October 31, 2014
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Mr. Adventure: The Truth is Out There

Amid signs of a visit, I'm looking for the UFO and its inhabitants.

They’re smart. Too smart. I’m talking, of course, about aliens. Not the kind mowing your front lawn this very minute, but the kind that have traveled from far off galaxies to probe cattle and make our military leaders nervous.

I say they’re smart because it’s clear they’ve figured out how to mess with our minds just enough to foil us from getting quality video footage of their visits. Think about it: We’ve got video of crocodiles fighting lions over a water buffalo, planes crashing, meteor strikes and kittens playing the piano, but we can’t get a single quality shot of a space ship? Nope. How is that possible?

Obviously these crafts have the technology to appear invisible. Or, you know, not appear. And yet, sometimes they are spotted clear as day, floating over the Isle of Capri.

Why? Chalk it up to alien employee incompetence.

Annoying Alien Co-worker: Gerk forgot to turn on the cloaking device. Again!

Alien Boss: GERK! We’ve had this talk!

Gerk (under his breath): “Well, maybe if someone gave Gerk a raise … He’s doing the work of three Gerks since the cutbacks!

(FYI, that is not an actual transcript from an alien transmission. It’s just what I assume happens in confined work environments all over the universe.)

 But that’s likely how things went down back in 2010 in Isle of Capri when townspeople saw a glowing gyroscope-shaped object floating above Johnson Bay for three straight nights. It was, as witnesses described, “otherworldly.” Approximately 20 feet in diameter, it had both horizontal and vertical lights surrounding an interior space witnesses said appeared you could put your hand through. It also had light-emitting tentacles hanging down. A local boater said his boat went directly beneath it.

And it wasn’t like this was spotted by the town drunk or the girl who operates an incense shop out of the trunk of her car—the witnesses were respectable folk: the fire chief, a journalist, sober housewives, restaurateurs, etc. In fact, so many people saw the orb that a town hall meeting was set up at the community center. Seventy-five people showed up.

According to reports, the “craft” returned to the area two months after its first spotting. And the boater, who prefers to remain nameless, claims he saw the same ship over the area in 1954. Obviously the area is a hotbed for UFO activity.

This was all news to me until I happened upon a recent monthly MUFON meeting in a recording studio near Southwest Regional Airport. MUFON (the Mutual U.F.O. Network) investigates unexplained sightings and does its best to find the truth. It is, after all, out there. (The truth, I mean.) The state director of the organization lives in Fort Myers, so he runs monthly meetings out of the studio for people interested in MUFON’s work.

On the day I visited, 11 people showed up (three women, eight men) in a quest for the truth. A video played from one of MUFON’s yearly conventions suggesting that aliens have bases on the moon and that the United States government knows all about it. It seems they have pictures of it, but have apparently chosen to blur them out to keep us citizens from freaking. That’s probably a good idea.

The problem is, short of breaking into Area 51 or taking a metal detector to every square inch of Roswell, N.M., there is no solid evidence that aliens are visiting Earth on abduction runs. All I could find were some blurry videos on YouTube and a used VHS of Close Encounters of the Third Kind on eBay.

That’s when I decided this was a job for Mr. Adventure. After all, who is better equipped to get some answers than a guy who saw Signs (twice!) and was an extra in War of the Worlds (no, Tom Cruise did not strike me as short in real life)?

So, I proceeded to spend multiple nights sitting in a lawn chair on Isle of Capri looking for unidentified flying objects. (By the way, most things are unidentifiable in the dark.)

Armed with little more than a tinfoil hat, a digital camera and a pair of binoculars, I settled in for a night of star-gazing amidst the mangroves: a man alone with his thoughts. If you look hard enough, you can see a lot of activity in the heavens. But sadly, there was a whole lot of nothing happening over Johnson Bay. As far as I could tell, there were no UFOs hovering in the vicinity.

Of course, they could be right in front of me and just using their cloaking device. So I took a picture of the nothingness to be analyzed later. My guess is that technology will exist in another 20 to 30 years that will clearly show the space ship in that photo.

Just then *gasp!* I saw a light hovering out over the Gulf of Mexico. Holy god! Of course, I had learned at the MUFON meeting that Chinese sky lanterns are often mistaken for UFOs. It seems that there are 16 retail shops in Southwest Florida selling the lanterns, and each shop averages 200 sales each week. Feel free to do the math. That is a lot of “sightings.”

But this was definitely not a Chinese lantern (and I say that with certainty—mostly because it turned out to be a plane headed for the Naples Municipal Airport). But as with any intrepid reporter, there were questions to be asked. Why come to Earth at all? What do we have that they want/need/are curious about?

They’ve been spotted on Earth for eons doing little more than picking up grocery items not found on their home planet—cow stomachs, children’s bicycles, cold-pressed uranium. It’s like us stopping by Whole Foods to pick up almond butter. We don’t want to stop by Whole Foods. Frankly, it’s out of the way. But if we don’t pick up that damn almond butter when we are in the neighborhood, all hell will break loose when we get home.

Gerk! Did you forget to pick up the cow stomachs on your way home like I asked?

Speaking of why they’re here, I saw a television show that said aliens might be coming to Earth to impregnate human women and remove each hybrid alien/human fetus to take it home and show their neighbors how cool they are. I’m guessing they’re a pretty trendy item.

It was then that I discovered that tinfoil is not a breathable material. It makes the human head sweat like a phoenix rising from the ashes really, really slowly. Also, should tinfoil make my teeth hurt? Wow, I’m feeling woozy. Could an alien ship be using its bandwidth in my general direction? Hide yo’ cattle, people. This is it! Then again, I could be hypoglycemic. Oh yeah, that’s it. I just needed a cookie.

I guess the search for intelligent life continues.

 

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