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Excerpts from "The Night Show, Vol. 2: Signals From Noise"


[From "The Mansion: A Crash Course In Things That Never Happened" (A Foreword to Signals From Noise)]

Two of the stories are set at a particular location as notoriously famous for its experimentation with secret military spy craft as it is for its association with extraterrestrial visitation. Known as Area 51—or “Dreamland”—this Mecca of UFO mythology occupies the northeast corner of the Nellis Air Force Base and was visited annually by thousands of hopeful observers of aerial phenomenon until the surrounding perimeter of the Groom Lake facility was expanded 89,000 acres between 1984[1] and 1988.[2]

Observers of strange craft or lights in the sky have always wondered: if such things are piloted by a superior intelligence, why do they persist in keeping their existence secret from the population-at-large? Why don’t they land in Times Square, or appear on the Today Show? One possible theory infers a sinister agenda to enslave mankind, not become his friend. Another possible theory has them benign, yet unwilling to ingratiate themselves with human races determined to destroy each other by wars—if not the entire planet by ecological poisoning. One wonders when such an advanced civilization might grow weary of waiting for man to alter his destructive ways. In A Good Game to Play for the Fate of the World we will observe what happens when their patience has met its end. In Phil Patton’s Dreamland: Travels Inside of Roswell and Area 51, we learn of a recreation center known as Sam’s Place and in this chosen setting we will observe our world’s most-famous gambler sit across a table from theirs—winner take all. In Bedtime at Dreamland, we will descend to the lowest levels of the base to meet the alien rumored to be harbored there since the mid-fifties, and learn how to defuse a Code 6.


[From "Catching Smoke"]


So far, this story has nothing objectionable for any reader’s palette, no matter how sensitive. Such would no longer be the case if the next three hours were to be illustrated in any sense, literary or otherwise. We can get a sense of things from the fear in Frankie’s eyes as he averts them from what’s going on far too close to the beam he’s handcuffed to, sagging there helplessly like a side of beef waiting his turn for the butcher. Throughout, he attempts to cover his ears with his arms, suspended vertically above his head, but there is no way to close out all the sound. As night falls beyond those re-closed barn doors, he can only wait for Len to arrive, and sort out this colossal mess.

A.J. had gone to get food just after Wendell “took control of the situation” and never came back. This was three hours ago. Most likely, Pryce made some prior mention of what he intended to do and A.J. realized coming back might not be in his best interests. Now, Frankie just feels stupid, for thinking fear would get them the information they wanted. He should’ve known Len would pull in Wendell as insurance that answers were obtained. He also should’ve known Len would not share this information with him beforehand. If he had, Frankie would’ve talked him out of it.

“We the people … are always the last ones to know. Ain’t that right, Officer Parsons? Let’s put aside the Majestic papers for now, and try Nevada, again, Mr. Secret Keeper. How many underground levels are there at Area 51, and describe each right down to the tile in the bathrooms.”

“I told you. I’ve never been there. If you want me to make something up—” Parsons’ same old song and dance ended abruptly this time, and Frankie winced as though he was catching the punch, himself.

Frankie wailed, “He doesn’t know!”

“Frankie, I’m not asking you, am I?”

“You’re going too far, Wendell!”

As Wendell prepared to refute this claim just as loudly, he was stopped by a soft ringing they all heard at once. It was Parsons’ cell phone, removed from his jacket by Wendell before all of this started down the road to disaster. Frankie tried to anticipate the future moments, and came up with absolutely nothing.

“Talk to your friends,” Wendell told Parsons. “Tell them the information was legitimate. You are within sight of wreckage and a body. No! Hold on. Tell them that, and then tell them you hereby tender your resignation.”

“Wendell,” Frankie screamed. “You don’t know what you’re doing.”

“Shut up, Frankie. We’re getting some answers tonight on this thing. Once and for all.”

Frankie turned himself around and watched Wendell hold the cell phone to the ear of the man strapped to a chair, bleeding and just as incapacitated as Frankie.

“Do it right, boy,” Wendell suggested.

Parsons cleared his throat and rallied himself to the undertaking. Frankie hoped for Parsons’ sake that he planned to play along.


[From "Scratching the Surface: Underground Bases, Facilities, Laboratories & Playgrounds" (A Foreword to "Hatchet's Course")] 

At the conclusion of the previous story, our hoaxer finds himself in an underground facility used for perpetuating a UFO hoax on a grander scale than he could ever imagine, but this is a mild use for such places, according to several people (Myrna Hansen and Dr. Karla Turner’s “abductees”) reported to have seen them. The first question should be: are such places possible to build and go undetected from the surface?

In his well-reported work Underwater and Underground Bases, Richard Sauder explores the structural possibilities of building quite expansive subterranean facilities, and two such mythical locations heavily influence Hatchet’s Course, as well as the two subsequent stories. The first location is well known; referred to as Area 51, it is a base in Nevada located in the northeast corner of the Nellis Air Force Testing Range. The surrounding area—that which is still open to temporary civilian occupancy—is visited weekly by those who arrive in the hopes of viewing the arrival or departure of high-tech aircraft—or, yes, perhaps a UFO. It is famous, and is the setting for two stories still to come.

[1] Patton, p. 264: [“Seizure of Bald Mountain and other perimeter areas.”]

[2] Dolan, p. 327





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