My father was a strangely two-sided man. On the one hand he was very down-to-earth and ever practical, occasionally maddeningly logical if you were a teenager ruled by hormones and peer pressure. But on the other hand he was surprisingly open-minded to many things. I think his own experiences and his deep admiration for his own fair-minded and even-handed father had made him this way. He was also a Naval man who saw active service in Korea and Suez, and had many fascinating stories to relate, all of which I loved hearing and he loved telling, perhaps recognizing, like many a father has, that his greatest chance to be a mythological-style kingly hero lay with his doting daughter!
When he told me about the phenomenon would one day become known as 'rogue waves' I had no hesitation in believing his description. He told me of being in the Indian Ocean - on those slightly baffling things the military like to call 'manoueveres' ( no guarantee of my spelling there, it's one of my blind spots that word! ) - and suddenly seeing a "wall of water, 90 to 100 feet high, coming toward the ship out of a clear horizon". It was, he said, like watching a building rush toward you, and the most frightening thing he had ever witnessed. Yet neither he nor any of the other men on board thought it anything odd. The sea, they knew, is a force to be reckoned with and an unpredictable one at that. My dad, like most people who have spent time at sea, would say that people who don't know the sea, underestimate it all the time and that is their biggest mistake. He also told me about "glowing things, like gel filled with neon" that they would spot all around the ship and which he figured were some kind of luminous sea creatures. Of course now we know all about bio-luminescence.
Dad's descriptions and theories for these phenomena were very clear-headed and practical, hardly mystical or conspiratorial at all. And yet he was both fascinated by and very open-minded about everything from the Bermuda Triangle to UFO's. The first two non-fiction books he ever steered me in the direction of reading were Erich von Daniken's 'Chariots of the Gods' and a book all about some military planes lost in the Bermuda Triangle. He himself had read all about these things, and the Nazca lines and the 'ancient astronauts' theories, crop circles and the Pyramids at Giza being giant spacecraft-guidance machines. This was the same man who would answer your teenage " Oh but everyone is getting it!" pleas for the latest fashion accessory or gadget with the implaccable logic:
" And if everyone was getting a cold, would you want it too?"
He was not a man inclined to jumping on whatever bandwagon happened to be passing by. And yet he was open to the kinds of possibilities that others automatically reject as the ramblings of whacko's. Small wonder then that his daughter turned out to be similarly open-minded and ever-curious. When Dad left the Navy he went to work for the MOD and in doing so he had to officially sign something under the Secrets Act. For many years during the so-called Cold War, he was forbidden to visit the Iron Curtain countries, even though he was only a civilian worker. It was the government's contention that even civilian workers at MOD bases might have seen things that agents of a hostile country could use and their firm belief also that those foreign agents possessed the ways and means of extracting such subconsciously-held information from people using drugs and hypnosis. Dad never doubted that this was so. Nor did he doubt that our government had the same tools at its disposal and presumably the same willingness to use them given the opportunity.
If the government and military can make a civilian worker at an ordinary MOD base go to such lengths, then how willing would they be to cover up something as globally mind-blowing as the actual existence of UFO's? Which made this video footage from NASA all the more fascinating to me ... Wonder what Dad would have made of it? Considering it was he who recommended the movie 'Capricorn One' to me ...