Three small aliens. Austell

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Photo: Life Magazine The Monkey from Mars.

Photo: Life Magazine
The Monkey from Mars.

The Monkey from Mars

In 1953, three men managed to convince their town that it was being invaded by aliens using nothing more than a monkey, green food colouring, and a blowtorch. Their hoax was so convincing that they even managed to get the US Air Force involved. They did all this to settle a bet.

It was a hot night on July 8, 1953. Police officer Sherley Brown and his partner were doing a routine patrol down rural Bankhead highway near Austell, Georgia when up ahead they saw a pickup truck stopped in the middle of the road. They pulled over to investigate. What they found was the most unusual scene they would ever encounter during their entire careers as officers.

Three frightened young men ? Ed Watters (a barber, reportedly 28, although he looks younger), Tom Wilson (a fellow barber, 20), and Arnold ‘Buddy’ Payne (a butcher, 19) ? were waiting nervously by the side of the road. And lying there on the tarmac in front of the truck, illuminated by the vehicle’s headlights, was a bizarre two-foot tall creature that looked for all the world like a space alien.

Space aliens had been in the news a lot. Just the night before there had been multiple reports of a large, multicoloured, cone-shaped object flying overhead near Marietta, Georgia. But no one had ever produced a flesh-and-blood alien before.

The young men spilled out a strange tale. They said they’d been out in their truck “honky-tonking” around, when they came over a hill and suddenly found themselves careening towards a small flying saucer that was ‘glowing red all over.’ Three small aliens were outside the craft wandering up and down the highway. The young men said they jammed on their brakes, but couldn’t avoid hitting one of the aliens. The other two spacemen made it to the ship and blasted off, leaving circular scorch marks on the road that were still visible.

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