Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Stick figure on roof!

Crows in a treeI see really strange things quite regularly these days. It has given me the chance to analyze my own reaction to such events. Generally, my first reaction is something like 'that's odd'. It is not shock but a mild acceptance that there is something strange on view. Take my most recent bizarre sighting - a stick figure standing on the roof of a house.

I was looking out a window at first floor level. I happened to notice something very odd some 50m or so away. It was a short dark stick figure, standing on the very top of the roof of a house. I could see no features as the figure was silhouetted against the bright sky behind.

The figure was too thin to be a real person. Instead it resembled the sort of stick figure you see on signs, like the 'green man' on a traffic light. My first thought was, how is that 'person' not falling over? It looked like an impossible position to maintain. A thought flickered briefly through my brain - alien!

Then, suddenly, the figure was gone. It didn't vanish. Instead it was 'swept away' (the best words I can think of to describe the motion) along the roof and out of sight behind a tree. The figure did not reappear. But something else did. I quickly realised what I was really seeing. The 'figure' was actually a branch of a tree hanging downwards. It was being blown around in a strong breeze. As the branch blew around it occasionally briefly took up a position which, from my point of view, made it look like a small stick figure standing on the roof. When I saw the object for the second time, blowing in the wind, I could see it was a branch. The figure was. of course, a misperception.

This particular misperception was also an example of coincidence causing a strange experience. It relied on me being in a particular position to see the branch. The branch also had to be blown into just the correct position so that it resembled a small figure on the roof and then stay there for a second or two while I looked at it. I've looked at the same branch on subsequent days and it already has more leaves on it so that the 'stick' figure effect no longer works. So the incident had to be take place at a very particular time of year too.

I was very calm throughout the experience, even when I considered the possibility of it being an alien. I don't know if this is my innate scientific curiosity winning out over a survival instinct but I'd be interested to know how others have reacted to seeing strange, unexpected things.

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