I Want to Believe


Author B. Brandon Barker can't find a buyer for his UFO novel, in which NASA's mysterious "Operation EMU" causes a film crew and several hundred Indians to disappear in the Nevada desert. So he starts a website that treats the story as true, to prove his ability to gin up publicity.

He includes a reader forum. Believers appear. Before long, there's an alleged witness:

Forum member John Nesbit, a 52-year-old crawfish farmer in Martinsville, La., used to be an Air Force mechanic and was stationed at Nellis in the early 1970s. He claims to have first-hand knowledge of Operation EMU.

"I get less dubious the older I get," says Nesbit. "I did know about Operation EMU, but it was a NASA training thing. That's what we were told. Only much later did it come out that it was broader than that, that they were training the military to fight aliens….The film crew thing, that's documented."

All of which comes as news to Barker. Operation EMU is "purely just a story," he insists.

"Maybe we're running out of conspiracy theories," Barker says in response to Nesbit's assertions. "You throw something out like this and people either have faulty memories or it sounds like something they heard about."

NEXT: Just How Rotten Was the British Empire?

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  1. Hee hee hee. This is even better than those loons who are still arguing that John Titor really was a time-traveller from the future.

  2. People want to feel important too. Even if it’s just the fleeting Internet version of important.

  3. One would think the emu at the top of Barker’s page would kind of give it away.

  4. I wuz thair an seen ’em, too!

  5. Aliens from a planet orbiting Algol have told me that I must collect $100 billion for them. If I fail to do so, they will destroy the Earth. Their ultimatum was delivered to me when I was at Ft. DeSoto a few weeks ago. I believe some people may have seen the Algolians and their spaceship. I hope they’ll come forward, so that people will accept the truth of my story, and I can start taking up the collection.

    Some skeptics have wondered why the Algolians would want American currency. I understand that they want it to collect DNA samples, not for any monetary value. They’re above that sort of thing. In fact, they told me that I could have the money back for my personal use, once they had extracted what they needed. They aren’t all bad!

  6. Heck, in two thousand years there will probably be a major religion built around Mr. Barker’s

  7. Yes, it’s all true.


  8. Yeah, well maybe B. Brandon Barker THINKS he made it up, but maybe he really heard such a story from the table next to his at a restaurant years ago and he only THINKS he didn’t hear it. The subconscious works in mysterious ways.

    Or maybe John Nesbit, if that’s his real name, knows it’s a bullshit story and is having the last laugh at B. Brandon Barker BELIEVEING he’s a loony.

  9. Sounds like Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum

  10. when I was abducted and molested I was actually able to communicate with the greys.

    I asked them what they learned from sticking a probe in a humans butt. I was told taht they are beyond science, they have figured all that stuff out already.

    They said that molesting creatures in an unsexual manner like that was wildly amusing to advanced civilizations. and little else is amusing.

    If you are abducted, all you have to do to ruin the aliens buzz, is yell “give it to me harder” and they will lose interest and release you.

  11. There is no conspiracy theory so weird that some moron won’t embrace it. But there are so many morons out there. Could it be that dim-wittedness was an evolutionary advantage? Maybe the free market wouldn’t work without it.

  12. Aliens from a planet orbiting Algol

    ALGOL, you say?

    EBCDIC ARRAY E [0:20];
    WRITE (F, *, E);

    If you get this, I hate you. If you think it’s funny, I hate you more. Nerds.

  13. Wrong Algol–mine is a mighty star.

    I never learned ALGOL, but I do remember hearing of it. I’m from planet FORTRAN, myself 🙂

  14. If you get this, I hate you. If you think it’s funny, I hate you more. Nerds.

    Yesssss, I sense your hatred.

  15. Uhhha – Sounds like another cover up to me man. Maybe you uhhha doubters and skeptics and what not just have a problem seeing what’s right in front of your fucking noses man. Uhhhhhha – this incident clearly sounds like the work of the Beovians or perhaps the uhhha Screed. I have witnessed in the physical incidents very similar in nature to the events as described by this uhhha witness.

    O-Qua Tangin Wann


  16. Attention Earthlings! We are informed by our human agent on Earth that only $500 has been contributed thus far.

    As punishment for your sloth, the next major hurricane will hit New York City. Tremble at our wrath, Monkey Boys.

  17. Aliens from a planet orbiting Algol have told me that I must collect $100 billion for them.

    Well, based on some previous threads, it seems some around here would insist that we must be agnostic about PL’s claim or we risk being considered no different than someone who believes him. After all, if we don’t believe there really are aliens orbiting Algol who have revealed themselves to PL, we are simply expressing a faith that the story is false, comparable to those who have faith that his story is indeed true.

  18. Brian,

    Right. Which means that both believers and unbelievers must send me money.

  19. As punishment for your sloth, the next major hurricane will hit New York City. Tremble at our wrath, Monkey Boys.

    You don’t have the stones.

  20. Serious question: does John Nesbit have the good sense to feel embarrassed right now? Or has he actually convinced himself that EMU is real?

  21. the other Mark: Having originally grown up on the planet BASIC, I left as soon as I could, emigrating to the more robust binary C/C++ after an extended stay on PASCAL. As I grew, I traveled extensivly, visiting many unusual planets like FORTRAN (“SUBROUTINE!” Pro Libertate), the dreaded, humorless ADA, and, most recently, the wonderfully flexible PHP in the Linux/Apache constellation.

    I pity your hate.


    Obviously the Seil of Algol doesn’t understand Terrestrial political philosophy, or he would know better than to threaten destroying NY with Bloomberg in it, to a libertarian audience.

  22. Seil thanks the Earthman for his contribution.

    Upon further research, we will also obliterate. . .Philadelphia! City of Loving Brothers! Home to Independent Declarations! Your broken bell–destroyed!

    Dance, Monkey Boy, dance!

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