Storm Area 51! Let’s See Them Aliens! Etc!


Apparently today’s the day – 20 September… and by all indications, people are actually boarding planes and heading to Nevada to ‘see them aliens’! Events are being booked by various interested parties and interest appears to be at an all-time high – there’s even a music festival being organized – despite thinly-coated ‘soft’ warnings from the US military that intruders will be met with ‘deadly force’!

As a matter of fact, just a few days ago, a couple of European tourists were busted three miles deep into Area 51, and although they lived – being arraigned and convicted in what seems like record time before being deported – it’s doubtful they’ll ever be allowed back into the US again.

Hard as it may be to conceive, some people seem to think camping out on a very well-defended secret military installation – and actually considering storming it in an attempt to uncover its secrets – is a great idea, or that there will be an afterwards for them… But I suppose they’re counting on weight of numbers to help with that… “they can’t stop all of us” the organizers said. Then again, the people who first crossed no-mans land in East Berlin in 1989 and started hammering away at the Wall faced the same dillemma – and that was far more visibly fortified and guarded than Area 51…

In honor of this extraordinary event, I wrote a short story – which you can read here, with my most sincere compliments!

The Storming Of Area 51 by Christina Engela

It was a Friday, but not just any Friday – it was Friday the 20th of September, 2019 – and somewhere in the wide open spaces of Nevada, just off route 375 (often called “The Extraterrestrial Highway”), a crowd had gathered outside a gate manned by a quite large assembly of armed military personnel.

The first people had arrived just before sunrise that morning, and the rest had turned up rapidly after that, in drips and drabs – in fact, the biggest single grouping to arrive at one time, came in three rented tour busses carrying plates from Alaska. It was by now a little after nine in the AM, and the crowd still appeared to be growing steadily as more and more people arrived – and as they did, each individual added to the flavor of it, like a grain of spice added to a stewing pot of diversity. English wasn’t the only language heard there that morning – the discerning ear could pick up French, German, Italian, Spanish, and even Dutch and Russian among them – but regardless of where they’d come from, they’d left their vehicles parked loosely together on either side of the road, and walked the rest of the way – just about fifty meters or so, on foot, to join the gathering. Consequently, the immediate countryside was left littered with trucks, bikes, busses and vehicles of all kinds and colors.

There was a real carnival atmosphere, as people milled about excitedly. This was the big happening of the day, this was the place, this was the time – it was Storm Area 51 – and all it had taken to get all these people here at the same time was a simple, cunningly placed Facebook post several weeks prior! ‘Storm Area 51, they can’t stop all of us!’ it said, ‘Let’s see them aliens!’

Apparently a lot of people felt that way – over 2 million worldwide, as a matter of fact – so much so, that even despite the ridicule and the seemingly common-sense warnings of friends and relatives – the statement by the originator of the event to indicate it was intended as ‘a joke’ – and especially in the face of warnings from law enforcement, the FBI and the US Dept. of Defense (who pointed out that they were authorized to use “deadly force”) – a considerable number of them came anyway. Them, and of course, the people who’d come to watch it all happen – including media and press reporters (who had been warned to not point cameras into the restricted area, and whose vans stood parked nearby with their satellite dish antennas raised) and the curious onlookers who were interested in seeing the outcome whichever way things went. So too, the event had attracted scores of entrepreneurs who thought it would be a great opportunity to peddle their wares to everyone else.

People of all sorts, dressed casually in t-shirts, jeans and sneakers – and looking remarkably like people who spent the rest of their time wearing suits, perhaps even ones fitted with “power-shoulders” – took videos and occasionally paused to take “selfie’s” with their smartphones, and then wondered briefly why they couldn’t post their happy-snappies on social media. The answer was less sinister than the government blocking their phones – there simply was no cell phone coverage around 100 miles prior to Area 51. So, after giving their phones a few agitated shakes, and then as the realization struck home, their heads, the would-be narcissists meandered off on their way to remerge with the crowd.

