I hate to say it but I'm a skeptic. I refuse to read The Enquirer, I laugh at urban myths, I question most everything that comes to me second hand and--much to the frustrations of my children--believe The Great Mysteries of the World to be nothing more than ghost stories invented to make life more interesting.
However, each of my children have gone through a phase of interest in the supernatural where they rabidly check out books on ghosts, Atlantis and other eye-popping monsters that impress a child's mind. A year or two ago Grace came home with a book about documented (and I use that word "documented" rather optimistically) cases of fish falling from the sky. You heard it right, there is an adult out there--somewhere, probably in Las Vegas--who actually sat down and researched a book about fish falling spontaneously and mysteriously from a clear sky.
I've enjoyed a good X-Files episode as much as the next guy but I found fish falling from the sky hard enough to swallow that I was intrigued. Were there actually enough "facts" on this incredible story to make it by an editor's desk? I had to find out the details. I skimmed and determined that it was just as bizarre as it sounded.
Despite Grace's opinion to the contrary, I couldn't believe the story without any thought to laws of probability, science or common sense. I don't care what Ethel McMoron says she saw on her front lawn, fish do not mysteriously fall from the sky, there isn't a nine-foot hairy biped living in the Rocky Mountains and that Area 51 is no more real than the Little Green Men themselves.
This attitude disturbs my children. They don't see how I could flout the "evidence." David is currently reading all he can about the Loch Ness monster, checking out every book in the library, every video he can find and he'll periodically come to me with a passage that he's sure will convince me of the error of my ways.
Last week he made me stop cooking while he read with every ounce of authority an eight year-old could muster, "Mom see it says here someone saw that it had, 'long legs and looked like a camel with a long neck and was yellow.' They say it 'moved into the loch and vanished.' See? See? That proves it! Do you believe in the Loch Ness monster now?"
I smiled and gently explained that the passage didn't prove Nessie exists, it just proved people in Scotland can't tell the difference between a sea monster and a camel. He got a firm set to his jaw and retreated, his determination to bring me to the truth stronger than ever.
So we've gone rounds on this one until it's become a bit of a joke. We did, however, actually gather around the laptop a couple days ago to look at the webcam at Urquhart Castle overlooking Loch Ness just to show David what Nessie might be doing that day. But it was 3 am there and rather difficult to see anything.
So the mystery remains unsettled.
But as a conclusion to my little story I'll mention one last thing. When Andrew and I were traveling back from the cabin a couple of weeks ago it was late at night and the children had all fallen asleep. The two of us were talking, had just come over the Knik Bridge and were traveling around the mountain toward the outskirts of Eagle River when suddenly from the direction of the mountainside to our left, there was a flash. A bright flash. The kind that you get when there is a lightning storm and the sky lights up with a bolt of electricity. Only there was no bolt, just the bright flash that lit up the sky from left to right.
You might think it was lightning but you need to know that Anchorage rarely gets electrical storms. Maybe once or twice a year in the heat of summer the conditions might be right but as it never gets dark in the summer, it's much to bright to see a distinct bolt, just flashes here and there that are indistinct from the daylight. Winter--the middle of January--is much too cold to generate lightning.
The flash surprised us enough that our conversation stopped and we paused.
"Did you see that?" we both said.
"What was it?"
Just as we were considering what it could have been and trying not to run off the road there was another flash. Twenty seconds later another. Four in all, as if some mysterious winter lightning storm--minus the forks of lightning and the rumbles of thunder--was passing through. It was hard keeping the car on the road while I stared at the mountains wondering what it could have been.
Four flashes and that was it, no repeats, no explanation, no idea what that could have been. I'm afraid to mention it to David for fear of never hearing the end of our Eminent Alien Invasion.
Aliens? UFOs? The Loch Ness monster? You be the judge. Just watch out for falling fish.
Technorati tags: Loch Ness Monster, mysteries, motherhood, UFOs