Reggie, a typical schoolboy, has nothing on his mind apart from the television and a packet of chocolate digestives. When the phone rings he suddenly becomes involved in his uncle’s bizarre behaviour, which quickly leads him into an adventure more exciting than the film he has just been watching…
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“We humans have a tendency to be very emotional about our beliefs, and if there is data or evidence suggesting our belief is wrong, then we get terribly upset about it. That is what science is all about - to look at evidence that might challenge our theories, with an open mind.
In the fifties, human kind had not been above sixty thousand feet. We lived in a three-layered universe. God in the heavens, men in the middle, and everything else down below. It was the common wisdom then, that we were alone in the universe. The process that produced us has undoubtedly produced living intelligent creatures in many other places in the universe. I would suggest, and we're coming to believe this in science, that on virtually every planet where the environmental conditions permit, there is a likelihood of the production of living systems.
These systems could be anything from the most simple of life forms; from the precursors to life like amino acids to simple organisms and bacteria, up through evolved life forms like the animal kingdom and ourselves, and even perhaps beyond!
But in the recent years, I've had the opportunity to speak to people within government, whom I call the ‘old timers’. Their story is yes, these things really happened - we have been visited, craft and bodies have been recovered from accidents, and that there has been an ‘alien’ presence here.
The main one of interest is the so called Roswell Incident. It has been the one of greatest controversy, because there were many civilians who observed it or were associated with it, as well as military personnel. Officially it didn't come out at that time, because we'd just come out of a war. If this was truly advanced alien technology, then the last thing we wanted was for our enemies at the time (the Soviets) to know about it and gain access to this technology.
Also there's a rationale that people had been frightened by the War of the Worlds scenario of H.G.Wells a few years earlier, and it was adjudged that people weren't ready for all of this. Most people today think that all the secrecy involved, perhaps properly back then, has out lived its usefulness. That if it is real, then we need to know about it, civilization as a whole needs to know about it, and that people are better prepared for it today.
The alien remains were taken by aircraft first to Fort Worth to an Air Force Base there, and then to Wright Paterson Air Force Base and then on to Dayton Ohio. Many of the people involved are very elderly, particularly the military and government people. Some of them are convinced that it its time to tell. It is a different climate today, and they want to clear their consciences before they die…”
John Glenn Apollo Astronaut
“It’s your Uncle Bob!”
Reggie turned the volume down on the television set; he had not bothered to move when the phone rang, leaving it for his mother to answer. He just sat there reaching for the biscuit barrel, which sat on the table crammed full of chocolate digestives.
She stood holding the receiver in her right hand, wearing a shocked expression on her face. "They found him wandering on hill top moor in his underpants!"
Reggie turned round, dropping a pile of crumbs on the carpet. "In his underpants!"
His mother nodded.
He started to laugh, thinking that she was joking. Uncle Bob was the last person that you would ever expect to find wandering about anywhere in his underpants, particularly on a damp miserable evening like this one.
"Are you sure?"
His mother nodded. "Yes, but they can't seem to get a word out of him!"
Reggie sat up; Uncle Bob was always quite chatty, with a keen sense of humour. He could picture him now, sitting in his chair, with a big smile on his jolly face.
"In his underpants!"
Reggie’s mother nodded her head again. "Yes, he's at the police station, and they want us to go and collect him." Reggie suddenly lost interest in the biscuits, wondering what was going on.
"But what about Auntie Val?" He knew she always went to the Scrabble club on a Thursday, and could just see the expression on her face when they told her. Ever since Uncle Bob left the Navy, she had been doing her best to social climb, and this was going to put a huge dent in her plans.
Reggie was filled with a mixture of concern and amusement, wondering just what had happened to him. He would gladly forgo the next month’s pocket money just to see the look on her face when they told her. Auntie Val was always dressed in her best clothes, trying to make a good impression. She even tried to make Bob wear a collar and tie at home, but he managed to get away with a roll neck jumper. He could not imagine how she would react to him wandering about in public like that.
His mother put the receiver down, grabbing her coat off the chair. It was a good job they had popped round to let the dog out; otherwise the call would have remained unanswered.
"I thought he was supposed to be working late tonight!" Reggie remembered her mentioning something about it earlier. "He was, but apparently he must have left early. We're lucky that they recognised him, or they might never have known who he was!"
Uncle Bob owned a small TV and Radio shop in the high street, and Reggie often popped in to help him at the weekends.
"Come on, we'd better get straight down there, I don't know what I'm going to say to Val."
His mother hurried him along, as she grabbed a plastic bag out of the kitchen, dashing upstairs to collect some of Uncle Bob's clothes off the chair in the bedroom. Reggie did not need any encouragement, as he could hardly wait to get down there.
Within a few minutes, the car was splashing through the puddles, as the rain drops splattered against the windscreen. It started to mist up, and his mother put the fresh air blowers on, which helped to drown out the groaning of the windscreen wipers as they clanked back and forth over the glass. It really was a miserable evening!
The tail-lights of the car in front blurred, as a lorry went past on the other side, sending a sheet of water cascading over the bonnet. They hit a pothole in the road, sending their own spray out over the pavement, nearly drowning an already soaked pedestrian. Reggie felt embarrassed, and was glad when they had turned the corner.
It was not long before the headlamps caught the small blue sign that stood outside the police station, and his mother was turning into the car park. She pulled up by the door, so they would not have far to walk.
The desk sergeant looked up as she opened the door, shaking the water off her umbrella. "Can I help you?"
His mother blushed as she explained that they were here to collect Uncle Bob. He lifted the hatch, escorting them through into the interview room.
Uncle Bob sat on a chair with a large grey blanket wrapped around him. He looked awful, with a small gash on his forehead. A policewoman was dabbing it with a piece of cotton wool, which had been soaked in antiseptic.
He did not even move his eyes, as his mother tried to get his attention.
"I've tried, but all he does is stare straight ahead, with that dazed expression on his face,” said the policewoman.
She finished what she was doing, and threw the blood stained cotton wool into the bin. "I was out doing my patrol in the area car, when he suddenly appeared on the road in front of me. It was a good job I wasn't going fast, or I would have run into him!"
Reggie could see how concerned she was. Uncle Bob had a 'way with the ladies', and it was obvious that she found him attractive. It was a good job Auntie Val was not here, as she would not have been too impressed.
"He's such a nice man, “ she continued. “I just can't think what has happened to him!"
"Should we take him to the doctor’s?" His mother rubbed her hand over Uncle Bob’s face, which got a slight reaction. They all froze as he tried to speak, forming his mouth around the letter a it was no more than a whisper, and they strained to hear what he was trying to say.
The policewoman held his hand, rubbing her cheek against his, as she placed her ear over his mouth. Bob tried to speak again, but no sound would come out.
Reggie had never seen anything like this before, and watched as her skirt rode up, as she perched on his lap. Uncle Bob took a deep breath, trying to force the words out. The policewoman massaged his hand again, as he managed to mumble out something.
She turned her head, looking equally as dazed. “He said the word ‘aliens’!’