Cepeda wrote that she and Jenkins consider Ancient Aliens a “guilty pleasure,” and in her piece she pretends not to know Giorgio Tsoukalos’s name, describing him only as a “talking head with the a tousled mane.” During a commercial break in the show, she and her husband formed a plan, one based on New Age fringe ideas:
And I knew from researching the region and from indigenous-American folklore that Arizona was considered by many to be an ethereal place, a spiritual vortex if you will. We would be exploring the world beyond our perception — terrestrial and astral — but essentially discarding cynicism to focus on a belief system that sounds as fantastic as the idea that soul mates actually exist. Not a bad way to mark an anniversary.
Carlsberg guarantees that those who take her tour will see UFOs, for a minimum payment of $90. That seems pretty steep for standing out in the desert for two hours, but it includes the ability to look at the sky through Cepeda’s military-grade night vision goggles.
Cepeda and Jenkins arrived for Carlsberg’s tour, and they were joined by a man who called himself Jude and babbled endlessly about aliens and his journey as a believer. I think we’ve all met one of those people, who are all too common in fringe circles. During their adventure, Cepeda claims that she saw forty UFOs in two hours, and that she became “swept up in the sense of euphoria that came with abandoning doubt.” She claims that none of these lights was a plane, or satellite, or drone—but she also admits that as a longtime resident of light-polluted New York City, she hadn’t seen dark night sky to know what was up there. For her, the experience wasn’t about meeting aliens—which, by rights, ought to be at least as terrifying as meeting a lion or a bear—but about spirituality, in which lights in the sky are the physical manifestation of the New Age:
There we were, just four of us there, necks craned, hoping to catch a glimpse of what might lie beyond our planet in this vast world. You had to open yourself to the ludicrous, be a fool, so to speak, to have faith, in life and in love.
If you’ve read this far, you probably noticed that in her piece, Cepeda equated “doubt,” “skepticism,” and “cynicism” and set all of them in opposition to the “euphoria” and joy of believing. It is, frankly, astounding to hear a journalist make such claims, particularly though the claim that the search for truth destroys joy, for ignorance is bliss.
It is not the most ringing endorsement of UFO culture, but probably a true one.