After a quick online search, I learnt that the venerable and internationally renowned Victorian U. His brush with high strangeness left Arnold a changed man, and for the remainder of his life he believed in an increasingly bizarre succession of theories to explain the existence of UFOs. Over the next thirteen years he travelled the globe exten- sively, his fame and notoriety often preceding him — in Holland he was invited to a private audience with Queen Juliana, whereas in Zurich outraged students pelted the stage with rotten fruit. A ufological show-trial — now that would be something to see. Despite the steady encroachment of Bolivian settlers into the rainforest and palm savannas of the surrounding hinterland, the densely forested banks of the river seemed almost completely untouched by human influence. As one historian has put it, GIs in jeeps bounding over the desert dunes to the crash sites were likened to cowboys rounding up cattle.
I was only a First Lieutenant at the time; if Colonel Blanchard was acting under higher orders I would not know anything about that.
But what did this say about these mysterious objects themselves? Unable to come to a decision, I took out my notes and went over what I knew about the contactees for yet another time. Up and down the street, storeholders were busy pulling down shutters and disappearing into doorways. I was one of only three passengers on the minibus that departed from outside Don Orlando's pharmacy early next morning. Ewing was talking, I realised. The Cochiguaz road — a dirt track clinging to the side of a gorge — disappeared up its own tiny tributary valley.