Short Stories

Short stories and thoughts

VIOLET LIGHT IN THE SKY - Ever had a spooky violet light target your car in the wilderness?

Photo Courtely of

Photo Courtely of

Violet Light from the Sky

My life is filled with mysterious experiences but this is one of the strangest.

One warm night late in my seventeenth summer, I was in Medicine Hat with my parents and, as a new driver, it was decided I’d drive home along a deserted graveled road for the practice. The grazing reserve where we lived was a half-hour west of the city and a nice drive even though it was dark. In those days most of the cars were big with bench seats as was ours. My mother was next to me, dad against the window.

Five minutes out of the city they fell asleep which was odd as I've never before or since known either to sleep in a vehicle. I rationalized that it was late and they’d had a long day, so continued to drive quietly along the deserted country road on a clear but moonless night. If a person hit a deer or antelope out there, it was a long walk for help so I kept to a safe speed.

Suddenly, a brilliant flash of purple light blasted from directly over the car. It flashed once, flickered then flashed on again, this time staying lit. Of course my first expectation was that it was lightning but the sky was cloudless and there was no thunder – and the purple light stayed on.

As I gazed around in amazement, I noticed every tree and building to the horizon in all directions was etched with perfect clarity – and the horizon west of Medicine Hat is a long ways away. I remember staring at a tree half-a-mile ahead and marveling that I could see every leaf. Details of objects in the distance were as clear as if I was standing next to them. I have exceptional eyesight but this was unusual even for me. Everything was bathed in an astonishingly brilliant, silent, violet light.

It didn’t take long to suspect we didn’t have anything powerful enough to create such illumination – and I was already aware we weren’t alone on the planet. My brothers and I, along with our friends who worked as irrigators during the night shift, would often lay side-by-side on the hood of a half-ton truck and watch the satellites and aircraft pass in the night sky. In an area with no light pollution, it didn’t take long to realize the clear nights were also filled with UFO activity.

It became a competition as to which of us would be the first to spot one. A common sight was a bright blue orb that pulsated across the sky. When the light was bright, it moved faster so its speed appeared uneven but it was astonishingly fast. Sometimes there was more than one and they coordinated, changed direction and speed to fly together but, most often, not more than two. They were high and far faster than any jet aircraft and either too high for us to hear or they were soundless because we never heard anything in the silent prairie nights.

. . . And sometimes some of Them took an interest in us. At least one of my brothers had up-close and personal contact as I have had. It still gives him nightmares. But we’re not talking about that today. This is about the brilliant violet light.

Since the source of the light was directly above the car, I slowed and leaned over the steering wheel to catch a glimpse but couldn't get far enough forward. I called my parents to share the experience but they didn't respond. My mother’s head just rolled to the side when I pushed her shoulder and dad was slumped against the window, head against the glass. Again this was odd as they were light sleepers, especially my mother. Even at the time I thought it odd. They acted more like they were unconscious.

The brightest focus of the light was around my car, so bright I wondered if it was aimed at us. Where the light struck the top of my windshield, even if I'd been able to angle myself close enough to look up, I probably would’ve been so blinded, I wouldn’t have been able to distinguish anything anyway. I don’t know if the light source was just above my car or much higher.

As the light continued, I pulled to the side of the road and stopped, thinking I’d get out and look up to see what could possibly be creating such brilliance. As I put the transmission in ‘park,’ I opened the door, paused with a foot on the gravel to consider if it was safe to look up. If there’d been a pair of sunglasses on the dash, I’d have used them because, if the light source was bright enough to illuminate the entire area, maybe it was bright enough to blind me. Perhaps if I looked to the side at first . . . As I was in the process of stepping out, the light flickered once and went out. It had been visible for three to five minutes.

There’s no way we had the technological ability in 1970 to produce a light strong enough to illuminate an area from horizon to horizon to the extent that everything was clearly visible miles away. I doubt we have that capability today after forty-six years of technological advancement.

With my parents still asleep, I resumed my journey, pondering the light. Already familiar with the concept of missing time, I went directly to a clock upon arrival at home and discovered it was 1:40 a.m. Considering the drive should’ve taken no more than half an hour, that meant we’d have had to leave Medicine Hat after 1:00 a.m. and that was not believable. In 1970, everything closed early and it’s doubtful my parents would’ve been visiting anyone that late. They were both 'early to bed, early to rise' people, so I can’t imagine it being after midnight when we left the city. Even 11:00 p.m. would’ve been pushing it. That meant up to two hours of time was missing . . .

Besides the brilliance of the light and the eerie silence, it was odd that I couldn't wake my parents. With an inexperienced driver at the wheel, they’d have been paying attention.

I've never heard nor read about anyone having a similar experience, even in the most unusual UFO literature.

I don't claim it was an extraterrestrial craft. I never saw anything except the light. It may have had nothing to do with me. It could’ve been coincidental that my car was spotlighted on a deserted road but I suspect that is unlikely. It makes me think, many years later, of the science fiction series, Deep Space Nine, where a wormhole opens up. Did something open in the sky, emit an unbelievably brilliant violet light, and then close again? Did someone come through or leave? Or was I the target of someone with advanced technology? It wouldn’t be the first time. It was not a natural phenomenon, and there’s that missing time to consider . . .

More than forty years later it’s still unsolved – as are the missing memories of those two hours.

D Kane