Topcliffe and later UFO sightings (a review of Moon Men 3)

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Wildering Haven

This new album Moon Men 3 is something you can share with people who know nothing about music and with people who know too much and have a sense of humor, you can share it with the kids and with the body in the tomb next door, it's all the same at the circus. Ya pays ya money and ya eats ya popcorn, or on some days it eats ya...

Moon Men 3 

A Handmaid Product

It is cold up here but the echo is really great and the view of the moon is fantastic. When the fog lifts I can see the lands below too. My voice is tired now from the howling. You might be wondering what I am doing up here on top of Mt Tahoma, naked, in the middle of the night. I know exactly what I am doing. I am waiting for my ride. The Eeaughaffaux (spelled UFO) will be here soon. I have a few minutes to consider the music, or whatever you want to call it, that can be heard on the third album from the Moon Men. This, their album called 3... That ellipsis means "puzzled," I am puzzled. I have seen their catalog and the number 3 probably means nothing, but there is a Moonmen "Amazing Science Fiction Stories" which could be the first one, and a Moonmen 2, but then they go off the series with a flying bathtub and that could mean so much more ahead. Let us beg our Gods for absolution and light a fire for the Moon Men. They are coming.

Bob (your uncle), for one, isn’t surprised that dozens of sailors and airmen spotted unidentified and unexplainable aerial phenomena during two weeks of high-stakes exercises. What will you hear? Funny you should ask. Electric guitars including a bass, drums, beat with real hands holding sticks and whatnot. Electronic ringing sounds that come from electric guitars. Brass. I hear the keyboards in there, everyone is playing together and the moon is rising. A good way to begin. Rock in a not-so-hard place, we would call this clever improvised instrumental rock, not progressive or angsty in any of those traditions. Everyone is playing together, not like those jazz guys who are... who knows, jazz tends to be highly traditional with the solos and everybody playing all free and such. “Was there any chance that it might turn out to be a flying saucer?” wrote a confused reporter. “One gathered from the low chuckle of the official that there was not the remotest chance. ‘We take those stories with a large spoon of salt, old boy,’ he said. These guys are not so jazzy like that. Also, there be no human ululations or emotive wailing with vocal chords... well, some rules are made for breaking. There is some muttering and incidental wording here and then, but no real poetry or that lyrical business where they use actual words and want you to pay attention to the language details, that old literary form structure with a verse chorus wurst. Therefore this is primarily and mostly an instrumental album. They mostly stay with that program, no wild virtuoso breaks, and with lots of hidden dimensions and dementions.

Bret Hart acoustic & electric guitars, casio, looping, electronics
Bill Jungwirth drumming, percussion, trombone
Jerry King acoustic & electric basses, trombone
Dave Newhouse saxophones, flute, keyboard

Why so many trombones? The truth is about to be revealed. There is no laugh track or theremin. Is this comedy music for a horror movie, or horror music for a comedy, or is this comic horror music for dancing, or is it trance music for horror comedy? As to the seriousness of the British military’s investigations into Topcliffe and later UFO sightings, Bob cites a newspaper clipping published months after the Mainbrace exercises where a reporter pressed an Air Ministry official for the results of their investigation. So many questions. Let's get some answers. What does all this stuff about flying saucers amount to? What can it mean? What is the truth? You must read this report at your earliest convenience.


