instructions to land in terrible weather.  Those could be true.  Yet somehow I don’t doubt his accounts of the aliens and their human comrades at the high echelons of the Air Force.  It’s top secret, apparently, for the military, but the aliens don’t care what we know.  They allowed him (I guess by not killing him) to talk about all his experiences to anyone.  Once you make an agreement with a Tall White alien, he said, you must never break your word!  The Air Force had no choice but to agree with the aliens that Mr. Hall could say whatever he liked for as long as he lived.  Not one comment from the military to silence a former weather observer about his top secret life, as he writes, as he talks about aliens (see “youtube charles hall”). Hoping, perhaps, that no one would believe him.   I don’t think he’s making it up.

I’m learning much from his books, as gradually decades of official denial erodes by so many books of personal experience, by my days in the Air Force, and by his.

I doubt that I shall ever see a Tall White alien.  Of course I may never see a Kodiak bear cub in the wilds of Alaska, but I’m reminded by friends from there not to hug the cute little bears when their mom is in sight.  Treat  grizzly bear cubs with the same distant courtesy as we’ve learned to greet aliens from other planets, Mr. Hall writes.  I think that’s good advice.

And I wonder about the aliens.

36 thoughts on “Under the Stars

  1. One day when I was about 14, I was standing looking out the window in the living room at tall, dark storms clouds roiling over the rooftops of houses to the south. The sun somehow found a way through the clouds, and a ray or two illuminated a flock of white pigeons or doves, which turned in unison and flew toward the clouds. I was mesmerized by the beauty of dark clouds, sunlight, and white birds.

    Many years later, standing at my bedroom window during a similar storm, shivers ran down my back and my mind ‘remembered’ that it hadn’t been storm clouds, it had been a huge UFO, the sun’s rays the light from inside, and the pigeons were not birds at all, but smaller scout ships returning home.

    Which version was “real”?

    • oh my….while i have never concretely seen or remember seeing aliens/ufos, unexplained events have happened to me. many times throughout my life i have gone to my grandparents house in the Arkansas Ozarks. we have seen unexplained star movements and fireballs falling from the sky but on four occasions when i would sleep in front room of the house, “storms” would come in during the night, like you described, with rolling clouds. Stuff would get blown over and there were lights that just assumed were lightning, but never any rain. I ran outside to get a patio umbrella which had blown up and hit my window, and the night was totally still, no sign of a storm, and quiet, no frogs chirping or nightbirds. CA Sharon, your storm story reminded me of those storms from my childhood.

  2. Thanks for a thoughtful and interesting post. While I’ve never seen a UFO, I most definitely believe that we are not the only sentient beings in the Universe. With billions of stars and billions of planets, I’m amazed that some people can categorically deny that there is life on other planets. Since I was a child, I’ve been an avid reader and especially loved the science fiction and fantasy genres. Now that I’m 50, it’s wonderful seeing how much of the science fiction I loved reading as a child has now become science fact. Although not in my lifetime, I’m sure that someday we’ll be traveling amongst the stars ourselves. Who knows the many wondrous things we’ll discover?

  3. This reminded me of several years ago as a new truck driver I was rolling across I40 late in the night, my CB on but not talking (being a woman I keep to myself) and as I was dropping down off the hill towards Needles there to the left a light shot across the sky, but didn’t go straight it darted first across then back. It looked nothing like an aircraft of any kind I had ever seen nor any other kind of light. There was silence and then on the CB a male voice asked if anyone saw that. More silence then another male voice said It is probably best not to say anything more.
    It was silent on the CB for a long while as I am sure all the others who saw that light pondered what we had witnessed. Yes I believe in UFO’s and life beyond this earth of ours of places we can go and see if we open our minds to it, and of life unending once we leave this school.

    Richard your book Illusions is one of my favorites, have read it many many times to remind myself when I get caught up in my physical life that life is much much more. My best to you and thanks for sharing this website with those of us who have loved your books for many years and felt you were part of our “public family”.

  4. I finished ‘ILLUSIONS’ again tonight. Your words have been a part of my journey since. 1985 when I first read ‘Jonathan’ and felt that I was flying. Now they are here again and I can only say thank you

  5. While I was in my twenties my husband and I were good friends with the others in our kennel club and often visited each other in the evenings. While at a get-together one of our friends told us about how he likes to go out and look up at the stars at night for the fun of it — and how lately several times he had seen what he thought was a UFO (or maybe a plane?) way up in the sky. He talked several of us into going out to look for it. After being there on the grass looking up at the stars for about forty minutes, we noticed what looked like a satellite passing over about the same brightness as a big star, only this had flashing red and green lights on the sides like a small airplane. Because of the lights and the fact that it was going in one direction at a consistent speed, my first thought was that it was a very high-flying plane. To our amazement though after going about a third of the way across the sky, it suddenly went back to its right at a sharp angle (WAY more than ninety degrees) with no curve in the turn and increased speed. After crying out in excitement, we all were silent for several moments. So there we were left wondering — experimental plane? UFO? or what? I can still see it in my mind — and I still wonder.

