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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Footsteps, yarns and little fibs

A couple of amateurs having a debate.

Submitted: October 16, 2017

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Submitted: October 16, 2017



Even back in Jack’s day, Albert saw space ships, UFO’s flit across the sky! During their smoko breaks Henry would usually sit with them when without fail, it would turn out to be pick-on-Henry season. He would start it by making some statement that was just a bit outrageous or controversial which the other two would latch onto and take an opposing viewpoint. Most of the time it was debating for debating’s sake. But whenever Albert went on about UFO’s, Henry and Jack would look at each other and Jack would roll his eyes, never backing him up!

Henry was interested, he’s always been a fan of Star Trek and Star Wars, some would even say, an avid fan. But he’s a leftie, nothing to do with politics, he’s left handed. Few understand but one of nature’s brilliant secrets, is that the handicaps lefties face in a right-handed world, are mitigated by the remarkable gift of logic. The logic in the case of UFO’s, according to Henry, is that if alien UFO pilots come buzzing around in Earth’s atmosphere, they would do so for a reason. They would come to greet, rob or attack us. Think of a kid observing a butterfly – sooner or later, he or she would just have to touch it! So you can discount observing us.

Well of course Albert’s a rightie, but he contends he has the evidence of his eyes! But Henry counters, that eyes are funny things. They see what the owner wants to see! It’s called Pareidolia. And that goes for believing too. On the other hand, some people have crook eyes with light flashes and their peripheral vision can be a bit wonky too. So some even see things other people don’t! Still Albert reckoned he saw what he saw - little round windows and all! Sometimes, Henry was with him when he spotted one! But the shame was the action happened behind his back!

Whenever Henry poo-pooed Albert’s assertion that aliens were fluttering by, his hackles up, he would stand his ground and point to the sky, saying there has to be someone out there! Calmly, Henry would agree, always agree to that! There were more planets out there than there are grains of sand on Brighton beach! It’s that leftie logic again. The chances of another planet out there similar to Earth is miniscule, but the sheer number of planets make it likely that there are a lot of them. The only thing is, they’re a long, long way away. Plus, Henry contended, for life to exist, conditions don’t have to identical to Earth’s, there could well be different life-forms, but they are not likely to be any closer.

Maybe it’s a hobby, or just a pastime, but Albert likes to paint and Henry sketches with a pencil. One wet day, just as an exercise in futility, Henry took Bible to Albert’s house and they tried to produce a drawing of Ezekiel’s wheel or whatever he saw from his description. They had no preconception but it didn’t come together at all. They agreed that it sounded like some type of spaceship visited him, and in his own terms he would have had a tough job describing it, and for translators doing their job too! Although they produced no useful sketch, Albert reckoned Ezekiel was conclusive proof that that aliens had visited Earth.

Henry didn’t disagree outright, but he asked Albert if he remembered the Maori guy who lived up in Andy Pat’s house. He did. Did he remember there was some poltergeist there that made him leave? He did. Well Henry had later found a research publication of how certain wood-borers, when chewing on Rimu fart a gas that is hallucinogenic! Andy built his house from locally milled Rimu timber. Albert had never heard such a thing. Henry then told him that many Acacia trees throughout Africa, Asia and beyond, contain hallucinogenic substances in their leaves and stems. Albert didn’t know that either but didn’t think Biblical people would know either. Henry made the point that soothsayers and prophets seemed to have been on their own when they had their revelations, so who knows what they might have been chewing at the time!

Somewhere in the Ruahine Rangers Henry was camped in a hut where there were a few books, most were Carter Brown type but one caught his eye. Chariots of the Gods by von Daniken. He read the book twice and during one of their space-cum-alien discussions he told Albert about it. He fetched it from the library and they agreed it all seemed pretty convincing. However, around that time Henry’s sister won a seat in some psychic show ‘and she was amazed at what the psychic knew about her and her late husband’.  Hmm, was Henry’s reaction. Anyway she gave him a collection of books that had belonged to her late husband.

He told Albert that you think you know people. There were several books by von Daniken and one about ‘out of body experiences’. Out of body experiences! He read the von Daniken ones and put aside the other. His sister had secretly included another book, Doris Stokes’ autobiography about voices in her ear ’ole. She was a famous psychic. In deference to his sister, he read that too. One bit about a séance where smoke came out of a nostril and buzzed around the others, and left a fresh rose with dew still on it was a bit much for Henry’s leftie logic. These days it is known that Stokes was a fraud. But the book was just as convincing as von Daniken’s. Pareidolia. Albert couldn’t put up an argument.

Like a good feud, a discussion fizzles out if there aren’t two sides taking part, so neither of them were going to let this one go! The latest new titbit Albert brought up was eye-in-the-triangle stuff about Kennedy being assassinated because he wanted to tell the world about the Roswell business! Albert was also sure that pillow-talk was probably why Marilyn was done in! Talk about drawing a long bow! But to excite further debate, Henry agreed that the timing was right. Alien visitation happened in Biblical times and then nothing more until 1947 – shows how far away these aliens live!

Henry’s got yet another card up his sleeve, but he’s not sure how to play it from his negative perspective. It’s the Dogon people of Mali. How have they known about Sirius B, the rings of Saturn and the moons of Jupiter since ancient times? They can’t be seen with the naked eye! Albert’s going to love that!


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