HodgePodge: Bing, bang, BOOM

HodgePodge: Bing, bang, BOOM

Ready, fire, aim. Bing, bang, boom – what did we get?

I admit to joining the mockery by other Canadians over our confused excitement with the recent NORAD shooting down of, well, whatever it is we were part of shooting down earlier this week.

According to NORAD (North American Aerospace Defence Command) four objects were blasted out of the sky and plummeted into the Atlantic, Lake Huron, and the Yukon. One of the items was concluded to be a Chinese balloon – the others remain unknown.

But at least we got ‘it.’

Whatever ‘it’ is.

Of further amusement to many canucks is the aggressive step ordered by Prime Minister Trudeau. Canada did not actually ‘do’ the shooting (we left that to the shoot-them-down experts to the south); however, Justin gave the thumbs-up go ahead since the ‘unknown’s were in Canadian air space. I guess we taught whoever or whatever it was not to trespass in our airspace. Assuming of course that whatever we shot down really needed shooting down.

Despite the humorous potential to the news it is a mixed concern that with all the technology in today’s world we either do not know – or are not telling what all the targets were. Not being able to identify all the objects is either an example of stealth skills on the part of the target’s owners or a lack of skill on NORAD’S.

Regardless – now that the objects have been eliminated – we still seem to lack the ability to find them. That’s somewhat disconcerting.

Such confusion only adds to the stuff that conspiracy theorists thrive on – and to some degree – rightfully so.

It bodes the question: why are we shooting something down simply because we do not know what it is?

There is history of many passenger planes or harmless crafts being destroyed by a lack of identification versus evidence of objects posing a legitimate threat. Or the assumption that if the object is truly an unidentified flying object or extraterrestrial that it is automatically also a threat. (Just because I am paranoid does not mean they are not after me). Consider this. If indeed the objects are of another dimension or world and have the technology to secretly visit us – should we greet them the fighter pilots? Not a nice start to a relationship.

I remember my ‘first’ UFO experience and how it impacted me. I was a budding young journalist for the Capital news (my column was called Overtime Oracle back then) and with a few characters familiar to long time HodgePodge readers – Sister Dutchy, James the Painter, and Ralph Ralph Karate Ralph. We were misbehaving out near the old ferry docks on the west side around 1 a.m. watching the moon shimmering over the summer-warmed lake when suddenly three bright green/blue lights literally zipped at great speed into view from seemingly nowhere. The chaotically zipped in varying directions for about 30 seconds and then literally blinked out or disappeared again. All four of us, clearly shocked by the display, quickly compared notes. The lights were silent and only one of us thought they came from somewhere rather than just blinked on and then off. Regardless, it was an experience I will never forget.

Like many readers I’ve had a few experiences of UFO potential over the years and incidents like earlier this week remind me of them

When doing research of my Lost Souls of Lakewood book I discovered the three highest ranked destination areas for theme travellers are places  of paranormal activity (haunted mansions, ghost towns…) UFO sightings (Roswell…) and unidentified creatures, (Abdominal snowman, Loch Ness, Ogopogo …)

Perhaps Trudeau saw the event as a possible tourism draw?

Regardless, my friend and journalist superb Wayne Moore recently interviewed former Liberal MP and Canadian fighter jet pilot Stephen Fuhr who studied with interest the activity in the skies over North America.

Fuhr was a fighter pilot and staff officer at Canadian NORAD headquarters before he was elected MP for Kelowna-Lake Country in 2015.

“It (NORAD) is a 50/50 partnership between Canada and the U.S. Regardless of our smaller stature, it’s still a 50/50 venture. We share dedicated NORAD assets. We share an integrated command and control centre that is already in place. We have Canadian staff integrated in the U.S. as they have in Canada. We work hand in glove with them.”

Fuhr speculates that an American fighter jet was likely closer at the time and took the shot to bring the object down.

As to what the three unidentified objects shot down over Alaska, the Yukon and Lake Huron were, Fuhr says there are a number of theories. One he believes is reasonable surrounds a Russian response to assistance Canada and the U.S. is providing to the Ukrainian war effort.

“If you think about how little effort it would take for Russia to put objects up into the atmosphere and have the jet stream carry them over here…have all the time, effort and money for Canada, the U.S. and NORAD to identify and deal with these objects.”

Fuhr believes the increase in sightings of objects is due to radar systems at NORAD being more tuned to look for these slower moving objects than in the past.

“Now that we are looking for lower, slower moving things guess what, we’re finding them.”

Well, I hope you’re right Stephen cause my curiosity is tweaked now.

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Charlie Hodge is a best-selling author, writer, a current Kelowna City Councillor, and a Director on the Regional District of the Central Okanagan Board. He spent more than 25 years as a full-time newspaper journalist and has a diverse background in public relations, promotions, personal coaching, and strategic planning. A former managing editor, assistant editor, sports editor, entertainment editor, journalist, and photographer, Hodge also co-hosted a variety of radio talk shows and still writes a regular weekly newspaper column titled Hodge Podge, which he has crafted now for 41 years. His biography on Howie Meeker, titled Golly Gee It’s Me is a Canadian bestseller and his second book, Stop It There, Back It Up – 50 Years of the NHL garnered lots of attention from media and hockey fans alike. Charlie is currently working on a third hockey book, as well as a contracted historical/fiction novel. His creative promotional skills and strategic planning have been utilized for many years in the Canadian music industry, provincial, national, and international environmental fields, and municipal, provincial, and federal politics. Charlie is a skilled facilitator, a dynamic motivational speaker, and effective personal coach. His hobbies include gardening, canoeing, playing pool, and writing music. Charlie shares his Okanagan home with wife Teresa and five spoiled cats.


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