by Bob Bolin

Who says there aren’t any Earthlings?

     I was standing on the back porch of my farmhouse a few miles south of Shiprock, New Mexico, when I witnessed a sight beyond belief. Some type of aircraft streaked downward toward my field. I had never seen anything like it before. The craft whirled like a spinning top with blazing pieces of metal flying away from it in erratic fashion.

     “Marsha, come and look!” I shouted at the top of my voice. My urgency caused her to come running. She seemed entirely unconcerned, except for me.

     “Probably a meteor shower,” she said, glancing upward. “I saw one of those when I was a child. Why don’t you come inside and finish your supper? The food is getting cold.”

     She was blonde, English, pretty as a picture, and didn’t get very excited about anything.

     I would have followed her if I had not seen something that was entirely different from an ordinary meteor.

     My name is Jim Mathorn and I am tall and dark complexioned, half English and half Navajo, and not at all like my wife. I didn’t believe there were flying saucers. I had been to Roswell once to visit the UFO museum and had seen pictures and read stories there that almost caused my hair to stand on end, but I still thought that all these reports were pure fantasy. But there was no denying that something was about to crash on my field. I felt horrified.

     When it hit, flames shot upward and an explosion followed. I could see the craft burning and some kind of man or animal was thrown to the ground. I gasped. What I saw was almost beyond my comprehension. Then I heard a loud moaning sound. Whatever it was that I had seen was alive.

     My first impulse was to run away. But I couldn’t leave anyone suffering. I decided to investigate, no matter how much danger there was for myself.

     I walked timidly around the burning meteor and approached the being. He was about four feet tall, and like the stories I read in the museum, had large saucer-shaped eyes, a tiny nose, and a small mouth and tiny ears. There were some kind of suction cups on his long fingers. He was grey-skinned. He seemed to be in a great deal of pain.

     “Help me! I am close to dying!” The words formed in my mind from the being as he stared up at me. I realized that he was using mental telepathy of some sort to convey his thoughts. I picked him up and carried him in my arms back to the house and into a bedroom where I laid him on a cot.

     Marsha came in. “What is it?” she cried out in alarm.

     “Some kind of a man!” I answered. “I found him thrown out of the wrecked flying thing.”

     Luckily she is a trained nurse. She immediately began to apply bandages to the burns on his body.

     “I’ve never seen so many burns,” she commented. “I don’t know what’s keeping him alive.”

     “He’s an alien!” I answered. “I’m forced to change my mind about such things. There is no telling where he came from except somewhere in the stars, and it’s impossible to guess how much pain he’s able to endure.”

     I looked through a window and saw a group of trucks and jeeps coming along the road. I watched in amazement as they began to pick up pieces of the fallen aircraft that had cooled. I continued to stare for several hours.

     “What are they doing?” Marsha cried out in alarm.

     “It is the government!” I answered shakily. “Like over near Roswell! They are picking up after the crash. They may have seen the falling craft on radar and have sent the army out to remove all evidence that an alien has come here from another world.”

     “Why?” Marsha said shakily.

     “I don’t know!” I admitted. “They don’t want people to know about it, and are covering up the truth, is all I can say.”

     A telepathic thought came from the being. “Hide me!” he pleaded. “They will lock me away somewhere! I will be questioned and may even be tortured!”

     “Okay,” I replied. “But you must say where you’re from and what you intend to do.”

     “I am Esten,” was the answer. “I come from Iapetus, a moon of the world you call Saturn. As a prominent explorer, I was sent here by the rulers of my world, but I won’t tell you why.”

     “So many secrets!” Marsha cried. “First it is our government. Then it is Esten, the alien! Can’t anybody tell us anything?”

     “I guess not,” I said to my bewildered wife.

     Despite our misgivings, my wife and I agreed that we could hide him somewhere. I carried his tortured body into the cellar beneath our house and laid him on some blankets behind a pile of stored furniture. Also, at his request, I loaned him an encyclopedia that told him much information about our world.

     Afterwards, I went upstairs into the living room. Just as I suspected, an army official burst into the house without knocking. He was a large, athletic person.

     “What do you want?” I yelled, surprised.

     “I need to search your house!” he said.

     “Do you have a warrant to do this?” I countered with anger.

     “I don’t need one,” he answered. “If you tell anyone about this, including the newspapers, radio, or television, you will realize that you are living in the desert, and your body will be scattered all over this area. That also goes for the lady!”

     Some army personnel joined him and they searched all over the house. They also went into the cellar, but they didn’t find Esten. He had somehow dodged their search by hiding under blankets. The same army official admitted that they didn’t find anything. “Just keep this quiet,” he warned us, “or you’ll regret it.”

     I nodded in agreement, feeling highly threatened and convinced. All the trucks and other vehicles left, creating a large cloud of dust in their wake.

     Marsha and I took care of Esten after that, but warily watched him, still wondering what he might do. Despite this, we grew quite fond of him as we dressed his wounds and fed him.

     After he had somewhat recovered from his ordeal, he began to send telepathic messages through a small piece of metal in his hands. A month later, he got to his feet and addressed us.

     “I came here to see if we could settle on your earth. Our officials knew your people would fight us when they realized the truth. Your encyclopedia proved by its own words that you were not a peaceful race of beings,” he beamed at us. “But your actions of taking me in to dress my wounds, feed me, hide me from superiors, and protect me, proved that there is great kindness embedded in you and others like you. Because you saved my life, I will save yours. I am going to report to officials of my world that life here for us would be impossible.”

     “Fair enough!” I exclaimed, to show my appreciation.

     “I just contacted another ship from my world and asked them to pick me up. They’ll get me here, that is, if you let me stay here until then,” he beamed. “Most UFOs are not from our world. They came from other places in the universe.”

     There was love and appreciation in his eyes. I nodded my approval of his  explanation.

     “You will come back and visit us, won’t you?” Marsha asked him.

     “I’ll come,” he beamed at us. “This is an enormous universe we live in. Friends who will help a person are not always easy to find. I will contact you ahead of time to let you know when I will come.”

     “That is wonderful!” Marsha answered. “You are most welcome.”