Friday, September 12, 2008

Zig-Zagging UFOs

The green ball of light moved horizontally across the sky as I drove home. The time was around 10 p.m. on a winter day in 1999 as I pushed my Dodge Stratus down a straight stretch of rural highway in the flat Missouri River bottomlands.

The light wasn’t an airplane, I thought. It moved – for the moment – like an airplane, but the color was wrong. It seemed to fly slowly, almost paralleling my car. Then it changed course, suddenly shooting up at a right angle and disappearing from view within seconds.

What was it?

Flying? Of course. Unidentified? To me, yes.

Do other people see these lights in the sky that move unlike any aircraft we’re used to? Yes, they do. Here are three stories.

The Crescent Moon

“From The Shadows” reader Garrett was driving from Olathe to Kansas City at about 9:30 p.m. in August 2007 when he saw the lights; three or four “strange lights” hovering.

“These lights were in a crescent moon shape and were disappearing randomly then appearing again in another area of the sky,” he said. “They were also moving in ways that a normal aircraft could not.”

The lights moved side-to-side, zig-zagged and flew in circles.

“Did anyone else see these things?” he asked.

More zig-zags

“Shadows” reader Simon saw lights like Garrett’s numerous times in 1988 when he was eight years old in Pennsylvania.

“I saw a light in the sky moving quickly in a zig-zag formation,” Simon said. “The light was bigger and brighter than a star, and it continued to move at very high speeds, back and forth across the sky.”

Simon never told anyone about these sightings except his brother – because his brother saw them, too.

“He saw it with me from our backyard the third and final time I witnessed this phenomenon,” Simon said. “He and I still do not know how to talk about what we saw.”

A Diamond in the Night

A “Shadows” reader who goes by the name Prairie Girl saw something one night in the cold North Dakota sky in October 2007. She and her nephew were outside looking at the Northern Lights when she saw a shooting ball of light.

“We noticed a light going across the sky in the north through the Northern lights,” she said. “Then it suddenly stopped and shot straight down to the north below the horizon. Then another light appeared and weaved through the sky back and forth again, through the Northern lights.”

Another light appeared. Then another.

“They eventually all went out of sight, zig-zagging across the northern sky,” she said. “And we just sat there a little flabbergasted.”

Then Prairie Girl’s nephew shouted, “look.”

“I look straight up where he is looking and there above us is a very large diamond-shaped light,” she said. “Very, very bright. It hurt my eyes to look at it.”

The light was much larger than a star, but smaller than the moon.

“We just sat there staring up at this thing and really marveling over the whole experience, maybe two minutes in all,” she said. “And then all of a sudden I got a rush of fear run through me, and as soon as I felt that fear the light started to move away from us.”

The light moved north, slowly zig-zagging across the sky.

“But what's really weird is I don't remember how it disappeared after that or how long after that we could watch it,” she said. “The last thing I remember is watching it zig-zag its way to the north.”

The next day, her eyes ached – so did her perception of what is real.

“There is no one on God’s green earth that can tell me that we are alone,” she said. “Unless it is some kind of government technology that we don't know about.”

Copyright 2008 by Jason Offutt

Got a scary story? Ever played with a Ouija board, heard voices, seen a ghost, UFO or a creature you couldn’t identify? Let Jason know about it: Jason Offutt c/o The Examiner, 410 S. Liberty, Independence, Mo. 64050, or Your story might make an upcoming installment of “From the Shadows.”

Jason’s book of ghost stories, “Haunted Missouri: A Ghostly Guide to Missouri’s Most Spirited Spots,” is here. Order online at:,, or visit Jason’s Web site at


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