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Helix Alum Did a Double Take in '90: Now He Spreads UFO Gospel

Also: WWII veterans wanted for City Council honors on Feb. 22

Mike Orrell is a believer in the unknown. The Helix High alum (class of ’74)  caught sight of something in the sky above Santa Ysabel in 1990 while taking a photo during a visit to Inaja Memorial Park.

The resulting image depicts nine unidentified flying objects. Orrell said they have been labeled UFOs by several experts in the field.

Using a new Canon EOS 650 at the time, the native La Mesan said he was actually just taking a random photo.

“I took a deep breath, I exhaled, and pulled the trigger,” said Orrell, who didn’t actually see the visual oddity until he developed the photo. “Once I saw it in the 4 x 6… I said, ‘These don’t look like anything I’ve ever seen.’ ”

Orrell calls himself a “citizen scientist” who accidentally stumbled onto something inexplicable. Still, he said nothing happens by accident. Since developing the photo, Orrell has been sharing it with as many people as he can.

“I’m not trying to make a dime off of this,” he said. “I’m just trying to spread the word.”

Orrell was a believer before taking the fateful photo. “I’m open-minded, but I’m not a blind believer,” said the self-professed student of metaphysics.

“I plan to spread the UFO gospel,” he said with a laugh. Orrell’s website features more information on what he has termed, “Best UFO Photo Ever!”

Orrell hopes the photo continues to engage believers and skeptics in debate. “Long may it live past my own earthly demise,” he said.

DRIVING GRATITUDE FOR VETS: The La Mesa City Council is inviting La Mesa residents who served during World War II to attend the Feb. 22 council meeting at 6 p.m. in council chambers. The City Council also will honor WWII vets for their service during the meeting.

This recent invitation is just the latest of the city’s ongoing campaign to recognize its veterans. Every month until June the council will pause to honor a different veterans group from each of the major military actions. The finale takes place June 3 when La Mesa’s Fletcher Parkway will be designated “Veterans Memorial Parkway” during a ceremony at Parkway Middle School.

Councilman Dave Allan said fundraising for the signs has brought in $9,000 so far. “I was surprised there is no such parkway honoring veterans in San Diego County,”  Allan said. “La Mesa will be the first.”

WWII veterans planning to attend the council meeting are asked to RSVP to the city at 619-667-1105.