The booms and gates of the sinister air force facility known as Area 51 were being kept tightly shut – despite there being no fences on either side of them – and an imposing military force had assembled quietly a distance behind them, awaiting orders, observing. The crowd grew and gradually edged closer and closer to within touching distance of the gates, cheering, waving, whistling, chanting, and holding placards bearing slogans like “Tell us the truth!”, “Stop lying to us!” and “We are not the enemy!”

A number of people had made use of the resulting chaos to set up small stalls and tents at the edges of the gathering, selling food and drink, T-shirts and Area 51 UFO memorabilia. Someone even had loud music going that only served to add to the maelstrom of hopeful optimism, tension, excitement and burning curiosity. Considering that virtually everything that everyone there was doing that morning was highly illegal and in breach of various new “national security” or “anti-terrorism” laws, it was all very surreal.

Jake Smeggs was a 35 year old, habitual plaid-shirt-wearing armchair philosopher – and he had the calluses on his elbows to prove it. He was a life-long resident of Joliet, Illinois, lived in a basement apartment under his parent’s house, with his labra-doodle, Jinks. On a completely incidental and unrelated note, Jake was single, very available, and worked double shifts at a neighborhood convenience store most days per week to feed his interests, up to and including this one. In point of fact, it had taken him three days of hitch-hiking and two bus-rides to reach the gates of a place which the government had been telling the American people for decades, didn’t exist. Surprisingly, the gates at the end of the road looked very realistic from up close – life-like even.

The gathering crowd was large now, larger than even Jake had expected it to be! Who’d have thought that so many people would turn up? Jake too, pondered this point.

“There must be thousands of people here!” a random grinning guy told Jake suddenly, out of the blue. The guy had a Brit accent, and introduced himself as Corby, before remarking again: “Thousands!”

Tens of thousands!” His shorter, slighter companion added, shouting over the din of the crowd, and introducing herself as Simone with a noticeable European accent. Despite the windbreaker, baggy jeans, backpack and cap, she was obviously female.

“Jake.” Said Jake loudly, “Say, y’know how when you arrange a party on Facebook and sixty people say they’ll come…”

“Yeah.” Simone grinned back before finishing his sentence “But only like ten show up, right?”

“You’re French?” Jake asked her.

“Yes.” She nodded, smiling, just as a heavily bearded fella with big hair under a cap squeezed past them, brandishing a brightly colored object still wrapped in plastic. It bore a remarkable resemblance to the brightly-colored flamethrowers being marketed as a gimmick by a well-known and innovative manufacturer known for its electric cars and pet space-program. The guy wore a black UFO-themed t-shirt that hung over his jeans, and was grinning from ear to ear.

“There’s a truck over there jus’ handin’ these babies out!” He shouted at everyone in general. “Fer free!”

This news caused the flow of traffic in the herd of assorted conspiracy theorists, UFOlogists, truthers, flat-earthers, preppers, homesteaders and survivalists – who had been until then directed towards the gate – to pause, and then to suddenly reverse. People immediately began to flow away from the gate towards the unseen promise of free incendiary gifts. Within minutes, the curious new prizes were being passed out and around them, and a couple of people accidentally learned about the pitfalls of test-firing such weapons in tightly crowded spaces first-hand.

Jake, who was all for learning the truth about UFO’s and Area 51, and had no objections to a little civil disobedience such as hogging a driveway, holding a placard that read “Let’s See Them Aliens!” and maybe following a bunch of other people through a gate – if it opened for whatever reason – didn’t like the tone things were taking. Flamethrowers?

“I don’t like the sound of that.” Said Jake’s new friend Corby, ducking as the bright flash of a flame thrower briefly lit the sky nearby.

“Me neither.” Simone agreed.

After a sudden series of blood-curdling screams pierced the air nearby, the trio watched the crowd ahead clear quickly to let a burning man roll past, while a simultaneous attempt was underway to extinguish his flames by onlookers who took turns in pelting the blazing, shrieking, writhing figure with sand and gravel, and beating it with coats and blankets, while some argued about where they’d last seen a fire extinguisher! To Jake, it looked – and smelled a lot like death by committee! And, perhaps, a little like pork roast. Jake, Simone and Corby exchanged suddenly nervous, unsettled glances.

