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A Million Little Pieces Of My Mind

Flying Saucers I Have Known

By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 3/4/2024
Occurred: 5/3/1969
Page Views: 4662
Topics: #Autobiography #AlienAbuduction #UFOs
About a couple of weird things that happened near St. Augustine Beach.

Our neighborhood, while a conventional subdivision, was nevertheless almost as far south as development went on Anastasia Island. Consequently, it was very dark there at night. And several odd occurrences happened to us while we were there.


One night we were coming home from a school event. My Mom was driving; I was in the front passenger seat, and my sisters were in the back. We were just a few houses from our home, at a place where our new housing development had not yet been completed and the Florida jungle had not yet been cleared. Mom was driving very slowly. Suddenly she said, "Paul—I think I see a flying saucer!" At that, the rear door opened and my sister Louise jumped out of the moving car and ran into the woods. I jumped out, too, and grabbed her by the belt just before she plowed into the brush. I had to pull her by the belt back to the car. My mother then said it was just an airplane. When we asked her what she was doing, Louise said she was "trying to get back home!" although home was in sight and she had charged in the wrong direction. Louise and I both remember the incident, although we differ on details. Our mother did not remember it at all.

We all knew my sister Louise sleepwalked. We only saw her do it once, but several times when she woke in the morning there were blades of grass in her bed. She and Mary Joan shared a bedroom with twin beds. One morning Louise woke up in Mary Joan's bed, between her and the wall, with neither one knowing how she got there. (It is common for child abductees to awaken in places other than where they went to sleep.)

UFO behind trees

My room was apart from the other bedrooms. One night I went to bed early; I took off my glasses and put them on my bedside stand. Then, as I often did, I knelt on my pillow to take a last look through the window over my bed out at the back yard. This particular evening, I saw an intense white light blinking on and off. Without my glasses, I could only make out a white blob. I thought it might just be a fire fly; but, if it was, it was a heck of a bright one! Without my glasses it looked about as bright as a 100 watt bulb would, if it were suspended in the middle of the back yard. However, when it reached the tree line, it went behind the trees—I could still see the glow, but dimmed. When I finally reached for my glasses and donned them, the light was gone. I ran into the main part of the house to tell my mother, who was still awake. Her automatic response to that (as well as any other problem anyone ever had) was that I had "imagined" it. Just then, Louise walked into the hallway and asked for a towel because she was "cold". That was the only time we ever actually saw her sleepwalk.

When I turned off the light in my room I could always see by the light of a streetlight on the corner. On two occasions I awakened in the middle of the night, paralyzed, in terror and in total darkness. I knew that if I could just turn on my room light, I would be okay; but I couldn't move to save my life. Because my mother frequently rearranged my bedroom furniture, I also couldn't remember where the wall switch was in relation to my bed. After a period of time the paralysis faded and I was able to get up and fumble at each wall until I found the light switch. After I caught my breath and calmed down, I turned it back off. The street light was on and my room was back to normal. (The phenomenon known as sleep paralysis is common among abductees.)

Scared in bed.

I remember many times going to sleep in terror as a game. I would imagine that two men were going to break into my room and take something, but as long as I pretended I was asleep they wouldn't hurt me. I followed this "game" to the point of trying to breathe and shift in bed naturally, as a person who was truly asleep might do. But the terror was real. My heart pounded as I lay in a cold sweat; and even though I had "made them up," I felt like the "men" were really on the other side of my door, waiting to come in.

During our teenage years, all you had to do to make my sister Louise freak out was point at an imaginary flying saucer. At parties we would take turns interrupting the conversation to look out the window and yell, "My God! A UFO!" and Louise would literally dive under the nearest table. We could (and did) do this time after time, until we made her cry. (That's what passed for teenaged entertainment in the innocent days before drugs and gang warfare.)


I saw three UFOs over St. Augustine around 1 AM on the night of my senior prom (1969). I had just dropped my date off. It had been raining earlier, and after I parked in my driveway I looked up to see if the weather had cleared. It had, and the stars were brilliant, but as I started into the house I realized I had seen movement in the sky and I looked up again. I expected to see a seagull caught in the glow of the town, but instead I saw three oval lights traveling due east at an irregular speed: first one would lead, then another, then the other. In just fifteen seconds they had gone from straight overhead to below the tree line. I went inside and wrote a three-page description of the event addressed to the Air Force, which I never sent. I also didn't keep it, which is odd for me; I still have stories I wrote in first grade. In any case, I remember going to sleep after 4 AM, not thinking that I'd spent an awful long time to write three crummy pages of description. (Sighting a UFO is considered a "marker" for being an abductee. "Missing time," like spending two hours on a minor task that should take a couple of minutes, is also common.)