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Story SicFi: Once upon a UFO on Broadway and Main 

Optional Introduction: I wanted to give a deeper understanding of the story “Once Upon a UFO.” As a college student studying Engineering - but away from God - I was fascinated by NASA, landing on the Moon and 2001 Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke. When I was listening to the sound track to the movie “2001”where they are moving over the lunar surface to the monolith buried at the crater Tycho I became aware of what was really happening. These where symbols that call us to something more profound then an idea of intelligent life out there but to the greatest discovery - the Creator of all intelligence – God - who WAS calling – by grace – each one of us to Himself, personally, intimately. Saint Francis of Assisi wanted to be a knight when suddenly Our Lord appeared to him in a dream and asked who is it better to serve, the master or the servant? Francis said, the master. Our Lord said, you are following the servant (wanting to be a knight), return to Assisi. That evening when grace touched my heart I knew I had to give my life to God. This story, “Once Upon a UFO” and in some way the one minute movie which appears after the story, is an effort to draw others to this blog.   Perhaps they too may experience, as I did, the grace from the Lord for the greatest of all discoveries and adventure – Himself and His Love calling all of us to “Follow Me”.
Once upon a UFO - On Broadway and Main

He liked his early morning coffee as he listened to the news on the radio. The usual, 30 minute delay on the Garden State Parkway. He was contemplating the morning activity when he heard “Paterson, New Jersey … at the corner of Broadway and Main … “. He sat up alert - that’s down the road. A police siren had gone by but it being so common he had taken no notice – until now. 
The announcer continued, “... a UFO is an un-identified flying object and people there are saying that’s exactly what we’ve got. We’ll go to Sandy Robertson at the scene, Sandy can you tell us what you are seeing.”  “Katie, there are about 200 people and growing. We are standing in front of a lawn 100 feet by 100 feet. It is completely surrounded by a 4 foot high old wire fence with no entrance or gate but it did have a newly placed sign on it reading “NO TRESPASSING”. In the middle of the lawn is an object that has the shape of a space craft. But, Katie, what has everyone talking is what’s in front of the spacecraft – a parking meter.”
A newly placed ten hour parking meter stood just in front of the spacecraft – and it was running with 3 hours 23 minutes left on it.
Sandy continued, “Katie, the craft is circular about 50 feet in diameter. It’s about 25 feet high.  We do know this, it is not resting on the ground - it seems to be floating – but it looks immovable. The wind has absolutely no effect on it. Several workers had stopped to investigate before the police arrived. They took a long rope and while holding either ends of the rope passed the rope completely under the craft which is about 1 foot above the ground. Katie, there are no supports – it is levitating. Next some guy in the crowd ran to his car and said he knows how it’s being done, saying he has a science toy at home that does the same thing. He yelled that there must be magnets in the ground and inside the hollow spaceship.  He pulled out a compass he kept in his car and told us that the compass will point to the magnets. He jumped the fence and went all around the craft. He came back bewildered, nothing had happened.   Katie, one more thing, one of the kids threw an empty soda can at it and it bounced off even before it got near the craft.”
Katie interrupted, “Sandy, do we know when it arrived?” Sandy replied, “We did the calculations, the parking meter started running at 2:43 AM and at 12:43 PM the meter runs out.”
The police had come with the dogs to sniff around, nothing unusual. As more and more gathered, the mayor arrived for a photo op. What gave credibility was the rope trick. No one had broken the law and many were calling it a publicity stunt. Some wondered if the Mayor had something to do with it.
The one question on everyone’s mind, what was going to happen when the parking meter ran out? That question was about to be answered. It was 12:40PM.
Someone from the back of the crowd had pushed his way to the fence. It was a homeless person in shabby clothes. “Excuse me,” he said, “I’m doing my job.”  He was in his mid-40’s and had not shaved for a few days. He jumped the fence and went up to the meter. He kept yelling, “Just doing my job.” And he put a quarter into the slot. Another ten hours to go. Going back to the fence, he climbed out. At that instant he became a world celebrity.
At first he felt uncomfortable about the fuss and questions. “I was told to say nothing if I wanted to get the reward. The guy had a mess of quarters which are here in my pocket and said to make sure the meter does not run out. No, no accent – look I can't say any more else I might not get the reward. And he remained quiet.
They did not know who he was, just a homeless person, but all the press and reporters where wanting to invite him out for a meal – which he accepted. They offered him clean cloths and allowed him to wash up at their apartment. Every ten hours he was back again to put another coin into the meter. This went on for a few days when he made the announcement 3 coins left.
People from different parts of the world started coming. No one could get any information out of him.
Finally the moment came. He approached the fence and jumped it. He pulled out of his pocket the last of the coins. He said to all, “that’s the last one” and all sorts of photos were taken. He came up to the meter and put it in. He stood there. Everyone gasped; the craft began to rise up slowly to a height of 10 feet. The homeless man turned and walked under the craft to the center and turned to the crowd – smiled and was lifted up into the craft. Another shout went up as it started to rise another 14 feet and was gone – just like that.
A strange occurrence began to take place all around the world; people were beginning to take notice of the homeless, being a bit kinder to them. And they all wondered.
The morning after the departure he reached over to the coffee pot and poured himself his morning coffee. He was about to turn on the radio but stopped. Instead he opened his Bible that he kept on the table turning to Hebrews 13:2
2 Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels.
Optional Post Script: C. S. Lewis would bring to his readers the experience of biblical themes using non-biblical settings. Our Lord said whatever we do to the least of our brethren we do to Him. Hebrews 13:2, as mentioned above, expresses the Judeo-Christian experience of how God at times would send the angels into our lives unknowingly, such as in Genesis or Tobit. I wanted to reflect the moral principle of sensitivity to the homeless by using a homeless character as the center of focus at the end, reflecting Gospel values. Concerning aliens, as a matter of principle, I believe the mathematics of probability of genetic sequencing rules out any spontaneous arrangement of the DNA to arrive at intelligence - except by a willed intervention of events by God to bring it about. However, as a Catholic in communion with magisterial teaching I do believe in "extra-terrestrials" - only in one sense - God made the angels.
The Lord give you His Peace
Father Patrick Magee FLHF

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