Friday, 23 February 2018

Watch the Skies

Watch the skies.

Sky watching is something that I've always done. Fascinated with what lies beyond our own, meagre existence, I've spent hours with my eyes turned heavenwards in the hopes that the questions that roll through my mind will one day be answered.

And spread across the velvety night, things have appeared. Stars, satellites, aircraft, and a few objects that were never identified. The red star that faded to away. The clouds that had been punctured by something other than mere weather. The flicker of light that was neither plane nor satellite. The metallic orb that lazily drifted across the heavens only to disappear in the blink of an eye. The pair of lights that spent three nights dancing above my house.

My fascination with the skies started young. I found myself immersed in the world of the extraterrestrial from the time that I was able to wield a library card. Books that would be classed as out of my reading range were sneaked in to the house and hidden under pillows and behind toys. There was that burning desire to know whether we were alone in the universe and what, if anything, was visiting us.

The stories that were told in those early books were full of fascination, wonder and, to some degree, a little bit of terror. They spoke of incidents that had happened many years before my birth and had photographs of crafts that were supposedly from other worlds.

As I hit my teenage years, I lapped up episodes of the X-Files and signed up to SETI. In more recent years, I've come in to contact with people who, like myself, are also searching for answers but keeping a healthy sense of skepticism in their lives (it's good to ask questions but don't fall too far down the rabbit hole). One of them treated me to a care package from Roswell and it's no accident that I named my publishing company Roswell Publishing.

A few years ago, I wanted to go back to a prominent time in UFO lore. During World War II, mysterious balls of light were seen flying alongside fighter aircraft. This didn't just happen once; it happened numerous times and, for me, is one of our biggest UFO incidents. The balls of light appeared to be under intelligent control and were believed to be either St Elmo's fire or one of the German army's many wonder weapons. Yet there is very little information on the subject and what literature there is has been buried because the term that was given to these balls of light was lifted from a book and used.

Foo fighters.

I wonder how many articles begin with a variation of that paragraph?!

Tweaked search terms yielded some results. But, sooner or later, you'd hit a brick wall and find yourself reading about the band. It was frustrating and eventually I found myself going down a different road, one that I never imagined that I'd take.

My bookshelves are now lined with books on UFOlogy and my iPad has apps to help me identify aircraft and satellites. Every night I still go outside and take a look at the sky above me.

I did write a book in the end. It just happens to be about Foo Fighters, the band and not foo fighters, the aerial phenomenon. It'll be out later this year.

Maybe, just maybe, this is where the path that I started walking when I was six years old was supposed to take me...