2946-06-08 - Tales from the Inbox: The Tatianus Ranch Sighting

It should surprise nobody that, within hours of my cautioning the consumers of this text feed not to get their hopes up about stories about the Angels, a cache of old material on that very subject has been given to me by an anonymous source. Following the usual, procedure, I took the content down to our local Naval Intelligence representative, who gave me enthusiastic approval to publish it for the Cosmic Background audience. I don't think our attache ingests this feed, but if she does: Lieutenant Simona Durand, thanks again for handling this quickly!

Our mysterious source sent me what he or she claims is all the publishable content from this source; given that I was authorized to publish it all after our local representative spent only half a day examining it, he or she must have some experience with the Bureau of Naval Intelligence's protocols. Perhaps our source comes from inside the bureau itself, but this is mere speculation on my part.

Evidently, this material was collected by an eccentric hobbyist in the 2720s or 2730s, and languished in hard storage on powered off devices for a long time. Many of the files are stored using encoding that none of my devices recognize, but about half are still readable (and Cosmic Background staff will work to get the rest translated soon). Note the date on this file; I shudder to think of the state of computing hardware in the mid 25th century. It's a wonder anything as old as these files is still readable on modern devices, but our tech team assures me that the means of storing text hasn't changed in a long time.

While I can find no other source for this material, I have discovered independently that the organization it is ascribed to was an active sensationalist reporting outfit in operation here on Planet at the time. A few other inquiries have convinced me that it is likely that this article really was published on the indicated date - as for the truth value of the reporting, the audience is encouraged to decide for itself.

Today's installment of Tales from the Inbox will publish the first piece of this material. Because of the extreme age of this source, I do not consider it time-sensitive, and plan to make several Tales from the Inbox posts sourced from this cache in the coming weeks and months. For those of you who will inevitably bombard my inbox with demands for the whole source to be made immediately available, remember that not everyone who ingests this text feed is a tireless seeker of data pertaining to the Angels, so I plan to intersperse these items with other kinds of stories. Also remember that if there really were anything new in my source, Naval Intelligence would have denied permission to publish it to the public datasphere anyway.


TYPE = newsfeed_archived_3.2c 


type: text, 

publication_name: "The Centauri Enigma", 

publication_type: local_news_gossip, 

provider: "Centauran Media Group, Inc." 


TIMESTAMP = "2456-01-30@12:48:17Z", 

TITLE = “Small Town Visited By Aliens: Visit by Angels Suspected” 

AUTHOR = “Roberta M. Roderick” 


HARCORT, SPD, PLANET, CENTAURI: The small mountain prospecting community of Harcort is, for perhaps the first time in its many decades of history, a center of frenzied activity today after an alleged visitation by intelligent extraterrestrials in the early hours this morning.   

The tiny community of only 147 residents was the source of over fifty calls to local emergency response between local times of 3:10 and 4:25 AM, each reporting being overflown by unauthorized aircraft, strange booming noises, or the nearby landing of an unauthorized aircraft. As the remote region of Spine of Planet was once a haven for outlaws and brigands from more civilized regions of Planet, local authorities scrambled a suborbital to deliver a response team, but when they arrived in Harcort at about 4:45 local time, they found no sign of the expected local outlaws. 

According to Kress Voltolini, a local prospector and witness to the night’s goings-on who spoke to this reporter, the landings at Harcort were not aircraft, but landing craft from a spacecraft in orbit over Planet, though Centauran Control detected no unidentified craft in local space at the time. 

‘Three of them flew over my place at about three oh five,’ Voltolini said. ‘They woke me up and scared the hell out of me.’ When asked what the engine noise sounded like, Voltolini insisted that there wasn’t any. ‘Was the damn sonic shockwaves that woke me up.’ He said, ‘They were going really fast when they passed over the first time, then they looped back around slower, and went down over the rise. When they passed the second time, they were totally silent.’ He described the appearance of the craft as ‘a dead ringer for the grainy stills of the Angels they took during the Grinner war,’ but confesses that he did not have a good sense of the scale of the craft.  

The rise in question, just north of Harcort proper, is home to three goat ranches. The night’s activity, alien or otherwise, seems to have been centered around the Tatianus ranch, farthest from town. While this reporter could not collect statements from anyone from that ranch, she did manage to secure a statement from Lev Jurek, a handyman who was working at a neighboring ranch last night. At his telling, the alien formation flew right over his head while he worked on a failed segment of sonic fence and two of the ranchers stood in the gap to keep the animals inside the pen. Jurek also mentioned specifically the lack of engine noise. ‘I think they were gliding in.’ He said. ‘But they didn’t have wings, so I’m not sure what made them glide.’ 

Jurek went on to say how the three small craft landed silently on the grounds of the neighboring ranch. Using binoculars from his toolbox, the handyman says he watched from afar as two surprised people staggered out of the Tatianus ranch house to meet a trio of monstrous aliens, one coming out of each ship. ‘I think ol’ man Tatianus knew ‘em.’ He said. ‘Pretty sure that’s who went and met those things, but it was hard to see for sure.’ Jurek describes the aliens as ten to twelve feet in height, towering over the figures of the human ranchers, bipedal and with three equally sized and spaced fingers on each hand. He says that they were wearing some sort of full-body suits and suggested that he didn’t think they could breathe Planet’s earth-like atmosphere. 

Jurek’s story appears to be mostly corroborated by those who were in the Tatianus ranch up to this point, though this reporter only has thirdhand retellings of the stories of two employees of the Tatianus family who staggered into town at about 4:15, shouting that aliens had landed at the ranch. What Mr. Jurek said next cannot be corroborated and is nothing short of sensational. 

‘They talked to Old Man Tatianus for a few minutes.’ Jurek explained. ‘And eventually he pointed up toward the Spire, and they left. Flew up over the mountain, where a fourth, a bigger one, joined them, and they disappeared near the peak.’ The Spire seems to be a local name for Mount Valdimar, the third-highest mountain on Planet, whose plateau shoulder is only about forty kilometers from Harcort by air. 

This reporter was able to determine from local records that in his youth, Braden Tatianus was a climber, who made three ascents to Valdimar’s summit with fellow climbers Felix Bennett and Cornelio Ingomar - on a fourth attempt, Bennett perished in a fall and the ascent was scrapped.  

Did Braden Tatianus discover an artifact of the Angels on the mountain with his friends? Did this artifact claim Bennett’s life, or did he perish in a fall as was reported at the time? Was last night’s visitation the return of the makers of some artifact, and if so, why did they make contact with Tatianus rather than going directly to the mountain and potentially avoiding detection? The local authorities aren’t saying what they think, obviously. One can only hope the truth of this strange event will come to light in coming months…