No UFOs in Duvall · 5 December 2009

Commuting into Duvall from the north each day in the fall and winter, I often witness an eerie sight. The sky is lit up with a bluish tint giving me a scene of barren trees in silhouette. I witnessed this scene again yesterday and, as is often the case, I thought of the crazy days of my youth when Unidentified Flying Objects (most commonly known as UFOs) were being seen almost nightly.

Back in the 1970s, UFO sighting rather than celebrity sightings were on the front pages of tabloids. Some sightings even made the daily news in newspapers and on television. Books were written about the subject from different perspectives. Some wondered who might be out there watching or preparing to invade. Some sought to debunk the sightings. In the end, however, it seemed that most sightings were just swamp gas or weather balloons.

Despite the unspectacular findings, we have gotten lots of spectacular movies out of those UFO sightings. The Steven Spielberg classic, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, sticks out in my mind as one of the first movies with alien spacecraft. While the movie is tame, I remember it for the crazy obsession of the main character. After his first encounter with an alien spacecraft, Richard Dreyfuss is obsessed with an image in his mind. He sculpted Devil’s Tower out of mashed potatoes at the dinner table. Later in the movie, he digs up his front yard to create the tower out of dirt. Throughout the movie, he is inexplicably drawn to Devil’s Tower, the place where he eventually witnesses that close encounter. While there are no cataclysmic events or violent encounters with aliens in the movie, I remember it because of its simplicity and overriding message that maybe we can get along with others, even alien beings. And I remember the glow above Devil’s Tower as the character played by Dreyfuss gets closer to his obsession.

Which brings me back to Duvall. I know that there are no alien spacecraft landing in Duvall on foggy mornings, but the silhouettes of the trees in front of a blue-hued light makes me think of Close Encounters and the alien spacecraft above the mountain. I know moist air above the river gives rise to a local fog which is illuminated by lights from a couple green houses across the river. I understand what creates the scene I see through my windshield, yet I still think of alien spacecraft landing in the field and wonder if they have come in peace.

At least some mornings. Mostly, I marvel at the unique sight. The brilliant contrast between the trees and the illuminated fog makes a beautiful scene. And since the amount of fog is rarely the same, the scene changes daily. I always look forward to the view as I drive down that last long straightaway on highway 203 before coming into town.

I am rarely disappointed that I do not see aliens roaming around by the greenhouses across the river north of Duvall. But when the sky is clear and there is no fog to create a glow, I miss the eerie scene toward the end of my commute. One day I might remember to take a camera and attempt to capture the scene. But for now, I will treasure those days of fog, shadows, eerie light, and the thought of UFOs landing in Duvall.

© 2009 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Published 31 December 2009 in The RiverCurrentNews


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