Werewolf Radar: Aliendless Love
By Nate Balding
Art by Caitlyn Grabenstein
Published Issue 092, August 2021
By the time you read this you’ll be dead.
Or something will have happened.
Or nothing. Which on a philosophical level might imply that you are, for all intents and purposes, dead. That’s not what this is about.
On November 19, 2013 Reddit user Throawaylien — whose pun name can be deemed “acceptable” — posted to an alien abductions thread that the entire “alien program” would change on July 18, 2021. The recent fervor for alien theories in the wake of the government’s disclosure and the propinquity to Throawaylien’s prophetic date has vivified followers of the Reddit thread toward new heights. Not quite Welcome Make Yourselves at Home posterboards at an Independence Day rooftop laser blast party, but plans are being made and skies are being watched.
Caravans of (we assume) some good people are traveling to the clearest places in the country to stargaze. Many are planning overnights at secluded campgrounds on the off chance that if ET is a no-show it won’t be from DMT. Hootenannies of bluegrass bands are burgeoning as Throawaylien has stated this is their favorite type of Earth music. While some savages prepare for battle by starting jazz assault projects because aliens hate this music and are almost assuredly the monsters from Mars Attacks!
By and large the public is going to go about their lives unaware that First Contact is happening anywhere, if at all. Because untold tales of cosmic conflagration have festered and died under the weight of Downvotes innumerable times. Regardless, when they catch on, these end of world stories fuel some innate mortal desire for a vainglorious epoch of humanity to be capped by a doomed connection to the Almighty, however that being presents itself.
Most recently famous of these stories to have come and gone was the Mayan 2012 prediction. Amateur mathematicians, readily assured that their numerology exposed the end of time, took a joy the likes of which is typically unseen outside of a reply-guy’s “well, actually” riposte. Survivalists hit the stores — which seems out of keeping with their plans to, you know, survive post apocalypse. But I guess you take it where you can when tomorrow never comes. A madman in China built a Noah-style Ark to sail across the tidal waves as space fire reigned down when a ghost planet called Nibiru collided with the Earth. Supposedly he’d collected two of every Pokemon and planned to restart the ecology from the Game Boy up.
Aside from the cancellation of The Bachelor, Bigfoot 2012 turned out un-apocalyptic.
Harold Camping was another man whose math was perfect. He popped open the Bible and number crunched that rigid brick until the last day for Christians on earth — or as we call it in my house: the first day of heavy metal summer. His calculations were found lacking, in public, 12 times. He eventually pushed the date to October 21, 2011 then died ignobly two years later having also failed to predict that spending that much time fasting over an abacus was going to have negative health impacts.
Ghost planet Nibiru seems like the most insane thing since that time we had to duct tape our windows to keep out the murder hornets riding a viral tempest. But it’s completely in keeping with the comet traumas that have frightened small groups to aberrant behavior for years.
In 1910 Halley’s Comet, which everyone knew about from centuries of passing by, nonetheless had 15 more minutes of fame (fully depleted after Bill Haley dropped “Rock Around the Clock” then turned into a holy mist and was never seen again). Predictors believing it would crash into the planet and destroy it
inspired people to begin buying bottled air to breathe for when the poison gas from the comet’s tail showed up. Several Oklahomans attempted to sacrifice a virgin to the space rock, but that was also just a regular Saturday outside Norman so the correlation may be faulty.
Heaven’s Gate, the largely online cult that downed doomsday Kool-Aid over the Hale-Bopp Comet, famously killed themselves in attempts to jump kick their souls aboard the spaceship hiding behind it. Instead they made a pretty low-key Nike drop way more important for the sneaker-savvy suicide collector.
Every few years some new reason to fear global death swims out of the collective unconscious like a fire- skulled Jungian trout and sparks the strange in a way that grinds mens’ minds into a puzzle made of all misfit pieces. And every few years it passes by and gets lost in the ashes of time, until some weirdling finds it in a collection of Coast to Coast tapes, or Mysterious Universe podcasts, or buried deep in the annals of Reddit, and retells the tale. So maybe there’s value to them after all. As long as we excavate the bones of the bizarre, and remember it will all be okay if we don’t freak out, humanity might just keep surviving the end of the world.
Unless this alien thing happened in which case WELCOME MAKE YOURSELVES AT HOME. HAVE SOME OF THIS DMT.
Have questions about the paranormal?
Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter: @WerewolfRadar.
It’s a big, weird world. Don’t be scared. Be Prepared.
Nate Balding is a freelance humanoid who occasionally manifests in print and can most likely be seen at Werewolf Radar. Should you wish to hear him manifest audibly you can do so at the aforementioned Werewolf Radar’s associated podcast on Spotify and Apple, and if anything ever becomes humorous again, on a variety of stand up stages around the nation. If you’re truly craving further content there’s always @Exploder on Twitter — even if it is only a form of digital self flagellation at this point. His one thing that he considers actually accomplished was this time he was published in the journal Nature and then later collected into a volume called Futures from Nature, still available in places that have things.
See Nate’s July install of Werewolf Radar here.
Caitlyn Grabenstein, a.k.a. Cult Class, is a collage artist, sketch artist, and designer out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She started doing art at a very young age and has pursued it in different forms throughout her life. While working in the music industry and running her own charitable business, BANDADE, she began creating websites, ultimately hosting more than 50 charitable shows with over 60 different artists including Imagine Dragons, Jason Isbell, Maren Morris, Ingrid Michaelson, the Goo Goo Dolls, Alabama Shakes, Florence Welch and more. During this time, Caitlyn started collaging out of necessity to create concert posters. She fell in love with the process and began collaging regularly. Caitlyn now runs her own design business, CLG Design Co.. Her work can be found in buildings around Philadelphia. Caitlyn’s pieces have been commissioned by individuals, musicians, businesses, and real estate companies from Chile to Germany to Los Angeles. Check out more of her art on Instagram.
Check out Caitlyn’s last Birdy published piece, Maybe It’s Atlantis, here.