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 dont know why I remember all the
Martian business as well as I do. Maybe Im wired up in some different way,
and whatever happened to the rest of the town and countryside didnt happen
to me. The details in the sketch are pretty accurately rendered, though Im
obviously no artist. Im just here to tell The Truth, not to
create great art. Or even good art.
A Typical Adult Martian
Note the insect-like
formbut 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
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 Martianalmost (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 dont
Does it look like
that phony alien in the Alien movies? No, it doesnt!
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
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.
Martians Came to Centerboro
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?
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!
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!
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 sparedfor 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
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?
were just average, middle-class Martian tourists who didnt 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 worksthats why.
have few people outside of Centerboro ever heard of the real visit of these exotic
creatures until now?
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 cant 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 wouldnt! 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!
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.