“I heard about that offer to hand out free flamethrowers on Twitter.” Corby remarked as the flames finally went out, a little shaken by the whiff of cooking human flesh in his nostrils. “I didn’t think he was actually serious! God!”

“Yeah.” Jake nodded noncommittally as the smoke cleared and the probably seriously injured person was carried away by the aforementioned still-arguing committee. People began to fill in the gaps around them again, briefly resuming their previous activities.

“Why actually give the soldiers an excuse to shoot us, right?” Corby added, almost sarcastically.

“Right on, man.” Simone agreed. “Like, totally. Besides, some people aren’t mature enough to handle a Rubik cube responsibly, and now someone’s just given them something like that to play with? Imagine what this place will be like in twenty minutes? It’s almost as if it was deliberate!”

Jake and Corby briefly pondered Simone’s meaning.

“Say – d’you think the Feds’re behind this?” Jake wondered aloud. “The flamethrower giveaway, I mean?”

“Makes sense, mate!” Corby nodded, agreeing with Simone. “I mean, all they have to do is hand out a few hundred of those jobbies, let human nature take its course – and this pesky trespasser problem on their doorstep will just about take care of itself, right?”

“Right!” Jake agreed.

It did make sense, after a fashion. Then again, so did most of the conspiracies he’d looked at – from either side of their individual arguments in turn. It made sense that the CIA was behind the Flat Earth Conspiracy Theory – as a kind of experiment to see just how gullible some people were – which in Jake’s opinion had kinda backfired a little since now serious scientists were battling to be heard or taken seriously against the tide of rabid, loud-mouthed fanatical conspiracy theorists and ‘truthers’ who saw conspiracies in just about everything, and opposed virtually every scientific statement being made since at least 2000.  On the other hand, the flat-earthers’ viewpoint also had its merits – after all, Jake had never been in space to see the curvature of the Earth for himself – how were people like him really to know for certain that the government and every scientist since Copernicus weren’t lying to them to suit some or other sinister agenda?

It made sense that the US government would hide the existence of aliens from the American public because they believed human culture and civilization would implode if the truth was exposed… just as it made sense that given how much human knowledge had expanded in the last thirty years alone, some people (especially Jake and everyone in his chat-rooms) believed humanity was mature enough to handle the knowledge that Mr. Bilkins who’d been living next door for forty years, was really a little green man in a human suit – without everyone running through the streets setting shit on fire and taking wild swings at the underpinnings of civilization with an axe.

Whatever Jake was going to say next to his two new companions was lost in mid-thought, as another ear-piercing shriek followed a bright fireball nearby, and a loud pop not unlike a small thunderclap – before another frenzied group-effort to extinguish a couple of human torches by committee ensued.

“Bloody hell!” Corby muttered. “Sod this shit for a lark – let’s get outta here!”

“Ouis!” Simone, who looked decidedly more nervous, agreed.

“But…” Jake objected. “We came all this way! And you came all the way from Europe!”

“I know!” Corby intoned in his Brit accent, “But I didn’t come here to get my balls deep-fried by a bunch of wankers playing with flamethrowers in the middle of a crowd! Let’s try find another way in instead!”

“Another way in?” Jake repeated.

“Yeah.” Corby nodded, turning to leave. “There’re four gates around Area 51 – and miles and miles of no wire fencing between ‘em! All we really need to do is find somewhere else to go in!”

“Okay?” Jake nodded, noticing that several soldiers on the other side of the gates had been amused by the antics of the crowd, and were laughing so hard at the casualties caused by the injudicious activation of aforementioned flamethrowers, that they were holding their sides. The mood of the crowd had suddenly changed from cautious, optimistic and even jovial, to angry, fearful and violent – and Jake, whose father had once described him as having “the collective IQ of a basket of newborn kittens” was starting to realize that things were about to get ugly here very soon.

“There’s a reason they don’t have fences,” Jake pointed out. “Because they have really effective patrols, security cameras, drones, and those cool signs that say ‘use of deadly force authorized’!”

“Yeah, well I think all their patrols are lined up behind this gate right now, though?” Corby countered. Besides, while they’re busy watching this lot burning each other alive, we could be miles away, getting a look at the complex!”

Jake grinned.

