Spotting and attracting UFOs

Tyler Cowen has started an entertaining blog meme about silly things people used to believe as a child, based on this site.

When I was really little I used to believe that two of my stuffed animals would come alive when my parents left the room. One was a big dog, the other a big bull. The bull would attack me mercilessly and the dog would protect me. My parents eventually had to give the evil bull away to a friend’s kid, whom I can only assume was also terrorized by it.

I also used to believe that aliens from outer space frequently visited our planet and that I had seen one of their ships once. I even started several UFO clubs in elementary school, enlisting my friends in the search.

Since I’m back home in Texas for the weekend, I dug into my old stuff to find a folder collecting papers from those clubs. The results are fun. According to the membership list, the goal of our club was “U.F.O. spotting and attracting.” If I had a plan at the time for the attracting part, I can’t remember it now. Perhaps attracting was a moot point, because I know that for weeks after watching Close Encounters of the Third Kind I was terrified of being abducted. Repelling UFOs should have been my real concern.

The folder includes a paper titled “Thing to watch out for that might not be UFO’s.” It’s an extensive list, republished here as a public service for others who think they may have seen a UFO. Might it have really been:

meateers [meat eaters? No, meteors!]
birds [that light up?]
dogs [really?]
stores [because of the lights, I guess]
restrants [restaurants — again, the lights]
trees [?]
buildings [that fly!]

Assuming the thing we saw wasn’t a dog or a building but a real UFO, we had a handy guide telling us what to do about the sighting:

take pictures
tell mother
discribe on paper

Crazy as the belief was, we actually were kind of precociously skeptical and objective about it.

Update 3/29/07: Spot a UFO, become governor of Arizona!


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