LITTLE green men, God was an Astronaut, pyramidology and mysterious manifestations in the sky I leave quite happily to others.

Even on a more mundane level, while the whole world, or at least that section within three days journey of a TV screen was transfixed to it watching the moon landing, Linda and I walked the streets of a north-eastern city, every front room on our path aglow with the cold phosphor of the cathode ray gun.

As Man took one small step, we took many with probably equal relevance for the Future of Mankind (or even Personkind).

As you may have gathered I am close to absolute zero Kelvin about space and as likely to develop a belief in UFOs as in a Conservative Party manifesto.

Jjust once upon a time, for a few seconds, I came close to conversion. One day, walking a mile or so out of town I saw something which stopped me with the impact of a steaming heap of dinosaur droppings; unmistakably it was the spoor of a flying saucer...

Of course I photographed it. Not an interesting picture, so you won't find it here. One of those wide empty going straight to nowhere very much German country roads, posts every hundred metres proclaiming the precise distance to civilisation or Valhalla - where most of the drivers were apparently trying to get.- or somewhere.

Unhedged. Fields in the background. A few small trees, cows, corn, blue sky, and there on the road a circle perhaps seven metres in diameter its perimeter formed of dark strips with regular small gaps between which some object had recently rested.

Indirectly it was one of my boyhood friends who provided the answer. He was the kind of kid your parents don't like you to hang around with, and from his own lengthy accounts, irresistible to women, although in retrospect the horny tales which excited us virginal cronies - the nearest we came (if you'll excuse the pun) to sex education - almost certainly reflected more bragging than shagging.

This, however, has nothing to do with this story, and the only photograph I still have of him only establishes a marginal connection. Aged about 18, in airline uniform in front of his shiny black Morris-Minor, this has an uncanny resemblance - so far as my experience goes - to an alien being arriving from Mars.

In fact, soon after it was taken he left for Australia, which probably saved growing up. Johnny would have made a big impression in Germany, I'm sure he still would, with his Buddy Holly act that made the real thing sound like cold tea.

Around forty years before, his father had made big impressions there, but in a different role. I still recall his terse summation of this part of Germany that I know.

Just three words:
             "Good tank country."



All pictures and text © Peter Marshall, 1985, 1997

Photograph © Peter Marshall 1985

Photograph © Peter Marshall 1985

Photograph © Peter Marshall 1985

Photograph ©: Peter Marshall 1985
original in colour

 German Indications

  Photographs and text by Peter Marshall

photography and writing are necessarily
fiction-creating enterprises
Any resemblances in this work to actual people places or events
are simply resemblances