Dulltown, UK: Today’s colours are: Michaelmas mauve, rope russet, Yucatan yellow, broiling blue, guppy green, frozen fawn, piglet purple, and broomstick brown.
Unidentified flying objects – UFOs.
I’ve always like the idea of those; ever since I can remember I’ve fancied seeing one – no luck so far though.
Several years ago I was browsing the Dulltown Library shelves (as one used to do back then) and, to my surprise, I came across an old copy of the famous Project Blue Book (what a mysterious title!) which documented a large number of UFO sightings in America; it was published by the US Air Force in the 1950s. People say it was mostly a ‘cover up’ and a ‘whitewash’ (can things be both a cover up and a whitewash? I suppose so.). But I recall it did turn out to be a remarkably dull read.
Back then UFOs were generally saucer-shaped, like a Frisbee, or two metal pie dishes glued together at their rims (I think that’s what some of them actually turned out to be), but now there seem to be quite a few other shapes available. Big dark triangular ones became popular for a few years – the consensus being that the best ones would be jet black, have a white light at each corner, and a flashing red light in its middle.
A few years ago a friend of mine confided that she and her mother had stood and watched in amazement at one of these big black triangular things hovering at midnight over a suburb of Dulltown. Gosh! I wished I’d been there! She said that they never bothered reporting it to anyone though… To whom would one report it?…
When I was at art school someone pinned a cheaply printed leaflet (that they’d come across in the pub) on the college noticeboard; it was advertising a gathering of the local ‘UFO Spotter’s Club’. Out of curiosity, two or three of us went along to investigate. It turned out to be held in a small flat at the top of an old house; there was an elderly chap sitting in a big armchair chatting to four or five teenage lads about ‘mysterious things’ – we three slightly embarrassed scruffy art students introduced ourselves, joined them, and made the madness complete. We didn’t learn much, and after an hour or so we made our excuses and left – yes, it did feel a little bit ‘creepy’. Me, I reckon the old bloke might have been an alien himself…
Now, where was I?
Ah, yes, let’s go back to the saucer-shaped ones – isn’t it funny how in those blurry old photos they seem identical to a side view of a pigeon in flight…? Clever camouflage I reckon – the aliens had obviously made a careful study earthly birds before designing their spaceships.
Other craft which are less common are: cone-shaped ones, tub-shaped ones, silver cigar-shaped ones, spherical ones, ‘strings of gyrating lights’, and of course enormous fat round ‘mother ships’. These are usually about the size of ‘two or three aircraft carriers’, they are quite playful, but at the same time they are ‘menacing’ when seen and carefully dodged by airline pilots – the pilots generally keep pretty quiet about their encounter when they get back on the ground though – just so that they can hang onto their jobs I suppose…
Me, I’d love to see a UFO!
The thing is that no one seems to have taken a decent photo or video of one of them. Those aliens must be very good at hiding! All the pictures you see have the craft very small in the corner of the frame, so it has to be blown up so much that it has no detail showing – you can hardly make out the portholes and antennae at all! Why isn’t there a good crisp shot of one, full frame, so you can see the rows of rivets, look in the windows, and read the hieroglyphics painted on the side? Surely there must be good snap out there somewhere?
Oh, and another thing, if the aliens are so bashful, and so vary wary of being spotted, why do they whiz about our night skies with all their lights switched on? Surely they don’t need them for driving? It’s not crowded up there! If they switched them off they could relax and not have to be skipping about avoiding fighter planes, nosey radar stations, nerds with binoculars, and doing their amazing bursts of speed (faster than any known jet) and their sudden (beyond the laws of physics) rapid right-angle turns…
‘Hey Squim, why have you just switched our lights on?’
‘Oh, you know me Quam, I do like to show off my right-angle turn skills to the Earthlings. Just look at the poor stiffs down there with their puzzled looks and their stupid bulging eyes!’
‘I really like it when you do something spectacular and then just switch the lights off as if we’ve mysteriously disappeared! Ho ho!…’
‘Hey look down there Quam – there’s a black and white police car driving slowly along a quiet country road in the dead of night.’
‘Oh yes, do that thing where you hover over him, then flood him with bright light – that’s it, that’s it!… Now make his engine cut out and make his watch stop… Ho ho! What fun!… Shall we beam him up?’
‘Hm… no, not this time, I’m not really in the mood for a human…’