okay, here's what happened to me...
in the winter of 94/95 i was cast in a play at marist college. (a really great play called "noises off" and probably the finest production i've ever had the pleasure to be involved in.) at the time i was living alone way out in the country with my then 2 dogs and 1 rabbit and driving my jeep the thirty miles (each way) back and forth. the play is a really funny farce and required a LOT of physical comedy as well as a lot of rehearsal time to work out the very intricate staging/blocking so we would rehearse some nights 'til 1 or 2 in the morning. no problem for them, they lived on campus. i'm telling you all this 'cause i think it's important to know my frame of mind and that i was particularly tired when all this happened.
so anyway, it's about 12:45 this one night. it's february but it's warm, what they call a 'strawberry spring', a kinda winter version of 'indian summer' with an early, false thaw and some really nice weather for about a week. i'm heading home on the pretty much deserted roads and i can remember that the moon was full, making the surrounding woods and farms fairly visible beyond my headlights. and i'm tired. at one point on rt. 9G in the town of east park, the town police have made a small building on a curve their new headquarters and park their cop cars out front at night, a trend that makes many nighttime travellers slow down thinking that the cars are manned and ready to catch them speeding. by that time i was used to it, but because i was so tired that night, it caught me by surprise and i slowed way down, mostly 'cause i was loggy.
so coming around this slight curve, i was going slow enough to notice some movement in the muddy field off to my left, a long stretch of ruts and puddles usually put up in corn and/or pumpkins. way off in the north-west corner of the field i saw what looked to me like the canvas tarp off of someone's woodpile rise up off the ground and levitate some 15 feet in the air. not really such an unusual sight; the wind catching hold of someone's not-too-well-tied-down firewood cover and playing the devil with it across an empty field.
except there was no wind.
and it wasn't a tarp.
i stopped the jeep. right there in the middle of the road. i hadn't been going that fast anyway, what with the driverless cop cars slowing me down. what this thing looked like to me as it continued to float a little higher in the air and then float toward me was still a large brownish gray canvas sheet, about 7 feet across the front and about 12 feet long. it looked thicker in the middle, down the length of it and, still keeping the idea that it was a wind-blown tarp, it looked to have a few feet of rope trailing behind it like a...tail.
and it undulated as it glided, it's sides continuously rippling, rising and falling, fluttering in the same way that a manta does as it skates across the ocean floor. it slid gracefully beneath some suspended phone/power lines, between the bare trees at the edge of the field, and then it was above me as i twisted my neck and craned my head to watch it pass some six or seven feet above my own canvas topped jeep. i was in awe. no fear, no creepy feeling. just awe.
i watched it pass behind me and then into another group of trees and then it was gone. i sat there for a few seconds and then continued on home, knowing that i hadn't been dreaming, but...man, that was weird.
the next day, of course, i described the whole thing to my friends and castmates, all of us getting excited and creeped out about what bizarre stuff there is out there. i did a slew of internet searches to see if anyone had seen or heard of anything like what i had seen, but google hadn't been invented yet and my keywords brought up zero results.
so that was it. that's what i saw. i had no name for it or anything, just the story and the feeling that i'd seen something 'not from here'. as far as i knew i was the only one who had ever seen it...
...until a few years later...