Ronald Reagan UAP encounter: auto fiction
Quartermaster Second Class Mojżesz passed through the solid gleaming metal archway leading into the aircraft carrier’s bridge that he had hit his head on while the carrier was still docked in Newport News shipyard. The sound of JetFighters drowned out reason and oppositional defiance harbored in his heart. While not intended by the ship's designers, passing through an archway was a cognitive experience where a new memory formed. They would someday go through the straits of Hormuz – a different cognitive experience – that changes the western memory. The bridge felt like a sacred space where he could be himself. Mojżesz had had a reoccurring thought in the disassociation and cognitive displacement of being at sea for the first time. It would not take much computational power to trick him into thinking that he was at sea. He was always somewhere in front of a screen. The immersive Role Playing Games like Riven: The Sequel to Myst that he played on his computer were good enough that a person could imagine living in a virtual reality themselves.
Being at sea, reality just didn’t seem real. Especially the reality on shore. Especially when just waking up he couldn’t remember who he was or where he was disoriented in a coffin rack. As his self began to compartmentalize, cohesion set in and he could remember who he was. Entering the bridge was like waking up – he remembered who he was supposed to be. Gender was a problem in life out-to-sea – sailors had different uniforms but every effort was made to reach an impossible similitude.
The bridge was in darkenship which occurred everyday at sunset. The whole carrier would be shrouded in measures. The bridge team handed out red flash lights because, the quartermaster manual explained, the spectrum of red light did not travel as far as white light. QM2 Mojżesz had lit a cigarette lighter after darkenship when he was junior enlisted and that had almost sent him to Captain’s Mast. He didn’t understand what the hegemon of the world would be afraid of in the middle of the ocean. He justified this to himself with the story of the USS Cole. After the bombing by Bin Laden there was a hole in the ship the size of a middle class American house. Somehow the crew had managed to get the Cole back stateside in that condition. It was a hell of a story. Stories are so powerful. He thought to himself.
Imagine flexing the simulation hypothesis to the crew of the USS Cole. Like ya, you lived this harrowing tale but it wasn’t really real. The nature of reality is the nature of your reality and nobody is going to tell you any different. He thought. When Mojżesz hit his head he ended up with only three stitches but he could still taste it. Blood was all over the bridge and he had to break open an emergency medical kit. He hadn’t lost consciousness so the chief medical officer said there was no chance of concussion. But that litmus test seemed dubious to Mojżesz.
When people red-line and die and then are brought back to life – sometimes minutes later – to what we call life – it is a marvel that the self reconstructs itself. In a dream state sure, but to flatline and then reconsolidate this has to be evidence of something profound. Mojżesz mused, as he walked past the Boatswainmates table behind the left hand side of the chart table where he worked. “What’s up, boats.” Mojżesz said. BM3 Robinson, with cartoonish eyes, just pointed above the flight deck to a circular orb floating above the flight deck adjacent to catapult 3. This did not startle Mojżesz because he had PTSD before he ever thought about joining. He turned to relieve the standing quartermaster who was talking to the Assistant Conning Officer.
QM3 Jones also pointed to the ball of light the size of a super hornet without wings. The chart table was situated beside the radar station on the starboard side of the bridge. The carrier was going 22 knots conducting flight operations as if there was nothing to talk about. A veil had fallen over Mojżesz's mind upon recognition of the reality of the anomaly. The floating burning bush seemed like it wasn’t moving at all. Mojżesz asked Jones if it had been recorded in the ships log. “As what exactly? I’m done. Do you have the watch?” Jones raised a salute. “Does the OOD know? Should we wake the captain? Why haven’t we called general quarters?” Mojżesz spouted the questions like an auctioneer. Just then BM3 Robinson walked up behind them and Mojżesz gave a salute – Jones was gone. Mojżesz let him go – he still wasn’t sure it wasn’t an artifact of light.
