That’s interesting, had not heard about it. Mind you, the phenomenon I saw was in about 1970; and laser technology was much more limited then, I think. Though of course if it was a military project they wouldn’t exactly have been broadcasting it…
I think I told this tale on the Dope years ago.
Back when I was a slave in radio, Mrs. J. and I were living in Indianapolis and looking for a nice used bookcase. One of the used furniture places we wanted to check out was over on the other side of town in a less than elegant neighborhood. We drove over one Saturday afternoon.
When we got to the address, there was a large storefront wrapping around the corner, with dusty and streaked windows displaying various kinds of furniture and bric-a-brac. There was no sign or obvious entrance. Well, some of these used furniture places are kind of casual.
I left the car and Mrs. J. parked nearby and went to reconnoiter. Finally, around the corner I spotted an entrance door which was open. Instead of leading into the store, however, it went up a flight of stairs. Figuring there was a second floor entrance I walked up the stairs and encountered a second door, which was open. I went in.
What struck me immediately was 1) I was not in the right place, 2) it was evidently someone’s private dwelling, and 3) from the state of extreme disorder (the joint appeared ransacked, with books, clothing, furniture etc. strewn about) it occurred to me that if I went any further inside I was liable to encounter a corpse. Or two. I turned around, closed the door, headed downstairs and through the outer door, circling back to where I’d left Mrs. J.
I got into the car and sat there for a moment. Mrs. J. turned to me and said, matter-of-factly, “Well? Did you find anyone dead in there?”
Now, she had been around the corner out of sight and couldn’t possibly have observed what I had. I just stared at her.
How she picked up on the death vibe has never been explained. I kept an eye on the local news for a few days afterwards, but there were no reports of murders or decomposing bodies found at that location. Could it have been the home of an especially sloppy hoarder, who when I visited was out buying more junk? Maybe I had the address wrong, and the loads of stuff I saw in the downstairs windows was part of his/her “collection”.
I never went back.
The only CCD I could think of was that old Fugs song.
This is the same as what the Catholic kids called catechism when I was young? Does no one use that term today?
One and the same.
I’ve had a few of these over the years.
The weirdest one, we had just moved into a new place. I was in that kind of twilight state, not awake but not asleep yet. I “saw” a man come into my room with a knife in his hand. I wasn’t afraid because I knew he wasn’t really there. It was a bit like watching a movie.
A few days later, I was chatting with one of the new neighbors. He asked if the property management people had told us what happened there. No, what happened?
The man of the house had taken the woman out at knife point and put her in his pickup. I remembered the story, it had happened a few months before. It was on the local news. The guy took his girlfriend out and when the police got to them, he ended up being shot by the cops and died. The woman was uninjured.
CCD stands for Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, so you can see why we abbreviated it. Most of us dropped out after Confirmation, around 8th grade. Lucky me, my mother taught 12th grade classes so I got to go all the way through graduation.
It was Continuing Christian (Catholic?) Development when I went. We were mid-teens, I think. One thing I remember was the priest’s disdain for Jesus Christ Superstar. I loved that album and still do, despite being firmly in the atheist camp.
I guess it’s time to share our baby seal story.
In the summer of 2002, wifey and I sailed our little boat up to the San Juan islands. We went around the outside of the San Juans, starting with an overnight stay tied up to a mooring ball at Clark Island, on our way to the Canadian Gulf Islands.
Clark is a small island NE of the larger island Orcas. As we motored up against the current toward a vacant mooring float, we were greeted by a small animal swimming toward us and calling out. It looked and sounded a bit like a small dog, but was a small seal. And it was tired. We tied up to the ball, and the critter swum around the boat, eventually finding the polypropylene line (bright yellow) connecting our inflatable dinghy to the boat. (We trailed the dinghy behind the sailboat because we used it often and it was large enough to not be easy to handle.) The baby seal was worn out, and hooked his flippers (arms) over the line and snoozed.
During the afternoon and evening we checked on it from time to time. We could hear it nuzzling the boat occasionally, grumbling and blowing bubbles. He was round and fat, extremely cute, and seemed for all the world to be puppy-like. We were worried about it being left to fend for itself, but learned later on that adults will often leave their young while the adults are off fishing or what have you.
It seemed very upset the next morning when we left, chasing after us and barking pitifully. We too were upset; it felt like we were abandoning a baby to an uncertain fate. We hope it was reunited with its mama and grew up normally.
