There was a spectacular show about UFOs on ABC last week called "Seeing is Believing." Peter Jennings was host and narrator to an incisive report, hung on some of the more compelling recent accounts of abduction and sightings.
They had the Phoenix lights, several abductees, and even some Robert Stack footage from Unsolved Mysteries.
Nothing like this had been done in at least two or three years. Jennings was at this moment at the apex of the UFO journalism world.
It seemed strange though for ABC to run a two-hour special that took seriously the problem of UFOlogy in this country, unless they were running the program as a gratuitous attempt at garnering ratings and ad revenue.
The only other conceivable explanation is that Jennings has degenerated into a full-fledged Quaalude addict and has taken on the onus of confirming the existence of extra-terrestrials as some sort of self-immolation in his winding down career.
"Better to burn out than fade away."
Jennings has had a long career and what better way to exit.
After the show ended, my neighbor called to discuss the implications of the show and to trade UFO and alien abduction stories.
In the process, he conveyed a tale that took us to the outskirts of Salt Lake City in some forsaken desert, where because of dark spiritual consequences, you could purchase neither liquor nor copies of the video "Look Who's Talking Too."
Driving 85 mph on some forgotten highway, my friend said his car slowed despite his repeated stamping on the gas pedal.
Beside him pulled up an El Camino in which two wide-eyed humanoids stared in at him and then waved their hands at him. Their eyes were dark and they had thin, scrawny arms.
Within seconds, they sped off and his car returned to its prior trajectory of 85 mph.
These were not the experimenting, probing, and mind-possessing aliens talked about on Jennings show. These were different.
Most aliens are something to be feared. But there has to be a few youthful ones in the bunch who steal a saucer from the mother planet and sneak away to Earth to get drunk and prank Earthlings.
The beings my neighbor encountered were probably just freaked out by the pervasive temperance in the Mormon-dominated culture of Utah.
They needed to get out fast and find somewhere where they could have fun.
Las Vegas must have been where they were heading to meet up with Jennings.
Justin Boron is the government reporter for the News-Daily. His column appears Monday. He can be reached at 770-478-5753 or firstname.lastname@example.org .