The ship had deployed as a result of Hurricane Irene. Instead of letting Navy ships get beat against the dock. Procedure was to send the ships out to around the Bermuda Triangle. Before that the carrier was doing work-ups and a degaussing procedure that Mojżesz had taken leave for as nonessential crew. He considered himself a rational human being but he had also seen the movie Philadelphia Experiment. In the sci fi film: degaussing – usually a process of depolarizing a ship against mines – made sailors dematerialize and rematerialize inside the metal bulkheads. As plot device degaussing teleported the ship across space and time using Einstein’s principles. The origins of the conspiracy started when Carl M. Allen sent an anonymous package marked "Happy Easter" containing a copy of Morris K. Jessup's book The Case for the UFO: Unidentified Flying Objects with hand written notes in the margins. The margins were commentary on Jessup’s theories of UFOs from the point of view of sailors. Allen, while serving aboard the SS Andrew Furuseth saw a destroyer escort successfully cloaked, but the ship inexplicably teleported to Norfolk, Virginia, for several minutes, and then reappeared in the Philadelphia yard. Allen had never been in the Navy and the hoax ruined Jessups career as a ufologist.
The ship’s log was a legal record. In quartermaster school sailors were taught never to rewrite the log book, always cross out and initial. But that is not necessarily how it worked in the fleet, quartermasters or wheels as they were sometimes called, recopied log pages all the time. But the idea was that the log book had to reflect reality, neatly. If a log book looked messy a leading petty officer would tell you to redo it.
The inch thick bullet proof glass in front of the chart table protected from bullets but did not obscure reality. On the other side of the window lay something he had never seen before; it was not personal will that was maintaining his equanimity. The view of the captain’s chair where the Officer Of the Deck and the Conning Officer stood was never obstructed. Sometimes at night the bridge would be pitchblack but not during flight ops too much going on. Mojżesz couldn’t tell if the two commissioned officers could see the orb. “What the hell is that, shipmate!” Said Boats anxiously standing behind Mojżesz. Looking back on the incident years later, Mojżesz would say that more enlisted sailors saw the orb then commissioned. Some of the commission officers were former enlisted.
The Bull Ensign was formerly enlisted; he wore a big cowboy hat ceremonially as the most senior ensign on the ship. As Bull stared at the burning bush and QM2 was calculating dead reckoning, a projected future location, on the paper chart using a protractor, most of the commissioned officers seem to be suspended in some animation of bacchanalia were their certainty epiphenomenally created space on the bridge. As boats leaned on the chart table for security from the person who usually gave him location, doubling as such. BM2 Robinson looked exhausted; he usually had a joke or antagonism to lean in with but they were in new territory. Just then the starboard forward lookout came up to the bridge out of breath with eyes like pancakes. “What the crap is that thing?” The deck Mojżesz said. The Bull turned around from his radar which he had been smudging with his fingers. “When I was a boy I saw a UFO when I was playing in my local neighborhood in Michigan. I ran as fast as I could home, tripping over myself so I could tell my mother. She told me not to tell anyone.” And like he predicted the officers would not talk about it at all the next day. But around the enlisted berthings the rumors would start, spread and morph.
After the Bull finished his allusion the bridge seemed to get darker. The Bull was sharing the experience with the enlisted sailors. QM2 wondered if some of the commissioned officers had seen things of this nature before – how they were staying stoic. Before bootcamp QM2 had always been oppositionally defiant. He joined the Navy after making a plea deal with the Baltimore DA. He wondered how many other sailors were criminals. The war on drugs and the war on terrorism were the same war. As if all society knew to do was make war on it’s problems – all that had ever been done before was war. He had been charged under exaggerated possession that was turned into distribution. He didn’t want to lose his right to vote with a felony so he made a deal. He was in constant fear of being discovered and kicked out.
Mojżesz had always wanted to see a UFO and now that he had he expected that there had to be a terrestrial explanation. Although, how the orb was keeping speed with the ship without appearing to be moving at all baffled the 26 year old. He could overhear that Boats received a message from starboard port lookout on the sound powered phones they were reporting 3 orange glowing spheres hovering a couple of hundred feet off the bow. QM2's knowledge of how the ship worked relied on a fundamental trust in authority. He had not had that before his subsequent brainwashing. He suddenly reaffirmed a previous distrust of why they darken-ship in the middle of the ocean. His trust of the officers was never more completely reliant then it was in this uncharted psychosocial plane. Yet, he could not be sure that the commissioned officers saw what he saw. Authority was always a ship of fools to him. Until he finally found himself on a ship reliant on authority dangling in the Atlantic.
