ROSWELL, I APRILIS, ANNO SOCIETATIS XXXVIII: Rumors began circulating months ago about a very unusual occurrence at an event in the Middle Kingdom. According to sources close to the investigation, a mysterious object was seen in the sky over an outdoor camping event. Witnesses of the incident say that the object, possibly a meteor, appeared to crash behind some trees. Although this much has been authoritatively reported, accounts of what happened afterward rapidly diverge into supposition, innuendo, and outright speculation. Now there is a rumor of a cover-up of the incident by the SCA's own Board of Directors.
The meteor impact — or, say some, the landing of the spacecraft — took place in July of A.S. XXXVI (modernly 2001 CE) at a place called Roswell, in the modern-day state of Ohio. At that time, local authorities kept to the story that it was a meteor striking a weather balloon in a cloud of swamp gas, but some of the event attendees became suspicious when they realized that the only "swamp" in the area was a ditch less than two meters (six feet) in width.
"It was weird," recalls one camper, "like something out of Close Encounters. I mean, I knew it could be extraterrestrial, but my persona was utterly confused and thought it was a demon or something. Part of me wanted to go check it out and make first contact, like in Star Trek, but my persona insisted on falling prostrate to the ground and calling upon Saint Elmo to protect me."
Things quieted down after the event, as most people accepted the official story from local authorities. Then documents surfaced showing that the event in Roswell was actually the second meeting of this same secret society of UFO-watchers. As it turns out, the first such gathering was held on a dreary, cold day the prior year, at an undisclosed location near Hartville, Ohio.
Only a few people were present at that first gathering, and none who were there were willing to speak to SCAtoday.net on the record. What is known is that they all somehow knew the exact weekend to be in Roswell, Ohio, nearly a year later, to witness the unidentified object crashing — or landing? — in the woods near this small town.
SCAtoday.net was able to reach a Marshal who was there when it happened. Lord Garth der Eisenzahmer, Companion of the Red Company, says there was much more than just a "meteor" as authorities would have us believe. Says Garth, "They say it was just a fireball, but I say that's bull! After that thing landed on Friday night, everything was kinda quiet around here. Then on Saturday, these weird humanoids in some kind of suit were seen at the top of that hill over there." Garth pointed to a steep rise, not more than 200 meters (600 feet) from the location where the object crashed. "They looked like astronauts to me, what will all that shiny metal and the breathing helmets over their heads. You couldn't see their faces through those suits at all, and the things looked really heavy and cumbersome, just like spacesuits."
He went on to say that the beings were organized into two exploration parties, and seemed to be gathering samples of the grass at the top of the hill. "I dunno what they were doing, but they spent a lot of time down on the ground. The bosses would see one of them not gathering enough plant samples, and would hit the slacker with a big weapon of some kind of silvery stuff. If they got hit hard enough, it would even knock them down." When asked if he thought these were super-intelligent alien beings, Garth just laughed. "Alien? Hell yes. I dunno about that intelligent part. Looked to me like their IQ wasn't all that high. Maybe that's why they crashed their rocket-thingy."
A breakthrough in the story came when SCAtoday.net learned that the alleged UFO-watchers have actually made annual pilgrimages back to the same site, every year since the crash. A Freedom Of Information Act request filed with the CIA yielded actual documentation of two more such meetings, one in 2002 (http://4th.com/sca/alderford/scrapbook/events/melee2002/) and one in 2003 (http://4th.com/sca/alderford/scrapbook/events/melee2003/). Furthermore, our investigators have learned that the pilgrimage will happen again this coming July (http://4th.com/sca/alderford/events/melee2004.php).
Using declassified documents obtained from the Roswell, Ohio office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, SCAtoday.net was able to confirm that medical personnel were present not only at the crash itself, but at the mysterious meeting before — and the secretive pilgrimages that have happened since. A Master Chirurgeon, Iustinos Tekton, was evasive when questioned, but let slip a few incriminating details. "Of course I can't talk about what patients I treated at any event," says Tekton. "Are ETs covered by HIPAA rules? Ummmm...Never mind. You're not going to print that, are you?"
Tekton emphatically denies performing an alien autopsy at Roswell. "Are you kidding?" he asked incredulously. "That's waaaay beyond my certs as an EMT, and certainly not part of SCA Chirurgeonate protocols. I mean, not that I didn't, errr, wouldn't have, enjoyed watching a licensed Medical Examiner do it. I mean, if anything had happened, which it didn't. You're not going to print any of this, right?"
Einar Blakklar, Companion of the Red Company, admits to being "in charge" of this year's pilgrimage. He refused to give details of the planned activities on the record, but said, "There are places on the Internet where people with a need-to-know can find the information. They will know what to do, where to look."
Queries to the SCA Board of Directors have not yielded any information. In fact, Mega Byron, the Exalted Empress-General of the SCA, has yet to comment in any way upon the issue of a cover-up. Some members of the SCA are angry about this apparent stonewalling, as if the BoD somehow were unaware of the entire story. A peer in the Middle Kingdom was heard to mutter, "How typical. Aliens land in the Middle Kingdom, and the BoD takes four years just to figure out how to handle their non-member surcharges."
Local SCA officers may also be involved in the alleged cover-up of the events. THL Milica of Varna, Seneschal of the Marche of Alderford (the group claiming Roswell among its territory), was willing to be interviewed on the record, but we are unable to report, or even to remember, what she said. The one surviving photograph of her shows her wearing a black gown over a white chemise, with an oddly darkened pair of spectacles upon her brow. The transcript of the interview, reproduced below in its entirety, is itself quite enigmatic:
SCAtoday.net: Thank you, Your Ladyship, for agreeing to talk with us today.
THL Milica: It's my pleasure. I hope we can put this whole silly business to rest.
SCAtoday.net: Let's begin with the basics. Were people from Alderford actually involved in this meeting at Roswell?
THL Milica: Of course. It's just a nice, simple little event.
SCAtoday.net: And, in 2001, did in fact an extraterrestrial craft land at this event?
There follows a twelve-minute gap in the tape, which then resumes with the following closing remarks:
SCAtoday.net: Wow. That is a really interesting oil torch in your hand. How did they make it no larger than a thick writing quill, and how did they make it glow red like that?
THL Milica: [laughing] Oh, it's nothing, really. So, we're all clear about that swamp gas, then?
SCAtoday.net: Yes, definitely. I'm so happy to know that it was only a test of a new military aircraft deploying weather balloons for NASA. I feel much better knowing that there are no such things as aliens. And you're right, I really do feel like going home, right now, and ordering a pizza for supper.
The tape was found near the abandoned automobile of SCAtoday.net reporter Catriona nicHugh McLaey, who has not been seen since. Coincidentally, a bird or small animal appears to have removed her camera from the car, opened the cover, and exposed all her film from the interview and site tour.
According to informed sources, local SCA authorities are concerned that this year's gathering of UFOlogist-pilgrims at the site may not be peaceful or tranquil at all. There are rumors of some kind of internal dispute between two, or maybe even more, local Baronies, which could lead to outright warfare between them.
Only time will tell whether this secret remains a secret. For now, the internet is abuzz with rumor, yet the local shire and the faraway Board of Directors are both mysteriously quiet.
SCAtoday.net thanks our investigative reporter, Dexter Sinister, for risking his very life to obtain this story.