Bitterly cold and sparkling clear, this Sunday night in January seemed no different from many others in Franklin County, Georgia until——————

It was 1958, and I and my college roommate had coerced my daddy into letting us have his brand new Buick Century to ride around for  an hour or two.  North Georgia College had afforded us a long week-end, no boys were banging at our door for a date, and we were bored.  But not for long, for sure !

Leaving Lavonia on Hwy 59 , driving toward Carnesville,  one of us commented that a single star stood out from the others : somewhat larger and red instead of white or yellow.  Wondering at the difference , in both size and color, we speculated that perhaps  it was a radio tower in Athens, some 50  miles away, the night being so clear, etc.  The farther we drove, the bigger it became.

Approximately four miles out of town, in the community of Fairview, I turned left, moving in the direction of the star, which , by this time, was many times larger and blindingly red.

AND THEN , ” it ” landed on the hood of our car, completely covering the entire windshield and pulsating as if it were a large heart beating ! It seemed soft, with no clearly defined edges.  Scared beyond words, I slammed on the brakes, blew the horn ( what else would a teen driver do ? ) and froze !!!!!  And praise the Lord, ” it ” lifted itself off the hood, rose gracefully and silently upward and away it flew—–or floated—–or maneuvered—–until it again became a red star in the heavens.

My roomie, Jo Ann, in the meantime , had thrown herself onto the floorboard and was crying hysterically.

I drove recklessly back to Lavonia to tell my parents the scary story.  Because I had earned my wings in the Cold War Civil Defense, my daddy advised me to call the secure number we had been given to report any unusual activity that we observed.  I did but never had a response, understandably.

A couple of observations regarding the incident : in recent years Jo Ann and I have discussed that night and all the implications , and our memories are the same——-and my daddy traded his new Buick a few months later because none of the electronics functioned properly.

It was real, it was scary, and it happened in Franklin County  ……..and it has only been in the last few years that I have stopped scanning the nighttime skies for that eerily strange red  ” star ” !