Commentary about and excerpts from the sci fi conspiracy thriller TRUTH INSURRECTED: THE SAINT MARY PROJECT
Chapter 3 - Why UFOs? And, an Encounter at Dreamland
By Daniel P. Douglas
As I always say, describing the UFO subject as controversial would be an understatement. That just makes it all the more suitable as the subject for a novel.
But the subject is also very real. Thousands of sightings are reported every year to organizations like the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) and the National UFO Reporting Center. When investigated, many sightings can be explained -- and some can't. The latter is where the real phenomenon resides, especially when the sightings are highly unusual and seen by credible witnesses (pilots, military, law enforcement, etc.) and backed up by technological detection (radar, video, photos, etc.).
Those are also the sightings that make us wonder why the government, media, scientists, and others would not take the subject more seriously. But, perhaps they do, and we just don't see it? Or maybe they just simply prefer to bury their heads in the sand?
So, Truth Insurrected: The Saint Mary Project launches from a place where UFOs and aliens are real. Maybe it isn't as fictional as I thought?
Take this early scene in Truth Insurrected: The Saint Mary Project as an example. There is an incident that occurs during a flight test at Area 51. It doesn't go well for the Saint Mary Project – they lose two fighter jets to an unknown alien craft that had mysteriously entered Dreamland's airspace.
My intent with this scene was to show the reality and mystery associated with UFO encounters. I also wanted to provide readers with a sensational event that puts the wheels in motion for fateful decision-making by the Saint Mary Project and certain characters in the book.
Looking at it now, it still makes me wonder what losses have occurred in the alleged secret conspiracy to study and contact (and confront?) alien visitors. There are many real-life stories told about this – of pilots and others being lost in confronting or recovering these craft – and not just in the United States but in other countries too.
When will their sacrifices be recognized? When will their stories be told? When will truth prove mighty and prevail?
Eighty miles or so north of Las Vegas, Nevada, endless sagebrush, stilled by daytime heat, rustled from the nocturnal movement of small creatures gathering, hunting, and exploring. Under a darkened sky, such rituals resumed as usual. Stealth, difficult in the revealing rays of a loitering sun, surrounded the area’s inhabitants after the light faded, succumbing to Earth’s ancient rhythms.
They moved, walking, crawling, slithering, hopping, flying, running. They mingled, roaming together among the endless acres of brush and sand. Occasionally, flash floods or tremors from live fire exercises at Yucca Flats disturbed these efforts. On July 7, however, the weather was clear, and the tremors did not come from underground. They rattled across the desert plain, scattering most critters to the safety of their dens.
Headlights cut through the heavy shroud, beams scanning erratically as the vehicles hobbled over rocky trails. Thick tires tore at the ground and sent plumes of gravel and dust through the air. Each truck appeared similar to a Chevrolet Suburban, but with an extra set of rear wheels and an extended roof. The vehicles sported dark-tinted windows, and their navy-blue exterior lacked markings or trim of any kind. A single dish antenna, about thirty inches in diameter, stood above the center of each cab.
One driver swerved his vehicle around a boulder that he spotted almost too late. He swore to himself, recovered, and then rejoined the formation of four other trucks just ahead of him. Preoccupied with the maneuver, he unknowingly steered into the path of an escaping jackrabbit. Confused, the animal froze in the sudden wash of light from the headlamps. Nothing in its experience or nature helped it to understand this bizarre intrusion into its environment. The light raced overhead and the rabbit vanished, trampled between the spinning heat of the tire tread and the coarse ground.
The caravan pressed onward, advancing with deliberate haste over familiar terrain. Then, as they approached their destination, a series of small hills and outcroppings, the tight formation slowed and methodically scattered. The lead vehicle stopped at the base of the first hill, and the others continued up the sandy slope. One parked at the crest, while the remaining trucks headed for positions on and around the adjoining hills. In unison, the headlights dimmed into darkness. Now motionless, the vehicles disappeared into the desert landscape.
Nearby, a restless coyote yelped at a million stars arched overhead in the black, cloudless sky, then trotted away to hunt mice. The distant glow of Las Vegas, some eighty miles to the southeast, appeared to be the only evidence of man.
Three men occupied the truck at the top of the first hill. One sat in the driver’s seat, and the other two sat next to each other in front of a console full of monitors and humming electronic equipment. They were military, but their black jumpsuits bore no service insignia or ranks.
