I’ve been spacing out more than usual lately.

This fall has been particularly good for star gazing, not too cold, not too buggy. If you stare into the night sky long enough, you can’t help but wonder if there is someone or something else out there. I’d say the odds are pretty good. Do the math.

On a clear night there are about 3,000 stars visible to the naked eye, and with a decent telescope you can see a 100,000 or so. In our galaxy, the Milky Way, there are 400 billion stars. Factor in there are about 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe, and each galaxy contains between 10 million to one trillion stars, and you end up with 10 billion trillion stars out there.

Even allowing for some kind of interstellar zoning regulations regarding lot size, you have to figure with all that room we have to have neighbors. I mention this because the other night I was visited by weird blinking lights. At first I thought it was an airplane or a helicopter, but it darted around too fast for that. Then I thought it might be a distant spotlight or something. Then I thought it could be the vino. Then it was gone.


I waited around for a while to see if it might reappear or maybe even drop in for a chat. I was kind of disappointed that it just vanished. I’ve always wanted to see a UFO up close. A guy I knew in college was driving home late one night on a rural country road when he swears he was followed for several miles by a spaceship. I never knew whether to believe him or not. On the one hand, he was pretty shaken up. On the other, there is a good chance he may have been one toke over the line.

While I’d like to see a UFO, I don’t think I’d like to go for a ride in one. People who claim to have been abducted by aliens often talk about being probed. I have no desire to be probed. I’ve had a colonoscopy, thank you. That noted, it would be interesting to see what a space alien might look like. Would it have a light-bulb shaped head like in “ET,” or would it resemble a narrow-headed catfish with over-active saliva glands like in “Independence Day?”

A woman running for congress in Florida says she was abducted by aliens when she was 7, and they still keep in touch with her telepathically from time to time. She described her abductors as “three tall blond space people” who resembled the Christ the Redeemer statute in Rio de Janerio. I tend to believe her. You couldn’t make that description up. I also think she has a good chance of winning. Space cadets always do well in congressional elections.

If visitors from beyond did made contact with us, I wonder what they would make of President Trump? If they were tall and blond, I think they would not only make a connection, but also want to know who his stylist is.

Stephen Hawking, the famous theoretical physicist, has said there could be intelligent life elsewhere, but doesn’t believe aliens have visited Earth. “I’m discounting claims that UFOs contain aliens,” he said in 2012. “Why would they appear only to cranks and weirdos?”

I was trying not to take that personally, when a few days after my sighting the matter of what exactly I encountered was cleared up. Seems one of my neighbors has a new, high-end drone.

I was a bit disappointed to learn this, but at the same time relieved to know that the chances of being probed had been significantly reduced.

Jim Shea is a lifelong Connecticut resident and journalist who believes the keys to life include the avoidance of physical labor and I-95. He can be reached at jimboshea@gmail.com and on Twitter @jimboshea.