The Newnan Times-Herald

Subscribe Now

Subscribe Now

Opinion

Out There


  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • May. 20, 2022 - 9:30 AM

Out There

Alex McRae is an author and ghostwriter. His debut novel, “Rough Draft,” is now available. He can be reached at: alexmmcrae@gmail.com .

The government is finally holding official hearings on UFOs. And the public is invited to eavesdrop.

Awesome.

By the way, the government feels that UFO is an outdated term. Space ships are now called UAPs, or Unexplained Aerial Phenomena.

Whatever.

If my father was still alive, he’d jump for joy.

When we still lived in New Orleans, Pop was a skywatcher. I wasn’t, so I didn't pay much attention until the day he came home toting a telescope.

Considering the family budget, I doubt it was state of the art, but it worked well enough to see cracks in the moon's craters.

If a UFO TV show came on, Pop was there. If a UFO book came out, he bought it and passed it on to me.

I doubt he did those things hoping to lead me toward becoming an astronomer or TV weatherman like Nash Roberts on WDSU TV. I think he suspected there really was “something out there” that the government wanted to keep hidden.

He never came out and said so, but I suspect he’d had his eyes on the skies for a while.

Pop graduated from Auburn in 1934 with a degree in aeronautical engineering, so he must have been interested in things — other than birds or airplanes — that flew.

Flying saucers fit the bill.

Pop may not have been a born-again UFO believer, but he was clearly not a doubter.

Now, neither is the U.S. Congress. And it should be great fun watching elected officials squirm, stall and do anything else to avoid answering the age-old question …

“Are we alone?”

Since the U.S. Congress is about the most clueless crowd on earth, finding a superior intelligence won’t be a stretch.

I’ll be watching with interest. I know another crowd that is already popping the party balloons — MUFON, the Mutual UFO Network.

I wasn't even aware MUFON existed until the late ’90s when MUFON members spent a weekend a few miles from my residence. They were searching the skies for UFOs.

At the time I was hosting an early morning local TV show. A high school student named Tim Frasier worked for me on the predawn TV shift, took a few high school classes and drove to Atlanta every day to work at a big-time radio station. He’s now a big-time radio guy in LA.

When Tim heard MUFON was lurking nearby, he grabbed his camera and tracked them down. He reported that the MUFON members seemed normal by West Georgia standards. But they were serious about their UFOs.

Ever since Tim’s close encounter with MUFON, I’ve paid more attention to people who are convinced that UFOs are as real as rain.

I know I’m not alone.

Government hearings began on May 18. Officials scheduled to testify include Ronald Moultrie, Under Secretary of Defense for intelligence, who oversees the Pentagon’s Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group.

The hearings will focus on a Defense Department investigation which concluded that “the vast majority of the 144 incidents reviewed by intelligence officials over the last two decades could not be explained and were not the work of the US military or government.”

What a fun summer lies ahead. Congress will hold UFO hearings and MUFON’s annual convention goes off in July in Denver.

I can almost hear my dad say, “It’s about time.”

I just wish he was here to see the show.

Alex McRae is an author and ghostwriter. His debut novel, “Rough Draft,” is now available. He can be reached at: alexmmcrae@gmail.com .