The driver, Airman Bresch, reached into a duffel bag and removed a pair of night-vision binoculars. From his vantage point, he possessed an unobstructed view to the south for twenty miles. He raised the binoculars and peered across the vacant stretch of desert. Seeing nothing unusual, he lowered the glasses and set them on the seat. A green digital display from the two‑way radio in the dashboard illuminated the cab. In the thin light, he glanced at the M‑16 rifle mounted next to the glove box.
Lethal force authorized, Bresch thought.
Bresch lifted the radio’s microphone, paused for the end of another unit’s broadcast, and said, “Tango Charlie twelve, status is Oscar.” He set the microphone on the dashboard and settled back. This will be interesting, he thought. His right hand found the binoculars again. Slowly, methodically, he proceeded to do his job, surveying the sage and scrub brush for intruders.
In the passenger compartment behind the driver, two air traffic controllers worked over a panel of screens and indicator lights. Both perused the planned flight profile for the experimental aircraft under test tonight. They wore headsets, although only one of them responded to the radio traffic. “Confirm one target signal, quadrant zero, altitude zero. Standing by for resumption of countdown.” They stopped their various movements and waited for the response.
“All stations, central control is go for countdown resumption at 2230 hours. This is not a scrub; we are in alpha hold only. Twelve minutes, mark, to countdown with T‑minus eight and twenty. Commercial traffic is minimal. Restricted space is clear.”
Hearing this, the two technicians removed their headsets. One of them, an air force lieutenant, clicked a brown knob to “cabin audio.” He looked at his partner and said, “Sergeant Gonzales, when we acquire the target, keep a close eye on its downrange altitude. I’ll monitor flight path deviation.”
“After reaching operational altitude, the experimental is not to fall below five thousand feet. Remember, its signal will be intermittent at times, so call out your figures early.”
“Yes, sir,” Sergeant Gonzales said…
…Another ten-minute delay in the countdown had left them ample time to review the planned flight profile for the experimental aircraft and to triple‑check their various electronic systems. The sergeant and lieutenant waited with practiced patience for resumption of the countdown, which held at T‑minus forty‑seven seconds.
On the radar panel in front of the sergeant, a flat, twenty‑inch screen displayed white and blue lines crisscrossing a dark gray background. The white lines formed the perimeters of the test ranges adjacent to Nellis Air Force Base. The blue lines, which resembled the shape of an inverted pyramid with a narrow rectangle protruding from the bottom point, delineated the airspace assigned for this particular test of a flying saucer recovered in 1947. The craft, otherwise known as the “experimental,” originated from beyond Earth. Its collision with another similar vehicle and their subsequent crashes in the desert near Roswell, New Mexico, had provided the US government decades’ worth of reverse engineering and sporadic flight tests.
Words and numbers on the screen also denoted various mountain peaks and their elevations: “SHEEP PK/9750,” “CHARLESTON PK/11918,” and “MUDDY PK/5363.” At the bottom of the screen, near the center, was, “LAS VEGAS/MCCARRAN.” A similar screen on display in front of the lieutenant also included several dashed yellow lines within the borders of the assigned airspace. These marks indicated the planned flight path for the experimental, represented by a white dot on both screens and labeled as “XP/0.” Radar data had the experimental positioned near the upper left corner of both screens. The dot flickered at irregular intervals, something the controllers had noticed during other tests and had been told would occur again.
As he watched the dot, the lieutenant lifted his headset back to his ears and nodded to the sergeant to do the same. He turned off the cabin audio switch and folded his arms. For a split second, he thought he heard his headset crackle with static, so he double-checked that its connector remained attached in the console jack. The interruption cleared, and both listened as the countdown resumed.
“T‑minus forty-seven and counting. Med reports normal life signs. Thirty seconds, mark. Telemetry reports online. All systems normal—”
More static hissed through the controllers’ headsets. The lieutenant tapped the earpiece with his index finger. He glanced at the sergeant and saw his subordinate’s face change from a look of bored professionalism to utter confusion.
Sergeant Gonzales jerked forward. What he saw made no sense. Another white dot appeared near the “MUDDY PK” marker and moved in the direction of the experimental. Report. Report as you’ve been trained to do, he thought. His still boyish voice squeaked out the warning. “Target! Unknown target!”
