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STEVE FLORES: I would like to report an unidentified aerial phenomenon

Steve Flores column mug

Californian community columnist Steve Flores.

I fear this column may “alienate” the few readers I am blessed to have.

I can’t believe I am sharing this with you … but here it goes.

I have seen aerial phenomena I cannot explain.

There, I finally said it out loud.

I am not subscribing UFOs to conspiracy, theory or reality. I am not on a mission to change your mind about the existence or nonexistence of alien life or UFOs. By the way, the politically correct term is Unidentified Aerial Phenomena or UAPs.

Believe me. Or don’t believe me.

I will describe what I saw, and you be the judge.

I was on my predawn walk through our Alta Vista neighborhood before I went for my 3-mile run. I was adjusting my Walkman cassette player. That should give you a reference point as to how long ago this was.

I’m walking south in the middle of the street. When I walk early in the morning, all my senses seem to be more alert. Barking dogs, a twig snapping or hearing an ambulance rushing to Memorial Hospital seemed to be more pronounced and sharpens my awareness of my surroundings.

The skies were cloudless that chilly morning.

I was adjusting my headphones when I noticed a bright red dot high in the sky among a cluster of stars. Although the same size, there was a conspicuous contrast between the glittering white stars and red object. It was in the southwest in the general direction of Taft. I had no sense of the object’s altitude other than it was halfway up between the horizon and directly above my head. It wasn’t moving so I assumed it wasn’t a plane or satellite. Maybe a helicopter? I stopped walking and took off my headphones to see if I could hear the sound of distant whirling blades.

I stood there for a few seconds when without a sound, the red object quickly dropped a perfect 90 degrees, stopped for a millisecond, and did a perfect backward letter “C.” I have no sense of distance it traveled other than the backward letter “C” was about half the circumference of a full moon. It fell a perfect 90 degrees again. It stopped for a millisecond, then darted south and disappeared into the predawn night.

The sighting of the red object and its inexplicable flight trajectory bewildered more than frightened me. I went on my run, kept watching the early morning sky for any more red dots. I couldn’t wait to get home to explain to my wife Susie what I had seen. She was in the middle of getting ready for work when I told her about the red object in the sky. “That’s interesting honey. Would you like any decafe?” she indifferently responded.

So began my silent journey into the world of UAPs. The few people with whom I have spoken regarding this sighting take one step back, raise an eyebrow and are generally polite as they try to refer me to a friend of a friend who is a psychologist.

Why am I sharing with you now?

Not sure if you noticed but reporting of UAP activity is more pronounced. There is World UFO Day, the Pentagon’s release of an extraordinary unclassified “Preliminary Assessment: UAP” report to Congress, a UFO TV channel and a bazillion websites and material dedicated to UAPs. Information is freely being shared without impediment of an official government imprimatur.

What was once a taboo topic spoken softly has become important and noteworthy for our national defense, Congress, and most of us curious folk. No longer are reported sightings immediately equated to claims of UAP delirium or science fiction.

There are several reported incidents of possible UAP occurrences in Kern County. What some consider to be the more high-profile incidents were featured April 2015 by KERO’s Lindsey Adams and by Robert Price on Sept. 17, 2019 in The Bakersfield Californian. And I suspect there are many more never reported.

Like mine ... until now.

I ask for your help explaining what you believe I saw. So, what do you think? What was it?

Believe me. Or don’t believe me.

P.S. After sharing this with you, I just hope I keep my job as a columnist.

Email contributing columnist Steve Flores at His work appears here every third Monday; the views expressed are his own.