My first UFO

One of the significant aspects of my life that I will discuss in my blog is what many people consider to be the fringe idea of the paranormal.

I want to share with you some of my journey of having exceptionally unusual experiences throughout my life. It is difficult for me to come out and say this since my life is otherwise based on scientific principles of research, medicine and surgery. Coming out a closet in this regard is very tough for me since my reputation and credibility are at stake. I am at a point in my life where people questioning my sanity or abilities is no longer a major issue as if it would have been when I was an active surgeon and researcher. Who would go to a nutty surgeon that claims to see weird things? Also, with advancing age I have acquired some degree of wisdom and clarity understanding what is true and important and matters in the long run. Working, striving, achieving, worrying about the future are all harsh realities of life for most young adults who are bombarded with sensory overload from everywhere. As I have stated before, commercial ads are designed to make us feel lacking or inadequate unless we use a certain product or make a purchase of something we really don’t need. There is no time for reflection or spirituality or the paranormal and these things have lost their pertinence for us anyhow. Quality time, whatever that is, has slipped away from us and we need constant stimulation and ego boosts to confirm our validity. Our cell phones are a wonderful tool that seem to have taken away important basic human interactions. A grinning emoji cannot replace a knowing look or meaningful smile.

The first time I encountered what is traditionally called a UFO or flying saucer was at my grandmother’s house in the spring of 1958 when I was 13 years old. I know it was spring because the Big Dipper was inverted and it was warm, so it was probably late April or early May. The previous year (October 4, 1957) I had seen Sputknik-I and its booster using some crude binoculars and thereafter insisted I must have a good telescope. My parents bought me a 3.5” reflecting Skyscope© telescope for Christmas and on the day in question, I was looking in wonder at the stars for several hours beginning about 7:00 pm. The air was fresh and it was a beautifully clear night as I delighted using my telescope and my newly acquired knowledge of the stars and planets. I had been looking at the triple star Polaris, also known as the Pole Star, in Ursa Minor about 9:00 pm when I stopped and looked around and saw coming from the south a very bright sparkling ball of light that slowly moved across the sky above the trees and housetops into the bowl of the big dipper in half a minute from the time that I first saw it. I thought it was a very slowly moving meteor but then it suddenly stopped just before reaching Polaris. It was scintillating brilliant white sparkling light and did not move for about a minute. Its brightness seemed to be slightly brighter than Venus at its brightest phase. I do not remember seeing any other colors, only the bright white flashes. My telescope was focused on it for less than a minute and I clearly saw a distinct flashing ball that filled about ½ of the view of my 60X eyepiece. It seemed to be slowly rotating but I could not see any other details except for the sparkling. It then completely reversed itself and moved south along the same path it came and disappeared over my grandmother’s house in about one minute. I was completely awe struck and stood there at least 15 minutes and closely watched the sky to see if it would come back. I then ran into the house and told my parents and grandparents what I had seen. They weren’t very excited, having seen Sputknik and thought it might be a satellite. I told them it was a UFO and it came to see me and they all had a good laugh at my story. I remember that during the time the light was present, there was a dead calm throughout the neighborhood with no noise of any kind. I wondered if it saw me because when I stared at it, it just stopped and hung there in the sky without moving. I had a feeling it knew I was there and wondered if this display was just for me.  I was absolutely glued to this remarkable light in the sky and almost forgot to point the telescope at it. This event was a game changer for me. I then knew UFOs were real and not a hoax and could only be flown by beings who are much smarter than us who probably had come from somewhere else and not earth. No one could change my mind about what I experienced even when I was rebuffed and criticized. After this event I soon had the profound realization, an epiphany, that we are definitely not alone in the universe. My small worldview was wonderfully destroyed in just a few minutes of magnificent beauty and strangeness. Afterward, there was a buzzing sound in my head for several hours and I was in a dazed ecstasy state for a couple of days, happy beyond belief, hardly comprehending what I had experienced. I quickly found out that this was an incident that I could not discuss with family or friends.

More stories will follow later.

Walter Holder, MD

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Walter Holder

Walter D. Holder Jr., M.D., FACS is a semi-retired academic surgical oncologist with decades of patient care experience, medical and surgical teaching, and clinical and basic science research. He loves all things science and has been committed to scientific truth and integrity throughout his life.