“You mean, use this as a distraction to cover our trip into Area 51?” He asked.

“Now you’re getting it, mate!” Corby nodded enthusiastically.

“Okay, I’m in!” He said. “Let’s go!”

The trio worked their way back through the crowd towards the throng of tents, stalls, and a row of ambulances that had just arrived at the parking lot, lights flashing as paramedics busied themselves treating people for burn wounds.

“It’s miles between here and the complex!” Jake pointed out, realizing what a long hike that would be on foot. “And I think as soon as we take a car over the perimeter, they’ll be on us like fleas on a dog!”

“Correct!” Simone agreed. “What’re we going to do, Corby?”

“Well, we could borrow those.” Corby smiled, pointing. His companions’ eyes followed – to where a pair of horses had been left tied by their reins to the back bumper of a parked tour bus. They were saddled, and looked like they’d been left there by riders, who were presumably from somewhere nearby.

“Horses?” Jake said, surprised.

“Can you ride?” Corby asked, almost cheekily.

“Sure.” Jake replied. “A little. Er – I rode a horse at a petting zoo once. I was five.”

“Not exactly what I meant, mate!” Corby chuckled, shaking his head.

“Well, I didn’t fall off, if that’s what you mean!” Jake countered a little defensively.

“Let’s get to it then!” Corby grinned.

The three mates cautiously liberated the two horses without the wrong people – aka their actual owners – noticing, and snuck them back down the roadway, away from the main body of the gathering near the gate. The horses, a pair of brown mares, seemed docile and went along with them without incident. Once they felt far enough from the nearest sign of people, they thought it was safe to mount the horses. Corby mounted one steed in a way that Jake thought implied he knew his way around a horse. Simone, who was quite light, felt more comfortable climbing up behind him, while Jake had just realized he’d stuck the wrong foot into the stirrup, blushed, and used the other foot to climb up into the saddle.

“Alright, then?” Corby asked, smiling.

“Yup.” Jake replied while trying to keep his balance. His mount, who was clearly empathic, whinnied. “So I see you know your way round horses?”

“Well, I know which end to feed, if that’s what you mean!” Corby chuckled, being modest.

Corby knew he could manage a gallop – after all, he’d been a stable-hand during several summer holidays while at high school, and riding lessons. Of course, he figured Jake would never keep up – or worse, spook the horse and get himself killed, so with Corby setting the pace, the unlikely group set off at a slow trot along the deceptively undefended borders of Area 51.

In surprisingly little time, they’d left the crowd behind, and couldn’t see anything going on back at the gathering due to a gentle rise in the intervening terrain between them. A string of sharp, distant gunshots suddenly punctuated the air, punctuated by fainter screams, some shouting, a couple of distorted barked commands on a bullhorn, and then the pop of explosions presumably caused by stun grenades!

“Well, shit!” Jake cussed, looking back and not seeing anything on the horizon that was even remotely related to current events.

“Seems we missed the kick-off!” Corby grinned back at him stoically. “Lucky us!”

“Was that shooting?” Simone asked, worried.

“Just warning shots, I expect.” Corby replied, leading the way. “I mean, they’ve always said ‘use of deadly force authorized’ – but they can’t really mean it, can they?”

“Sure they do.” Jake said.

“Really?” Corby said, sounding doubtful. “When last has anyone heard of someone getting shot while trying to enter Area 51?” Corby clearly found the short silence gratifying. “You don’t know, do you? I mean, sure there have been plenty of examples of people getting stopped and turned back and escorted off the property – and even arrested, or fined… but actually shot?

“Actually, I read someone was shot by security forces while trying to enter Area 51 in a car in January this year!” Simone added.

“Ah yes,” Corby said, “The famous ‘unknown male carrying a cylindrical object’ incident – I read about that before I left… but I didn’t see any mention anywhere of that supposed shooting in any news sources prior to July – just days after the whole ‘Storm Area 51’ event started up… did you?”

“Well… no.” Simone agreed reluctantly.

“So, there’s no mention of the shooting or his death around the date of the alleged shooting,” Corby explained, “But a couple of days after people start signing onto the event, suddenly this ‘shooting incident’ pops up in the media warning people to not storm Area 51? Smells fishy to me!”

