2003 to 2004 I lived in two places and both, though separate, were the gateway mountains of Yosemite — The High Sierras. The first place up at 5200 feet is the subject here. The second was a peculiar old gold miner’s shack at a slightly lower elevation, a place of equal peculiarities and dangers (detailed in my splendid story collection: The Gandy Dancer and Other Short Stories, (Amazon et al) which Robert Redford absolutely fell in love with and told me so but for some reason known only to God has not purchased–yet–for movie-making, because he’d be marvelous in or directing any one of them & I could use the bread). (Also Mr Redford if you missed it read Charles, The Man Who Lived Through Wars here, it’s terrific!)
But I digress. The FLYING SAUCERS OF YOSEMITE are not uncommon. In fact they’re so common it turns out nobody much says much unless it’s about the one last night on my roof, or did you catch the three in a row doing flips and hurling pods. There were especial frequencies of the huge triangle-shaped ones blotting out the stars of the spectacular night skies. That’s how you knew. You’d be looking up, pulled roadside spooning with a loved one, or solitary–spooning Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Dough from the carton–and say, “Hey, what happened to the stars over there? It’s like a big black triangle thingy the size of a football field chewed up the stars, oh wait a minute, that’s one of those flying saucers everybody sees, all the corners are blinking. I’ll just leave before they see me…”
On a lovely day, a day this very same week in March in fact but 14 years ago, I was meandering around the cabin I’d rented. It was near sundown. It had been warm and gorgeous. A night of spectacular clarity with a big full moon against fabulous clouds was on its way. And I was on living top of the highest mountain around, facing west, Bass Lake down below, up higher than Ahwanee. And this appeared in front of me. Silent.
This phenomenon unfolded from the start of sundown into the dark of night, a rising moon in cloud cover, and a flying saucer drifting across the sky over a period of easily an hour. Slow as can be. Stayed pure horizontal no up or down. No sound. Enough time for me to call a friend from down the hill in town who took 15 maybe 20 minutes to close her shop and arrive. I took pictures. Here they are. What is it if not a spacecraft from some marvelous place where Earthlings are adored, slowed down to say howdy, headed to (or from) the mother ship.
I’d love to know what you think. Or if it’s a message you got that night on your mountain, too. I know, looks like a duck, flies like a duck. But it’s not a duck.