Not a weather balloon or a satellite
or any other clandestine, top secret human-made object. No. It
was a goddamn UFO and I’m tired of repeating myself, of the ridicule, of the
cover-ups. I’ve got alien-lore running in my blood, see. My grandfather owned
the ranch adjacent to the one where it crashed, then my daddy after him, and
now me. I’ve grown up around countless tales told and retold about what
happened that night exactly seventy years ago. Some I’ve memorized by heart.
I think the detail that always stuck
out to me was the one about the beings. According to my grandfather, there were
three aliens. One died at the site, one died in custody, who the hell knows
where the third one went. And that’s what gets me; where is that
one, did it escape, is it still living out there, somewhere in the desert? Is
it afraid? Or plotting revenge? Sometimes, late at night, I’ll stay up
speculating about what happened to it. I’d like to think that it’s still out
there somewhere, watching, waiting.
At least, that’s what I believe.
And daddy always told me all that matters is the belief.
I’m sure you all know that in early
July 1947 some thing crashed into a field in Roswell. And
you’ve probably heard all about the debris and the speculation and those who
were labeled conspiracy theorists for contesting those speculations. But have
you heard about how the animals still avoid the crash site to this day; how
compasses go crazy when you walk through the area; that,
sometimes, at night you can hear a strange, keening sound boiling up from the
ground, like something is buried way, way beneath the surface?
Now, if you’ve ever seen Breaking
Bad, you know just how damn desolate New Mexico can be; you can hide a
lot out there, even whole flying saucers. And sometimes I wonder…what
if they never took the thing, what if they left it right where it was, hidden
in plain sight, or, at least underneath it? What if that’s why
strange things still happen around here? Thoughts like those kept me up for
longer than I’d like to admit, so I did the only logical thing one could do in
this situation, I figured out how I could profit off of it.
I started giving tours, letting those who want to believe peruse my land, scour
the sky. Make a decent buck off it too. But I’m not here to brag about my
business savvy, no. I’m here to write about something else I saw, last night,
slipping between the stars, obscuring the moon. Told myself I’d finish it
before the tour tonight. So here we are.
were only three of us that night including me, which was odd, figured the
anniversary would attract more people out. Then again, I suppose the thrill
that Roswell once held in the consciousness of most Americans has dwindled in
it goes, I guess.
The moon was waxing gibbous, so it
wasn’t exactly ideal UFO-watching conditions, but I didn’t get any notice of
cancellation, so at exactly 11 PM I left my house to meet them. And for those
wondering, I find the best time to gaze up is on nights when the moon is new
and the sky dark. You’ll see more, much more.
saw them standing by the edge of my property dimly lit by the light of the
moon. As I got closer I could see that it was a man and a woman, but it wasn’t
until I was right next to them that I saw it might’ve been a dad and his daughter.
guy was wearing a black suit and, at first, I felt anger and fear rise up
thinking back to all the stories I heard of the Men in Black. But he didn’t
seem the type, leaning carelessly against the fence, reading something on his
phone. And he had no tie. That was something both my grandfather and daddy were
adamant on; they always wore black suits, black ties, black shoes, black hats,
black sun glasses and drove black cars. Always. Only their shirts were white.
The girl next to him—in her teens,
maybe younger or older—had one foot propped up on the bottom rung of the fence.
She looked pissed. She was wearing a faded black Wolves in the Throne
Room shirt, jeans, and those token red high-tops. The shirt looked a
few sizes too big for her and I looked at the man wondering if it might be his.
I called over to them, waving. The guy looked up from his phone and waved back,
smiling, but the girl stayed where she was, a look of complete indifference on
Nice night,” the man replied.
let’s have names. I’ll go first, I’m Taylor.”
the man said, then looked over at the girl, she looked away, clearly in a bad
mood, so he continued. “And this is, uh, my niece Elanor.”
paused for a beat, thrown off by his hesitation in naming the girl, then said,
“Oh, like Eleanor Roosevelt?”
she sighed and replied, “No. Like Elanor Gardner…daughter of Samwise Gamgee.”
cleared his throat. “Her parents are big fans of Tolkien.”
like the Lord of the Rings?”
exactly,” Edward said. “I’m surprised they didn’t name you something more
overt, like Arwen or Galadriel.” He laughed, “Right, Elanor?”
She rolled her eyes, “Right,
Edward…and it’s Elle now, remember?”
Edward smirked, “Oh, yes, how could
I have ever forgotten?” I thought the girl, Elanor, Elle, was
going to give him attitude again, but instead she looked up at him, beaming. “I
told her dad I would take her to a super fun place.”
was between this or Area 51,” Elle said.
is still an option, if you want to go.”
sighed, long and heavy, “I told you, I don’t want to die.”