The vehicle’s onboard computer assigned the unknown target a designation, “UNK/7803.” The dot tracked steadily, with its altitude indicator showing a rapid descent.
The lieutenant scanned the display. “What the hell?”
This time, the static blasted through the headphones at high volume, and both men instinctively ripped them off.
Anxious to call in his report, the lieutenant carefully raised the headphones to his ears. The static dissipated, but a strange clicking now emanated from the earpiece. With no radio transmissions, he attempted to broadcast an update.
“Uncorrelated observation inbound at angels seven, rapid descent, entering quadrant four.” He checked the screen. The experimental remained on the ground. “Can you hear anything, Sergeant?”
Preoccupied with the image on the display, the sergeant did not answer. The unknown target just performed an instantaneous ninety-degree turn and dropped to below two thousand feet.
“It’s coming this way,” Sergeant Gonzales said.
The lieutenant, despite the technical problem with the radio, kept sending the status reports. “Unknown now on course three‑one‑zero at sixteen hundred feet. Variable airspeed.” He turned to Gonzales and said, “Get with the driver and do a visual check.”
“Yes, sir.” Gonzales stepped out of his seat and slid open the driver cab’s access window. The driver leaned toward the radio console, checking different channels.
“No time for that, Bresch; the radio’s down. Get your binoculars and get out.”
After grabbing his night-vision binoculars, Airman Bresch lifted the rifle from its dashboard mount and joined Sergeant Gonzales at the front of the vehicle.
“There’s an unknown target, southeast, about five miles,” Gonzales said.
Bresch searched the desert terrain for intruders.
“No,” Gonzales said, pointing at the sky, “an unknown, airborne target.”
“Under two thousand.”
“Civilian or military?”
Gonzales’s eyes darted back and forth, trying to find the object. He knew there must be a reasonable explanation for this situation. The briefing was clear enough: one flight, one target. Must be a technical glitch, he thought.
“There it is,” Bresch said, confused. “It’s low. I thought the experimental was restricted to five thousand or above?”
Looking toward the horizon, Sergeant Gonzales spotted a glowing ball of light. Alternating between glossy shades of green and blue, it moved steadily to the northwest.
The luminous orb, orange now, instantaneously jumped skyward several hundred feet, and then danced ahead.
Red and silver strands, a flickering halo of plasma, encircled the sphere.
The rapid clicking now emanated, but not from the radio; it echoed through their heads. A chill shivered up Gonzales’s spine, causing him to arch his shoulders and shake his head.
The unknown target hovered, emitting a radiant glow and obscuring the stars behind it.
With eyes fixed on the object, Airman Bresch stepped backward until the truck’s bumper pressed against his trembling legs. “What’s that clicking sound?” The binoculars dropped to the ground, and then so did he, onto his knees.
Out of the darkness, the air vibrated with another, more familiar noise. Sergeant Gonzales turned around and found a relieved expression on Bresch’s face.
“Here they come!” Bresch said.
Two F-15 fighters raced in from the north. As dual intakes greedily consumed huge droughts of air, the hot turbofans propelled the planes toward the unknown. They approached, encountering their target in a matter of seconds.
It waited for them.
The fighters rushed in aggressively, closing the gap.
The object maneuvered, jumping again, two thousand feet straight up.
One of the F‑15s fired its afterburners and accelerated into a steep climb. The second jet rolled through a right turn, heading west. It circled low, near the truck’s location, and then ascended directly toward the target. The other F‑15 also reversed direction, running parallel to the craft and slightly above it.
The fighters engaged.
A plume of white luminescence spiraled outward from the intruder, blanketing the hilltop in a brilliant flash, and then it collapsed as quickly as it had appeared.
And the fighters vanished.
Before Sergeant Gonzales comprehended what happened, the object disappeared in a white streak toward the northwest. “My God!”
“Where are they?” Bresch said.
Gonzales grabbed the binoculars from the ground and scanned the sky and terrain. “I don’t see them.”
“They can’t just be gone. They must have crashed.”
Gonzales ran back to the truck and spoke to the lieutenant. “Sir, we need search and rescue out here right away.”
The lieutenant provided no response. His headphones lay on the console, and he held a cell phone next to his ear. He did not speak, except to say, “Yes, sir.” After hanging up the phone, he said, “Sergeant, the test was scrubbed due to a communications malfunction. All other systems are normal. We’re returning to base.”
“The site is secure and all systems are normal! We are returning to base.”