Light Show near Alamo, December 3, 2009
by Joe Buchman

I had dinner at the Little A Le Inn Thursday night, December 3rd, with a friend who was going to Vegas for another convention and had never heard of the place. It was a quick trip and a bit out of the way, but proved worthwhile. We met a couple from Sweden at the Inn who had been videorecording deserts in the Southwest and were waiting to interview Pat. Also met a fellow whose name I do not remember, but I think he called himself Agent 51. He had had, perhaps, a bit too much to drink, and shared at length about his sadness and unresolved grief over the loss of his partner of 31 years a few months ago, and about the home he was about to move into in Rachel. Even had one of the new light fixtures for his house with him. My friend had the Patty melt, I had a saucer burger, we both had cole slaw that was a few days past its prime. The food was the worst I've had there and, I'm sure, below Pat's standards. Just as we were leaving, Pat arrived with a truckload of goods for the kitchen and bar.

On the way to Vegas, we stopped briefly at the highway 375 campsite to look at the nearly full moon, the few stars making it through the glow of the moon, and listen to the silence there. It's always remarkable to me how quiet that desert is, especially at night.

We saw nothing worth noting on the way from Rachel back toward Vegas.

However, on the way to the Little A Le Inn, at about 5:15pm, we stopped in the lower parking area below the giant alien and store near the intersection of highways 375 and 318.

A few moments later, looking back toward the East-by-South-East, in (from my map, what looks like the direction of Lookout and Slidy mountains) we saw 4 or 5 amber-ish colored lights in the sky. They seemed to float there for only a moment (3 or 4 seconds) before bliking out. They seemed identical to the ones I saw last month north of the campsite off of highway 375 (in the opposite direction of our favorite base), and again while driving east on Highway 375.

So I'd guess, having done about 20 trips to the area over the past 11 years, even though I usually spend less than an hour or two looking, more than half the time I see some unusual lights in the sky. Sometimes obvious bright flares, sometimes afterburners with sonic booms, sometimes just bright flashes of light -- similar to sheet lightening but much shorter in duration.

And 90 percent of the time I meet one or more people at the Little A Le Inn from Europe, Australia, or South America.


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