UFOs, UAPs, and U-turns – Beside the Point

After a lengthy, but lovable rant last week on the comedy of errors resulting from the city’s simple, but apparently not-so-simple detour around the next phase of the Hwy. 61 project, I’ve been battered with commentary about what people are seeing in Fort Madison.

It comes coincidentally on the heels of some other unexplained citings by U.S. military personnel way outside of Fort Madison.

Apparently some 2019 videos that weren’t classified have been leaked, and now just a week ago were confirmed by Dept. of Defense officials to be “UAPs” – or Unidentifed Aerial Phenomena.

The DOD confirmed the videos shot from naval fighter jets on the east coast, and from naval ships off the coast of San Diego, are legitimate videos but don’t provider further analysis.

They also don’t categorically confirm they are any type of alien craft.. but they don’t deny it either. The D.O.D. spokesperson linked with the confirmation is a Sue Gough, who said no further comment would be made as government officials don’t tip their hand to anyone… including alien menace.

Well I say, “Why not”.

It would be hard to image that somewhere, evolution didn’t create another race…or God didn’t create a sister world. After all, if evolution percolated the human race on earth why is that implausible somewhere else. It all boils down to adaptation right? And if you’re a creationist – why make one when you can have two at twice the price.

Let’s assume that some other entity in the universe has figured out wormhole travel and vector leaps into our atmosphere for a peak at earthlings – checking to see if we have anything they’re interested in. I mean, if you can time jump or travel at speeds yet captured by humans, it really is kind of your own planetary farmer’s market.

If our greatest propulsion is rocket fuel, we probably have very little interest to green men. But I would assume it’s in their best interest to check in from time to time.

Personally, I tend to think the images are man-made or man-interpreted… or man stoned.

It’s kind of like the Bigfoot thing. Just a bit too mysterious to be true. But who knows.

I’m more intrigued by watching people make U-turns through the Fort Madison post office because they still don’t believe you can’t make a left on 10th Street.

And talk about your Unidentified Flying Objects – I ran across a guy Thursday who was weaving in and out of traffic headed the wrong way down Avenue G in front of Pilot Grove Savings Bank. I let him know he was headed the wrong way, but clearly weaving through oncoming traffic had given him a clue because he cussed me out for trying to save him.

“Hey, you’re going the wrong way!”

Fortunately he had his window down, but unfortunately he didn’t appreciate the gravity of my concern for his well-being as he yelled some profanity in my direction.

Road rage….Stranger Danger!

He spun around and zoomed up behind and then pulled up along side of me. I was laughing and waved in a non-threatening fashion and he went on his way. I don’t blame him – I just didn’t want anyone hurt. It’s tough down there, I know. I keep finding myself stopping at 6th and F northbound, and then honking at people who do the very same thing heading south on 15th.


But I have to give people credit. I had the over/under on a t-bone at 3 days and we’ve gone more than a week without an accident that I’m aware of.

I was hanging out with Historic Preservation Commission Chair Chris Sorrentino at the City Cemetery Sunday – yeah, that sounds weird. He was cleaning some headstones with some volunteers, and I would assume, some volun-tolds.

He lives just a couple blocks up from me and was ribbing me about not parking on Avenue E. I had a quick explanation.

“I ain’t parking on E, that car’s paid for.” I said with a chuckle about the 17-year-old money-pit of a Sable I kick around in.

But every day I drive down to look at the section of Hwy. 61 under reconstruction and feel happy about the progress being made. I was talking this week with Fort Madison SIRRC president Steve Link on the group’s commitment of $1.5 million in funding to the city’s new Marina project and told him people are missing the progress right in front of them in this community.

I’m not a liberal or a conservative. I’m kind of right in the middle (ope, someone just screeched to a stop at the E and 6th Street intersection – no crash), but I’m very progressive – and say what you want, but we’re seeing progress.

I’m seeing progress, too. It’s getting semi regular now that I find myself wigging out that the world is closing in on me – but just semi-regular.

As a little girl, my Kelsey talked me into getting a teddy bear at Build-A-Bear on one of our many trips to Iowa City. His name is Skol and he’s a brown bear with a Minnesota Vikings jersey donning “00”. He growls when you squeeze his arm and he’s about 16 years old.

He was kidnapped at a 2005 football draft party and held hostage for about three weeks. I saw him about a month ago in my closet and it reminded me of that beautiful girl.

I know this threatens my man card, but he stays in bed with me now, and somehow always ends up nestled between Lee and I. When she’s not looking I tuck him in.

I think she’s onto it – but that’s Beside the Point.

Chuck Vandenberg is editor and co-owner of Pen City Current and can be reached at editor@pencitycurrent.com.

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