First, my thanks to my good friends over at Apartment Therapy-Chicago, who were generous enough to mention my absence from cyberspace during a holiday drink on Christmas Eve, and who had the insight to note, with irony, that my disappearance came on the heels of a post entitled "Why I Blog."
Thanks also to the very fine folks over at Ecology of Absence for also kindly wondering of my whereabouts in the midst of their amazing this old house renovation.
Now, on to the biggest of the big news, which, of course, is the UFO sighting over O'Hare last November. The Trib's John Hilkevitch broke the story on the front page of yesterday's paper (story here).
The details are gripping, in part, because of the number of witnesses (about a dozen), the specifity of the time and location of their sighting, and their general agreement about what they saw.
"The Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (the term that extraterrestrial-watchers nowadays prefer over Unidentified Flying Object) was first seen by a United ramp worker who was directing back a United plane at Gate C17, according to an account the worker provided to the National UFO Reporting Center.
The sighting occurred during daylight, about 4:30 p.m., just before sunset.
All the witnesses said the object was dark gray and well defined in the overcast skies. They said the craft, estimated by different accounts to be 6 feet to 24 feet in diameter, did not display any lights.
Some said it looked like a rotating Frisbee, while others said it did not appear to be spinning. All agreed the object made no noise and it was at a fixed position in the sky, just below the 1,900-foot cloud deck, until shooting off into the clouds."
Well, damn, I love a mystery and that's as good as they come. There's more:
The best part is that the FAA denied knowing anything about the saucer, but once Hilkevitch filed a Freedom of Information Act request, their story changed. They acknowledged that a United Airlines sueprvisor had contacted the control tower about what s/he saw.
"I tend to be scientific by nature, and I don't understand why aliens would hover over a busy airport," said a United mechanic who was in the cockpit of a Boeing 777 that he was taxiing to a maintenance hangar when he observed the metallic-looking object above Gate C17.
"But I know that what I saw and what a lot of other people saw stood out very clearly, and it definitely was not an [Earth] aircraft," the mechanic said.
There's likely more to come. Hilkevitch's story seemed to imply that he did not receive all the documentation he was anticipating from the FAA under his FOIA request. So, stay tuned.
Note to self: Aliens much more fun to think about than terrorists.
Photo courtesy of niftyfiftyscifi.com