Craig S. Maxwell February 17, 2011 at 03:31 PM
When people cease to believe in God, they don't believe in nothing; they believe in anything. - G. K. Chesterton http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122178219865054585.html
Cynthia Zanone February 17, 2011 at 04:48 PM
Really? My first edition of La Mesa Patch and one of the top stories is this UFO hoax, with accompanying photo that is clearly someone's skin. C'mon.
Craig S. Maxwell February 17, 2011 at 05:00 PM
Wouldn't that make my point? To confuse the zits on on someone's back with a Martian spacecraft is a sign of almost childlike credulity.
Ronnie Spielvogel February 17, 2011 at 08:28 PM
Thanks for the link Craig but who didn't know that "membership in a conservative denomination has a powerful negative effect on paranormal beliefs, higher education doesn't". Thats because we no longer live in the dark ages and intelligent humans can make objective decisions about the reality of aliens and UFOs for themselves without being burned at the stake. And in case you missed it even the Vatican is pro-alien; "Just as there is a multiplicity of creatures on earth, there can be other beings, even intelligent, created by God. This is not in contrast with our faith because we can't put limits on God's creative freedom… "Why can't we speak of a 'brother extraterrestrial'? It would still be part of creation… Father Jose Gabriel Funes, Director of the Vatican Observatory Continue reading on Examiner.com: Vatican prepares for extraterrestrial disclosure - Honolulu exopolitics | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/exopolitics-in-honolulu/vatican-prepares-for-extraterrestrial-disclosure#ixzz1EFWDRybb
Ronnie Spielvogel February 17, 2011 at 08:33 PM
The only hoax here Cynthia is your remarkable lack of investigative skills. Did you even bother to explore the website or youtube videos? I didn't think so.
Ronnie Spielvogel February 17, 2011 at 08:44 PM
Craig, it sounds like you and Cynthia are ditching school to play on the computer. I bet you even forge your parents signature on the J31 cards. The search for real evidence of extraterrestrials is serious and you kids should leave the arena if your not prepared to do the proper research.
Craig S. Maxwell February 17, 2011 at 09:24 PM
Yes, Ronnie,...a very serious matter indeed. As Woody Allen writes in The UFO Menace: "Up until now, the entire subject of flying saucers has been mostly associated with kooks or oddballs. Frequently, in fact, observers will admit to being members of both groups. Still, persistent sightings by responsible individuals have caused the Air Force and the scientific community to reexamine a once skeptical attitude, and a sum of two hundred dollars has now been allocated for a comprehensive study of the phenomenon. The question is: Is there anything out there? And, if so, do they have ray guns?"
Rob Hurlbut February 17, 2011 at 09:42 PM
Yes, Craig,.....a very serious matter indeed. As Grouch Marx said, "Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana."
Craig S. Maxwell February 17, 2011 at 09:47 PM
Wonderfully apposite quote, Ron. And one which--having thrown a fair number of bananas in my day--I know to be true from experience.
Craig S. Maxwell February 17, 2011 at 09:49 PM
Uh, "Rob." (Sorry!)
Rob Hurlbut February 17, 2011 at 09:59 PM
@ Craig - Awesome! I forgot to mention in my last comment that I've had a trio of UFO experiences myself, two of which I have photos from... Unless I'm lying! Any interested parties can see them here: http://www.theworldisraw.com/ufo-san-diego/ and here: http://www.theworldisraw.com/we-come-in-peace/. Cheers!
Batman February 17, 2011 at 10:06 PM
Well, I don't disbelieve in extraterrestrial life, but I still think the vast majority of "UFO" sightings are hoaxes or honest mistakes. We have 3 military airfields in San Diego County; Miramar, North Island and Ream Field. It's common to see squadrons of aircraft flying over East County on their way to the desert for training missions.
Batman February 17, 2011 at 10:12 PM
Ooops, we actually have 4 military airbases. I forgot about Longrifle at Camp Pendleton.
Craig S. Maxwell February 17, 2011 at 10:19 PM
Hmmm...looks familiar. I might've been on one of those flights!
Cynthia Zanone February 18, 2011 at 02:34 PM
Ronnie, You needn't get defensive and I don't disbelieve all possibility of extraterrestrials. In fact, I agree with you that the "search for real evidence of extraterrestrials is serious," which is why I didn't look up Mike Orrell's website or view the youtube video. In my opinion this photo is a joke and automatically discredits anything Mr. Orrell puts out there. (and you are correct that I did forge my parents' signatures -- in the '70s).
Ronnie Spielvogel February 18, 2011 at 07:15 PM
At least we have some things in common Cynthia but I disagree that a personal investigation of this man's claims was not warranted. How could you possibly make any conclusions without seeing the evidence, all of it. Here's what you missed, Chrome Digital Photo declares negative "untouched" and that the objects are "airborne and unidentifiable" while Orrell is being interviewed on CBS affiliate KFMB Channel 8. That was impressive for a local La Mesa boy non-scientist. Then he apparently has found a pattern on one of his UFOs that he's linked to other UFOs, ancient artifacts and the Nazca Lines. Now I've seen every episode of 'Ancient Aliens' and 'UFO Hunters' and I've never seen anything like this. And those rock faces, hysterical. Do yourself and this forum a favor, take the time to watch the short videos and website and then tell us what you really think.
Ronnie Spielvogel February 18, 2011 at 08:19 PM
That was just playful sparing my dear with you and Craig both, to see what your made of, but I think my point is that you need to have more input (evidence ) before you can make your conclusion. The website and videos need to be examined before you casually disparage the photo ( which is only an enlargement) , don't you think? Until you do you won't be able to compare this UFO photo to this amazing event that just happened Jan.28 2011. A fleet just like Mr.Orrells was captured over the Dome of the Rock in Holy Jerusalem. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZuZ_ha2XtM&feature=related

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