Presidential wannabe Hillary Clinton, one of the poster children for the narcissistic branch of the Baby Boomers family tree, is now 60. Last night she and Bill, the presidential has-been, partied down with Elvis Costello, Billy Crystal, and folks who paid up to $2,000 a head to come to the NYC party.
But hers aren't the only candles and the only cake. This year, the modern UFO craze turns 60 too. Not only that, the year's significance hits a triple fruit on the old slot machine of coincidence.
Most importantly, there was Roswell, NM. where a UFO with aliens aboard reportedly crashed in the New Mexico desert. The fallout from that crash--which official sources said was only a weather balloon accident--continues with tales of autopsies on dead aliens, removal of live aliens, secret research on aliens at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. and those Men in Black.
After Roswell, the term "flying saucer" became a part of our official, everyday English. The Washington Post, in a rock 'n roll riff of offbeat news, cheerfully reported that it was only 55 (numerologists, take note!) years ago that the paper ran headlines like: 'Saucer' Outran Jet, Pilot Reveals" and "D.C. Girl Sees Saucer Float Under Clouds" as UFOs paraded around DC.
And the gold rush of ufology was on. Like panning for gold, looking for that elusive sparkle of a real UFO event--not just glittery fool's gold--is hard work. Then there's the testing phase, which is done in the laboratory of human experience and reaction.
If you didn't have the big bucks for Hillary's conga line, there's still a chance to party down, and for no more than $40. A day-long UFO conference, Mysteries of Space and Sky IV: Sixty Years of UFOs, will beam into DC's Anne Arundel Community College Saturday. Various luminaries of the celestial mysteries world will present case studies of UFOs.
And if you miss that event, not to worry. The topic of UFOs is hot, and the candles on this cake aren't likely to go out anytime soon. In fact, in the midst of the Turkey-Iraq-PPK tensions, UFOs have been spotted in the region, some say.
And, as that jazzy little song says "Everything old is new again." The craze for UFOs in the modern era has expanded to denials of America's landing on the moon, which co-exists with a belief that there are top-secret bases on the moon,alien and human.
UFO sightings, crop circles, claims of astronauts seeing strange things in space (usually mostly sparkles from spacecraft debris), aliens, alien abductions--they're all part of the standard daily mix these days. But hey--what do I know? I've read Project Blue Book (the Condon Report), interviewed UFO witnesses, visited Roswell, and have an "Area 51" parking permit on my car. (Disclaimer--perhaps you'd better ask about that permit.)
UFOs, and the purported aliens among us-as well as the jet-setting aliens who only drop in to visit or probe us--are alive and well in books, movies, documentaries, on the lecture circuit and on the internet. Aging well--not that they haven't been sporadically reported for thousands of years-- those strange sightings of crafts and beings have become part of our planetary culture.
Klaatu barada nikto, ya'll.