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Chapter 19: Aliens
As the credits rolled at the end of the documentary, Joe shared a revelation of his own.
“I think I saw one,” he said, confidentially.
Luke’s attempt to gasp sent a morsel of his beetroot sandwich down the wrong way. After a long fit of coughing he spoke. “When?”
“Are you alright? Your eyes are watering.”
“Yeah,” said Luke and after another couple of small coughs insisted that Joe tell him more.
“On holiday, last year. We went to Stonehenge. Remember I told you?”
“Mmm,” Luke had taken another bite and was careful not to talk with his mouth full. He gestured for Joe to continue.
“It was a nice day but quite windy. We had a picnic and I was laying on my back looking at the sky. There were lots of white fluffy clouds moving quite fast in the wind but one of them didn’t move. I thought it was weird so I watched it for a while. Loads of clouds blew past it but it never moved.”
Luke was disappointed. “Is that all? It was prob’ly …”
“I’m not finished!”
“I showed it to the others but they weren’t interested. But I knew there was something weird about it so I kept watching.”
“That’s not rea…”
“I kept watching it,” Joe was determined to finish, “and after a few minutes it was the only cloud there. All the other clouds blew past it so it was on its own in the blue sky. Then suddenly it shot up, straight up, and disappeared.”
“You mean it flew?”
“Are you sure it wasn’t the wind again?”
“Yes. Definitely. It didn’t move along sideways in the wind like the others. It flew straight up, really really fast. It was gone in a second.”
“So you think a spaceship was hiding in the cloud. Or disguised as a cloud.”
“Yeah, it must’ve been.”
There was a brief pause while Luke absorbed the enormity of it. “Why didn’t you tell me about this before?”
“I didn’t think you’d believe me. I could hardly believe it myself. But after seeing this film …”
“You saw one – I’m sure of it!”
Joe smiled broadly. “When I saw this film and it said the Americans tried to chase a UFO over Stonehenge it made me really sure I didn’t imagine it. Maybe they like Stonehenge. Maybe they built Stonehenge!”
That made a lot of sense to Luke. “Yeah. Coz how could people have built it five thousand years ago? They didn’t have lorries or cranes or anythin’ that could’ve lifted them massive stones, let alone bring ’em all the way from Wales.”
“Exactly!” said Joe, “hang on, Janet’ll be home in a minute.” He closed his sister’s laptop and returned it to her room, being careful to leave it exactly where he’d found it. When he got back to his own room, Luke had plenty more to say.
“I think we should try to contact them. Send them a message.”
“I dunno yet but we need to tell ’em how the nuclear bomb people are gonna hurt them.”
“I think that man on the film is trying to do that already.”
“Oh yeah. Good.” But that wasn’t Luke’s only idea. “Hey – since they’re good aliens who want peace and not bombs and violence – maybe they’d help the animals if we could get a message to them.”
“How d’ya mean?”
“Like openin’ all the cages and closin’ down the farms. Jus’ like when they went to that army base an’ shut down all the nuclear weapons. I’m sure they could do it, they just might not know it needs to be done.”
“It’s a good idea,” said Joe, supportively, “I just don’t know how we could tell them.”
“We have to find out.”
Luke walked home with the documentary going round and round in his head. According to all these people – scientists, astronauts, pilots, army people, loads of people – aliens had already visited Earth and they’d been visiting for ages. It felt good to know there were powerful beings out there who might make the humans look after the world and the animals. He felt sure they would. He felt it in his gut. He just had to find a way of contacting them. When he got home he asked Mum if he could use the computer.
He decided against sharing his ideas with her at this stage, she had a way of slowing things down. “Homework,” he said.
“Shut it down properly when you’ve finished and don’t be too long, dinner will be ready in forty five minutes.”
Luke googled ‘how to communicate with aliens’ and found pages and pages of information. He put the forty five minutes to good use and his pen moved faster than it ever had before. By the time he was called to dinner his notebook was crammed with fascinating ideas. The following morning, at breaktime, he shared them with Joe.
“I looked it up.”
“How to communicate with aliens.”
“Did you find anything?”
“Great! So how do we do it?”
