Rolling over to hit Snooze. I call it the Death Roll. You know, like, Crikey! But instead of a crocodile leveraging a carcass, twisting like a dirt devil to dislodge a haunch-o-wildebeest, I’m turning to hit snooze over and over again. Doing this, it doesn’t take long before I’m all coiled-up in the comforter with ankles bound together like a single hoof. And save a solitary Snooze-swatting arm, from my quilted cocoon only my mouth glimpses escape, spit-suffused agape as if a gushing femoral artery. I’m dead meat if I lie any longer, yet I do.
But more than sausage breakfasts, scabbing bike rides, chores or even cartoons, Saturday mornings are meant for clinomaniacal dreaming—especially when your REM-movie’s an apocalyptic alien adventure. Besides, dreams don’t have TiVo, nor can readily be continued. (Oh, and don’t pretend like you don’t have—and love—apocalyptic alien adventure dreams of your own!)
My family’s a fun bunch who can conversation-surf through gallimaufry topics from alien abductions in Samoa to the religious ideology behind Pat Boone’s ‘metal’ years. So during one recent brunch—after unwinding myself from the morning’s Death Roll—I’m telling everyone about my latest sleep-encumbered close encounter with a humanity-hating Death Star-meets-Dryer Ball-meets-Rubik’s Cube that had come to kill us all.
We were brunching because Uncle Scott was in town, visiting from Japan (he’s a writer, too; and was en route from Los Angeles after interviewing—you guessed it—Pat Boone). I finish gushing about the strange dream sensation of being empirically confronted with something that (in real life) I can only suppose to be true—and Uncle Scott is all a flutter.
“Have you heard about the UK declassifying their UFO files?!” he says, whipping out his iPhone.
I had not, but he piqued my interest. Conspiratorially, Uncle Scott says that having just come from overseas, this is “big news” in the rest of the world—without a blip of radar-registry on US news feeds. (Later, my buddy Marc scoffed that such a release was “just another distraction from real issues,” and I tend to agree with his point.)
Before you amateur ufologists (who, if worth your self-stitched Starfleet insignia, ought to already know about all this) get too excited, here’s the deal:
Basically, the Ministry of Defense (MoD), via the British National Archives, have been making public once-classified “reports of ‘unidentified flying objects’ in the skies over the UK” since March of 2008. With more said to be forthcoming, the latest batch contains “UFO-related documents, drawings, letters and parliamentary questions covering the years 1985-2007”—the 34 PDF files of which can be downloaded for free (ufos.nationalarchives.gov.uk) throughout the month (older files require a fee).
But what the latest release reveals, as reported by the BBC, is “a lack of will and resources [by the MoD] to study thousands of reported sightings.”
In an Aug.18 Huffington Post exclusive, Nick Pope—a skeptic-turned-enthusiast who was in charge of the MoD’s UFO project between 1991 and 1994—apologized for “spin and dirty tricks” that made those who reported UFO sightings seem like fresh escapees from the looney bin.
“It was an interesting sleight of hand,” says Pope. “We were telling the public we’re not interested, this is all nonsense, but in reality, we were desperately chasing our tails and following this up in great detail.” Otherwise, says Pope, “This would be an admission that we’d lost control of our own air space, and such a position would be untenable.”
And though he says there’s no “spaceship-in-a-hangar smoking gun,” Pope says he “believe[s] that the UFO phenomenon does raise important defense, national security and air safety issues, and if I helped kill any initiative on that, I’m deeply sorry.”
OK. So what? I haven’t met a person in ages who doesn’t think there’s some sort of life (complexity notwithstanding) out there in the Universe unknown. The tenacity of life and so on. So UK UFO files or no—if and when said alien life arrives, asking to be taken to our leaders or taking us to theirs (which is all anyone really cares about, right?) all else remains a matter of imaginative debate.
And still, I can’t shake the overwhelming feeling from my dream where empirical trumps all else.
Frankly, even if British Prime Minister David Cameron himself had said “the Queen’s of Denobulan descent, God save her!” I still wouldn’t be terribly impressed. Because bloody hell, we’re hard-to-please people with TV and movies and Death Roll dreams, after all!
So until the Death Star-meets-Dryer Ball-meets-Rubik’s Cube descends from the heavens before my very eyes (or until Denobulan doctors start making house calls, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s omnipotence is undeniable), I’m not going to mask my yawn while I roll and reach for Snooze.