by Colin Gee
Near dusk on a brightening June evening in 1959 near the Iowa-Nebraska border an unidentified object was seen skimming the horizon south of County Highway H. According to eyewitnesses it was shaped like a saucer and emitted strange strobing flashes of green and yellow light. Darting back and forth several times, it vanished suddenly into the wispy ether. Max McGuthers, Bob and Sharon Wilson, and the entire extended family of the late Gary Smithers were witnesses to the apparition.
What object was seen that shimmering summer evening in Nebraska? Was it an extraterrestrial spacecraft? A government spyplane or a weather balloon or a giant boomerang? Was it a hoax? Did the Wilsons and the Smithers and Max McGuthers collude to deceive the police and national press? Or were they themselves deceived by an optical trick, by the light playing on the confabulated clouds, or by their own small, gullible, and superstitious minds?
No one can say and there is no way we can know.
A baseball, on the other hand, is something everyone can agree on. It is a ball of tightly wound yarn with a white leather cover composed of two pieces. The cover is sewn onto the core using thick red stitches that provide a perfect grip for throwing and make it unmistakable in flight. It will never be confused with a UFO or a Russian spyplane or an Australian boomerang. Max McGuthers and the Wilsons and Smithers would have looked at a huge baseball flying above the Nebraskan cornfields that June evening and, even at the distance of half a mile, they would have exclaimed, Golly, look at that giant baseball! I wonder who in carnation threw it.
Colin Gee (@ColinMGee) is founder and editor of The Gorko Gazette (@GorkoThe), a daily that publishes fake news, cartoons, reviews, and poetry. Fiction in Misery Tourism, Expat Press, A Thin Slice of Anxiety, Bear Creek Gazette, Exacting Clam, and elsewhere.