“Yeah.” Jake nodded. “Makes sense. I mean, there’s no mention of any names – who was he? Did he ever exist? Why didn’t they disclose his name, man?”

“Yeah.” Simone chimed in, “They disclose the names of all the people who shoot kids in night clubs, school shootings, workplace grudge shootings, the dude who rode over that woman in the protest – the bloody Boston Marathon bombers…”

“Dude!” Jake interjected, “That was so much a false flag attack!”

“Totally…seriously though,” Corby continued, “I mean – all of that aside – imagine the diplomatic hoopla if the Feds actually did shoot thousands of unarmed civilians …live, on air, in front of reporters and TV cameras? Especially if there’re some foreigners in there with them?”

“Unarmed?” Jake added. “They’ve just handed out a couple dozen flamethrowers! It’s already turnin’ into a long-pig barbecue!”

“Good point, mate!” Corby grinned. “Well in that case, seeing as the Fed’s have failed to scare everyone off with their threats and disinformation tactics, I expect your government will have to call up England, France and Germany – and lord knows who else a little later, to tell ‘em…” he switched over to a put-on American accent “Sorry folks, but we’ve had to put down some of your – what is it you Americans call foreigners? Nationals? …Nationals – in the interests of our – uh, national security!”

“Storm Area 51, they said…” Jake joked. “It’ll be a blast, they said…”

The round of cracks and jokes ended in a brief round of chuckles as the trio continued their brisk ride away from the sound of trouble. Jake, Simone and Corby hoped the guards would be distracted long enough by the fracas at the gate to cover their own incursion into the base – whenever they found a likely-looking spot to enter it.

“It’s amazing we haven’t been pinched yet!” Corby remarked. “I mean, we must be on someone’s screen by now!”

“Yeah – where’re the guards?” Jake asked, looking round at the horizon and seeing no sign of movement at all. “Surely a patrol should’ve picked us up already?”

“Maybe they’re all watching the show back at the gate?” Simone suggested.

“Well, now or never!” Jake said, and steered his ride across the imaginary line on the map, and into actual Area 51 territory. Corby and Simone followed wordlessly. They were pretty much committed now, and that realization brought with it a rather somber moment.

Surprisingly, the trio had a completely clear, unimpeded trip across the intervening terrain leading up to the complex! When they finally reached the outskirts, they paused a moment, and Corby pulled a pair of binoculars out of his backpack to survey the lay of the land.

“It’s all dead and deserted!” He said, after looking through them for what seemed a long time. “Where is everybody?”

“Maybe nobody came to work today with the …event being on?” Jake suggested.

“Maybe.” Corby nodded. “I never saw anyone driving through the gate today – but it doesn’t mean they didn’t use another entrance?”

The other two said nothing. It was indeed a mystery.

“C’mon.” Jake said, breaking the silence. “Let’s get on with it.”

A quick cautious trot on horseback across open fields past a couple of eerily quiet runways, and between a number of equally silent and quiet buildings led them to the Holy Grail of UFO conspiracy theorists world-wide: one of the main hangars. Behind that, in the distance, stood a large, pointy sort of hill, almost distorted by the haze of distance and the heat of the desert. It took a little time to get their thoughts around the scale of it – but even in relation to the really big hangar, the object was huge – like, with a capital ‘y’!

“The three-sided pyramid!” Simone smiled. “I never thought I’d ever see it with my own eyes!”

“It’s so damn big, it’s hard to believe it’s man-made, isn’t it?”

“I dunno – is it?” Jake remarked meaningfully. He’d spent hours and hours studying the site from Google Earth images, and quite frankly, there was no way to know what it had been built for, or even by whom.

“The hangar first, I think – that’s closest!”

They left their mounts hitched to a safety rail beside a side-door to the main storage hangar, as Corby produced a pair of bolt-cutters from his backpack. It put paid to the padlock on the door, and the trio cautiously stepped through the opening to behold the great secret. Inside, dimly lit by soft lights hanging from the high-up roof trusses above the concrete floor, were rows and rows of… piles. Yes, it was piles and piles of…stuff – in rows! And boxes! And crates!

