Meant to post this with the entry of the Estes Rocket ad from the Charltons, but heck, I can make it a separate post!
As I said before, I used to be into the model rocket hobby... but I never got so much fun out of it as one time I was a spectator. How fun was that? Well, lemme 'splain.
I used to belong to a Star Trek club when I was a young lad, and one of the members was named Jim Crocker. He was in the Air Force or the Army (I forget which), based out of McCord AFB or Fort Lewis (I'm pretty sure it was the air force, and you'll see why as I go on with this story). I used to do a lot of stuff with this Star Trek club, and one day, Jim announced he had a very special rocket to launch. A bunch of his tagged along with him as we headed for his place on-base to collect his rocket, which had a clear plastic "payload" section in it. He'd picked up a battery and the brightest light he could connect to it, and put this in the payload section, and turned the light on for the night launching.
There used to be an empty field near McCord that these days is occupied by a gas station. Anyway, that night, we set out for the field, Jim set up his rocket launcher, and he fired that thing off into the night sky, the light blazing away. If I recall correctly, he was hoping the rocket would be seen on-base, and spark some reports of a UFO sighting near the base.
To the best of my knowledge, nothing ever developed of the sort... but it is still a fond memory, and was a lot of fun, feeling like I was part of this conspiracy to start a UFO report!