It came up in conversation recently that an acquaintance of mine actually had, at one point, the foam plate model used in the Gulf Breeze UFO hoax. It’s been a while since anyone’s given the furor over the sightings any thought, so I thought it’d be fun to dust off Agent Mulder’s X-Files desk and re-visit the greatest paranormal event in our area’s history.
Whatever may or may not have happened in the backyard of alleged hoax perpetrator Ed Walters, anyone who has lived here for more than 25 years can tell you how the event captivated first the city, then the country. I even remember the television show “Unsolved Mysteries” coming to town to film a segment. Many questions remain over the incident, but I think the most important question is did the sightings/hoax generate a placebo effect for the over 200 sightings by other, unrelated people or was there some legitimacy to these events?
In other words, was this a case of mass hysteria causing people to “think” they saw something that wasn’t there? I don’t know, but I do know this. I saw something unexplainable one night, too. Now, before you group me in with the tin foil hat wearing, radio transmitter in my brain having, they did what to me up there?! crowd, please keep in mind that UFO means unidentified flying object. What I saw out at Pensacola Beach absolutely fits that definition.
I was explaining to my German exchange student friend that the glowing dot she spotted was probably a communications satellite when it began to zip around at impossible angles before completely blasting off, disappearing into the night sky. We all froze, jaws sufficiently dropped, staring at the point where it vanished. I had been – and still am – an astronomy buff accustomed to sky gazing and I have never seen anything move like that.
Whatever it was, it still gives me the heebie-jeebies thinking about it. Beer me, please.
Seems suitable at this time to crack open a Harpoon Brewing Company’s UFO White. In this case, UFO stands for Un-Filtered Offering and white ale is certainly that. A close cousin to German hefeweizen, white ale – or witbier, as it’s better known as – is also wheat based but traditionally is spiced with dried Curacao orange peel and coriander seed. UFO White is straw-yellow with plenty of yeast and wheat particle haze and a copious, frothy head. Lemon and orange show up in the nose and on the palate while some quietly assertive spice comes along at the finish. It’s creamy, juicy and extremely thirst-quenching.
At a very sessionable 4.8% alcohol by volume, UFO won’t have you seeing things that aren’t there after a couple.