It’s hard to believe that I’ve been writing this blog long enough to attend TWO Contact in the Desert conferences, but it’s true. Granted, this year’s conference was moved up a few months to avoid the searing August heat in the Mojave, but it’s still been nearly a year. I saw a lot of lectures, met a lot of people, including Travis Walton and Mike Bara of Ancient Aliens.
The highlight of this year’s conference for me was the excursion out to Giant Rock with Barbara Harris, who runs the Giant Rock Project. She’s a knowledgeable lady with fascinating tidbits from the area, and about the incredible history of Giant Rock specifically. But what happened that night at Giant Rock was what made the night for me.
After hiking up Crystal Hill (a large mound made entirely of quartz crystal), we stood under the blaring desert stars looking skyward. According to Glenn Steckling, director of the Adamski Foundation and co-host of the tour this year, as the terminator (the delineation between night and day) moves around the earth, it causes the magnetic field of the earth to shift in such a way as to be useful to alien craft that sail those fields like ships in the wind. So, about an hour after sunset, it is not uncommon to see a number of craft moving in a north-south direction.
Indeed, there were a number of points of light moving due north. My immediate thought was that they were satellites, and it is quite likely that they were. What is interesting, however, is that there were at least two of them in relatively close formation. I’ve seen many satellites in the night sky, but never so close to one another. They moved at the same rate of speed, which suggested to me they were at comparable altitudes. And they faded into visibility, and then back out within the space of thirty seconds or so.
But then all of a sudden, and with a shout from many of us in the group, there came a brilliant, large, completely silent light blazing out of the west. It shot over us, at an angle of about 60 degrees, and flew in a wobbly pattern toward the distant mountains, where it stopped, and then faded to invisibility. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
But Glenn knew.
To my surprise, he informed us that it was the International Space Station. After a quick search, I verified that he was in fact correct. I think this was an important lesson for me and others who seek flying saucers in the night sky. Perceptions cannot always be trusted.
What I perceived was a moderate sized disc-shaped craft at a relatively low altitude, perhaps 4000 feet. It wobbled in its path, perhaps because it was following lines of magnetic force. It stopped in the distance, because it was at that point over a marine base and was observing the military exercises that we could hear taking place. Or something.
But, my perceptions were completely wrong. What I actually saw was indeed a spacecraft, but one of human design, flying in a razor-straight orbit several hundred miles straight up. Since it was up so high, it was still catching sunlight, which reflected brilliantly down to us in the dark desert skies. As for the wobbling…anyone who’s ever looked at an LED alarm clock in a darkened bedroom is familiar with the effect in which the brain, lacking the detail to “ground” the image of the lighted numbers, gets confused and interprets the saccadic motion of the eyes as motion of the object being observed. That is effectively what was happening there. The apparent stop and fade was just the ISS getting so far away that any further motion was imperceptible.
In the moment, many of the people in the group, myself included, were convinced we were seeing something amazing. And we were, just not in the way we thought.