QM2 peered under the burning bush. The flight deck was peppered with stenciled green shirts looking up while the action of catapulting f-22s continued unimpeded. What was preventing panic down there, he thought to himself. The same uneasy calm of polarized perception of events seemed to be happening down on the flight deck. Or at least that was the feeling that QM2 was having. On the bridge they were whispering to each other. Even Though, it always got quieter during darkenship there was something novel pervasing the bridge on this night hiding out from Hurricane Irene.
The Bull’s allusion gave the phenomenon a creepier feel like an exciting secret they knew they would have to hold in their hearts. In bootcamp QM2 cried when they played “proud to be an American” in the informal capping ceremony after the battlestations obstacle course. He didn’t want to: when your meals and sleep are controlled for 3 months. Your ass is theirs. But why the ship wasn’t at general quarters could only be answered by an appeal to authority – a leap of faith.
In the middle of the bridge behind the Captain’s chair the helmsman steered the ship by the Conning Officer’s orders and when the order’s came QM2 would write them down in the ship’s log. Steady as you go written SAYGO was the last command given. When word came from the fantail that there was three more glowing spheres doing half circles by the fantail lookout QM2 assumed that if the helmsman could see the burning bush above the flight deck she wouldn’t be going so steady.
QM2 couldn’t access the possibility that not everyone was seeing the same thing. He only saw the one orb over the flight deck; he couldn't be sure he was seeing the same thing as the various lookouts. He had never seen anything like it before. It was impossible to hallucinate something he hadn’t seen before. It was impossible to share a hallucination. He wondered what all the khaki officers were seeing that made them so serene. QM2 felt calmer just looking at the color of their uniforms – straight out of Mchale's Navy. He was allergic to khaki – they were from a completely different place. They ate in a different galley. The Navy was the last bastion of the class system. But QM2 didn’t know if class difference could produce a barrier in perception. Were his working blues making him hallucinate. The orb was still there when his relief came. His turnover was as confounded as his predecessors. He didn’t know what to say.
As he descended flights of stairs below decks he didn’t know what to think about what had transpired. He wanted to go back up to the bridge to see how it turned out. As if the phenomenon was a story with an ending and a moral. But the quartermaster berthing they shared with the boatswain's mates was calling him. His rack sometimes felt like a coffin when he would wake up in the middle of the night and forget who he was. He was working 13 hour days and all night long sailors were in and out of that berthing for watch standing. As he drifted away to sleep which came quickly while floating in the ocean he thought of the burning bush. He was sure an explanation was on its way but what could it be. Changes in reality were always so subtle and then bam something like this. Reality is so vanilla up until phenomenon hits then it becomes a matter of faith in one's own perception. Picking a direction and starting to walk…
in the dream he was they and they were in the coffin rack
they are what they are and we are
in the dream they were still on the ship in a parallel universe
in the dream they were standing starboard forward look out watch
in the dream instead of a floating burning bush there was a giant raisin bran box
in the dream the ship had gone into general quarters and all hell had broken loose
in the dream there was no polarization between humans
in the dream they are under an examination light
in the dream they were replicated in a replica
then in the dream they were in their racks woosh-click-weeze-click
a chorus of heavy breathing – all their shipmates connected to respirators
woosh-click-weeze-click they were paralized and surrounded by other lifeforms
in the dream they broke free and tried to escape – the others noticed them
they ripped their respirator off and tried to run away but where
in the dream they got out of their racks and saw all their shipmates
in the dream all their shipmates were awake and wouldn’t wake up
in the dream there was other life forms there monitoring the respirators
in the dream there was two universes existing side by side
in the dream mechanical elves exit a pelican’s beak
in the dream they became awake again