The movie begins and the lights go dim, or am I just passing out again? "Fedora Moon" (4:05) The keyboard adds scary qualities, the bass and drums tell it directly and the guitars fill in the rest. A fedora (f??d??r?) is a hat with the soft brim and indented crown, typically "pinched" near the front on both sides of the crown. Fedoras emerged onto the Lunar fashion scene during the 2040s. Zoot suits were mainly associated with Martians and Jupiter culture, largely worn in segregated minority lunar colonies. As a result, this style soon spread to local jazz musicians who adopted this look and brought it to their audiences, well-known gangsters such as Alien Capone, Buzzo Luciano, and Benjamin "Bug eyes" Seagull who all used the fedora to create a "tough guy" image. The fedora has become a defining characteristic of lunar noir when examined from a fashion standpoint. Lunar noir is often defined by its innovative smartphone techniques, gritty stories, and femme fatales who also come to include fashion as a part of the genre. Hungry? "Peas & Carrots & Grass" (6:49) The patterns make me think of loops, oh wait, loops are on the menu. So they intended to do that. Peace and care-oughts. Grass is growing tall up on the hill these days. The story is dark, and yes, there are the trombones, at last! They sound pretty good for a home made amateur comedy horror, just right. Textures, something the rock hounds do not usually feature (except in Europe and on the dark side of the moon), sort of a space jam in there. Must be the grass influence. Repeating. Looping, like riding past utility poles on the highway, a pattern with seemingly random crows to punctuate the rhythm. Never the same and always the same. Improvised horror comedy delux. The British military intelligence was forced to “officially recognize the UFO,” according to Rudy Reeper of Project Blue Book. In 1953, the British Air Ministry established a “UFO desk” within the Deputy Directorate of Intelligence known cryptically as “AI3.” From then on, all unexplained sightings by British military personnel would be controlled internally, classified as “restricted” and not shared with the press. Next:"Coeur de Boeuf" (4:43) Drums bass and bold stout chunking guitar mumbling play. A heart of burf. Here is where the saxophones come on, building to a house in the clouds. What I said about there being no vocals anywhere on the album, you will now forget I said it. Here are a few. I have an idea of what they are saying, but it is a vague idea, so maybe it still is more of an instrumental than a ballad or folksong, but those are human words and that makes it no longer purely instrumental on a technicality, but not forever.

Next. “You have all these military personnel on high alert looking for potential intruder aircraft,” Commander (uncle) Bob said. “There’s a good chance they’re going to see things that might have otherwise been ignored.” Here is where they get the flute out, with the guitars and drums and keys. I think someone is sharpening a knife. "The Dark Side of the Moon is Dark for a Reason" (4:43) The old Pink Floyd boys need not fear these new guys up there, plenty of room. Plenty of time. Who is this Pink Floyd guy? Well, let me tell you. In the early Sixties when everything was up in the air, Mr. Floyd was brought to earth by the Apollo mission, with many gifts, not the least of which included love, drugs and sex. A group of talented teenagers from academic backgrounds in Cambridge soon signed up, including Syd Barrett (guitar, lead vocals), Nick Mason (drums), Roger Waters (bass guitar, vocals), and Richard Wright (keyboards, vocals). Guitarist and vocalist David Gilmour joined in December 1967; Barrett left in April 1968 due to deteriorating mental health. They went on to sing about a "wall" and became very rich. "And with Stars at her Feet" (2:43) The acoustic guitar emerges, draped in electronic ornaments, but they pick it properly. Every horror movie needs a love song. This is a short one. Churchill was shown the top-secret report and the topic of UFO investigations was briefly laid to rest. That is, until Exercise Mainbrace.

"Nurse Ratched" (5:51) The name immediately makes me think of Louise Fletcher. Billy Bibbit would have enjoyed the circus atmosphere, I have no doubt, but what do I know, really, I am just remembering the movie. Mack would have smiled and waved his hands in the air the way loonies are supposed to. The perfect afternoon theme for crazies, like you and me. No hard times, they keep it light and strange. The brass is all clowning (no jazzing), with the guitars and keyboards. The circus-like publicity surrounding the Topcliffe incident always put the British military intelligence in a difficult spot. They couldn’t ignore questions from the press, but they also weren’t interested in a serious investigation into UFOs. They’d already been down that road. Easy beat, for fun and grins. Fun house dimensions, feet too big, hands even bigger, round red rubber nose, legs all spindly and that endless middle that spins. Here comes the nurse, shhhhhh, just play along, no fighting. It is just another day on the ward floor while the band plays on, as a British Meteor fighter jet was returning to the Topcliffe airfield from exercises over the North Sea. When the plane had descended to 5,000 feet, crew on the ground spotted a silvery, circular object traveling several thousand feet above the Meteor, but on its same trajectory. Is the nurse still watching us? Think of something quickly. Despite officials’ repeated denials that they existed, we uncovered documents that referenced top-secret UK government UFO investigations.