I have a friend who does a lot of boating in the Puget Sound / San Juans area, including doing nature charters / whale watching etc. He had not ever heard of an encounter with a baby seal like we had. So it’s hard to gauge how rare this event was, but it feels pretty uncommon.
About a month later we conceived our (first and only) child. We sometimes think that we were visited by a baby spirit to check up on us, see if we were deserving of having a baby of our own.
That’s a wonderful story, @Limmin !
I love that show, too! Listened to the album a bazillion times from the minute it came out in the early 70s. I saw Ted Neely play it live on tour just a couple of years ago when he was twice the age of Jesus when He met His end.
The show is actually pretty scripturally and theologically sound.
Okay, probably the most mysterious happening I have directly experienced.
As a child, my parents were somewhat devout Methodists, meaning spiritual, but not overly religious. This was the late 60s early 70s. We “gave thanks” (said Grace) for our meals, every day and attended church services every Sunday, but other than that, we weren’t evangelical or even judgemental on other religions.
Anyway, we had Jesus Christ Superstar (the soundtrack) on cassette tape (among other tapes, Simon and Garfunkle Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Bob Dylan’s John Wesley Harding, among others. My older siblings had made for an eclectic variety). We would play these tapes on a very early “boom box” (actually, a cassette tape player, non-stereo, but capable of either battery or direct electrical power). This player was a few years old and had a odd characteristic of “dropping out” (meaning, continuing to play the tape, but producing no sound) for a few seconds to a minute or so at a time.
Anyway, one evening, JCSS was playing on said player in the background when we (my family) were about to eat supper. My father was to give the blessing and was not the type to defer to the tape machine, so he started. The player, at this time, dropped out and went silent. My father said the blessing and we all acknowledged “Amen,” and the player started again. We all looked at each other and then ate.
Now, of the seven people who were there, three of them have passed. One is over 70 and memory is iffy. One was 6 at the time, so I doubt has an accurate recollection of the events. That leaves me and an older brother, about an event that I haven’t mentioned to him for over 50 years. I discussed the event with my brother who passed in 2020 about 25 years ago, so I am sure it happened, but I suspect that today, my remaining siblings would acknowledge the event, just to avoid a confrontation.
At the time, everyone present thought it was just a coincidence.
I’ve told this tale before.
On our 10th wedding anniversary, we had booked reservations at a fancy place in the northwestern part of our county - a fairly rural location.
Getting there involved some fairly winding roads, and it had rained earlier that evening. The combination led to us starting to go around a leftward curve in a road, just as a car coming the other way lost control and crossed the center line, hitting us head-on.
Everyone was wearing seatbelts - so there were no injuries. HOWEVER: the passenger in the other car (a Chrysler LeBaron convertible) had not been belted in… until a mile or so earlier, when something in his head said 'hey, we’re getting to a rough stretch of road, better fasten that belt".
Had that not happened, his evening would have had a very different ending.
It was not until many years later (this all happened nearly 30 years ago) that had our car not been where it was, this other car would have had nothing to stop it, and it would likely have continued the rest of the way across the road and down a very steep embankment. Again, very, very different ending to the evening.
The driver and passenger were both about 19 years old at the time. I occasionally wish I remembered their names so I could look them up and see if one or the other of them went on to do great things.
I went to Catholic school in the 1960s and catechism was taught there. CCD was where the “publics” (Catholics who did not go to our school) learned catechism.
We always disliked those kids, even though we never met them, because their classes were held at our school and if you left anything remotely desirable in your desk, it was not there the next day.
Back in high school I was on a date at one of those hillside makeout spots looking north across Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay beyond. Above all the glittering city lights of buildings and cars were airplane lights.
Two in particular caught my attention. Level, horizontal flight at the same elevation, and headed directly at each other. I watched them meet, but only one continued. The other disappeared. My date said yes when I asked if she saw it.
To this day I wonder what manner of atmospheric phenomenon or optical illusion caused it. It looked like the meeting point was approximately above the edge of the bay. I suspect different air conditions over water vs land might have caused a lensing effect sending a single plane’s light at us twice, with one reversed. Like a traditional mirage but sideways.
Driving back to college one night on I-94 in central Minnesota, in a old Impala. Radio (AM only, of course) hadn’t worked for probably a year or more.
I was falling asleep and heading towards an overpass embankment when the radio suddenly turned on, startling me awake/aware to steer back into the lane. Radio worked for the 30 minutes or so it took me to get back to campus, and never worked again. Probably a bump that turned it on (but the road was smooth there), just amazed the volume was up and it was actually tuned to a station that was tunable out there.
That gave me goosebumps…