UFO Sighting in Moravian Falls

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Photo via MorgueFile.

A tongue-in-cheek report by Patrick Redding

“Almost every day I was there, I ate lunch at that diner, and became dear friends with the cook. He told me a story about the night you’re talking about. A man came into his place, sat down, ordered sweet potato pie, identified himself as FBI Agent Mulder. He then questioned my friend: ‘Ever seen a UFO in these parts?’ He then ordered piece after piece, each time asking another question. ‘Have you ever experienced a period of missing time? Do you ever have the suspicion that you’ve been abducted by aliens? Have you ever found a metal implant in your body? Have you checked everywhere?’ He ate a whole pie in that fashion, then got up and left. My friend never saw him again.”

The X-Files: “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space”

Some time back, I received a second-hand report about a UFO sighting in North Carolina. There wasn’t much to it, and it certainly wouldn’t have grabbed my attention if it hadn’t been for the location; I was going to be in Asheville the following week, and I wondered if this place, “Morvain Falls,” might be in the area.

I’d never heard of it, so I contacted a friend in Hickory, NC. “It’s probably a typo,” she informed me. “It’s probably supposed to be Moravian Falls. That’s not too far away.” She knew how to get there, and agreed to accompany me if I wanted to go and check it out.

Now, I’m neither a true believer nor a hard skeptic on the subject of UFOs. I prefer to remain open-minded. And taken literally, the definition of UFO (unidentified flying object) can certainly cover a lot of things. If you don’t know what it is, and it’s in the sky – well, then, technically you have a UFO. If someone else (anyone) knows what it is, then it ceases to be a UFO, by definition.

The literal definition, unfortunately, does not take into account whether one is knowledgeable of the celestial bodies commonly seen in the night skies or whether one is, to put it bluntly, a crackpot who, after a few drinks, might mistake the porch light for a secret military fighter plane.

Fortunately, some of the individuals who follow reports of UFOs tend to consider the possibilities overlooked by the strictest definition of the term, and allow for the fact that every “sighting” might not really be a sighting, per se.

This is not to say that the witnesses are hoaxing or lying (necessarily) – simply that mistakes can be made. Our eyes can fool us. Atmospheric conditions can alter the appearance of objects at a distance. And after all, most of the time when these things occur, it IS dark, and we are not gifted with the vision that cats have.

The object described in this case was round with a trail color that turned to blue. It was believed to have crashed near the construction site of a new school. I found it difficult to see how a such a crash could have gone unnoticed, but thought perhaps there might be an outside chance that others had seen it and simply not reported what they saw.

Another difficulty was that by the time I heard about it, it was roughly three weeks after the fact. The idea of investigating seemed rather pointless. If there had been a crash (which seemed increasingly doubtful), certainly it would have been cleared away by now. However, I was not discounting the possibility that the person who reported this may have seen something. And I was a little curious, so I picked up my friend (who happens to be a photographer), and one warm March morning we headed up to see what there was to see.

Moravian Falls is approximately 25 miles north of Hickory. It was settled, I was told, many years ago by immigrants from Scotland, Ireland and Moravia. Moravia is now more commonly known as a part of the Czech Republic (which, incidentally, has had its share of crop circle occurrences in recent years); it was also home to the religious group who became known as the Moravian Brethren.

While the Scots and Irish are often stereotypically credited with a reputation for “second sight” (resulting in many stories of fairy sightings and the like), and an equally strong reputation for being heavy drinkers, the Moravian Brethren were not, as far as I can determine, either drinkers or UFO fanatics. However, the people of Moravia (though not necessarily the church) are said to manufacture a very fine beer. Perhaps it was this that gave a common ground to these three ethnic groups all those years ago when they were congregating in the community of Moravian Falls.

This is all merely speculation on my part, of course – conversation which entertained us on the drive to the site in question. After all, one can only be amused for so long by a road sign pointing the way to Friendship Baptist Church located on Devil’s Track Road. Or a sign identifying a narrow lane as “Jolly Cemetery Road.” (I learned later that “Jolly” is a common surname in the area, but at the time, the Jolly Cemetery Road sign seemed perversely humorous.)

Soon enough we arrived in Moravian Falls, and the construction site was immediately on our right. It was approximately ten yards or so off the main road, easily visible. A construction crew was at work. Nothing appeared especially unusual. “Do you see anything we should check out?” I inquired of my companion.

“No, I do not,” said she.

“Shall I stop so you can get some photos?” I offered.

“Of what?”

“Do you think perhaps the aliens have shapeshifted and are disguised as construction workers in order to blend in easily?” I suggested.

“No, I do not,” she chuckled.

We agreed that this was apparently a dead end, and that it was past time for some breakfast. I stopped at a gas station. Gas stations in the South, you see, often serve the additional purpose of being roadside diners. Before we went in, I had to assure my companion that I did not feel it necessary to question anyone inside about whether they had seen any UFOs lately. We found drinks and food, and the pleasant lady working there broke off her conversation with the bread-truck driver long enough to ring us up and wish us a nice day.

We headed back to Hickory, eating our belated breakfast on the way. My friend told me that it was the best sweet-potato-pie-filled doughnut she had eaten in years.

© Copyright 2001 by Patrick Redding. Republished 2007, 201, 2015.

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