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Return to Foggy Bottom

Part One of a Two-Part Article
by David Wisbey, Newsletter Editor

Posted: 12:30 February 15, 2009

Back in the January 2008 edition I wrote an article titled "Why I Joined MUFON" (page 5) in which I talked a bit about the "big one" (UFO sighting) as being the main reason I ended up joining MUFON. That's true. I had a chance to go back to the "scene of the crime" very recently. That will be covered in Part Two, in a future edition. Part One: So, here, finally, I will give you all the details of what I saw and experienced outside the Foggy Bottom Metro Station in Washington, DC, at about 1:15 AM, January 1, 2000.

"America's Millennium"

I moved to Lakewood, Colorado, in May of 2005 after having lived in the Washington, DC area for about 14 years. Now, I'm not crazy about being in huge crowds, but there's nothing quite like fireworks on the National Mall in the Nation's Capital. I had attended many 'Fourth of July' displays and shows over the years; I also attended the big Desert Storm 'party' back in the 90's, which, in my opinion was more impressive than any of the 'Fourth of July" ones.

So, naturally, when I heard about the "America's Millennium" celebration planned for December 31, 1999, I just had to be there for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. I am really glad that I went down there for it, just based on the 'earthly' entertainment. I had no idea, of course, about the 'other entertainment' planned, which might have had off-world origins.

I was only able to get one of my friends to go down there with me for this. Others didn't want to deal with the crowd, full of drunk, loud, obnoxious, but happy people. One of my friends did go with the person they were dating at the time, but we didn't all go there together. So, it was just me and my friend, Connie.

We parked at the Vienna (Virginia) Metro Station and rode the Orange Line downtown. We got off at the Federal Triangle station near the White House. We then walked towards the White House and the National and State Christmas Trees.

After walking around the Christmas Trees, we headed for the long Reflecting Pool between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. It was already quite crowded, especially towards the Lincoln Memorial, where a stage had been set up. We were told to expect tight security because of a terrorist threat (from Algerians or Libyans or something); however, by the time we got over there, people had pretty much knocked down the temporary fencing around the area, and no one searched me, although I do remember police on horseback in the area. We found a spot to stand in the huge crowd on the north side of the Reflecting Pool, somewhat closer to the Washington Monument than the Lincoln Memorial. But you didn't need binoculars to see the entertainment; a few really huge screens, held by cranes, were along the Mall.

Movie star Will Smith and then President Bill Clinton were the emcees for the event. I won't go into details about the entertainment and fireworks, but will mention I saw some other "weird" things that night, not just UFOs. One guy had climbed one of the great big old trees and went way out on one of its large, horizontal branches. This created quite an uproar from the crowd; one man standing next to me said "I hope he falls - serves him right." I don't recall how that all turned out. The big fireworks display started promptly at 12:00 Midnight and was incredible; a huge sun-like light, down by the north side of the Lincoln Memorial, was also quite impressive.

The fireworks ended by about 12:20 AM. I had heard that Bono, lead singer of U2, would be speaking and performing, but he did not show up prior to the fireworks. This presented a difficult choice for me. A very large percentage of the crowd had started to leave. I waited until about 12:30 (an estimate) and finally gave up on seeing Bono, in favor of saving some time. So we left.

Click on the 'NEXT' arrow for page 2

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