“It’s a…” Corby stammered, pointing wide-eyed at the closest pile. “It’s a…”

“It’s a flaming great pile of socks!” Jake finished in frustration, having just realized that he’d been holding his breath a while and that’s where the funny little blue lights were coming from. “Socks! Like, what the…”

The three of them reached out and picked up some of the items, looking through them, and tossing them back in a curious mixture of disgust, amusement and disappointment. Indeed, the huge mound of crumpled, odd-looking material seemed to consist entirely out of socks… but not just socks. No two appeared to look alike. Each one looked different from the others, and what’s more – they appeared to have been …used. And some appeared to have been there for quite some time.

“Well that explains the smell!” Simone snorted, tossing the ancient odd-sock back onto the pile before wiping her fingers on her coat with disdain.

“But…why?” Jake asked. “The government’s been going to great lengths for over half a century to hide this from us – and… socks? Really?”

“Not just socks, mate.” Said Corby in his calm Brit accent. Of the trio, he’d traveled the furthest to get here – and so his disappointment should’ve been proportionately larger. “These are used socks… and that means they have traces of their former owners all over them!”

Simone’s eyes lit up brightly as the thought took root.

“DNA!” She cried excitedly. “Someone’s been stealing socks to sample DNA!”

“Sure, that makes perfect sense!” Corby added. “I mean, can you think of a better way to gather DNA samples?”

Jake stifled a groan. Of all the conspiracy theories he’d ever heard, the reality of this was even worse. He consoled himself by looking at the next pile – which consisted of wooden crates of all sizes. He picked a random tea-chest sized one, and lifted it off, and placed it on the ground. There was nothing on the outside to indicate the contents, but a black stenciled number painted on the side.

Corby was instantly at his side, handing him a crowbar from his backpack.

“Thanks.” Jake acknowledged distractedly, and proceeded to pry open the crate while Simone and Corby looked on. The nails that held the lid down came off without much fuss, and the trio eagerly looked inside the wooden box. Jakes hand went in, and came out holding a flat plastic disc with a raised ridge around the edges.

“Is that a…” Corby prompted.

“Fuck!” Jake exclaimed in frustration, and tossed the item to his English companion. “Yes, I think so!”

“Damn!” Said Corby, squinting to read fine lettering in the dim light as Jake reached in to produce a similar item, but a rounded square this time, and in a different color.

“So…” Simone added, after closely examining the one Corby had passed her, “A crate full of Tupperware lids?”

“I’m afraid so.” Corby added, sighing.

“One of the greatest mysteries of the last two generations… solved.” Jake sighed, unable to conceal his disappointment. “No, wait – two.” He added, remembering the pile of socks.

“What the Dickens is this all about?” Corby wondered aloud before pointing across the aisle. “Come on, let’s try that lot over there!”

The crates on that side of the aisle seemed to be a little larger, and seemed a little more promising to Jake, who gave the crowbar a little twirl and a flourish before picking the nearest accessible one on ground level that he could open without lifting others off it first. The crate lid came off rather easily, and revealed that it contained a second wooden box inside – though considerably more finished and veneered than the crate itself. It appeared to be unmarked, and Corby noticed, roughly about coffin-sized.

“Think this is what we’re looking for?” Simone breathed tensely.

“You mean…” Jake added.

“An alien pilot’s body recovered from a UFO crash?” Corby finished.

“Yeah.” Simone and Jake chorused.

“Or, maybe a biomechanical exoskeletal suit of some kind – left over from a deceased alien pilot?” Simone suggested, seeming suddenly to Corby and Jake together to be emitting some kind of goddess-like radiance in a geekish sort of way.

The two men quickly averted their eyes from their suddenly obviously feminine companion, and returned their mental focus back to the contents of the crate.

“I dunno.” Corby said suddenly. “I have a bad feeling about this one.”

“Don’t be an ass.” Jake muttered dismissively, “C’mon, help me get it open.”

