I was born and raised in the San Luis Valley, a supposed hot spot of UFO activity. In his book, The Mysterious Valley, Chris O’Brien details some of the numerous sightings and just plain weird stuff that’s happened in the San Luis Valley. Some are very detailed, and others are mere noise. I don’t buy into everything in the book, but anything set in the Valley would be incomplete without at least taking a nod towards the legends, superstitions, and so on.

Being a cowboy and an avid astronomer, I spent a fair chunk of my life under the open sky. I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything in the sky that sooner or later I couldn’t explain. While everyone else is seeing nightly formations of unknown objects promenading across the sky, I’ve never seen them. I guess I was looking the other way.

The only thing I ever saw that made me take pause and wonder what it was happened one night while stargazing. I was in college at the time, and after our observing program for the night (I was the telescope jockey tasked with completing them), I was pretty well free to look at anything I wanted. After all, having a big telescope at your disposal was a little like being turned loose at a carnival.

Anyway, this one evening I had two friends over and we had our own little private star party going. Now the observatory was enclosed, but we didn’t have a dome and was wide open to the sky. I was lining the telescope up on M15 when my friend yelled, “look at that. look at that.” I barely had time to look up and see four blue while rectangular shaped objects streaking overhead. I’d say I had maybe two seconds to view these objects. I do recall they were in formation, and for the longest time I didn’t have a clue what it was.

Now this illustrates the problem with most UFO sightings. You see something, and don’t have the time to really see what you saw if you understand what I’m saying. The viewing was too short, and I barely saw whatever it was before it was gone.

They were simply something in the sky that I didn’t have time to observe properly.

Years later, I’d see that mysterious pattern again. Only this time, I knew what I was looking at. I witnessed several F-111 Stealth Fighters flying overhead, and damned if they didn’t look like the things I’d seen.

Case solved.

So, it’s odd that I’d have a UFO sighting in one of my novels. At first it seems to be a mere side chapter, but later it starts having bearing on what’s going on and events that occur in several of the later novels. Call this the curtain rising an an act that has yet to played out.

Since Will Diaz is based on me, he ends up looking at the incident and trying to find answers. Will would like nothing more that to think someone from somewhere else is visiting us. That said, he’s also a realist. He understands that while life might be plentiful in the universe, Intelligence is probably a rare thing. He’s not even sure there’s intelligent life on Earth. But having a huge interest in space flight, he understands the huge issues with star travel. So when something appears in the sky and terrifies a group of teenagers, he goes hunting for the truth.

The truth he finds is a lot closer to home, and it makes an alien invasion look like a picnic. It will be several books before it’s resolved.