    • If we’re flying an airplane, we can’t instantly change direction. It always takes some time for us to make a turn. The instant course change of a UFO is simply impossible for human airplanes. Watch an airshow, and the only time you’ll see an aircraft change direction suddenly is when it’s climbing vertically, comes to a stop, then falls back toward the ground. Aside from that, airplanes can roll swiftly and change direction swiftly, but not instantly. The faster an airplane is moving, the wider the turns it must make.
      UFO’s can make turns instantly, the same way we can change a flashlight beam on the wall, or play chase for a kitten with a laser pointer.
      We’re like kittens for the UFOs to play with…they suddenly disappear, change direction instantly, or switch in a second from one shape to a different one. Kittens are puzzled when this happens, so are we.

      • I’ve been in and seem planes doing aerobatics and trying to do tricks but never anything like that except vertically. That’s why I thought and still think it was a UFO — because of the sudden change of direction and at such a sharp angle (like point of a triangle). I found it confusing though that the light it was giving off was blinking red on one side and green on the other like is required for earth planes. I found myself wondering that if it was indeed a UFO from another place, why would it have flight lights like an earth plane. Then there are those stories (true or not) of the USA developing “secret” experimental planes based on alien technology but I wonder if they would have the red and green flight lights.

  6. Is it possible we are the aliens and other higher life forms are searching for us. Some of them may have found us but after observing us closely they maybe running as far away as possible from us – hence the super fast U turns 🙂

  7. Some say that triangular UFOs are American ships. I have read that, I have no idea if some of it’s true or not. Thousands of reports tell of every possible coloring and lights on UFOs.
    I just found a book called “We Discovered Alien Bases on the Moon II — Revised Edition.” Published in its tenth edition in 1997. Some say that the aliens have warned us not to continue the programs determined to explore the moon. Some astronauts mention that UFOs and aliens are real. See “Edgar Mitchell on aliens.” This is not a UFO website, but there are mountains of information if you’re interested in knowing.

  8. Years ago, I was standing by the main window of the appartment I lived in the northern part of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. It was a dark evening, it was stormy weather with heavy clouds. Suddenly I saw about 6 or 7 discs of light revolving in a perfect circle. I was amazed and impressed. “This must be UFO’s” I thought, “whatever they might be”. As I am very interested in anything that flies I kept looking concentrated and critical. Suddenly the clouds broke and I saw it was a full moon and the light of the moon was playing a beautiful trick with the clouds.

    In my younger years I read a lot of books about UFO’s. Gradually I have become very sceptical about this subject and the idea of aliens visiting Earth, although it looks realistic to me that there must be intelligent creatures somewhere in the Universe. What I saw was something which can be explained by conventional fysics, but it was an awesome experience and a fine example of the miracles Nature (or God if you like to think) has in store for us to enjoy!

  9. There have been reports of ufos from every country in the world and every state in the union–seems to me that’s proof of the scientific method kind. Living here in NM, I find such reports are not uncommon, and I’m pretty convinced I’ve seen them, too. Don’t know why we find it so hard to believe. Thanks for sharing.
    p.s.
    I keep A Gift of Wings by my bedside and re-read “Too Many Dumb Pilots” last night and it still makes me smile.

    • This reminds me of the day I was making my first long solo cross-country flight in a Cessna 152. I wondered why the plane was climbing so slow after take off. Suddenly I discovered that the carburettor heat was on: it was a very scary moment. I never made that mistake any more!

      Indeed, there are a lot of UFO sightings all over the world, but what I know of the subject, more than 90 percent can be explained as cosmic or atmospheric activities or incorrect sightings of aircraft or by time disturbed memories. For instance: the famous Rosswell incident, whatever happened there, is based on eyewitness-accounts long ago and witnesses known as norious fantasts.

      The US Air Force made the unbelievable blunder to report that something was crashed and that it was a possible spaceship from outer space. After the commotion that followed this report was quickly whitdrawn and it was turned into a weather balloon. There are two possibilities of the secrecy around the Rosswell-incident.

      1. The airbase near Roswell was the home of the first nuclear unit of the USAF: the same unit that dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki: a top secret elite unit in 1947.

      2. There was a top-secret plan of the USAF to launch a large fleet of unmanned balloons with camera’s and sensors with had to be carried by jetstreams to enter Soviet Airspace. I think it was called Skyhook, but I’m not sure. It was cancelled, but held secret: no country will admit that it intrudes the airspace of another country without permission. That’s the reason why the famous U-2 spyplane was named in that way. U stands for Utility: that can mean anything: most U-aircraft are twin-engined propeller aircraft or businessjets meant for VIP transportation, light cargo transport, etc.

