THE ALIEN IN THE ATTIC
by Patrick Barkham
|Barney Broom's alien in a bottle. Photograph: Graham Turner|
When Barney Broom began renovating his cottage he did not expect to be confronted by a pair of black eyes staring from a cloudy jar.
But the mysterious discovery of an alien in his attic has spooked the 54-year-old screenwriter and bewildered extraterrestrial experts, who yesterday suggested the US military could be involved.
The delicate 30cm (12 inch) figure of a baby alien is stored in a pungent liquid and has a US serial number painted on its four-toed foot. Possibly sculpted from a clay-like substance and painted grey, the model closely resembles the aliens depicted in a hoax film of an autopsy of the infamous "Roswell incident".
Curiously, the alien was discovered stored in an old toffee jar wrapped in a copy of the Daily Mirror dating from October 1947. In July of that year, officials at the American air base of Roswell reported and then denied finding the remains of a flying saucer. The Roswell incident sparked a popular fascination with UFOs and led the US air force to collect data on sightings.
One theory is that the alien was left in the loft by a US serviceman working at a nearby US air base. Mr Broom's two-bedroom cottage at Gunthorpe, north Norfolk, which he bought eight months ago, is 45 miles from two large US air bases at RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall. Many US servicemen and women live and work in the region.
Mr Broom told the Guardian he was "a bit spooked" by the discovery but said he was not yet living in fear of being beamed up by aliens.
"It was stuffed in the corner of the loft with other old newspapers. Before me, an old spinster lived in the house. I don't think anybody had been up there for years. I haven't got three heads and I'm not the sort of eccentric lunatic to think it's an alien but it's a funny thing to find in your loft."
Story continues at guardian.co.uk