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A Man of Yet a Few More Words - by Swan Morrison

Caught On Camera

I was not expecting to emulate the UK nature programme, Springwatch, when I set-up a modest, motion activated wildlife camera and video recorder in a wooded area at the end of my garden. I was therefore delighted when I filmed a fox on my first evening.

I had assumed this to be the sort of beginner’s luck that one often receives at the start of a new project, so I was doubly delighted when the second night produced footage of not only the fox but also of a hedgehog and a badger.

The neighbours were fascinated as I proudly showed off the fauna that lived behind our houses.

‘Did you film any wildlife, last night?’ said my neighbour, George, as I as passed him on the way to the village shop, later on that first week.

‘Er, no,’ I said, hesitantly. ‘We can’t expect something every night.’

In fact, that was not entirely true. I had filmed something on the previous evening, but I remained very unsure as to what it had been.

It had been filmed in total darkness, and the creature had appeared at the far extremity that the camera could register using its infra-red lights. It had appeared to be about eight feet tall, covered with hair and walking in a bipedal manner.

Frankly, it resembled those daft images of Bigfoot or Yeti to which they devote endless, inconclusive documentaries on the National Geographic Channel. I therefore thought it best to keep the matter secret, lest I be accused of being one of those nutters who promote the existence of large, undiscovered species in well-populated, rural areas.

The next evening’s viewing, however, added to my dilemma. The same creature wandered up to the camera and inspected it so closely that it was impossible not to record crystal clear, HD images of something that looked like a cross between a Neanderthal and Chewbacca, the Wookiee.

I was tempted to call the local newspaper, but I had my house up for sale, and I was very unclear about the impact on property prices that the residence of some large hominid - possibly a member of the only surviving colony of such creatures from prehistoric times - might have. Also prospective purchasers were visiting later in the week, and I did not want all the disruption in our road that a media circus would cause.

I was relieved, therefore, when almost nothing but foxes, badgers, hedgehogs, domestic cats, deer and small rodents were caught on video during the following few evenings. I say almost nothing, because admittedly there were a few clear images of a leopard, a puma and what I assumed, from drawings on the Internet, to be a chupacabra. I guessed that they, or members of their colonies, may have been responsible for the mysterious butchering of cattle, sheep and horses on local farms. Mind you, I was certainly not going to have my home overrun by the bunch of lunatics that pursue such sightings in England, so I carefully edited the creatures from the footage that I showed to the neighbours.

After that, I was faced with no problems for a week until I looked at a recording that began with a strange light appearing in the western sky. Of all the bloody places on Earth they could have chosen to land their spacecraft, why, oh why did they choose to put it down right in front of my camera?

The details of the flying saucer were perfectly recorded, including glyphic inscriptions on its hull. The main doors opened facing the camera, and four extra-terrestrials, of the type I believe to be known as greys, descended a ramp.

I watched as they walked towards the house of my neighbour, Lydia. Shortly afterwards, they returned carrying a shouting and screaming Lydia. They bundled her into their craft; the ramp withdrew; the doors in the side of the spaceship closed, and the vehicle lifted skywards.

About four hours later, just before dawn, the craft returned to the same spot. The doors opened and one of the greys kicked an animated and abusive Lydia out of the ship and onto the grass.

I was surprised – somehow I had always imagined that alien abductors would remove and return their captives quietly, whilst sleeping, using some kind of tractor beam.

‘Have you heard the latest about Lydia?’ George said to me as I passed him on the way to the shop on the following day.

Lydia was known to be rather eccentric. She frequented mediums and had all manner of strange beliefs that did not fully align with an English, middle-class, village culture.

‘No,’ I replied, with a certain lack of veracity, ‘what’s happened?’

‘She’s reported that she was abducted by aliens last night in a flying saucer,’ George replied, barely containing his laughter.

‘Stranger things have happened,’ I said with a smile that George chose to interpret as ironic.

On the following week, I encountered George once more.

‘They say that Lydia may be in the psychiatric unit for some time,’ he said. ‘It appears that not only does she think she was abducted by aliens, but that Bigfoots or Yetis lives in the woods behind our houses together with some of those mythical, wild creatures that attack livestock.’

I gave a nervous smile.

‘Have you filmed anything interesting on the wildlife camera, this week?’ he continued, changing the subject.

‘Oh, I’ve given up on that,’ I said. ‘It was fun to begin with, but I got a bit bored with seeing the same thing every night. Now that I know what’s at the end of the garden, I don’t need to film it anymore.’

‘How’s the house move going?’ he added.

‘I’ve accepted an excellent offer,’ I replied. ‘The place seems ideal for them. They’re from the city and want to get away from it all to somewhere that’s always quiet and peaceful.’

‘They’re coming to the right place,’ George confirmed. ‘Nothing ever happens around here.’