By George Stahl

Today is a day that many people actually look forward to. Today is the day every year that earthly, would-be space travelers count on as their last day on earth. Not in the sense of ‘I only have x amount of time to live,’ but in the sense of ‘pack your bags and get ready to take the flight of your life.’

You don’t need a ticket for the flight, and there will probably not be an inflight movie or any of those pretzel snacks and a complimentary beverage. Today is International Extraterrestrial Abduction Day. Bet you didn’t see that one coming. Yeah, neither did a few thousand other humans over the annals of time.

Apparently, flights from earth to origins unknown have been taking place ever since man started looking up at the night sky, wondering what all of those twinkling stars above so far away had to do with us. Even before the first telescopes, humans were asking if we were alone in the universe. Imagine how that first abductee felt when he got the answer. Wow! His voice was undoubtedly a few octaves higher when he got back to the cave after that maiden flight.

Not everyone who gets onboard an intergalactic saucer gets to take the full ride though. The majority are returned to their point of departure. Usually with some holes in their memory and in other places, accompanied by a burning sensation somewhere on their bodies. But, after a while, everything returns to normal. Eventually. Or not.

Those who have been passengers with TWA (Travels With Aliens) report somewhat the same experiences, even though they have never met. Each say that there are parts they remember and others that they don’t. Some say they were terrified, others say they were overwhelmed, but that they would not want to go again. Still others, the extreme adventurers, say that they are preparing to be taken again. These onetime abductees have now become volunteers. Loose screws? Volunteer lab rats? Sure, you bet. Well, bon voyage.

For centuries, mankind has been wanting to make contact with a species from another planet. As if there aren’t enough of those walking around with us right now. What would you do if ET came knocking at your door one evening?

If you were one of those who have been whisked away in a spaceship by little green men, or gray ones, would you tell anyone about it? Think how the ones who have come forth so far have been treated. The name calling, labeling and all-around ridicule. Is that what you would want? Yeah, right. So, why do they choose to tell anyone about it, let alone go on national television or in the newspapers to tell their story? It’s like they have some impulse to talk about it. Is it a warning? Is it ET advertising? If and when you become one of ET’s pets, maybe you should keep it to yourself.

Just a thought.

Aside from the reports of little greenies stopping in to say hello to the pharaohs at the pyramids, visiting with the Inca at Machu Picchu, or sharing their artistic talents at the Nazca Lines in Peru, and numerous other sights, the first reported sighting of ‘strange lights in the sky’ in this country happened in the year 1639. According to the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, John Winthrop, in his diary on the entry for March 1, 280 years ago in Massachusetts, a man named James Everall and two friends in a boat saw a bright light hovering in the sky above them on the Muddy River.

It seems that these three puritans were rowing home from somewhere, not exactly clear from where or what, but they were all described as ‘sober men’ by Governor Winthrop. Anyway, these three river rats watched the light do all sorts of tricks and dances in the night sky until it vanished at a great speed. Apparently, according to the governor, there were a multitude of others who saw the light, but they were several miles away in the village of Charlestown. One more thing. The three men in the tub say that they ‘lost time’ somehow. One minute they were where they were on the river when the light first appeared, and then, by the time it was all over, they were more than a mile away, up river from where they started. The current of the river would have carried them downstream, but somehow, in all of the excitement, they were moved against the currents, and they didn’t remember how. So, not only did Everall and his friends see this spectacle of light, but they were transported without their knowledge while it was happening. Some experts in the field today would say the three boatmates also took part in the first extraterrestrial abduction recorded in the United States. This day then should be shared by those documented visiting space travelers from a galaxy possibly, far away, and the three puritan pilgrims in a boat on the Muddy River the space men encountered.

Unlike in the case of Everall and his fellow abductees, today the government says that people who see these things are mistaken, drugged out, or just plain lying. The government’s official position is, these things do not happen, they do not exist. Or they explain it away with the popular weather balloon theory. They say, “Pay no attention to any of them.” Really? Since when do we listen to the government? On that reason alone we can honestly say to those involved on both sides, alien and terra, “We believe you!”

If there is a day set aside to celebrate it, then it must be true. So, enjoy Extraterrestrial Abduction Day with someone you love. One thing that always goes over well is for a doctor to put on an alien mask just before the anesthesia takes effect on his colonoscopy patient and whisper, “The captain has turned on the seat belt signs.”