The Converse UFO Club

I had a dream last night, of being upstairs in the old Converse High School. I was looking for something, and found myself inside one of the abandoned classrooms on the top floor, in the very room that was home to the Converse UFO Club I founded back in 1976. On the chalkboard was scrawled a number of arcane sigils. That’s when I woke up, at 3:15am.

This got me thinking about the origins of that club and how much fun we had. It was my 5th grade year. Mr. Piper’s class. Several kids were falling behind in math, so Piper, in a stroke of genius, decided to give everyone a test. If you scored perfect, then you didn’t have math the rest of the semester. So what did I do? I cheated off of Mick Miller. There were about a dozen of us who were excused from math class, but we weren’t left to our own devices. We were charged to present a lecture to the school, on any subject we chose. I coerced my classmates into forming the Converse UFO Club and we spent the next six weeks studying unidentified flying objects.

We were given one of the unused classrooms on the third floor. It was full of ancient desks, chairs, old flags with fewer than 50 stars, chalkboards, bulletin boards, and old US maps. We put all of it to use and put together a cool little clubhouse, far from the prying eyes of teachers and other students. I crated in my collection of UFO books, newspaper clippings, magazines, and comics, and we got to work.

Needless to say, we had the time of our lives… and we came up with a pretty good theory, for a bunch of ten year olds. The thesis we presented posited that these alien spacecraft were powering their vehicles with hydro-power, based on the amazingly high number of sightings that occurred in and around water. Never mind that with two-thirds of the planet being covered with water increased the potential for sightings near such to be more likely than not. Well… we tried.

We presented our findings before the school. We were given As for our effort. And, ultimately I made a little comic book seed money from it all by narrating UFO articles onto cassette tapes and selling them to my classmates.

Hard to believe that by ten years old, I had already formed two clubs, The Monster Club in 1974, (in which we made encyclopedic entries in a journal concerning all manner of paranormal/supernatural beasties and chased ghosts in every derelict and abandoned house or barn and throughout the Hoosier hinterlands in a ten mile radius), and the UFO Club. Harder still to believe that in a few short years, by 1983, it would all take a far more serious turn.

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