      So, that’s in short why I am sceptical about UFO’s, but I try to keep an open mind and there are a lot of things going on of which there is no or not yet a conventional scientific explanation.

      • I lived in Roswell for about five years (1995-2000) and happened to stay in an apartment above what is now a music studio. It used to be a funeral home, the one that received a call the night of the Roswell crash from the Air Force base there, asking for five child-size coffins, which this funeral home supplied. Many people witnessed the ufo low overhead the night of the crash and reported it. They don’t believe it was a weather balloon.

  10. In the Summer of 1951 when I was a senior in high school in Nashville, TN I and some friends were standing in the driveway when we saw a saucer shaped light, orange in color pass silently overhead moving at the speed of a single place jet plane. As noted, it was silent! It proceeded to circle around a spotlight sweeping the sky advertising a new shopping mall that had just been completed. Then it flew out of sight. Nothing exciting, but I’ll never forget that.

  11. One evening in late Autumn, about twenty years ago, I was looking at the stars in the clear sky when I saw a white light, as of an aircraft moving slowly across the sky at some height. I was just about to look away, when the light turned to a dull orange colour and, without any period of acceleration, suddenly started moving at about ten times its previous speed. After a few seconds it suddenly resumed its original speed, without any period of deceleration. As it moved across the sky it repeated this fast/slow manoeuvre, then disappeared from sight at high speed.

    The following month I bought a copy of an astronomy magazine which carried a letter from a reader describing a similar observation from a place further along the UK south coast. The letter also referred to previous correspondence on the subject.

    It is one thing to accelerate swiftly, but to decelerate instantaneously in mid air?

    What would we do if an alien race introduced itself openly to us and told us about a universe teeming with life, about the reality of travel through wormholes or higher dimensions? How would it change our beliefs about life, love, religion, evolution…. to know that we are just tucked away in a little backwater in the universe, thousands of years behind other civilizations? Would we stop fighting each other, or simply carry the conflict into space…?

    • Ian, i am jumping in to answer your challenging question. I personally think it would not affect me anymore than anything else would. I think i would go about my life the same way….living it to my true self. I, myself, sometimes feel like an alien right here, now. Perhaps, it is due to the fact that i have chosen to live abroad, away from my cultural origins, which help me to be very conscious of my actions and thoughts while living this life.

      • Thanks for your comment, Jennifer. If we all continue as normal, the logical extension is that:

        * Those who are already power hungry would seek to gain military advantage from the presence of the technologically advanced aliens.

        * Those who are seeking salvation would turn to the aliens for guidance.

        * Others would seek to exploit our visitors for business purposes, technological innovation, personal power and influence.

        Life as usual, in other words but on a larger scale?

    • It would be quite an event if high-developed aliens would visit Earth in the open. That could be the way to end all kind of political and economic problems if we could learn a lot from them. And in the case they would have imperialist plans, they could unite mankind to fight for our freedom.

      But on the other hand: is it not an old kind of hope in human history to long for leaders or Messiahs to show us the way out of problems, misery and darkness? Jewry and Christianity are based on that.

  12. Dear Mr Bach,

    I am so very happy I have found this opportunity to let you know the immense value your books have had for me. There are no words really. I found Jonathan in my mothers bookshelf as an early teen. Illusions I found in a bookshop in southern India, at 21. Bridge across forever I read in Calcutta, working for Mother Teresa. And then all the others. Years passed, and whenever I found myself off course, your books brought me back. Other books pass in and out of my bookcase. I learn what I need, and let them go. But never yours, they stay. They are my life´s manual. My children are too young to read Jonathan, but when we see a seagull, I tell him the story.
    Dearest Mr Bach, how on earth would I have managed here, without your books…

  13. This reminded me. Saudi Arabia, August or September 1997. I was house-sitting for a hospital colleague who had gone home to Colorado for the summer. I was outside on the porch looking skywards, for no real reason. Three lights, hugely bright, ‘hung’ in the sky, very high. Then they shot off, insane speed, across the sky.

