A SETI scientist explains how UFOs are propelled

They’ve Seen the Saucers

More surprises than you expected about extra-terrestrial aliens

Laurie McAndish King
14 min readMay 24, 2021


Image from Wikimedia Commons

I’ve seen them. I’ve been there with them.
I can tell you all you want to know.

— Elton John and Bernie Taupin, “I’ve Seen the Saucers”

It was 2017 when I first published this story about people who have seen flying saucers; it seems even more relevant today, as the government prepares to let us know what they know …

More than one hundred retired military men sit together in a conference room, looking like ordinary American husbands, fathers and grandfathers. They are rigorously trained, disciplined, and proud to have served their country. They have no difficulty differentiating fact from fiction. And they share a startling secret.

It’s a secret they have not been able to talk about for the past fifty years. They have not been able to discuss it with their colleagues or their wives or the press, and certainly not with their superior officers. But they have not stopped thinking about it — not for half a century. They cannot stop thinking about it. It’s the kind of thing that lurks in the back of their minds, bursting out in dreams or nightmares, coloring everything they think about. Sometimes it even makes them question their own sanity.

They’ve all seen flying saucers.

And they have all taken action. These men have joined an organization called MUFON — the Mutual UFO Network — in order to investigate UFO sightings, discuss evidence, debunk disinformation, and, perhaps most of all, to connect with each other. I attended their annual conference one summer in Denver with my dad. He’s been a MUFON member for years because he saw a UFO once, and it changed his life. It was many years ago, on a dark highway in rural Colorado, where we were on a family vacation. I don’t remember it; I was a small child at the time.

But Dad cannot forget it. A bright light appeared in the sky behind our car. Dad saw it first in the rearview mirror. As he tells the story, it came from high in the sky and approached the car quickly — far faster than a jet plane would be capable of moving. It was also much brighter than…



Laurie McAndish King

Award-winning travel writer and photographer specializing in nature and culture.