It seems I’ve been getting ahead of myself here, posting all sorts of mysteries and puzzles, and never getting around to giving the answers. I pledge to tie up all the loose ends before continuing down this reckless path.
So, first on the hit list, is the UFO Mystery that I posted last week. I gave enough facts that I thought you’d probably be able to figure it out, and figure it out you did. (If you haven’t read it yet, check it out now, and then come back here for the spoiler.)
A number of you guessed it pretty much right on the nose. There are some power lines above those carports, pretty high up. They’re black rubber (or whatever they make power lines out of) so you wouldn’t think they’d look like a light in the dark. But somehow, car headlights on the road outside the complex are hitting something and reflecting 90 degrees into the condo complex in a thin vertical stripe. This vertical stripe of light hits the powerlines, and makes two or three (one cable was thinner) grayish lights appear in the sky. If the car turned into the complex, the lights would shoot off to the left.
And that security guard driving up? I mentioned him for a reason. Note that the appearance and movement of the lights correlated with his car coming up the road and turning into the complex.
We couldn’t find exactly what the headlights were reflecting from. There are a lot of buildings and stores and signs and stuff across the street from the entrance, and I think you’d probably need to climb up onto the powerlines to see exactly where the reflection is coming from. But a reflection it is, as even the most modest patient investigation clearly reveals. It happens whenever a car turns in, and doesn’t happen whenever a car doesn’t turn in. The condo complex is very quiet and isolated from the shops, and there’s no sense at all that you’re seeing an intrusion from that direction.
Of course, in the light of day, when you know what it is, it seems stupid and really obvious, and you wouldn’t think anyone would be fooled by it. But I was there and had the privilege of seeing the lights when I didn’t know what they were; and I assure you, it was a wild scene. It’s not often that you get to enjoy that sense of “Whoa, I’m witnessing something I actually can’t explain!”
When we figured it out, Jim and I had distinctly different reactions. I was excited, like I’d just won Final Jeopardy. Jim was reserved, quiet; he smiled and nodded. There was probably a mixture of disappointment that it wasn’t aliens, and embarrassment that he hadn’t figured out such a simple puzzle. But he’s a smart guy and he certainly didn’t argue or try to twist the explanation. I certainly know UFOlogists who would claim that the reflections are actually aliens trying to tell us something.
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