Have you ever seen a UFO?

Image: Image: By Tomhallward – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org

In 1958 I lived in the little town of Roy, Montana.

One night a friend was visiting me, and my father decided it was too late for her to walk the three miles home alone. She lived out in the country. The population of the town couldn’t have been more than 500 at the time. In 2010 the population was 108. So out in the country just meant three miles from where I lived.

My father’s Packard bumped along on a road that was two tracks across a stretch of prairie. We dropped my friend at her house and were returning when things got weird.

It was a warm summer night, and the loud hum of grasshoppers filtered through the open car windows. We both saw what looked like an airplane’s lights, but the lights were blue. The blue glow came at us as if it would land. My dad stopped the car. The light grew larger and solidified into a craft that landed about fifty yards from us. My father asked me to get the spotlight.

You should know I was a champion jackrabbit shiner. The DNR paid a bounty on them because they ate the grass that the cattle and sheep needed. One night a month I held the spotlight while my father shot them. I got a cut of what he earned. Occasionally he bagged a coyote, which was worth more. Sometimes I went with him to collect. I remember dozens of rabbit carcasses in the trunk of the car. Not proud today that I participated in such wanton slaughter.

Dad plugged the light into the cigarette lighter, and I turned it on. The light showed a disk-shaped flying craft perhaps fifty feet across parked on my side of the car. Its sides looked like metal but were not shiny. No markings were visible. There were bright areas that looked like windows, although I saw nothing inside, except lights that blinked and twinkled.

Dad ordered me to roll up my window and lock my door. He got out and came around to my side of the car. I held the light on him as he walked toward the craft.

Suddenly an incredibly bright light blasted from the craft silhouetting my father in stark black against the light that seemed brighter than sunlight.

My idea of what the craft looked like.

He ran back and jumped in the car and looked scared as I’d never seen him look. The Packard stalled, and the spotlight went out. Then the beam from the craft went out, leaving us in deep darkness.

We sat in stunned silence for a long moment. With a hum deeper than the sound of grasshoppers, the craft rose perhaps a hundred feet in the air, hovered a moment, then streaked away from us at about a ninety-degree angle.

My father was a pilot during WWII. I heard him counting until whatever it was vanished over the horizon. He could tell how fast an airplane overhead was flying, or a car at a distance was moving with unerring accuracy.

“Twenty-five hundred miles an hour.” His voice was shaky. “Nothing goes that fast.”

He called someone at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls to report what we had seen. Later I overheard him tell my mom that whoever he spoke to said it was nothing, and it would be best not to file an official statement.

Are they aliens? Time travelers? Who knows? I just know that what I saw was unexplainable even now and gave me bad dreams for years.

There were many reports of unidentified flying objects in the Montana skies in the 1950s and ‘60s. If you’re interested, here’s a link to a well-known incident.

https://billingsgazette.com/nick-mariana-ufo-footage—–great-falls/youtube_da53a153-1c43-5c63-b6f6-8b794a92ee63.html

Trilby’s Rules of Magic

The Rules of Magic

#1 There are two kinds of Magic: Creation Magic – the Magic of Making – and Old Magic – the Magic of Unmaking. Something made with Creation Magic can only be negated with Making. If the magic of Unmaking is used, a cataclysmic instability can occur. Think antimatter.

Trilby Plants Magic

When I was little, I believed magic was real, and if I only knew how, I could access it. I thought Candy Land existed in the clouds, and little people lived and died inside the television. When a TV repairman came to our house I was upset because I thought he was removing all the cowboys and Indians that died during TV shows like Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and the Lone Ranger.

I’ve outgrown those fantasies and left my belief in real magic behind, but I still believe in the reality of fantasy. How’s that for an oxymoron?

I love contemporary and dark fantasy, but not usually high fantasy. Although, I do really like Jason J. Nugent’s Curse of the Drakku series. I was lucky enough to beta read a couple of them, and then I had to buy one. Check him out.

Jason J Nugent
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Trilby Plants Gatekeeper
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Gatekeeper, Book 1: Kerrick Malone’s wife is salughtered by otherworldly spider creatures directed by a malevolent entity, Nadra. Kerrick must learn to control real Magic that can open portals to other worlds. He meets Arden McEwan, who, like him, possesses supernatural abilities. Kerrick and Arden must prevent Nadra from unleashing her hideous spider creatures on all the worlds.

In a previous blog post I recounted how the idea for Gatekeeper came from a friend’s dream. In my friend’s dream a woman appears in a lightning bolt. She is riding a horse and is wearing old fashioned clothing and a leather cloak. The horse thunders through driving rain and arrives at a tavern in the middle of nowhere.

My friend wondered if there was a story in this dream image, but she had no idea what any of it meant. I knew exactly what it meant. I knew who the woman was and the whole story behind her appearance. The entire novel flashed into my mind. It was about gateways between worlds and those who could operate them.

“Well,” my friend said, “if you want the idea, you can have it.”

Thus, Gatekeeper was conceived.

I had the story, but not the nitty-gritty, the most important of which was how magic works. I had to invent my own rules of Magic (with a capital M) to conform to my narrative.

Lyriel, a wizard, has come from her world to ours to save her newborn son from the clutches of Nadra, an evil wizard. Lyriel’s actions will have repercussions in both worlds and result in a life or death confrontation.

Chaos, a dark fantasy, the sequel to Gatekeeper, is available on Amazon.

Let me know what you think.

Trilby Plants Chaos
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