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Friends and Flying Saucers

By Belinda

You would think that having broken up with Mike at the end of June, 1967, and finding myself thinking of Paul on a regular basis, that I would have had a clue or two, but no...

I mean, I did know that I had feelings for him that weren't going away, but he seemed to be oblivious to my existence.

My life was a whirlwind of activity. There was so much going on with friends, singing in the gospel group at church, art, and helping out with the building of a new church on a piece of land that had been purchased by the small congregation.

There was a lot of pressure involved with my job and there were tearful moments at work where it all just seemed overwhelming and impossible. Looking at what was expected of us, it was a huge amount of work and responsibility but we didn't question it--we just did our best to do what was expected.

On October 12th a diverting thing happened. I wrote, "I had the shock of my life--David phoned and asked me out. Dave's the last person I'd expected to ask me out. I'd just never thought of him that way...I said 'yes,' anyway." It always took me by surprise when someone asked me out, I realize now. I think that I never quite shook off my self image of the homely child I had been. And it seems not to have occurred to me to say anything but, "Yes!"

David was tall, slim, blond and blue eyed. He was funny, and klutzy. He only had to move and something would bang and crash to the floor. I was confident that I would not have to worry about him becoming serious. In fact, on our first evening out he had great fun with a thing that buzzed when you shook hands with someone. It went off regularly throughout the evening!

On October the 15th I wrote, "Fool though I am, I still can't help liking Paul."

On October 16th, just before John, one of the older members of the singing group was to be married, I began to imagine who would marry who in our group of friends and wrote, "What will become of us all, I wonder. I bet Penny will marry David, Eileen will marry Hans or Richard and I know who I'd like to marry, but the Lord only knows who I will! In ten years the group will have split up. It seems such a shame, but it has to be. New teenagers will take our place...I don't think I will marry anyone."

Around this time in England there had been a rash of "UFO" sightings. Just in case anyone needs further doubt of my sanity, on October 28th, I recorded a strange experience I had the night before. I still remember it clearly. What I wrote was, "I thought I was awake, when after seeing some lights flash on my curtains, I looked out and saw an object whizz past. It was so real that I dashed into Mum and Dad's bedroom and shouted, 'I've just seen one them in the back garden.' I know UFO's are in the news and probably on my mind, but it seemed so real."

What I had seen, after the lights shining through my curtains made me look outside, was a saucer shaped disc, silently flying over the gardens from the north west to the south east. I don't remember waking up between seeing it and walking into Mum and Dad's bedroom. I still don't know if it was a dream or real, but a Google search of sightings around that date in England did yield this:
Report - October 25, 1967; 4:30 a.m., Hooks, Hamps., England. Domed disc hovered ahead, driver felt pressure on eardrums.
Report - October 28, 1967; 6:45 p.m., Tunbridge Wells, Kent England. Triangular object with bright white lights ahead. Slowly rose and moved away; car could then be restarted. Flying Saucer Review, Vol. 14, No. 3; see Rodeghier, 1981, p. 37 (E,L) car

David and I had fun, ice skating, bowling, simply being friends. In fact, on December 4th I wrote that he was "firmly friendly." It was probably the healthiest dating relationship that I had had in my young years.

And then on December 23rd, exactly a year after I had danced the whole evening with Paul at a company dinner and dance, I went to a party and danced the whole evening with him again and he took me home. We never parted again.

I wish I had handled things better with David but he didn't hold my blundering against me. He eventually became the pastor of the church that was founded by Paul's dad in Redditch and is still there.

A new year was about to begin, and on December 31st I wrote, "I felt so happy for an hour or so being in the church with Paul not far away and no worries for a while...We drove everyone home and then Paul came back to our house. We sat in the car for ages talking and then he came in to let in the New Year with the family. It was very cosy. I thought this thing with Paul was a beautiful bubble that would burst if I touched it, but it hasn't. I hope so much that it will work out o.k. because he's so very nice..."
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