Playing Bumper Cars Around the Moon

Essays, Stories, Adventures, Dreams
Chronicles of a Footloose Forester
By Dick Pellek



Playing Bumper Cars Around The Moon


It was a bright moon-lit night and the Footloose Forester could hardly look away as he approached the side door to his basement apartment in Auburn, California.  He was probably returning from bowling because he usually did not stay out late.  But that pale, nearly full moon caught his eye just long enough for him to realize that something strange was going on.  Seven or eight swirling somethings were ascending, descending, and making loops entirely around the pale corona of the moon.  After more than 60 years, he still has not come up with the proper words to describe them.  Flying foam sausages is the best that he can think of.


All of them were in constant motion, all of them darted around independently, all of them resembled lit sparklers or foam sausages but with long curved tails. They looped and darted slowly, if that is a sensible way to describe their patterns, but they did not chase one another or get too close to the moon.


bumper cars careen unpredictably


The show went on without pause for several minutes, but the Footloose Forester could not guess about what was going on.  He knew he was alone and may have to someday describe what he saw. It must not have been too late in the evening because his landlord pulled into his driveway in front of him and noticed that the Footloose Forester was standing there on the lawn in the moonlight.  After he parked his car in the garage, he came up to say Good Evening.  The Footloose Forester hoped that the landlord would notice that he never took his eyes off the moon, and hoped that he would turn to glance up to see what the attraction was.  The landlord did look up but said nothing.


And as he often does, the Footloose Forester hoped that the other person would make a comment, while he himself held off in mentioning what should have been obvious. Some people are good observers and some are not.  The Footloose Forester did not want to be the one to say that we were looking at a fleet of UFOs.  He did not want to be alone in being labeled as a kook.  And in those days it did not take much for anyone to question your credibility about such things.  So, 60 years or so passed before the Footloose Forester finally exposed his vulnerability by now putting that episode into print.   


The irregular motions of the kinked sausage-shaped somethings were mostly clockwise in long L-shaped passes around and under the moon, but not exclusively so.  Of the 7-8 sausage-shaped somethings, a few were always above, a few were always on the right, and a few were making long passes under the moon, from right to left.  All of them were of an off-white color with margins that resembled lines of sprayed foam, and all of them were relatively uniform in thickness.  Perceptually, if the moon was the size of a small marble, the somethings were like worms only a fraction of that size.


There is nothing more to tell about that episode.  They never left that bright moon-lit and cloudless sky for the ensuing 10-15 minutes, so the Footloose Forester reluctantly departed knowing that nobody else had seen what he saw that night. He does take some comfort in knowing that NASA, in the year 2022 is renewing investigations into Unexplained Aerial Phenomena.

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