There are events in life, and things in the world, that defy explanation. Just over a year ago I posted the following personal experience on Facebook. Within minutes I had a multitude of comments, ranging from ”WTH” to speculation on a Russian intelligence attack aimed specifically at me (obviously they over-estimated me), to an alien incursion directed at the human leader (beam us up Scotty…wrong guy!) :

August 4, 2018…Sitting in the living room, watching MLB’s late game…suddenly my car lights come on in the driveway. Keys are in the bedroom, untouched. Poked my head out the door and not only are the lights on, the engine is running! Got keys from the bedroom and went to car…ignition was still in the “off” position, but the car was running and all lights, including the dome light, were on. Turned the ignition on, put the car in gear and then back into Park and turned the ignition off, just to complete a start cycle. Waited for lights to go off (they are on automatic delay). They went off as expected. All is quiet. Can’t explain this one.

Here I am, 53 weeks later, and still no clue. Russians, aliens, or as one commenter suggested, a local teenaged hacker toying with ways to remotely start certain cars by make, model and year through the internet. I have chanced upon an explanation, even as I write this…I’ll tell you about it in a minute or so.

In the meantime, here’s another mystifying bit…why is it that the Allegheny River and the Monongahela River meet in Pittsburgh and form the Ohio River? Who’s the cartographic moron who thought that was a great idea? Why isn’t it called the Pennsylvania River? The rivers are in Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh is in Pennsylvania…I demand justice!

Closer to home, the Chemung River and the Susquehanna River meet here in The Valley, and they become, what…? The Susquehanna, of course. They both have their source in New York so why aren’t they called the New York River? Or the Valley River? Or maybe the NyPenn River…? How about the Penny River?

The range of things that are unexplainable is astonishing—from the truly mystifying to the patently ridiculous: a lifelong friend whose feet are firmly planted in reality called me from his home in the Laceyville suburb (hey…it has three exits; Laceyville MUST be a metropolis) of Skinners Eddy to seek my wisdom (poor fool!) in reference to a series of points of light he had seen rising above the trees lining the above mentioned Susquehanna River, on several occasions. They appeared to be traveling in a loose formation, slowly and silently, in the late dusk of the evening. Each evening’s apparition was at roughly the same time, and the points of light in the formation, such as they were, shuffled positions randomly, rising in a southerly direction, and eventually vanishing in the darkness. I hadn’t a clue and was of no help whatever for my old pal.

Several years passed without my having given his lights so much as a single thought, when I exited the front door here at El Rancho Davis one summer evening, faithful Sheltie on her leash. To my right, a third of a mile or so runs the mighty Susquehanna, hidden from sight by a thick line of trees and undergrowth. As Maizie sniffed the grass for a perfect spot, my gaze went to those silhouetted trees where I watched, spellbound, as a series of dull orange points of light climbed one at a time above the tree tops quietly, headed south along the course of the river. There were six of them, and they jockeyed for position as they went. I watched their slow flight for a few minutes until the corner of my eye caught a second group of six following them and shuffling for position just like the first bunch. None of them gained any great height, but one by one they all vanished as silently as they had traveled. I talked to no one else who saw them, but I called my old buddy to tell him I, too, had seen his lights over the river. Still…unexplained.

And on the lighter side, there’s always something that comes along to make you wonder why some people are allowed to breed. A co-worker told me recently of a time when he was affiliated with a community parade in a Twin Tiers town, and he happened to be standing on the street under a banner proclaiming the impending presentation of “The Main Street Parade” at 8:00PM on the given date. Along comes a local denizen of the burg to read the banner and pose the following question; “When does this eight o’clock Main Street Parade begin and where’s the best place to see it?” And he wasn’t kidding! How he ever made it from infancy to adulthood is as unexplainable as his question.

I promised you a potential answer to my first entry above…and I’m fairly certain I’m likely to be on the mark: my wife, who had claimed to be headed for a good night’s sleep, rummaged through my carefully folded pants til she found the remote-start fob…double clicked it as you must to make it do its thing, tucked the fob back into my pants and hustled into the bed, knowing I’d be in for the device in my pj’s and robe as soon as I noticed the lights. I’m sure she snickered herself to sleep. I live by the credo that revenge is a dish best served cold, and now that I’ve sorted out her devious shenanigans, the last snicker will be mine. For now, though, the plan remains, as does so much of life’s mystery, unexplained. Stay tuned.

Contact Lloyd Davis at

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