Veteran's Day

Happy Veteran's Day to all who served and their families.  I put my flag out yesterday.  When the sun comes up I will put it out again.  That is about the extent of my acknowledgement of most American national holidays - put the flag out, find something for the kids to do, go back to work.  On the winter national holidays, it is usually a good excuse to get out and ski, although everyone and their mother has the same idea so it gets crowdy on the slopes.  I prefer when it is partly crowdy.

I do not talk about my military experience much.  It often comes as a surprise to people when I mention I was in the Army Reserves.  I do not try to diminish the contributions of others, I just think that myself, I did not ever see combat or support a combat mission, so I do not have anything to brag about.  I drank a lot of coffee and tried to stay busy.

David Marceau in Basic Training
Me, graduating Basic Training

From a business perspective, I did good work.  I took on the challenge of turning the parts cage into a parts department.  I stopped all losses due to "attrition" which is a fancy Army word for theft.  I took a complete inventory and figured out what we should be stocking on the shelves so that people could walk in and immediately fix a truck instead of waiting a month or two for a part to be ordered.  I learned the order system and its shortcuts so that we could reduce that order time to days instead of months.  I did good work and that is what I am most proud of.  If that helped out the military in some small way, OK, I contributed.  But it does not define me.

Tangentially, this experience has added to my personal definition by putting me in the position to have witnessed the Gagetown UFO.  In 1992 I realized I did not like crawling under trucks on freezing pavement in January.  I (perhaps unwisely) complained to my motor sergeant.  We went through a few platoon leaders around that time so I can no longer picture who that was or what his name was.

Whoever it was must have been a good guy because instead of telling me to suck it up and do my job he told me I should cross-train into another Military Occupational Specialty or MOS.  That is another fancy Army term, for job.  I did not know you could do that.  At some point that spring I went into the Personnel office and ordered some books to take a correspondence course and at some point prior to our Annual Training (AT) the books came in.

Claude and Cheryl
Dad, fixing Mom's car

I spent the majority of my time at AT studying those books. By that point I was already the de facto Parts Clerk and I had my own office which was a shipping container called a MILVAN.  We were out in the woods, a 30 minute drive on dirt roads, from the entrance to the base and I had an office with a desk and a wheelie chair.  Everyone else worked outside or in a tent and if they had a chair it was a folding metal chair or a make-shift wooden bench, which I call a Contractor's Bench.  It was a pretty cush job, much much better than crawling under trucks - not sure why I chose to be a mechanic in the first place.  It was probably because my dad could pop the hood on a car and go, "Try it now" and the car would start and that always impressed me.

I went to AT a week early with the Advanced Party.  There were probably about a dozen, or so, of us.  We drove the trucks up in a convoy, averaging about 45 miles per hour.  It took two days.  We sheltered overnight at the [NAME PENDING VERIFICATION] and continued on, arriving at our destination late on the second day.  We set up tents to sleep in and a Quonset hut which acted as our motor pool facility.  We got a lay of the land and established communications with the locals and the other units we would be working with for the next three weeks.

We worked our butts off the first few days but at night we were able to kick back for a few hours, drink some beers and play some cards.  After the bulk of the hard work was done we were able to take it easier and there was free time to swim in a large pond (or small lake) nearby and sit around, socializing.  I listened to the radio a lot.  I could only find one English station which played rock music.  It played Tom Cochran's Life is a Highway non-stop.

One day I took a ride on a helicopter.  I actually asked the pilot if it would cost anything.  He laughed and said he had to get his hours in and did not mind taking passengers.  He strapped me into a four-point harness in a side-facing seat.  The door was left open.  If you have ever ridden in a civilian helicopter (which I have not) it cannot possibly compare to the ride we went on.  We did a lot of aggressive climbs and dives.  We banked hard to the left and right so that one moment I was staring straight up at the sky and the next I was facing the ground, hundreds of feet below me, held in place only by the harness and God's grace.

It was during this first week that I met Mike, the guy who plays into my sighting story.  I am withholding Mike's last name, at his request, but he gave me permission to use his first name in this blog.  We went to the same college but did not know each other from school.  We did not have all that much in common and probably would not have hung out with each other if not for the fact that everyone else on the Advanced Party was either much older or not in college.  The college kids tend to stick together in the military partially, I think, because the non-college kids shun them, falsely thinking that the college boys feel superior to them.  It is a projection of inferiority.

Mike and I got to know each other pretty well that first week.  When the rest of the unit arrived we went to work and did not see each other much except at chow.  But by coincidence we were both assigned guard duty at the same time.  It was probably a Tuesday or Wednesday in the second week of August.  I am able to figure this out by getting the deployment dates from my orders and records of the phases of the moon, from the Internet.  It was a full moon that night, or it was nearly full, either a day before or after the full moon.  I never would have noticed what phase of the moon we were in if not for the fact that on that night I saw an enormous alien spaceship which was clearly visible in the bright moon light.

Gagetown UFO
Gagetown UFO

I do not remember interacting with Mike after that night except for the one time when he told me that people were starting to ridicule him for telling them about what he saw and because of that he was going to start denying he saw anything.  It felt like a betrayal and I avoided him after that.  I do not recall seeing him at monthly drills, afterwards, and I never saw him around campus.  Mike completed his contract and got out of the military shortly afterwards and he graduated college and that was the end of the story for over two decades.

Over the years I have tried to reach out to Mike to talk about that fateful  night but was never able to track him down. It did not help that I had his last name wrong for most of that time.  I was essentially chasing a ghost.  I finally figured that out when I happened to go through my records to see if I was considered a "Protected Veteran" from an employment status.  I came across my orders for that summer AT and saw Mike's name.  Armed with this new information I restarted my search for him.  Still, I came up empty.  It is hard to imagine, in 2018, that someone could have no footprint on the Internet but that was the case.  I could not track the guy down.

On the insistence of the producers of the documentary I kicked the search into high gear and was finally able to get a lead.  That lead was confirmed by a source who had access to some records which I will not put in print.  I called and got voicemail.  I called again and someone said they would have him call me but he did not.  I called again and finally got a hold of Mike.

We reunited a month ago and caught up.  Mike's recollection of that night is not as clear as mine.  Either he has aged differently than I have (though my memory is also not what it used to be) or he intentionally blocked it out.  But he was able to bring up key details and I could tell it was all coming back to him as we spoke.  It was a great meeting and I am looking forward to connecting with him again, on a future visit to that area.

Military Silence

Many others in the military have seen things like Mike and I did.  I think most do not want to talk about it for the same reasons Mike and I stopped talking about it.  Basically, people do not believe you and some of the smaller-minded people will make fun of you.  If you value your credibility, you keep your mouth shut.  In the military, it goes even beyond credibility.  You could get written up, fined, demoted.  It is a big deal.  I believe that is one of the reasons why Lue Elizondo left the Pentagon and went to To The Stars Academy, because he was hearing all these stories about people who had seen things and were then encouraged to shut their mouths.

Likewise, it is why I finally decided, after 26 years, to risk my own credibility by going public with my story.  I am halfway through my expected lifespan.  I do not want to be 90 years old and think, "I should have told somebody."  I am putting it out there.  People need to know this.

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If you have seen an alien spaceship or any type of unidentified flying object (UFO) contact me using the Contact form on this page.  You may remain anonymous if you want.  I will not ridicule you or try to tell you why you are wrong.  I get it, I saw one too.

Thank you for reading and keep an eye on the sky.