Author : Viktor Kuprin

March Air Force Base, California.

“These are the rules,” instructed Major Diehl, the public affairs officer. “Report your observations. Tell them what you saw, but if they ask for your personal opinions about little green men, the press conference is over. Understood?”

The security policemen nodded in understanding.

“Take your seats. I’ll call you up front when it’s time,” said the Major. “How many guests, Bob?”

The old Lieutenant Colonel peeked through the conference room’s double doors. “Forty, at least,” he said.

The reporters quickly filled the room, colliding with each other and the creaky government-issue metal chairs.

Diehl stepped to the lectern. “Good morning, everyone. First, I’d like to present Airman McAlhaney and Sergeant Brandum from our Security Police Squadron. Both were on duty last night. Both witnessed the incident. Go ahead, Airman McAlhaney.”

The nervous young man stood. “At 0245 I was on guard duty at the Alert Facility, walking patrol.”

The LA Times reporter waved his hand. “That’s where a group of B-52s and in-flight refuelers are kept ready for takeoff, right?”

“That’s correct, sir. At that time I saw two very unusual aircraft approaching the flightline at a high rate of speed, on an east-to-west track. They looked like black triangles and, uh, they were glowing blue.”

A lady reporter from Riverside’s Press-Enterprise newspaper called out, “What did you do?”

McAlhaney looked questioningly towards Major Diehl, who nodded to show approval.

“I reported it to my supervisor, m’am, by radio,” McAlhaney continued. “He confirmed my report. He saw them. Then the base went on full security alert.”

The Orange County Register reporter held up his hand. “Major, did your air-traffic controllers track these UFOs?”

“Yes. They were tracked visually,” Diehl answered. “I have no information about any radar contacts.”

The reporters began grumbling incredulously.

“Thank you, Airman McAlhaney,” said Diehl. “If you please, Sargeant Brandum will give his statement.”

Brandum took a deep breath and began. “I was in the weapons storage area when the alert sounded. By the time I got outside, the, uh, objects were directly overhead. Both had blue contrails …”

A young man from an alternative newspaper shouted, “Do you think alien invaders are preparing to attack your base?!”

Major Diehl flew out of his seat. “I think we need to stop here. Thank you for coming, ladies and gentleman.” The reporters yelled and complained as they were ushered from the room.

As the two security policemen walked toward the exit, Airman McAlhaney wondered, “Think we’re the first base they’ve buzzed?”

Behind them a voice said, “No. I’ve seen them before.”

It was Bob, the near-retirement Lieutenant Colonel. “In North Dakota, Germany, even Greenland. And they always, always fly over the nuclear weapons storage areas.”

Both men stared at the old officer. “Sir, what do you think it means?” asked Sargeant Brandum.

Colonel Bob smiled. “Well, if you thought the kids might be playing with matches, wouldn’t you check on them now and then?”

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