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The Martians

I drew this sketch of a Martian back in 1955, just before the little critters left and most of Centerboro fell into a kind of mass amnesia about them. I don’t know why I remember all the Martian business as well as I do. Maybe I’m wired up in some different way, and whatever happened to the rest of the town and countryside didn’t happen to me. The details in the sketch are pretty accurately rendered, though I’m obviously no artist. I’m just here to tell The Truth™, not to create great art. Or even good art.

A typical adult  Martian
A Typical Adult Martian

Note the insect-like form—but this intelligent creature did not evolve on Earth! (See discussion below.) If you're wondering about sexual differentiation among the Martians, I won't be able to help you much there. They all looked and acted about the same to me.

Note the segmented body, kind of egg-shaped, but not in three parts like an ordinary Earth insect. The Martians' thoraxes and abdomens are fused and enclosed in an almost metallic exoskeleton. They have six appendages, but unlike anything seen on Earth. Not clear in my sketch (I'm not good at drawing hands of any kind) is the fact that each of the upper four appendages ends in ten flexible digits arranged in two groups of five. What an abundance of opposable "thumbs"! Little wonder that Martians are much more technologically advanced than we.

The Martians sport three eyes which all move independently. Is this typical of any advanced earth creature that you know? Absolutely not! Perhaps the fauna found fossilized in the Burgess shales may have had such adaptations, but they never survived to become manifest in higher life forms here on Earth, did they?

Observe the inscrutable expression of the typical Martian—almost (but not always) a sure sign of superior intelligence! Are earth insects intelligent? No, they are not! Not even bees and ants, who are highly socialized, are really intelligent. And they lack all expression whatsoever. However, the poorly socialized human species, which only sometimes exhibits any degree of useful intelligence above that of the baboon and most often possesses the moral sense of the scavenging hyena, is frequently inscrutable! I'm not sure what I'm trying to say here, but I may have proven a point.

With regard to coloration, the Martians I met were all very dark in color, almost black, but not quite. Maybe tarnished silver would describe them--the adults, that is. Infant and juvenile Martians are burnt sienna

I ask you, does this creature look like one of those phony aliens on the X-Files to you? I don’t think so! Does it look like that phony alien in the Alien movies? No, it doesn’t!  Those imaginary aliens are too humanoid to be even slightly believable as extraterrestrial lifeforms. An intelligent being evolving on another world could not look very much like us at all (i.e., sporting two eyes, nostrils, ears, arms, legs, etc., on a bilaterally symmetrical frame). Yes, the Martians who landed in Centerboro are bilaterally symmetric, but they are of clearly extraterrestrial origin. Furthermore, I believe that any similarities that exist between the Martians and earthly creatures--such as the relative placement of eyes, nasal passages, eating and excreting orifices, appendages, etc.--would be examples of convergent evolution on a cosmic scale which supposes that at some time or other conditions on Mars were similar to conditions on Earth. I also speculate that perhaps Martians had a common ancestor with Earth insects somehow. Maybe Mars was once a part of Earth that was knocked off by an asteroid or comet, say during the Carboniferous Age. The lucky creatures surviving such an impact would then continue evolving in an exotic and alien environment, preserving some similarities with their earthly cousins, but mutating and adapting to conditions on their new planet. 

In conclusion, would it be even possible for an Earthling such as myself to imagine the “outlandish” Martian which once walked the streets of Centerboro? I have spent countless hours and sleepless nights pondering this very question, and I must categorically answer, NO! The Martians as depicted in my sketch are genuine Martians. I could not have made them up! Why they came here to Earth I will answer next.

Why the Martians Came to Centerboro

WHY would creatures intelligent enough to build flying saucers come to this execrable planet and, in particular, to podunk Centerboro, NY, of all places? Why not land in a major world capital, for instance? Would not a landing in Washington or Ottawa have been more spectacular? Would not the world have fallen to its knees in abject terror and surrender?

Answer::The Martians were just on vacation, and they had no interest in our dinky, parochial affairs. Other than minor league baseball, traveling circuses, and a certain leguminous annual herb found only on Earth, they viewed the rest of our pitiful world as completely boring. I mean, aren't most things on this planet pretty boring, even to us? Fast foods--really exciting, right? Ninety-nine percent of television programming--now there's real intellectual stimulation! How about the hundreds of different "styles" of uniformly ugly sneakers? How about your average dinner conversation? Your average classroom? Your average marriage? What most people do for a so-called living? See what I mean? And government, politics, conquest, the enslavement of the human species— all as utterly boring to the Martians as they would be to any creature of true intelligence. Why Centerboro?  Well, that's where Boomschmidt's circus summered, and there was great small town baseball there, and peanuts were sold at the circus and the games--a perfect vacation spot for Martians!

WHY did the Martians not immediately incinerate the world with their advanced weaponry, which was revealed to a few residents of Centerboro, including me? Human beings are the single greatest threat to peace and sanity in the entire galaxy! And yet the Martians let us live!

Answer: During their random sampling of human specimens from Centerboro, we were found not to be reservoirs of intra-solar system contagious diseases, at least none that affect Martian physiology, so we were spared—for now. Recent telepathic emanations from Mars suggest, however, that the Martians are becoming increasingly weary of the preposterous antics of our species. Although they care about conquering the Earth about as much as we care about conquering the empire of the termites, I have reason to believe that they may soon "fumigate" our planet. I discuss this possibility in a bit more detail in the Last FAQ.

WHY didn't these members of a technologically advanced species reveal to us, their gracious and willing hosts, the secrets of the cure for cancer, the free inexhaustible energy source, and so forth?

Answer: Because they were just average, middle-class Martian tourists who didn’t know any more about cancer cures and miracle energy sources than you or I know about how to perform an appendectomy or how a diesel engine works—that’s why.

WHY have few people outside of Centerboro ever heard of the real visit of these exotic creatures until now?

Answer: In addition to blanketing Oteseraga County with a specific amnesia about their visit, they also assumed control of the mind of Walter R. Brooks, a local seasonal vacationer and author famous for the creation of Mr. Ed, and they induced him to add two “Martian” volumes to his inconsequential Freddy the Pig series of juvenile books which served to mask their visit as faintly amusing fiction. Mr. Brooks specialized in animal tales, and all of his animal characters were composites loosely based on real Centerboro people Brooks knew. The Martians were real though! Now, I can’t blame Brooks for fictionalizing them or the real facts of their visit for he was not in control of his cerebral faculties at the time. However, I am still deeply hurt by his characterization of me as a scoundrel. Yes, I had my problems with the law, but did that give him the right the vilify me in three of his books? I made mistakes, but I paid my dues, and had I the resources back then, I would have sued Mr. Brooks royally for defamation, libel, and slander! Anyway, there I go digressing again. The Martians left few, if any, traces of their visit. They were pretty careful of that. And would you believe anyone who said, “Hey, I saw some Martians at a ballgame in 1955” without solid, incontrovertible evidence? Of course you wouldn’t! For some reason, I escaped the amnesia they covered the Centerboro area with before taking off. And I alone am here to reveal The Truth™!

Finally, here's a link to my article "Upon the Golden Anniversary of the 1955 Martian Visit to Centerboro, NY" published in the Spring 2005 Bean Home Newsletter. It is a synthesis of what I know of the Martians for the FoF subscribers who may not visit my site.

Quick Link

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