Corby reluctantly helped Simone and Jake to lift the heavy wooden lid out of the crate. They didn’t drop it on the concrete with much thought or care either – being far more interested in seeing what was inside it. Inside, they saw what looked like a humanoid figure that had apparently been carefully shrink-wrapped and vacuum-packed in what appeared to be some kind of silvery plastic. Judging by its bulk and size, the figure could’ve been an average male human – and didn’t look much like any of the images they’d grown up to imagine a Gray, or other supposed alien to look like at all. A standard page of paper had been stuck across its chest with packaging tape. Swallowing nervously, Jake reached for the yellowed piece of paper with trembling fingers, dislodged it, and scanned it.

“Well?” Simone asked with growing impatience.

“Who the hell is …James Riddle Hoffa?” Jake asked, almost rhetorically. “Sounds like a bad guy from a Harry Potter book!”

“I’ve no idea.” Said Corby, who clearly had lost his taste for finding dead bodies.

“Anyways, according to this, whoever he is…was – he’s been here since 1975!” Jake closed, tossing the paper back to where he’d found it.

“Right. Er…Let’s try this one?” Corby said, reaching for a much smaller crate that was clearly too small to hold a human being – and gestured towards the crowbar Jake was still holding. “Er – would you… er?”

“Oh, sure.” Jake said, and obliged.

Once the smaller crate had been torn open, Corby carefully reached inside and lifted out what appeared to be a plain cooler box. The lid was sealed with some kind of plastic tape, and again, there was a piece of paper attached to the outside.

“What’s it say?” Jake remarked.

“Albert Einstein’s brain?” Corby whispered with shocked reverence before looking at them wide-eyed. “Aside from a couple of tiny samples on microscope slides, the rest of it’s been missing since it was removed during the autopsy in 1955!”

“That’s just swell!” Jake said, dismissively. “I’d like to see something that doesn’t relate to human remains! That’d be nice, huh?”

“Try this one!” Simone said, helpfully, pointing at a nearby crate about the size of a washing machine. After a few minutes and a little judicious application of the crowbar, the lid came off without much fuss and the trio delved into the contents.

“What’s this?” Jake asked, rubbing a white, glistening material that seemed to fill the entire box.

“Contents…” Corby read aloud from the attached sheet of paper, “One gross weather balloons… weather balloons?”

“Swell.” Jake grunted, before glancing round out of frustration. “Let’s cut to the chase, huh? I mean, do you see anything around that might contain something actually interesting – and maybe, a little bit related to UFO’s or aliens at all?”

“Like a box big enough to hold a UFO, hmm?” Simone suggested helpfully. “Would that help, Jake?”

“Yeah.” Jake nodded, and then paused, noticing that Simone seemed to be pointing towards a pile closer to the center of the giant hangar. The center of the pile appeared to be a crate roughly the size of a city bus. “Yeah…” he repeated, “Something like that!”

“Let’s get it open!” Corby grinned, leading the way over to the object of interest. It took a few minutes work to clear a few low stacked crates away from the nearest side of the large crate, and then a few more attempts with the crowbar and their fingers to peel the one side of the large wooden box away – which came away as a complete panel, and dropped noisily aside to the floor.

“What is it?” Jake asked Simone, who had already stuck her head inside the opening. He and Corby scrambled to get a closer look as well.

“I don’t know.” She said tensely. “Whatever it is, it’s under a sheet!”

Inside the open-sided crate, a large mystery object stood draped under a dust-sheet and looking like a huge piece of furniture. Jake reached for the edge and gave it a tug. It hardly budged, and disturbed dust sprang from the stained brown material into the air around them. Jake coughed. His companions, trance-like, went to assist him, and it went easier – then, suddenly, in a cloud of dust that caused three coughing fits, the sheet finally fell away. If Jake was completely honest with himself, it was probably the last thing he – or the trio – expected to find!

“Well, I’ll be buggered!” Corby exclaimed. “It’s a !”

Right at that very moment, a movement caught Simone’s eye – a ring of black-suited figures had formed seemingly around them at a distance of about ten meters, and were closing in slowly. Their faces seemed non-descript and not very clear in the dim lighting of the hangar, and they wore varying ordinary hairstyles, ties and had an over-all homogenous and threatening, sinister appearance. Their presence told the trio all they needed to know: the jig, she was up.