“The acceleration was in excess of that of a shooting star,” reported Bob Killjoy. “I have never seen such a phenomenon before. The movements of the object were not identifiable with anything I have seen in the air.” The toys have been wound up and are chattering away, this next track has a peppy beat to start off, then it grows claws that look cool in the darkness."The Mutt Stars and Cat Planets" (4:19) Spinning through the orbits, grinning through the escape velocity. Things change and there are some space episodes in the jam band box of tricks, with the faithful instrumental constructions. More of that flute business, and the keyboards sound like a real piano in places. The saxophones keep the blocks from falling down. Then the object stopped suddenly in mid-air, rotated on its own axis and zipped off at incredible speeds over the horizon.

"Ennio Bopped Me" (7:22) It's good, it's bad, it's ugly. Whistling like a doomed cowboy at a gunfight on bean night. Noon symbolism, destroyed by the oompa beat that comes in, cowboys with clown feet. Ride em, jazz cowboy clowns! Git along leedle deputies. They keep making Western jokes with music, it wraps up with the cowboy dialog. Once Upon a Time in the West Ennio Morricone was born, he grew wise in Rome and soon worked as orchestrator, conductor and composer for theatre, radio and cinema for A Fistful of Dollars and a Few Dollars More. Try not to look, but there are some Eeaughaffaux just sort of watching us from above, you can see them. There are horses too. And Nuova Consonanza.

To sum it all up (as if that were possible) this is a fun laden ride through a wild landscape of home studio madness, mostly instrumental, but with some exceptions and well worth the price of admission. While UFOs Buzzed the White House and the Air Force Blamed the Weather, the moonmen strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click something somewhere over there to contact Project Blue Book. This new album Moon Men 3 is something you can share with people who know nothing about music and with people who know too much and have a sense of humor, you can share it with the kids and with the body in the tomb next door, it's all the same at the circus. Ya pays ya money and ya eats ya popcorn, or on some days it eats ya...

So that is the ears. What about the eyes? The artwork, the first thing you see is the artwork, does the artwork come before the music is made or do they make the artwork while listening to the music? We will never know unless they speak the truth, and why should they? The objective is to bring you in and show you a good time. So, let me start with the disc and work our way out. Shiny mirror on one side.

The other side is different, the disc has the moon face, round of course with a hole in the middle, wearing a fedora with the number 3, which must be a hidden symbol, I dunno. Everyone used to wear a fedora, but that was long ago. Now so many wear those duck billed caps, but not on this album. Booklet interior: the big picture is of the four horsemen of the moonmen in full gallop in a cosmic cornfield overwatched by a bored moon, distracted and amused. Rear cover: liner notes with details such as song titles, personnel and what they contribute, small versions of other Moonmen products and the Eeaughaffaux (I am really not sure of the spelling but I am going to try to be consistent). 

Front cover: the first thing you see and the last thing described, so your thoughts linger on this after you finish reading and light up your cortex when you next see it: hoooman skeletons who are always waiting for you to buy the Moonmen albums, and more Eeaughaffaux who are obviously on a mission, a dangerous mission, probably coming to rescue you from your misery. Get ready... They are coming. Coming for you. The Moonmen. The official said he had “no idea” if the investigation was ongoing or if its conclusions would be shared with the public.


1 Fedora Moon
2 Peas & Carrots & Grass
3 Coeur de Boeuf
4 The Dark Side of the Moon is Dark for a Reason
5 And with Stars at her Feet
6 Nurse Ratched
7 The Mutt Stars and Cat Planets
8 Ennio Bopped Me

Highly recommended, BUY THIS NOW you will need it later. Energy Quotient of MAXIMUM (which is the most permitted for hooomans) RESISTANCE IS FERTILE.

Roger and doubt, tonight that is spelled Robin B James

Submitted: January 16, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Robin James. All rights reserved.

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