Close Encounters!


Encounters with Unidentified Flying Objects have been categorized into five groups: encounters of the 1st kind, encounters of the 2nd kind, and of the 3rd, 4th and 5th kind.

Seeing a UFO within 150 meters is an encounter of the first kind, and when an encounter with a UFO in the sky or on the ground leaves evidence behind (such as scorch marks or indentations), it’s an encounter of the second kind — with each category thereafter becoming progressively more up close and personal.

And this, a personal encounter of my own, begins with a side trip down a dark, two-lane road one night.

We had strayed from our main course of travel, and turned south — heading down New Mexico’s Interstate 25 from Albuquerque to the little town of San Antonio. It is there that Route 380, a road famous for unfortunate encounters of various kinds, heads cross country toward Roswell. But we had not intended to be on that road so late. The night sky had already blended into the darkness of the road beneath it. We were alone. And our own headlights were all that illuminated that dark road.

My daughter and I were on the first road trip we had taken together since her younger years, when she and her sister had sat complaining in the back seat, reading their books and refusing to take in the scenery. And even then we had often found ourselves driving in darkness after my insistence that we take the time to encounter an experience advertised on a road sign along the way.

Back then the car I had owned was small and economical, without even the luxury of air conditioning. But this time the tables had turned, and my daughter, now an adult and appreciative of those former road trips, had insisted on doing most of the driving and had taken on the responsibility of arranging and financing a rental car. I had preferred the cheaper model, opting for the more frugal choice, but she had cautioned about the importance of paying for the extra protection of the sturdy, more solidly built and more expensive model, with the windshield protruding out and away from the front seat. And thank God … in light of what was to come.

Though we were already running late, I had true to form insisted on the side trip. But I have to admit that even I began to have second thoughts that night.

The road would soon take us just south of the spot where the wreckage and debris had been found from that questionable alien encounter in 1947, the place where the story of the crash of a UFO and alien bodies had bumped heads with a possible government coverup. But this was an adventure, and I love adventures! And I have to admit that I was secretly hoping for an encounter of some kind.

And then it happened! The lights up ahead … and the encounter!

I had just offered to drive, and my daughter had accepted the invitation, lying back in the passenger seat to doze off for what proved to be just a fleeting moment. I had just pulled out to pass the slow-moving car up ahead, its tail lights the only light besides our own headlights in either lane.

And it was then that that it appeared … suddenly — as out of nowhere — there right in front of our headlights, soaring across the road at great speed — with its huge frame pushing the window in close to the passenger seat, stopping just inches from my daughter! An encounter of the second kind … leaving behind the evidence of indentations to our solidly-built car’s hood and roof.

And then just as quickly, the huge buck with its imposing antlers was gone, as suddenly as it had appeared! And we had become yet one more example of the most frequent encounters along this road — between automobiles and the deer population.

We were shocked — and shaken! But unharmed!

But if it had not been for the shattered glass and slivers of glass showering down on us, we might have reported the accident and continued on our way with a slightly-dented hood and roof. The other car stopped to help and they directed us to the next town where the only police officer on duty directed us to what might have been the town’s only hotel. We were glad for a place to stay and assess our situation.

But yes — to my great joy, we did indeed encounter that most famous story of close encounters as well. And without our own encounter we would never have heard it.

That next morning we couldn’t drive out of town slowly enough to stop the shower of glass splinters upon our laps, so we suspected that going back to the Interstate would not be a good idea. Unfortunately the little town had no car repair shop. But by the grace of God we came across a tire place, where a man with a pick-up truck pulling a flatbed had just pulled in. He was good enough to hoist up our car and take us back up to Albuquerque, where he just happened to be going that day.

And on the way, with open cab windows blowing hot New Mexico air against our cheeks and blowing our hair, we heard that Roswell Encounter story almost first hand by a man who had been a neighbor to one of the witnesses. He assured us that these neighbors, whom he and his family had known since childhood, were good people whom he didn’t believe would tell any tall tales.

I will let you come to your own conclusions.

After exchanging our damaged car for one that looked more like the one I had at first preferred, I convinced my daughter to drive back down to Roswell, where I bought a little rubber alien souvenir and my alien, glow-in-the-dark t-shirt. And we completed out trip safely, with no further encounters.

Now isn’t life like this sometimes? You’re going down the road, maybe even hoping for something interesting or exciting to happen, and then a crisis appears out of nowhere. It’s dark and you are in unfamiliar territory. But although God doesn’t prevent every crisis from coming our way, I do believe that God can give us the right vehicle to see us through … and in our case that quite literally included both that solidly-built car with the right windshield and the pick-up truck with the flatbed.

And I recognize that as an Encounter of the God kind.


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