Early one morning several decades ago I stood near the edge of a deep drop off atop a red rock mesa in southern Utah surveying the lay of the land for a project I was designing.
The sun had been up for less than an hour, the sky blue and the morning breeze promised yet another hot day at the trading post. A sound drew my attention to the left. I turned to look up the canyon only to behold a B-1b bomber rapidly sliding toward me just below the rim of the canyon.
To say that I was surprised to see it fails to describe the stupor of my mind. The morning sun shone bright enough that in the second or two before it passed by, I recognized the shape of the two pilots inside the cockpit. I raised my had in a quick wave and caught a brief glimpse of a return wave from the right seat.
I’m not saying I heard the two of the young pilots laughing but it wouldn’t take much of an imagination to hear their gales of laughter at my deer-caught-in-headlights stare and slack jaw. There was little doubt in my mind that they had a great story to laugh about when they got back in the ready room at Nellis AFB.
After questioning my sanity for a second and deciding I hadn’t lost my marbles another sound once again attracted my attention to the left. Coming toward me was a B-52 about 100 ft above my level on the edge of the cliff. I didn’t see her pilots. I was too busy counting engines and thinking how much larger it was than the B-1b. She wasn’t as quiet as the smaller plane. Its sheer size denied stealth.
Although both craft were traveling relatively slowly in their low level practice run, my shirt still fluttered against my chest as they passed. I confirmed the existence of the B-52 by staring after it for the minute it was still in view.
Delighted with the experience, I thought “wait until I tell the folks back in the office about this!” And then it hit me. Who was going to believe me? I literally could have hit the B1-b with a well thrown baseball. I could call off a couple of the number from the tail of the B-52, yet it was all for naught. No one was going to believe that I looked down on first one craft then slightly up on the other as they passed by in very close proximity.
My wife believed my story but I was never able to tell the tale to others when they told stories of the herds of elk, deer, antelope and lost tourists in breaks at our staff meetings.
Now my children and grandchildren are hearing the tale years after it was written in my mind. I’ve proven my tall tales to be true many times in the past. This one is true too.
Who is going to believe your stories? Have you recorded them for your descendants to enjoy?Copyright (c) Lee Drew 2013-06-30 07:00:00
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