Randall J. Björk, M.D.
In this intriguing and whimsical novella set in 1959, nine-year-old North Dakota farm boy, Jack Marshall, and a few close friends come to the aid of another friend, Tommy Clemens, who, one foggy morning before school, has seen an alien spacecraft land in a pigsty on his family farm and had an encounter of the fifth kind. Jack is also contacted by the aliens a few days later, and both boys suffer repercussions. Sheriff Frenchy DuBois is called in to investigate. He led the field investigation of The Roswell UFO incident back in 1947 while stationed at Roswell Army Airfield. Upon his arrival to the Clemens’ farm, he is struck by the similarities to Roswell. Aware the government classified the findings of the Roswell event top secret, he reluctantly contacts an old lover at the military base at Area 51 out of a sense of duty. An Air Force delegation from Area 51, including the sheriff’s lover, Barbara, is sent to quash the investigation. When it becomes clear that Frenchy and Barbara want to reveal the findings-including the discoveries from Roswell-the Air Force general in command arranges for a swift elimination of both to maintain the cover-up. While the novella explores the marital vicissitudes of almost all the adults in the story, the tone is childhood whimsical compassion, romantic pathos, murderous deception, and theological intrigue, with foreshadowing of modern music and popular culture. But the ending is shocking. Adolescent readers will enjoy the sprinkling of peppery language. Adults will recognize their own experiences growing up, even if they have not witnessed a UFO. Beer drinkers will be amused.