I’ve been a sci-fi fan since I first read Ray Bradbury’s ‘The Martian Chronicles’ but I’ve never really been much of a UFO believer; I’ve always been skeptical of people’s stories about being abducted by aliens and I think meteorology – psychology and other terrestrial sciences account nicely for the reported anomalies.
Yet this story straight from the Department of Defense got to me.
The ‘Oh my god!’ I said aloud when I watched the recording was less of a WTF OMG than a metaphysical skip of my heart.
It was a this-changes-everything thunderclap – a disruptive wow akin to what Abraham Joshua Heschel calls ‘radical amazement’.
It injected an unknown into the narrative of human history — a scary suspense but also a terrible beauty.
It reminded me of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s strange words in his essay on ‘Nature’ about the exhilaration that swept him as he crossed a bare common under a clouded sky:
‘I am glad to the brink of fear’.