Today, March 20, is Alien Abduction Day, and, no, we’ve never been abducted, although Catherine did have a boyfriend in the 60s who claimed to have been taken aboard an alien spaceship and had his broken leg healed. He was an ex at the time, which was good because if he hadn’t been she’d have shown him the door pronto!
Whether or not you believe in aliens, of the spaceship variety, they do make for interesting conversation and some pretty good stories. Consider all the fun we’ve had watching television shows such as “My Favorite Martian”, “Mork and Mindy” (one of Catherine’s favs), “Third Rock”, “V”, “Star Trek” (also a favorite of ours), and “X-Files” (another favorite). Movie goers swarmed to alien-themed films “ET”; “Close Encounters”; “Alien”, with the scary thing on the spaceship that drools; “Star Wars”, which is built on an entire universe of alien beings; Hollywood’s newest release “Alien’s and Cowboys”; and Catherine’s all time scary movie “The Blob”, featuring a thing from outer space that sucked unsuspecting people into its black gooey mass. She was afraid to be in the dark for months after seeing that as a child.
Readers have always been interested in extraterrestrial stories. In 1898, H.G. Wells published his science fiction book “The War of the Worlds”, which has seen several adaptations throughout the years. Perhaps the most famous one was a 60-minute radio show, in 1938, written in a broadcast fashion that caused pandemonium when listeners believed they were hearing a news report, not a work of fiction.
If you want to write an alien abduction story where would you begin? Start by setting it in one of the U.S. hot spots for UFO sightings like Roswell, New Mexico, the site of the alleged 1947 spaceship crash and the infamous Area 51, where spaceships and alien bodies are purported to be stored; or Albuquerque, New Mexico; the state of Colorado, especially Saquach; Gulf Breeze, Pensacola or Santa Rosa, Florida; Elk River, Minnesota, or Anza, California. If you want to go farther afield consider Stonehenge, Australia, Canada, Russia, Africa, or Europe where crop circles have been found.
Like a touch of murder mystery in your stories? Then consider killing off someone who has a million dollar Alien Abduction Insurance Policy, which can include insurance against alien pregnancy or probing, as well as abduction. Yes, there really is such a thing, but it has lousy payoff terms. Shirley MacLaine reportedly has a policy. I’m not sure how one would go about proving the insured had really been abducted, but that’s a problem for you, the author, to figure out.
If you want celebrities to cameo in your book as UFO believers you’ll have no trouble finding them. John Lennon saw an oval-shaped UFO in the New York sky and reported it, along with a host of New Yorkers. You won’t find a record of his call with the city, however, because he didn’t leave his name. (Gee, I wonder why?) Former President Ronald Reagan reported witnessing two UFO accounts while he was governor of California, and Jimmy Carter said he saw something strange in the sky in 1967 when he was governor of Georgia. Astronaut Gordon Cooper said he took photos of a UFO while in space. The Pentagon allegedly took the films and they were never seen again. (There’s a cover-up plot, if I’ve ever heard one.) Even Walter Cronkite, a trusted newsman to millions of Americans, claimed he saw UFOs while watching a test of a new Air Force missile. With famous eyewitnesses like that who wouldn’t believe in alien beings and their spaceships?
If writing about aliens isn’t for you, then park the car in garage (because we all know aliens love to catch us in our cars on lonely roads at night), hunker down behind drawn shades with a few good alien movies, some popcorn, and a tin foil cap (if you’re cheap) or thought screen helmet (if you’ve got money to burn) to protect your brain from alien probing. And …
keep an eye on the sky if you go out … just in case.
What are some of your favorite alien television shows and movies? Did any keep you up at night worrying about alien abductions or invasions?