“Well, there’s lots of people already tryin’ to do it, with messages sent up into space, and radio waves broadcast into space and stuff like that.”
“Stuff we wouldn’t be able to do.”
“Yeah, but some websites think that people who are really enlightened …”
“People like us who don’t eat anybody or kill anybody an’ are tryin’ to save the planet.”
“So we’d be able to talk to the aliens?”
“Yeah, but we have to meditate to do it. Like telepathy – talkin’ to ’em with our minds.”
“How do we do that?”
“Well, I’m not ezzactly sure yet but the thing is, it’s somethin’ people can learn to do and you don’t need any expensive equipment for it, you just need to concentrate an’ be peaceful.”
“erm, yeah, I guess so.”
“Isabel does yoga! She could teach us!”
“I could phone her tonight. No. Let’s email her now! I’ve got her school email address. She said she checks it every lunchtime.”
“No. We have to keep it low-tech. You never know who’s watchin’ and listenin’,” said Luke whose outlaw guard was never down. “We’ve got to talk to her in person. We’ll show her this as well.”
He handed Joe his research notes and pointed to the transcript of an alien message which hijacked the television News in the south of England on the 26 November 1977.
“This was on the news?” Joe was incredulous.
“They hijacked the news!” Luke explained. “The picture of the news reader stayed the same but instead of him reading the news all anyone could hear was this crackly message from Vrillon of the Ashtar Galactic Command!”
Joe pulled a face. “That sounds made up.”
“Well some people say it was made up but they never found the hijacker and they couldn’t find any actual evidence that it was a hoax. Plus, it fits with what they say in the Unacknowledged film.” Luke paused to give Joe time to take it all in before continuing. “And another bit of the message says there are more beings around the Earth than your scientists admit; and it says there are lots of false prophets telling us lies.”
“Well we know that.”
“We can’t trust anyone,” said Joe, repeating what Luke had told him many times before. “We have to find out for ourselves what’s true.”
“Yeah. So then I found this other book online that was written by a man who talked to aliens by meditatin’ with big groups of people and the aliens talked back to them and there’s a conversation between two of the aliens that he wrote down. It’s an old alien tellin’ a young alien all about planet Earth and he says it’s the only planet where mankind don’t seem to care about the rule ‘thou shalt not kill’.”
“So that proves it then!” said Joe excitedly, “they agree with us and they’ll definitely help us!”
“Definitely!” agreed Luke.
On Saturday afternoon the Society met at Gingham country park. Curly and Squirt came too – they loved the country park. In a quiet grove, away from the main path, Isabel showed them how to meditate.
“Find yourself a comfortable spot,” she said, making her voice as soothing as she could. “Sit or lay down, and close your eyes.”
They all closed their eyes.
“Focus on your breathing.”
They all breathed deeply and slowly.
“Stop it!” Luke whispered firmly, “get off!”
Squirt relinquished Luke’s hair as ordered and joined his mother at a patch of dandelions.
“Concentrate on each breath. Notice how each inhalation moves your chest and your shoulders. And notice how your body moves with each exhalation.”
“Blackcap.” Joe opened his eyes to look for the bird.
“Listen. That’s a …”
“Shh,” Isabel commanded gently without opening her eyes. “Bring your focus back to your breath. Put the birds in the background. Put everything else in the background. Concentrate on each breath.”
After about three minutes, Isabel’s soft voice instructed them all to open their eyes. “Well done,” she told them, “that’s meditation.”
“That was easy,” said Luke, “how long d’you think before we can talk to aliens?”
“Well, it’s going to take a while before you’re ready for that. You have to practise every day and gradually do it for longer and longer until you can be completely absorbed by the meditation. Not easily distracted.”
That wasn’t what Luke wanted to hear. “For how long – a few weeks?”
“It can’t be rushed. It’ll take as long as it takes. The idea is to separate yourself from your thoughts – to observe them without judgement; to know that you’re not your mind so that you’re not limited by it. When you know that you won’t be confined by who you thought you were. You’ll be a free ocean of awareness that can do anything.”
Luke grumbled. “That sounds like it’ll take ages.”
Joe closed his eyes again and listened to the birds. “I don’t mind,” he said.
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