Edward grinned brightly. “And I told
you, you’ll be with me.”
looked between them, both amused and bemused, then said, “I take it your niece
likes aliens and the sort?”
burst out laughing. Elanor rolled her eyes and said, “Absolutely loathe them.”
laughed lightly, unsure how to read the two, wondering for a moment if the guy,
Edward, might’ve kidnapped the girl, then said, “Shall we?”
took them out to the area the UFO crashed. Of course, we couldn’t technically
cross over into the crash site proper, but we got close enough. Edward was
carrying expensive looking binoculars, his leather shoes crunching against the
rocks and dust and dirt of the desert.
ever seen a UFO before,” he asked me, handing the binoculars to Elanor, and
then looked up himself.
unexplainable things…whether they’re from out of this world or not is still up
for debate.” I glanced at Elanor; she wasn’t looking at the stars, but the
moon, and I glanced up too just in time to see a cloud race across its face.
was quiet for a moment, thinking. “Seven.”
seen seven truly unidentified flying objects. Eight if you count the one over
Black Mountain, but I’m not so sure—”
seen exactly seven UFOs?”
Edward looked down at me and nodded,
“Yeah. At least, we didn’t have any documentation on them at
the time. Now we do of course, but I’m sure you could imagine our…frustration
at finding things we didn’t know about.” He suddenly flicked his arm out,
checking his wristwatch.
is it you do again?” Instead of answering, he walked over to the girl and
tapped her shoulder.
He took the binoculars from her, held them up to his face, and pointed them directly
above us. “Ah, and here it is, right on time.”
“Here what is?”
“That,” Elanor hissed beside
me, pointing up with her right arm, guiding my gaze.
And then I saw it, this thing up
there, shaped like a triangle, gliding across the sky. I could tell it was
there from the way it blocked out the specks that made up the Milky Way. But it
wasn’t until it slid across the surface of the moon that I gasped. It was
like nothing I had ever seen before, and I’ve seen some
strange shit out here at night.
Suddenly, a sound rang out from
above us, underneath us, around us, and I yelled, covering my ears, moving to
crouch. You know that sound the Tripods make from War of the Worlds,
that loud, booming, horrifying shit? That’s what it sounded
like, that’s the only thing I can compare it to. It was loud, so loud,
and I shook my head, trying to rid myself of it. Next to me, Edward stood stock
still, gazing up, as if he couldn’t hear anything at all and, for a moment, I
wondered if I was really hearing anything or if the sound was being projected
into my mind from whatever that thing in the sky was.
then I saw that Elanor was looking at Edward and her face was a mask of terror.
She stopped suddenly, glanced at me, then up, then back at her uncle,
know. But it’s okay, I’m pretty sure that’s a T-33. So, they won’t be coming
down here. They’re just watching.” Edward paused for a beat, then said, “And
waiting?” I heard myself say. “For what?”
“For the signal to invade or abduct.”
He grinned sinisterly from underneath the binoculars. Elanor made a displeased
noise and he chuckled. “Only kidding, E. Only kidding.”
we watched the triangle disappeared behind the clouds and back into obscurity.
Edward, looking over at Elanor, suggested we headed back, that it was late. I
glanced at the girl—it looked like she might cry—and nodded in agreement.
walked back to my house in relative silence, Edward glancing up every so often,
then checking his watch. Elanor trailed behind him, her head down, like a sad
puppy, and, as soon as we arrived back, she immediately went to Edward’s car, a
black JEEP, and shut herself inside.
turned to me, “Sorry about that.”
I held up my hand and said, “Oh,
it’s no problem, I know how teens are.” He nodded, then opened his mouth to say
something, but I cut him off, unable to stop myself. “What was that
thing? Do you know? Was it…was it really a UFO?”
opened his mouth again, closed it, thought for a moment, then said, “Just…be
careful. And thank you for the tour.”
I said, “Yeah, yeah sure, you’re welcome. Hope you get home safe.”
smiled, turned, and got into the JEEP. I waved them off as they drove down the
dirt road in the direction of Colorado, and stood watching them until their
headlights died away into the darkness.
morning, I woke up to my phone pinging and flicked it on to half a dozen
notifications. Apparently, everyone who was registered for my tour tonight
cancelled and then four men took their spots. One of them messaged me. Told me
he was excited to talk to me. To pick my brain.
Whatever that means.
that’s it. I saw something unexplainable last night, something that is
indicative of something dark and sinister and hidden. But that’s not what
terrifies me…what terrifies me is knowing that they’re just up there, waiting
for the right moment, and those who know about them down here don’t seem too
concerned. Shouldn’t we be concerned? Shouldn’t we question everything?
with that in mind, don’t listen to me; go see for yourself.
out at night.