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La Floridiana by Will Moriaty
   Now in our fourth calendar year
    PCR #184  (Vol. 4, No. 40)  This edition is for the week of September 29--October 5, 2003.

UFOs I Have Seen -- Part 2
by Will Moriaty
"The School Of Rock"
by Mike Smith
Fall Television Round Table Discussion
 by Vinnie Blesi
Beyond Belief....Deadly Visions
 by Patty G. Henderson and Terri Davis
 by John Lewis
Top 10 Albums Revisited....Celebrity Deaths...."Rush" To Judgement
 by Matt Drinnernberg
Rush Limbaugh IS a Big Fat Idiot...Whatever Happened To..?....Who's Next?....Get Well....Passing On
 by Mike Smith
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UFOs I Have Seen -- Part 2
Mysterious Lights in the Night Sky Over Ginnie Springs

In March 1981 I went with my friend Greg Howe of Clearwater, Florida to go camping during a weekend at the Ginnie Springs diving and camping resort (http://www.ginniespringsoutdoors.com/), located northwest of High Springs, Florida next to the banks of the tannin filled Santa Fe River in Gilchrist County.

Ginnie Springs has a series of underground and interconnected "boil" springs that attract divers and campers alike. Greg and I arrived on a chilly Friday evening near sunset. We set up my 9' x 12' tent on a spit of land sandwiched between the river and a boil spring called "Dogwood Springs".

The setting and the evening were magnificent. The star field was so bright and well defined that the stars literally reflected on the water of the spring. The fish in the spring would pop their heads up literally following your steps expecting to get some bread crumbs or food - - magical! A flashlight at night was an absolute necessity here as the adjacent tree canopy was so dark that navigating the campgrounds was otherwise impossible as anything below the tree line placed one into total blinding darkness. The night air was almost deafening with the sound of river's nearby frogs and crickets, as well as the occasional sound of cattle from a pasture about a half-mile east of the campgrounds.

By 10:00 P.M. Greg and I got into our sleeping bags. Sleep came swiftly as there are not many distractions in such a desolate location.

Was It 3 in the Afternoon or 3 in the Morning? The Sun Never Lies!
I had awakened to what I thought were shafts of sunlight piercing through the tent's mesh window. It appeared for all intents and purposes to be daylight. I looked at my LCD watch that said "3:00". How on earth could I have slept all the way until 3:00 in the afternoon?

I immediately looked for Greg who was still sawing logs on the other side of the tent. Something was wrong - - very wrong! Greg used to get up around 4:30 A.M. with or without an alarm clock back in those days (or so he told me). I looked at his analog clock that also said 3:00.

This was just crazy! Greg was a non-drinker and I had one 12-ounce Olympia beer prior to sleep. This was no dream or hallucination this was extremely real!

Dancing Shadows
Within seconds a black line about one-inch thick appeared directly over the center of the tent. The line began rotating in a circular fashion. It then became stationary again and the butt ends of the line began flaring out to the width of the tent. The shadow then contracted to its original thin form, but was joined by another one-inch thick line or shadow which intersected the first line over the center of the tent. There was no sound whatsoever while this bizarre light show was occurring.

The sounds of the forest went eerily silent.

Terrified, I began to try to shake Greg awake. For whatever reason, Greg would just not wake up! The "light show" continued unabated with the shadow lines expanding, contracting, moving clockwise, then counterclockwise.

"Those Wacky College Kids and Their Pranks!"
Finally, after about ten minutes of shaking Greg by the shoulder he began to awaken. The mysterious light began to move to the tent's south, away from it. In all sincerity I felt way too vulnerable and terrified to leave the tent and determine what was causing this disturbance. I tried to down play the high strangeness of the situation and concocted a theory to Greg that a group of college kids were pulling some kind of a prank on us.

For some almost instinctive reason, Greg initially refused to leave the tent also. My 1973 Chevy Impala station wagon (nicknamed "the Golden Mothership Whale" by friend Bob Scheible) was 400 feet away, but might as well have been a mile away.

I finally mustered up the courage to look out of the tent by peeking through its front door that faced south in the direction where the light was traveling. I still did not or would not look into the sky to see what was causing this. What I did see was a blinding white light reflecting off the top of the adjacent tree canopy to the south, and slowly move over the treetops to the southern horizon.

Within moments the frogs, crickets and other creatures of the woods resumed their chorus again as nighttime resumed and the stars once again filled the glorious sky.

Just what created that light I may never know - - come to think of it, I may never want to know!

"La Floridiana" is ©2003 by William Moriaty.  Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2003 by Nolan B. Canova.