Wednesday, December 19, 2007

UFO Course Mail and Startling Student Report

The article I wrote for Argosy UFO in 1977 about the UFO course at Onondaga Community College continued to draw mail from across the U.S. and from other countries, much of it reaching me directly because I had included a post office box address in the piece. Some letters went straight to the college, which couldn't fail to notice (see), and in this instance a letter (see) from a 14-year-old in Iowa was forwarded to me.

Numerous letters were received from young teenagers in the late seventies, and while I have little doubt that the movies "Star Wars" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" influenced UFO interest in some of them, I was frequently impressed by their obvious interest in science. The overwhelming amount of letters received from young people indicated admirable curiosity, and I'm sure many of them went on to obtain degrees in the sciences. When one explores the UFO issue in depth, there is always the added benefit of exposure to multiple disciplines.

Regarding the course itself, one of my students, employed in sales for an airline company, approached me after class one night in 1978 and told me an interesting story about an older incident. In the fall of 1965 he was attending college in Ithaca, NY (we certainly revisit Ithaca a lot on this blog!) and one night around 11:00 he and a girlfriend were driving up a hill, on the way to park in an out-of-the-way farm field. Nearing the top of the road, they noticed a car speeding past them from the opposite direction, and the girlfriend pointed out that she knew the car, and in it were a female friend of hers and her boyfriend. They were amazed to witness the automobile departing the area at breakneck speed.

My student and his girlfriend reached the vacant farm field and parked the car, by then having forgotten about the speeding auto. However, almost at once the two began to feel extreme anxiety and agitation, emotions so intense that the young woman began to cry. They even locked the car doors, thinking they were being watched. Shortly, they left the area, not knowing what fear had overtaken them.

The next day, the two women met one another, and the one in the speeding car explained their haste on the road: A brilliantly glowing object, unlike anything either had ever witnessed, had landed behind trees in the same farm field. Gripped by apprehension, they hit the road and sped away.

According to my student, ever since that night he has felt exceptional anxiety at other times, only to learn later that a UFO had been seen within a few miles of the area where he and his girlfriend had been so frightened that evening in 1965.