The probability of alien infiltration is one thing -- the actuality is quite another!
In September 1969 while performing his duties as a park ranger in the desert of Southern California about 100 miles east of San Diego, Wesley Van Horn came upon a group of 15 flustered people. They had walked from their campsites, in the park enroute to a nearby store when suddenly one of the party noticed a large round object descending from the sky, hovering and then landing about a mile away in a canyon. The normally sedate elderly people were gesturing wildly and carrying on with unconcealed excitement as Van Horn drove by them on a routine park check.
The ranger stopped and also observed the silent, brightly glowing object from the vantage point of a small knoll. He couldn't believe what he was seeing.
"Perhaps it's just the setting sun reflecting off a rook," he proposed, but most of the group rejected that possibility. They had seen it descend and land.
"Could it be some new prototype airplane that crashed?" another witness suggested, but this met with as little acceptance as Van Horn's proposal. The UFO had landed smoothly and silently on the rugged mountain hillside.
With darkness fast approaching Van Horn hurriedly returned to the ranger station for a pair of binoculars but it was now too late. The sun had set behind the mountains and the canyon was in deep shadow. The nearby airport advised that no planes had been reported missing or in trouble in that vicinity.
Several park personnel, including the chief ranger, had sighted a strange craft landing in the desert, but the resulting publicity had caused the witnesses a lot of grief. Van Horn decided not to mention the incident to his superior, especially since he was new on the job.
Early the following day, Van Horn drove out to the same knoll and scanned the canyon with field glasses in the hope that there would be some simple explanation for the phenomenon observed the night before. If there was anything there, the jutting rocks concealed it. As he squinted against the sunrise, a new Cadillac approached and a man stepped out, inquiring where he might find the chief ranger. The man explained that he was doing research on UFOs and wanted to investigate the chief's sighting of two years before. Van Horn told him that the chief wouldn't be on duty for several hours but that he was welcome to park near the office and wait for him.
Some time later, after his routine morning duties were finished, ranger Van Horn returned to the station and struck up a conversation with the UFO researcher. "He proceeded to tell me a story which I still don't know how to evaluate," the ranger wrote to this magazine. "I am writing this basically for the purpose of keeping my facts straight so as time passes, I will not forget exactly how it was.
"He (the stranger) claimed that some years prior, he had been prospecting in some desolate desert area not very far away from where we were. He said he came around a hillside and saw in the distance a large spacecraft. He saw what appeared to be people moving around this craft and several large machines. Some machines appeared to be digging and others were moving rocks and dirt.
"As he watched, several limousines wre uncovered from an underground cave or vault. The man said he was shocked by all this and could hardly believe his eyes. He asked me what I thought and if I believed him. I responded that it was a very strange story and one that would be hard to believe from anyone. I recall telling him I'd never really thought a great deal about flying saucers or visitors from another world.
"I did have the distinct impression that he was not lying to me but, of course, there was a good possibility that he was mentally ill or deceived in some way.
"The stranger's story continued, about watching the activity around the UFO and the machinery digging up the ground, unearthing the hidden limousines, when suddenly he was discovered by the aliens. He went on to say that he was surprised how much they resembled humans, the only striking difference being a large forehead which possibly indicated a greater brain capacity. Because of this unique feature, he said that all the aliens wear cowboy-type hats while visiting the planet."
Ranger Van Horn writes, "I swear, sitting in that man's limousine, listening to his story so intently and trying to pick it apart or figure out a motive for his telling it, that honestly, it never dawned on me he was wearing a cowboy hat and could be one of the people he was describing to me. In retrospect, this does seem a little dumb, since the only time in my entire life that I have gone out to actually look for an unidentified craft of sorts this man drives up early in the morning and proceeds to tell me such a story!"
The stranger's unique tale was far from ended and the somewhat spellbound ranger was told that the aliens' ancestors had long ago inhabited Earth with an advanced civilization. With the development of space travel, and because of increased problems of national rivalry and the threat of war, a group of scientists and others left the planet when it was apparent that it's problems were too great to solve and total destruction was inevitable.
"He told me that individuals from this advanced civilization continue to make periodic trips back to Earth. They were especially interested in several areas of Southern California. He mentioned that they never get involved in any of our affairs but merely were observers, taking interest only in a detached manner as if they were still trying to learn something from our culture which could be useful to them.
"It was about this point in our conversation when I remembered that I had duties to perform in the park. When I returned in a few minutes, the man and vehicle were gone.
Tomorrow more from this intriguing article about a man from Mt. Vernon, Washington.