originally posted: March 10, 2008
by Joey Eppard
The year was 1983. I was 6 years old.
We pulled into the driveway and got out of the car. My grandparents seemed to freeze in their tracks, pointing into the sky. My brother Josh and I knew something special was happening. Our eyes followed their fingers to the end of the street where, just above the tree line, a massive object moved very slowly across the horizon.
This thing was huge, like a flying city. It was covered in multicolored lights and made hardly any sound. There was this sort of low hum, nothing motor like, but a faint and very deep rumbling. It wasn’t dark out yet and we could clearly see the solid shape of this thing. It was unlike anything I’d ever seen before or since.
I remember thinking: “It looks like a giant beehive,” followed by: “It’s so close, I bet I could hit it with a rock.” I remember feeling happy, excited but not scared. I wondered why we hadn’t seen one of these before. Man, I had no idea how special this event truly was.
In excited voice my grandfather said, “I’m going to get the camera!”
I can’t explain what happened next. I heard myself scream, but I didn’t know why I was doing it. “No Papa! Nooooooooooo!” I was a quiet kid. I didn’t yell, I didn’t throw fits, but for some reason I had to stop him from photographing this thing. Crazy thing is, he listened to me. We stood there, the four of us, and just continued to watch as the object drifted slowly across the sky and out of sight.
The next morning there was a story about it in the local paper. The police had received over 300 calls about strange objects and lights in the sky. The government had issued an official statement saying that the “object” was a flight of 14 planes in formation. My grandparents and I had to laugh at that pathetic excuse for a cover up. Most people saw this thing at night, and therefore could only see its lights. For some of them (not many) this government statement might suffice. Not for us, though. We were some of the lucky few to see this thing before dark. There were no planes. It was one massive solid object. It was unearthly.
I remember feeling confused. Why would the government lie? The very idea that the newspaper was capable of publishing a lie was a revelation for me. I was still a kid, but I no longer felt that I could blindly trust the information I was fed from the media and from my school. I began to look at reality in a different light, and especially, to question authority.
Regular sightings have continued amongst area residents to this day, though I never had another sighting. In 1987, a book called Night Siege was published on the Hudson Valley UFO phenomenon. The book features accounts from only the most credible witnesses, culled from what is estimated to be over 7,000 sightings of these objects moving silently through the sky over New York and Connecticut between 1982 and 1995. The infamous TV show “Unsolved Mysteries” even did an episode on this subject called “The Hudson Valley UFO.”
Looking back, I’ve often wondered why I stopped my grandfather from taking a picture of the UFO, or why he listened to me. Perhaps nothing good would’ve come from it. Maybe such evidence could’ve put our lives in danger. All I know is that later in life I found these events to be a source of profound creative inspiration. The passion to know the greater truth behind the events of our lives, to dissolve illusions and to nurture an unprejudiced sense for the true nature of reality, have become driving forces behind my musical and lyrical explorations.