Aliens in America: Fini
I returned to Helena while the sun was still high and got a room at a historic downtown hotel where I ate dinner, returned to my room, made arrangements to fly back to Los Angeles the next day, sat down on the bed, and reviewed the over four hundreds photos I’d shot over the previous two days.
They were not the evidence of extraterrestrial life that the SETI institute had hired me to obtain, but enough, I hoped, for them to pay me the balance of my fee. I felt strange, as if I’d been in Montana for three weeks instead of just three days. I was eager to return home. That night I had a series of vivid and disturbing dreams the contents of which I could not recall upon awakening the next morning.
I awoke early with plenty of time before my afternoon flight. First I walked three blocks, nearly void of humans, to the Atlas Diner for breakfast which the front desk clerk had assured me served excellent food. I sat on a counter stool next to two young people who inquired about my camera. I asked them if they were extraterrestrials and they replied that they were from Canada and simply passing through town. My impression was they thought I was daft, perhaps even one of the aliens that I was attempting to discuss with them.
After breakfast I walked the streets for a while. I rested against this lamppost shooting more photos. Helena, although it’s the Capitol City of Montana has an even a smaller population then Butte, 28,190, presumably all humans.
I returned to my hotel, checked out, drove to the airport and returned the Jeep I’d rented. During the flight home I had the uncomfortable feeling that I’d not accomplished the job I’d been hired to do. I was scheduled to present my findings in Los Angeles to the SETI representative, a kindly radio physicist, who had hired me to undertake this Fool’s Quest. I hoped his expectations had been low. ‘Aliens in America’ indeed. Ha!
Report and photos by Roger Hilleboe, aka #Iconoclast00