I'm not a UFO whacko, but what you are about to read actually happened, every word is true. This is not a joke, nor am I pulling your leg.
It was 1957 and one fine, clear summer day my brother Pete and I decided to go down to the "hook", an affectionate term we gave to the industrial section of Bayonne NJ that was filled with chemical and oil companies. The stretch of land near the New York harbor that we were walking on was barren of any buildings, trees, hills, or bushes. Even the grass was shorter than ankle-length. That is to say, there was no way that anyone could sneak up on us without being seen. The photo below should give you a good idea of how flat everything was around us.
At 12, I was three years older than my brother, and as I said, it was a fine, clear day - not a single cloud in the sky, a welcome relief from the rains a few days earlier, and not a single other person in sight. It was late afternoon; a time when our shadows were as long as we were tall. We were talking and skipping over old coke bottles when I noticed after a very brief moment, a few seconds at most, that I didn't hear any sound from my brother beside me. His bouncing shadow had suddenly vanished and I thought he simply stopped for some reason. I swirled quickly around thinking perhaps he was merely hiding behind me as children love to do. Nothing! Absolutely no one for hundreds of yards around. This was absurd! There was not a single large rock anywhere that even a small rabbit could hide behind. He had disappeared in an instant. I mean completely vanished - gone - poof. I twirled so fast I almost stumbled from dizziness. He couldn't have run away, we were in the middle of a vast, empty wasteland and he was alongside me only seconds ago.
Although I believed that we are not the only intelligent life-forms in the Universe, I did not believe in UFOs as commonly described. If aliens were visiting Earth why would they bother to hide? When explorers here on Earth centuries ago visited new lands they boldly announced that they had come to conquer and subjugate the heathens.
Anyway, I did not know at the time that he was very close to death. I began to panic sheerly from the impossibility of the situation. With no small amount of trepidation, I slowly tilted my head skyward, afraid of what I might see. I can't believe I'm looking up for UFOs, I thought to myself. For the only time in my life, I actually expected to see something beyond imagination. He could only have been abducted by aliens!
What I heard and saw next ran shivers down my spine.
What I heard were bubbles birring from a small puddle a few feet away from me. It was perhaps a little over a foot wide, a small circle of water, really. But the bubbles were beginning to gurgle with mounting force. I have no idea what made me stick my finger in, I expected to hit mud about two inches in, but I kept going deeper and deeper and when I had reached elbow length something grabbed my hand and I felt myself being pulled. I braced myself on the solid ground and jerked my body backwards and there, clasped to mine was my brother's hand.
It took some strength, but I pulled him out.
Years before they must have removed a utility pole and left this sinkhole which filled itself with water. My brother told me he had skipped over a broken bottle and expected to land in a shallow puddle when suddenly he plunged deeply into the hole. One hand was by his side and he couldn't raise it because he was wedged in tight. His other hand was free but he was too deep to wave it above the puddle and he couldn't swim up. He was about to give up holding his breath when he saw my hand and grabbed it. He laughed it off and we went home to clean up.
Every now and then, when I think of how small events can change your life forever, I wonder what would have happened if I had kept walking for only 20 or 30 feet more before noticing that he was gone. The puddle would have been too far away to notice the bubbles. I would have had to go home and tell my parents that somehow, unbelievably, I had lost my brother. I doubt that a search would have found him, there were hundreds of puddles from the rain a few days ago and who would think that a puddle could hide a grown child? Who would believe my story?
Years would have passed and if his body were never found, would I be telling the tale of how aliens had abducted my brother right before my eyes?
This story explains item #150 from my post Things I have Done