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We Want to Believe

By Chris Karr in News on Jan 2, 2007 1:47PM

2007_saucers.jpgSome time before Chicagoist was a Chicagoan, we were a resident of the great American Southwest. We grew up in the wonderful state of New Mexico, and we absorbed much of the local culture: cowboys, chilis, and lowriders.

We also grew up steeped in UFO culture. We spent many years growing up in the UFO capital of the world — Roswell, NM — and even Granny had the full Time-Life "Mystery of the Unknown" series sitting on her shelves. We grew up with this culture so much, watching the first two-thirds of Signs was absolutely terrifying for us. (Though we were dismayed at the "show the aliens" part of the film.) In middle school, we wrote reports for school on Project Blue Book, and we wondered if anything was really happening at Dulce Mesa.

So, when we read the story that United Airlines pilots reported seeing an unknown craft hovering over O'Hare last fall, our ears perked up. Apparently several local airline employees saw a spinning disc-shaped craft without lights that hovered over the airport, then zoomed away through the clouds. One witness called the control tower to ask if they were getting anything on radar, but nothing was showing up. No investigation is forthcoming, and the FAA is blaming the reports on some strange weather effects.

To be perfectly frank, we have no idea if UFO's are spacecraft carrying Grays, top-secret US military aircraft (the B-2 bomber made a convincing flying saucer in its day), goofy weather phenomena, or a side effect of being under the influence of some controlled substance. We haven't directly witnessed a flying saucer, though we did see some strange and unexplainable (by us) light phenomenon when growing up. We had a stepfather who claimed to have directly witnessed the Marfa lights, but we don't know if he was just pulling our leg. In short, we have no idea if these things are extraterrestrial or not, and we're just surprised that this phenomenon is being reported so close to the city.