Bruce Fessier, a writer for The Desert Sun newspaper in Palm Springs, California, believes
"There is something out there." He says he saw a "winged vessel" in the desert in 1981. He shared his sighting with a grocer in the
area and was told "lots of people see UFO's here." Barbara Harris of the Morongo Basin Historical Society says she has documentation
of a "constant flow of sightings" in the same area, and will soon give a lecture on the subject in Landers, California, a well known
site of a great earthquake in 1992. Also there will be a UFO convention at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center Aug. 9-11 in the Joshua
Tree National Park area where the founder of the center, Edwin Dingle, was inspired to build a center on the recommendation of a guru
from China, so Frank Lloyd Wright designed a complex for him.
Joshua Tree has the highest
incidence of UFO sightings in the United States, and actor Ted Markland takes celebrities there to hear what he claims to be "the
voice of an ethereal being." Joshua Tree is also a popular place for hallucinogenics, and to prove it,Timothy Leary held his wedding
there. George Van Tassel, producer of TV's "Ancient Aliens," and who claims to have had contact with someone from the planet Venus,
built a structure there to study "the rejuvenation of people's cells, antigravity, and time travel," helped by Howard Hughes who invested
some of his fortune in it. George Tsoukalos, the star and consulting producer of the "Aliens" show, will speak at the conference in
Joshua. He believes that aliens have been "seeding" the births of humans for centuries and this has caused the search for "missing
links" in man's evolution, and that we are all "half-human, half-terrestrial, and the aliens are passengers in the UFOs who visit
Earth occasionally to see how their "experiment" on humanoids is working out.
will talk about "Giant Rock" at the convention this weekend. Can you imagine a seven-story, free standing, 25,000 ton boulder in the
middle of the desert. In Yucca Valley, near Joshua Tree, the Rock was used to contact the dead by Nomadic Indians, and in February,
2000, a huge chunk fell from the rock, supposedly realizing a prophesy made in the area in 1920 by a Hopi shaman.
Now, if you are like me you may either not want to believe UFOs are piloted by beings that are visiting Earth, for fear of what they
might be up to, or you suspect that any place they may be from is realistically too far away for such a voyage. Or you may be reluctant
to entertain the idea of aliens for religious reasons. Or you just find the stories of face-to-face meetings, or "eyes in the sky"
in space ships to be fabricated for the possible notoriety they might generate in TV coverage for the storyteller, especially since
no clear photographic or other evidence has been presented, for space ships or aliens. This in spite of the available technology that
In any event, unless you have experienced a "close encounter" of the 1st,
2nd, or 3rd kind, maybe total disbelief is warranted. But as Bruce Fessier stated, he "never had occasion to hold myself up to possible
ridicule before." What would he have to gain by making up such a tale? He did not capitalize in any way on the "sighting" he claims
to have made. But those of us who have had no such event occur in our life, I suppose we have very few options but to disbelieve,
or at least remain highly skeptical, for one reason or another. Of course, the fact that Mr. Fessier saw a winged aircraft doesn't
necessarily mean he or we should buy into the claims of sightings, guru predictions, ethereal voices, Venus contacts, and seeding
of pregnant Earthlings. As he says, he simply believes "There is something out there." And we can believe any one part of the UFO
scenario without believing every one of them. "Little green men" stories are hard for most of us to swallow, given the mundane existence
most of us face each day of our lives, but Richard Feynman, one of the great scientific minds of the 20th Century, said it firmly
when he was asked to explain how the sub-atomic particles behave as they do. He said, "Nobody knows how they behave that way. Just
enjoy it." Nobody knows whether there are UFO's and/or aliens amongst us. And Albert Einstein added, "The most incomprehensible thing
about the Universe is that it is comprehensible." He thinks we should not make a final judgment until we know more. Most people, though,
have learned one huge lesson if they keep up with world news at all. And that is not to dismiss out of hand strange, seemingly unbelievable
events just because we don't understand them. Is it any harder now to believe in space men than it was years ago to believe that men
walked on the moon? Some today still don't believe that. Or believe that we could talk to a person in Tibet, even see their face,
on a small plastic hand-held screen, and they could talk back to us? Many of us believe that long ago a human-like figure, who has
always existed, one day set about to snap his fingers and create the Universe and all that it contains. Think what may be unbelievably
commonplace 100 years from now if technological advances keep up with the pace set in the last 20 or so years.
I wonder if the following list of famous people, who claim to have seen a UFO, influence us in some way in knowing who and what to
believe: Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Muhammad Ali, Dan Aykroyd, Jackie Gleason, Elvis, William Shatner (Captain Kirk), John Lennon,
Walter Cronkite, Olivia Newton-John, Russell Crowe, Shirley MacLaine, Mick Jagger, and others perhaps. Probably not, and maybe we
never will believe unless and until we experience some sort of encounter firsthand. And maybe the whole idea of UFO's is a scam. "Nobody
knows!" Or maybe we sometimes see what we want to see. And like the old saying goes, "Be careful what you wish for. You just might
get it," and all the baggage it drags along behind.