“I think you folks’ve been pokin’ around long enough!” A deep male voice boomed from nearby, and the trio turned to see a tall, well-built male figure leave the shadows and approach the circle from behind. “You’re lucky you didn’t get shot on the way in – and you’ve already seen way too much!”

“Too much?” Corby retorted cheekily, “Too much what? Socks? Tupperware lids? Weather balloons? A ? We’ve seen nothing!”

“Yeah!” Jake added indignantly, “Aside from this , it’s all crap! We’ve seen too much? Seriously? I’m an American citizen, man – I know my rights! Where’s the aliens? C’mon man – let’s see them E.T.’s!”

“You people have been reading too many comic books!” The unknown agent growled menacingly, before gesturing meaningfully towards his henchmen. “Take ‘em!”

“Where am I?” Jake Smeggs groaned, feeling suddenly afraid and disoriented. His eyes stung, as if the back of his retinas were itching… and the feeling reminded him of the burning sensation he’d got from staring into a strobe-light on a dance floor too long… Everything seemed to have a weird purple outline for a few long seconds as he struggled to wake up. The world around him seemed to have been suddenly turned on its head – until he realized that the world was as it had always been; it was he who was currently horizontal! Still thinking “now, how’d that happen?” Jake sat up and stared wildly around him.

People – all sorts of people, were passing by. A bus liner stood nearby, idling. Jake seemed to be in a street, lying on a bench outside a bus terminal. With inordinate suddenness, he realized he had no clue how he’d got there! What was even more disorienting, was that he couldn’t remember… remember… his name… was… Jake? Jake …Smeggs, yes? Yes, it was! What day was it? Then he realized his left hand was in his jacket pocket, and brought it out holding… a bus ticket? He couldn’t remember buying it! How’d it get there?

It took Jake a good few minutes of hard thinking and stock-taking to work out that the reason he’d been in Nevada in the first place, was to attend the “Storm Area 51” event – and that, according to the date printed on the bus ticket he was holding – had been…four days ago! Four days? He stared at the ticket like he’d gone mad! Had he missed it? Was it really Monday morning?

Jake checked his wallet – it was still there – all of it, in his hip pocket, and his phone – that was in his inner jacket pocket. The date on his phone told him it was indeed Monday 23 September 2019 – and he had thirty-seven missed calls and four voice mails from his parent’s home number. According to a plastic tag he found in his right pocket, his back pack was in safe-keeping inside the bus-line office. Hmm.

“How…” Jake’s thoughts trailed off. He suddenly remembered meeting his two new friends Corby and Simone at the event, how they struck up a conversation and then partied and drank together in a beer tent at the side of the road outside the gate of Area 51. He’d taken a drunken tumble in the crowd – which explained the scratches and scrapes on his hands and face. Jake remembered the music had been quite loud – and his huge disappointment that Simone had rejected his drunken sexual advances, and then at not getting to see them aliens after all. It’d been a blast otherwise – and nothing strange had happened at Area 51, no, nothing at all. The three had parted and gone their separate ways that night, and… and… he just remembered, yes – he’d slept it off in the back of a deputy’s patrol car… and woken up here.

“It must’ve been the cops,” Jake thought. They must’ve dropped him off at the bus stop. “What nice fellers!”

Shrugging off his lingering perplexing confusion, Jake Smeggs got up, yawned and stretched, and made his way into the terminal office to retrieve his luggage. His bus was waiting.

The End


Personally I think there’s a little truth to all sides of the argument around Area 51 – after all, you don’t vehemently claim a place doesn’t exist for 50 years – despite your own nation’s foreign enemies already knowing about it and its location right through the Cold War – for nothing!

Where there’s smoke, it’s usually caused by fire – and so here’s hoping for the best, violence-free, least costly outcome!

Let’s see them aliens – if you can find ’em! 😉

Feel free to email or message me via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn if you have any comments or questions!

Christina Engela


If you would like to know more about Christina Engela and her writing, please feel free to browse her website.

If you’d like to send Christina Engela a question about her life as a writer or transactivist, please send an email to christinaengela@gmail.com or use the Contact form.

Show your appreciation for Christina’s work!

All material copyright © Christina Engela, 2019.

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