UFO sightings are usually the stuff of science fiction, but this week in New York, some people say we were visited by beings from outer space. And with the advent of social media and smartphones, it was all caught live on video and film.
According to the New York Times, witnesses in Astoria, New York, saw a bright, glowing light radiate from the sky. It changed the night’s dark blue skyline to a hazy ocean blue for about 3 minutes. People close to what is claimed to be the source of the glow say they heard a throbbing sound during the incident. Others claim to have heard a crash.
Several hours after the incident, Con Edison, a power company in New York, says it was all the result of an electrical flash due to faulty equipment.
Others say it was aliens.
What do you believe?
If you’re one of those people who enjoy a good conspiracy, try these short stories to help fuel your speculation about what people are calling “Astoria Borealis.”
Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang
Story of Your Life was adapted into film as Arrival, which tells of an alien landing. Communication with the aliens is nonexistent until a skilled linguist is able to break the alien language code, which she discovers is related to time. You can find it in Chiang’s short story collection titled Stories of Your Life and Others.
The Listeners, by James Gunn
The novella, The Listeners, is claimed to have inspired the creation of numerous SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) organizations. The story follows a scientist and his family as he chooses between them and his obsession with uncovering the mysteries of interstellar communication. His choice sets in motion events that lead to a critical discovery.
Roadside Picnic, by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
Roadside Picnic is a short story that you probably have never heard, but it is one that has been adapted into a variety of genres, including film, television, and even video games. The story follows Red Schuhart, a young rebel, as he makes continual visits to the forbidden Zone to collect alien artifacts, especially one that is claimed to bring to life one’s deepest desires.