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I (Think) I Saw a UFO

Halloween '12

Maybe. Or maybe I’m just nuts.

Call me crazy, but I think I saw a UFO.

This isn’t going to help my case, but I saw it on the drive home from a Marilyn Manson concert. I was driving down the 198, hoping to regain my sense of hearing by the morning and fighting to stay awake for the last couple miles of my journey from the concert in Rochester, when I looked to the north and saw a green orb fall from the sky. The orb fell straight down, made no discernible noise, and was trailed by bright green streaks on either side. The words “What the fuck!” came out of my mouth involuntarily.

This happened at approximately one o’clock in the morning on October 17. Naturally, the first thing I did was tweet what I had experienced. At 1:05am I tweeted, “I swear I just saw a green orb fall from the sky in Buffalo.”

Two minutes before my initial tweet, at 1:03am a man from Toronto tweeted his observance of the falling green orb. “@chris_huey: Anyone else just see something green fall out of the sky?” He contacted me to confirm that he had seen this object as well, and then retweeted two other individuals in Toronto who had seen the same thing at the same time. “Don’t know if I’m crazy or suffering from lack of sleep but I just saw a green, glowing star thing crash down to Earth from the night sky,” one person said.

This was a UFO.

The tweets validated my experience; someone else, albeit 100 miles away, had seen the same thing as me. To me, that meant I was not technically crazy. My own senses had not deceived me, but would believing that this was an actual, genuine visitor from another galaxy or solar system qualify me as a loon? Perhaps, but it’s possible, isn’t it? Carl Sagan once said that there are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on all the beaches on Earth. What if each star has eight planets and a Pluto, just like ours? I mean, you’ve got to be crazy not to believe in aliens then, right? Now who’s crazy?

Let’s backtrack. This was just a UFO, and the term unidentified flying object does not necessarily mean that this was a sentient being navigating an interstellar saucer from another galaxy, far, far away. It could have been some sort of neon green weather balloon falling at a fantastic rate through our atmosphere. Or maybe it was just light from Venus reflecting off swamp gas or something. I began to do some actual research. I called the Buffalo branch of the National Weather Service to see if anyone there could shed some light on this strange green floating thing I had seen hovering momentarily over Buffalo. I spoke with a meteorologist but as soon as I uttered the phrase UFO (which I immediately regretted saying), he indicated that this didn’t sound “weather related,” and as a meteorologist, this was outside of his particular brand of expertise.

For a brief moment I considered that this could be some kind of government-backed conspiracy and that this guy was in on it, paid off to lie to nosey sky-watchers. I pictured him sitting at a table next to Dracula and a gang of giant green lizard-men drinking goblets of human blood and reveling in how well they had pulled off the Kennedy assassination while stroking their pet aliens fresh from the farm out back of Area 51. I felt crazy again. I quickly came to my senses though and realized that when it comes to UFOs and conspiracies, the Internet is my only friend.

After some searching I found websites on green fireballs in the sky, a shoddy video of a UFO hovering over Orchard Park during a fireworks show in July, something called Project Twinkle—purportedly a US military study that investigated mysterious flying green fireballs in the late 1940s—and a blog called the Vike Factor, in which paranormal investigator Brian Vike posts the latest news on eerie lights in the sky from all over the country. He had stories about abductions, floating black triangles in the sky, and similar hovering orbs of various colors.

I searched the Vike Factor for sightings in Buffalo and turned up a page of UFO sightings spanning the last 45 years. “15 Orange Balls of Light Over Buffalo, New York” read one headline, dated November 6, 2010. Further down there was a story from 1967 about a huge transparent glowing red sphere sitting on the ground in Cheektowaga. Then I saw it: a small news bulletin dated October 17, 2012 on the very same green orb I had seen over Buffalo. Excited, I contacted Vike.

Finally, another human who might empathize with me; just knowing that he existed put me squarely back in the sane lane. At the age of 61, Vike has been running various UFO hunter blogs since 2000, including his latest: At his home base in Houston, British Columbia, Canada, he’s contacted regularly for his expert opinion on lights in the sky. When I talked to him, he was preparing for an interview with the Discovery Channel, which recently recruited him to appear on a program airing in January called Alien Mysteries.

Vike has received nearly 1,000 UFO reports this year, and over a dozen reports of the green orb over Buffalo. Surely he would be on my side; he’d share all of the secrets he had accumulated about aliens and visitors over the last decade. We would talk for hours about secret agency coverups and extraterrestrial technology like Velcro and Instagram. He would probably warn me that if I spilled the beans about our neighbors from galaxies abroad I would be surreptitiously killed and that my family would be told it was suicide or a terrible Segway accident. If the truth were out there, he would know it.

“I am 99.9 percent sure what folks saw over Buffalo would have been a meteor,” said Vike in a phone interview.

Great, crazy again. The UFO guy didn’t even think it was a UFO.

“The color depends on what the rock is made of,” Vike said. “For example, a rock made of magnesium will create a bluish green color.”

If a meteor is made of iron it will burn yellow, and if it is sodium it could be orange, he told me. Speed makes a difference too, he said. A slow meteor will be orange or red, and faster one will be blue.

I guess that explains it. I don’t think I saw a UFO. In fact, there is nothing more boring in the universe than what I actually saw: a rock.

If you’d like to share your UFO experiences use the hashtag #BuffaloUFO and tweet @Artvoice.

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