  14. One of the scariest concepts I ever heard was expressed by a philosophy teacher in University who said, “What if the world is exactly as it appears?” No science fiction, religious doctrine or horror movie has ever exacted a more frightful response in me. Why, there’d be no point to anything if that were true I thought – and I need there to be a point of some kind!
    And perhaps because of this need for a point, my curiosity and openness to every idea (including extraterrestrial life) continues to peak my interest. A recent idea to me is that the “visitors” may actually be ourselves from the future. this might in a way answer your question Richard regarding “What’s in it for the aliens”. If they were in fact us, there would probably be no further explanation required.
    After several hundred years of inter-stellar space travel at sub-light speed, we could perhaps find a suitable planet to inhabit that might have other life forms already there. I am fascinated by the question of how the new generations of humans who might arrive on such a planet might would organize themselves. It seems ridiculaous to imagine that we would somehow become divided and start to fight one another. What if we viewed the Earth as a relatively newly inhabited (by humans) world that we have just landed on. Would it change our perspective on getting along and environmental preservation? I think it would!

  15. One thing I know for sure, nothing and I mean nothing! is impossible! To think that we are the only ones is the height of arrogance to me.

  16. When I was about 16 or 17 I saw a strange thing. It may have a logical explanation for you, I couldn’t find it. I was walking home when I saw someone look at the sky. I looked, too. It wasn’t night, it was about to be, sun going down. There was a giant star, not moving at all. No other stars in the sky yet. It was really big. Bigger than any star I had seen before. I was so surprised that I stopped and looked at it for a while. Then, suddenly it started moving, and it moved so fast that it went away in a couple of seconds, maybe three. I was so shocked, as fast as a shooting star when it had fixed before. I always wondered what it was. Do you have any idea? Almost 30 years ago.

  17. I have seen bright lights in the sky with movements that didn’t coincide with the normal movements of airplanes or jets as we know them. For me it’s more difficult not to believe that there are other forms of life out there. Why would we be the only form of life in the universe? We haven’t even scratched the surface of the mysteries of all that’s out there in that vast space. It boggles the mind just to think about infinite space. I also think there are different levels of intelligence in the universe just as there are different levels of intelligence among species on our home planet. I guess maybe for us to try and understand all the different forms of life, UFOs, and the secrets of the universe would be like my cat Jack trying to read the New York Times. I also think that there’s nothing wrong with being at a certain level of intelligence because it’s probably all part of the process of our natural development. Hopefully, when the time is right, it will all be made clear to us.

  18. Nevada is odd. The desert, the heat, the sun creates gaps of focus. This maybe a common desert event, or, may be unique to Nevada. With a huge Air Force base here, along with more than 50% of the land owned by some type of government agency, it is hard to say what they do to attempt a veil of unlocatability for orbiting satellites. If you can imagine such a thing. Like the places you can go to, where an environment has been constructed within the existing environment, complete with weather and other environmental clues, to have you feel as if, you are in another location. Strange. And at the same time, full of awe and wonder at the endless possibilities.

  19. Do you ever wonder if aliens live among us? Or if the old Greek and Roman mythologies were about aliens mating with humans? Or if the angels in the Christian Bible were from elsewhere in the “heavens.” Could that be the reason some hierarchies and bloodlines wanted to stay “pure”? If we could go back far enough in our histories, would our DNA show different fathers?

  20. Richard –
    I too was inspired by your books at a young age- finding them on my parents’ bookshelves- and then reading more on my own. What are your thoughts on “The Little Prince” – I have just recently discovered this book through my daughter’s 9th grade English class. I had no idea how deep a children’s book could be- and it reminded me of picking up Jonathan Livingston Seagull as a child…

    • Antoine de Saint-Exupery took one of the worst events of his life (his crash in the Libyan desert) to meet one of the most divine (the Little Prince) and tell a story that has enchanted the world ever since. I still can’t read without crying, the place where the Prince meets the snake and goes home. An absolutely brave man, Saint-Ex, homesick for his old airplanes, his old friends, his old country, his old past.

      • ” I´ve always been very fond of the desert…you can sit down on a sand dune. You can´t see a thing. You can´t hear a thing. Yet something shines in silence…”

        The Little Prince…Nestled in in between the Messiahs handbook and The Fountainhead, in my books that stay book case.

  21. I love the discussion on aliens. I’ll add a story, back in 1971 when my roommate returned from a cabin up north, in Minnesota. Her and her boyfriends were driving on a dark country road, when bright lights appeared above their car. They slowed down to try and see, and a UFO appeared along side their car. It went their speed, following along with them. They were scared out of their wits. I was home when they arrived, and sat up most the night as they told me over and over what happened and how afraid they were. I have seen UFO’s over the years, dozens, as I often sit out at night staring at the milky way. The last one about three years ago at a friends house in upstate NY. It went across the sky, then turned at a 45 deg angle, went some distance, then turned again. I have a large skylight in my house, so I can star gaze no matter how chilly. Wish the aliens would come out in the open and talk to us. Society would be the better for it, I’m sure.

    • Has anyone used a cheap video camera mounted on the roof, to serve as a skylight? If we could see the sky at night, like Carol, we’d see so many UFOs that we’d otherwise never see.

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