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    An alternative way to explore and explain the mysteries of our world. "Published since 1985, online since 2001."

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Encounters with the Unknown—Alternate Perceptions Magazine, November 2014

Personal Experiences with UFOs and the Paranormal

by: Chris Carlson

When I was in the Air Force, I was stationed at Travis AFB in California for the four years of my enlistment. During that time, there were qualifications I had to renew once every year that were specific to my job; one of them being qualification with night vision goggles or NVG's. One year, we used them on the flight line (where planes park/taxi to the runways) to drive equipment and train on them while wearing NVG's. During one of our breaks that night, I decided to keep them on and look up at the sky. Needless to say, I was blown away. I know there aren't too many night missions flown on the base except for a couple of incoming cargo planes throughout the night, so there should not have been much in the air space over the base. When I looked up, I saw multiple objects in the air including what I could easily identify as two planes that were doing practice runs. But there were lights moving at speeds and maneuvers that I couldn't explain. Judging by the actual identified planes and the speed they were moving through the sky, the other objects were moving at rates that threw me off balance. I also observed a shooting star during this event, so I could definitely differentiate between what it was and the other objects moving effortlessly through the sky. I saw what looked like a boomerang type object fly at a much higher elevation than a plane I observed, and at three times the speed it looked like. Judging by my angle, the plane that was in between me and the boomerang object should have been moving faster through the sky, from my vantage point, because it was closer. But that was not the case. The object above the plane very high up was extremely fast. I watched the object until it flew out of sight. Along with the boomerang, I observed two separate balls of light that literally maneuvered in almost 90 degree angles at time. So not only were they fast, but they maneuvered like nothing I ever saw. I went to grab someone else to look with me to try and verify what I'd been observing, but by that time we had just continued the class and I had to report back inside. After the class, I told my instructor some of the stuff I saw and he said he sees it so much, that it's nothing new to him. What's weird is that without the NVG's, you can't see the objects I was seeing. Trust me, I spent many nights on the flight line trying to see what I once saw, but it never happened. What gets me is I wonder if the Air Traffic Controllers even knew what was going on. Needless to say, I didn't say much about it because hey, it's the military! Like they'd tell you the truth anyways. *chuckle*

My first actual encounter was when I was either 14 or 15, and I was down the road from my parent’s home at a friend's house in Portland, TN. There were about 6 of us at this girl's house (she was in fact a cheerleader for our high school). The house ran parallel to the road and it was dusk, so about 1700-1800. We were all talking and just acting like normal teenagers when all of a sudden we all happened to glance towards the road and to our right (which would have been East), we all observed a brilliant bright bluish-white ball of light speed down the road. The ball of light was around 80 feet high, around the height of the tree line and did not make any sound. When I replay it in my mind, which is still fresh ironically, the ball of light had to be at a speed of 100-120 mph. What I can't remember is if the tree line moved due to the wind/speed/force or not. We never heard a sound or heard any kind of impact. Needless to say, we were all pretty frightened and even though I had lived a little less than a mile up the road, I had to call my mom to come pick some of us up and take us home. About 3 years ago, I reached out to that former cheerleader and asked if she had remembered it. She said she had forgotten about it until that day I asked her. She said it terrified her and gave her nightmares for awhile. It never was explained what had happened.

The third encounter was around October of last year (2013) at the Rippavilla Plantation in Spring Hill, TN. I was attending a guest investigation that night with one of my team members as sort of a training session for my paranormal team. As most may know, the Rippavilla is an extremely active location on an old civil war-era property with a mansion as the main venue for investigations. I believe the property is on about 60 acres which also has a family cemetery and a slave quarters cabin located at the back of the property. As part of the investigation, we took the guests to the back of the property to investigate the cemetery and slave cabin. While investigating in that area, we decided to walk down an old trail that is surrounded by woods completely on both sides. On this same night, located around the same area of the property, there was a troop of boy scouts camping out and having a bonfire. This plays into this event soon. As we were walking down this path, we noticed that to our right, through the thick of the woods, we saw a bright orange looking fire. It was low to the ground, looking like the campfire. As we continued walking the trail, we noticed the light looks to be rising in elevation and getting bigger. As we got to the end of the trail, which opens up to fields as far as you can see, we noticed the light was in the air, smaller, just over a treeline off in the distance. There were about 8 of us that watched as this light anomaly, which could be best described as the sun setting on the horizon at 0100 am, just slowly vanished. It had everyone scratching their heads and in awe. Nobody could make sense of what they saw or give a logical explanation. As we walked back down the trail, we looked for the same light on the same side of the path, and couldn't see anything but blackness. It was the talk for the next couple of hours, and is still told on every guest investigation. The other investigator and I still try to explain the event every time we meet for an investigation but can't find a physical explanation for it. We still walk down that path from time to time and haven't seen anything like it since. This event, along with cannon fire heard in the woods, countless apparitions seen, lights and lamps in the house turning on/off by themselves, audible voices and screams, and smells all accompany the Rippavilla Plantation.

Saturday, April 20, 2024