It goes like this; apparently on June 19, 1979 a man and his daughter were sitting in their backyard and claimed to see an object that was "perfectly cylindrical” with flames about 18 inches high come flying through their backyard, landing with a “sickening thud”. The father decided this was a big deal and managed to get the press involved, which then prompted officials to take his claim seriously.
Of course my eight year-old imagination was inspired by this, and the idea of random flaming objects bringing an element of the extraterrestrial to my otherwise quiet suburban community was appealing. It was even more intriguing than the rumour about the neighbourhood “bad girl” who got high when she ingested some aspirin with coca cola, or the kid who thought she was impregnated by her teddy bear.
Upon further investigation it was later revealed that mysterious object was in fact a frisbee that was set on fire and thrown into someone’s backyard as part of a prank. Still though, the fact that it warranted some larger scale media attention provided sufficient validation in my eight year-old mind.
This was the pre-internet era of course, and there was likely some lag time between the reporting of the initial “mysterious sighting” and the final report that officials investigated to discount it. By my count, that gave us a few days time to speculate further on whether it was aliens or the ubiquitous bogey-man who was responsible for this atrocity. Of course during this time the story became more grandiose with each new tellingI love that fact that someone took the time to document this on Wikipedia, which in my mind reinforces the positive aspects of user driven content. It was great to have a vague memory from childhood reflected online, bringing to mind those strange stories, legends and myths that are an essential part of my psychological make-up.
It is good to remember these tales from time to time.