This last week I decided to revisit an old favourite TV show of mine, the X-Files. I hadn’t watched it since its first run on BBC back when I was a young and impressionable teenager with an overactive sense of imagination. I loved the X-Files, but it really didn’t do anything for my continuing nightmares about being abducted by aliens.
Anyway, so re-watching these old episodes reminded me of the time I managed to convince myself I had actually been abducted by aliens and experimented on. It must have been the late summer of 94, so I was a tender 13 years old. For several nights I had been awoken in the small hours with search lights crossing my bedroom window and a loud undulating drone. Then, alarmingly one morning I discovered sores all around my thighs, arse and crotch. Again, you have to try and put yourself in my overly excitable, sci-fi geek, 13 year old mind here, but I ‘obviously’ drew the conclusion that I had been abducted by aliens and they had experimented on me resulting in the strange sores on my skin. Spending my evenings watching films like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Communion, Fire in the Sky and TV shows like the X-Files, Dark Skies and the Outer Limits somewhat fuelled my imagination. I spent the next night terrified and sleepless as I had by this point absolutely convinced myself that there was no other explanation. The loud noises, the bright lights, the unexplained sores. Of course I couldn’t remember being abducted but clearly the aliens would have wiped my mind after probing me. It seemed to me to have all the classic hallmarks of the abduction phenomenon.
The next day, reluctantly but much sleep deprived and at the end of my tether, I asked my Mum to have a look at the sores to see what she thought. I decided not to tell her I’d been abducted by aliens just yet, for one it would likely bring shame on the family and two she would probably be able to draw her own conclusions which were obviously that extra-terrestrials were messing with her eldest son. She took one look and identified the problem immediately. It is at this point I should explain that during my teenage years I spent my summers dinghy sailing at the local reservoir with my Dad and this particular week I had been on a RYA sailing course. I never used to like being naked under my wetsuit, so I used to wear shorts or briefs with my wetsuit on top. My mother quickly identified that a combination of the warm weather and trapped water against my skin for 7-8 hours a day was causing sores around the seams of my briefs. This seemed quite likely as the position of the sores did indeed match the areas where the seems of my undies and wetsuit. I was still not 100% convinced though, it didn’t explain the lights and noise in the small hours. As the next night approached, I decided to be brave and face my fears head on. When I was inevitably woken in the middle of the night by the lights and droning, I built up the courage and dared to look out of my bedroom window. Living in a bungalow my view was limited to a shed, oil tank and the privet hedge at the back of our garden. I could however see search lights moving around in the distance over the privet hedge, clouds of dust being thrown around in the air and again the loud relentless drone. I had been brave enough to come this far, it was time to find out once and for all if these extra-terrestrial bastards were coming back to probe my privates. I climbed out of my bedroom window and climbed on top of the roof of the shed so I could get a better view.
I grew up in a very rural area and in late summer the farmers in the surrounding fields would begin harvesting the corn. This was a big operation and they would bring in contractors with huge combine harvesters to work around the clock to bring in the crops. Hugh combine harvesters that make a very loud droning noise and have bright search lights to light up the fields as they mow. Hugh combine harvesters that kick up clouds of dust as they work through the night. Huge combine harvesters that generally are not piloted by alien beings from Alpha Centuri. I climbed down, crawled back through my window, got into bed and slept soundly.
I still think I was abducted though….