It’s not unusual for Brendon Dalrymple to see a strange small object floating casually near his backyard. He lives in Marina Hills, an area of Laguna Niguel where many odd sightings have been reported over the years.
However, the California native said he is neither a believer nor disbeliever in UFOs.
“I’m optimistically skeptical,” quipped Dalrymple, a 49-year-old attorney who said he has been fascinated with such phenomena since childhood.
A Bird's-Eye View
On a cool, gray March afternoon, Dalrymple is seated in his dining room, where large windows fill an entire wall. His bird's-eye view of the Salt Creek Corridor and beyond is picturesque, complete with breathtaking green foliage, bright red bougainvillea bushes, and colorful wildflowers dotting the hilltops. The air is damp, and the patio slightly wet after a light mist, but the sun has started to emerge.
Dalrymple has lived in the desert-colored condominium for close to 10 years, and in Laguna Niguel for almost 15. During that time, he has witnessed a handful of UFOs, he said. The first was four years ago, and the most recent occurred last summer.
“When I first saw it, I was standing in my kitchen,” he said. “I always am looking out and I have to admit when I first saw it, I was pretty shocked. I thought it was amazing and, being a quizzical person, I ran outside but didn’t know what it was.”
Typically, he sees while he is seated on his patio, enjoying a cigar and a fire.
“On occasion, I see this thing flying around with lights on it. It’s probably 3 to 4 feet in circumference, it is fairly well lit and it goes back and forth through the canyon.”
Dalrymple is quick to point out that this particular UFO has never come very close to the neck-high partition glass that surrounds his condominium’s yard.
“I’ve always seen it at night, and it has the sense of being a saucer shape. There are two layers … You can tell that is has lights on top. The lights are very bright, like LED lights. It has blue, red and green lights -- probably around 20 of them. It is blurred and spinning.”
Man-made or Real Deal
However, since his first sighting four years ago, Dalrymple said he has changed his views about the odd-looking object.
“The more I see it, the more I think that it is a man-driven thing rather than something truly amazing,” he said. “Mostly because it lingers only three to four minutes, and it comes out of the same area, and goes back to the same area of the canyon.”
Dalrymple has not heard from his neighbors whether they too have witnessed the saucer-like object.
“I did point it out to my wife and she agreed that it’s man-made… she is more skeptical about these things than me,” he said of his property manager spouse, Janice.
Possible Extraterrestrial Life
Dalrymple said he has watched various TV shows and read books on extraterrestrials, not because he was a “fanatic but because he finds the topic of UFOs interesting.”
“When I boil it down to the number of possibilities for extraterrestrial life in this universe, there probably are other people out there. Maybe they have the technology to come here,” he said.
But in Laguna Niguel?
“Maybe they want to live close to the beach or live near the California Riviera,” Dalrymple said, laughing.
Another odd experience he recalled while living in Laguna Niguel has to do with a white owl sighting.
Dalrymple was around 25 years old and it happened not far from where he lives now, in Beacon Hill, across the same canyon. One evening, he was watching TV with his mother, who was visiting, when they heard a strange noise.
“I heard something rustling in the fireplace cap on the roof… I went out onto the balcony, looked up at the cap, and just as I looked up, an owl came swooping down at me,” he recalled. “It swerved right by me. It was ivory – it was huge, and it scared the crap out of me. But, man, it was amazing. Its full wingspan in front of me was incredible.”
Dalrymple said years later, he saw a TV show about UFOs and learned about the possible connection between white owls and extraterrestrials.
“Apparently, people see owls when they see these supposed abductions,” he said. “I have a mind that makes a connection with things.”
The Meaning of White Owls
According to , a Laguna Niguel Patch columnist and intuitive, the snow owl does have some connections to the paranormal.
“Owls mean wisdom,” she said. “The white owl is more specifically representing a person in spirit that the viewer knew. They are messengers that come from Native American and indigenous tribes. The owl in many Native American tribes is a very powerful totem denoting power, knowledge and wisdom. Harry Potter had the owl for wisdom and as a spirit guide.”
There are quite a few superstitions and fears about owls because of their behavior, Campbell added. They swoop silently on animals at night, bringing instant death to the poor creatures, she said.
“Therefore, some in fear and folklore have said their call meant someone was going to die or something bad was going to happen. It is not true except when people are fearful and link it to a negative. That is their fear-based belief, so it is therefore true for them.”
If someone sees an owl, should they be concerned?
“Owls are generally a powerful sign of being protected by your angels and guide, and a call to pay attention to life,” Campbell said. “If you see one, smile and pay attention to the message. Ask your guides what they want you to know and feel good that such a beautiful animal shared itself with you.”
UFOs and owls aside, last year, Dalrymple was watching yet another UFO-style program about a sighting in Alaska made by a Japan Airlines pilot. He reported that he was flying down a corridor from Fairbanks to Anchorage when some kind of UFO began chasing him.
“I thought this was bizarre, and my mind went back to 30 years ago when my own father was flying in that general area, and his plane went missing,” he said. “The plane [a Cessna five-seater] was never found …it’s one of those things that you think of.”
In Marina Hills, Dalrymple is not the first to see something flying through the air. According to the site, this was the in a
As summer approaches, Dalrymple said he may or may not see the saucer-like object again, but he’s still keeping an open mind.
“I seem to be looking at the skies a lot differently these days,” he said.
Aren’t we all.