I was riding my bike with a friend on Redstone Arsenal today. I am woefully unprepared for the upcoming Rocketman triathlon on Sunday and I thought it might be a good idea to ride the course. All it really did was remind me how many ways I can have an Epic Fail.
We ride mainly on the south end of the arsenal where there are many test ranges and long, straight roads to connect them. The place certainly has a post-WWII/Cold War feel to it. All the buildings were built either right after WWII or during the Space Race. It is a most unique place to ride, however. There are blown up tanks, rocket test stands, leftover rockets, and lots and lots of signs saying, basically, "Don't go in here or you will die - or worse." I don't know of many places in the world where you can ride along a test range where the first rocket was built? Kinda cool in a totally nerdy way.
On one relatively isolated part of the base there are all the bunkers. They are half buried underground, looking sort of like giant versions of the hobbits homes in Lord Of The Rings. They have these huge steel doors on the front and many of them are covered in kudzu. They still have the yellow and black triangle EMERGENCY FALLOUT SHELTER signs on them. If there's a nuclear attack, I don't know who gets a place in these bunkers anymore. I think I might take my chances on the outside with the mutants than trapped in a kudzu-covered bunker with 150 people I don't know. If I was ever going to make a space alien movie...this is the place.
My riding friend and I wondered what they kept in the bunkers? I said it was the skeletons of all the aliens the government has collected over the years. It's the perfect place for both NASA and the U.S. Army to have access to the alien bones, DNA, and spaceship parts to build the next generation rocket. I don't know if they could keep live aliens out there? Maybe they do have live aliens and they surrounded them with kudzu so they couldn't escape? I just think so many things could be explained by the existence of aliens on the arsenal...the late-night booms, strange lights, strange engineers, the useless overpass on South Parkway, the escape spaceships at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center "museum", that smell they always tell us is "The Dump".
I think the local community needs to look at Arsenal Aliens as another marketing opportunity for The Rocket City. We could get some Bigfoot costumes and run along Martin Road at dusk. We could get a Nessie for the Tennessee River. Maybe just one of those huge mutant catfish will do? A few loose weather balloons floating overhead couldn't hurt, either. If we coordinated all of this into a big Mutant Alien Campaign we could generate quite the media buzz. Like a Southern version of Area 51. Maybe we could talk the government into letting the aliens march in a yearly It Came From Outer Space Parade. It would draw crowds. Think of all the big-eyed alien heads you could sell?! Whadya' think an alien head goes for - $19.99/each? Easy money after a real alien walks past. All the kids will be begging their moms for alien masks. Capitalism meets outer space.
But, for now, the aliens are a secret. Probably stuck in those bunkers with nothing to do but play cards and wish there was two suns in the sky, like at home. I'm sure when I pass the bunkers during the Rocketman triathlon I'll see their big, bug eyes pressed up against the little peepholes of the bunker doors. Maybe I'll be lucky enough to see an alien skeleton trapped in the kudzu? But, most likely, I will be hallucinating something really crazy after the fifth mile of the run. I'll just be pushing for the finish lines - oblivious the the aliens who wish they could run free like me....er, do aliens run? Or maybe they levitate?
Who knows? Its a secret.