The call came into the police department at midnight. Fanny Lou Murphy had seen a UFO land in her pasture.
“What’s it look like, Ms. Murphy?” asked the police chief.
“Lord have mercy, Chief. I’m standing here looking at it right now. It looks like a silver cigar covered with Christmas lights.”
The police chief, whom we locals had dubbed Blue Light Bob, raced east down Highway 55. Near Fanny Lou’s house, a silver figure sprang from the ditch and Blue Light Bob locked his brakes and skidded sideways. The alien stood frozen like a whitetail, and Blue Light Bob grabbed his Polaroid and snapped a picture. The flash sent the alien sprinting away down the middle of the road. Blue Light Bob accelerated and chased the figure, but it outran the patrol car. When Blue Light Bob returned, Fanny Lou was swinging on her front porch.
“Are you okay, Ms. Murphy?”
“I’m all right, I reckon. Just a little shook up.”
“You said a UFO landed in your pasture?”
“It did, Chief. Right out there.” She pointed to the pasture next to her house. “Sent the cows scurrying something awful. It lowered a chute and a little metal fellow got out, leaped the fence, and sneaked toward the highway.”
“I saw it on the road and gave chase almost to McGlathery Town. Reached 105 miles per hour, but it outran my patrol car.”
“You don’t say.”
“Yes, ma’am. Sure as I’m standing here.”
“He surely wasted no time leaving. That space plane took off as fast as it arrived.”
“You just wait here, Ms. Murphy.” He winked. “I’m going to get my report form so I can be sure to have the facts straight.”
The headline made the front page: “Alien Outruns Police.” The Hartselle Enquirer ran a full account. Several citizens reported strange lights in the sky, and UFO experts, reporters, and photographers flew in like crows. The Associate Press picked up the story and ran the alien’s photograph, a fuzzy image of a man-like creature with metallic skin.
At the Cole Springs General Store, one man asked, “Who do you reckon took that picture?”
“I don’t know,” another said, “but that alien looked awfully familiar.”
“They say that aliens abduct people and then erase the memories. Maybe that alien has visited here before.”
Weeks later the truth unfolded when the Hartselle Enquirer ran two photos of the alien. One showed the entire being and another showed a close-up of its abdomen, which had been ripped open. Within hours, the citizenry solved the case.
The final newspaper headline said it all: “Aliens Among Us.” Half of Morgan Country had recognized the belly. It belonged to Hubert Anders, a Budweiser-loving pulpwood logger. As a joke, Ms. Murphy and Blue Light Bob had wrapped him in aluminum foil.
The three lined up in front of the judge, who shook his head and tapped his gavel, releasing them on bail after each promised to remain in the solar system.
Story Behind the Story...
Believe it or not, this story is true, but because I had to change and invent a few details I had to categorize it as fiction. I was a boy living in Louisiana when the national television news broadcast the story of an alien sighting in my hometown of Falkville, Alabama. Apparently, the whole thing was joke gone awry. As they say, "You can't make this stuff up."