Sean Winn

Bigfoot, UFOs and Cults

Used to be they were all over the place. Okay, not so common—but not so rare that you didn’t hear about them. Someone you knew would be heading home from work with his CB on (that was the internet, back in the day) when suddenly a trucker would crackle over the air, squawking with apoplexy that he’d just seen an eight-foot, hairy something dart from the trees into the reeds where Highway 79 crosses the river. Did you see it? Did you see it? There were two other cars nearby—y’all got your ears on? Oh, man! There were a few such incidents—usually along the Navasota River bottom, which lent credence to the claims as it was a snaky, unpopulated area. Someone, or something, could indeed mostly keep out of the world’s eye. 

Over towards Calvert, there were an inordinate number of UFO sightings (fortunately, though, no abductions). Even respectable folks would speak quietly of a cousin, who happened to be a minister or a banker or whatnot, that had seen shimmering lights silently hovering over his deer cabin. And around Cameron, rumors swirled of cults—farmers that had found slaughtered cows, complete with charred symbols burned into the ground. Stony Tate even claimed to have slipped up on one such midnight gathering and watched them from the trees. Stony wasn’t known to be particularly reliable, but the sense of mystery persisted that there were indeed strange goings-on that might be just around the bend. 

So why don’t we hear about these things anymore? Where has our sense of wonder gone? What need were these stories filling at the time? Or, conversely, why did Bigfoot and the aliens abandon us, leaving only work-a-day news of car crashes, corrupt politicians and trade wars? Bigfoot would surely be a hit on Twitter today. Probably not his thing, though. I miss him.

Sean Winn recently came to writing following retirement. In addition to published works, his poetry, essays and fiction are forthcoming in Pangyrus, Waymark, and di-verse-city, among others. He has lived in Indonesia, Hong Kong, and Singapore, but now calls Austin TX home. Find him on Twitter @SeanWinn_.