by WES FERGUSON
It might be too soon to fret about the alien invasion, but a Kyle man claims that he and his wife spotted an unidentified flying object above the city last week.
In a report filed with the Mutual UFO Network, an organization that bills itself as “the scientific study of UFOs for the benefit of humanity,” the unnamed Kyle man says he and his family had just picked up their SUV after getting an oil change and were pulling into their driveway when he noticed something unusual in the upper atmosphere.
“As my wife got out of the SUV and I got out of the other car, she began to reach for our son in the car seat, when all of a sudden I noticed this strange black/grayish ball just hovering in the sky,” he said in the report.
The ball seemed to be floating in the same direction as the moon.
“What is that?” the Kyle man asked his wife. “Look! Look there, do you see that black ball?”
“Yeah, I see it,” she replied, according to the report.
“What the heck is that?” the man recalls saying. “It’s just sitting there.”
He turned around quickly to grab his “smartphone” from the car seat, but when he looked back the object had vanished. After his wife had gone inside with their child, however, he reported seeing a second, cigar-shaped object resembling a long black line in the sky not far from a jet at a higher altitude.
While he watched, the object disappeared.
The Mutual UFO Network published the man’s account but did not comment on his sighting. Many Kyle-area people have offered their two cents, however, with some suggesting the man could have been looking at a weather balloon.
“Was this in a trailer park? How many teeth did this guy have and what color were the stains on his tank top undershirt?” asked Scott James Caroselli of San Antonio.
“Sorry, I’m a nonbeliever,” added David Salazar of Kyle.
Others were more accepting of the man’s story.
“The cigar-shaped object is not uncommon with UFO objects,” Kyle resident Larry Baltierra said in an online forum. “The most credible UFO story comes from two Japanese pilots seeing similar objects over Alaska.”
A UFO is defined as a mysterious object seen in the sky for which, it is claimed, no orthodox scientific explanation can be found. So weather balloons and top-secret military aircraft don’t count as UFOs.
Even still, UFO sightings are more common than you might expect. Nearly one in five Americans claims to have seen a UFO, and one in four people believe in them, according to a team of Baylor University researchers who published the book “Paranormal America: Ghost Encounters, UFO Sightings, Bigfoot Hunts, and Other Curiosities in Religion and Culture” in 2010.
Carson Mencken, the director of research for Baylor’s Institute for the Studies of Religion and one of the book’s authors, said people fear they’ll be stigmatized if they report seeing a UFO.
“Any unconventional behavior can become the object of ridicule because of stereotypes people have attributed to it: crazy people, people lying around drinking in trailer parks and that sort of thing,” he said. “The guy they show on TV tends to be a bit of a bumpkin, but not exclusively. There are actually quite credible people who claim to have seen UFOs.”
In fact, his research has found, higher-educated people with at least some college were about 30 percent more likely to have reported seeing a UFO than people with a high school diploma or less. Poor people, young people and unmarried people were also more likely to report having seen a UFO.
How many folks have been beamed to the mothership and probed by extraterrestrials? That question remains to be answered.
“We didn’t ask them if they had been abducted,” Mencken said. “We just asked them if they had ever seen a UFO. And 17 percent reported they had, which I think is fairly high. But we didn’t get into questions of alien abduction.”