This is Christopher Buckley's satirical story on extraterrestrial life and the way things are run inside the Washington Beltway. Jack Banion, the caustic, popular Washington, DC based political talk show host who has enough clout to get the President to appear on his weekly Sunday morning broadcast, is also a syndicated columnist and a very much in-demand paid public speaker. Abducted by what he thinks are aliens while searching for errant tee shots just off the fourth fairway at Burning Bush Country Club where he is golfing with Speaker of the House Meeker and Supreme Court Justice Fitch, he recovers from his brush with space visitors and the requisite body cavity probing that comes standard. Banion is in a panic and runs around screaming aliens are invading before he is rushed to the hospital and eventually released but word has gotten out about his hysterical behavior.
Nathan Scrubbs works in the Social Security Building in DC, but his employer is a super secret government agency Majestic Twelve (MJ-12). that has for the past 50 plus years perpetrated the UFO/extraterrestrial hoaxes across the country. From the wreckage at Roswell to bright lights over the Capitol, his organization has continued it's mission to fool taxpayers and adversarial governments alike into believing America has recovered alien artifacts and holds a edge in aerospace and military technology because of it. Scrubbs is worried that his ploy to make Banion blab to the press about his experience has failed and orders a second encounter in Palm Springs where Banion is headed to deliver a speech to a trade association. The abduction occurs as planned and Banion is now ready to talk to anyone who will listen. He airs a special show the next Sunday to discuss with others who have had similar experiences. His wife Bitsey is aghast, his secretary thinks he has lost it, and the corporate sponsor of his television program worries about the future of the show.
Banion puts two UFO experts on his staff; retired Army Colonel Murfletit and nuclear scientist Dr. Falopian. His obsession causes his friends to try an intervention, his acquaintances to distance themselves from him, and his talk show sponsor to drop him. Banion comes back from a UFO convention in Austin, TX where he was treated with rock star adulation, smitten with a schoolboy type crush over Roz Well a beautiful editor of a space abduction magazine aimed at women and with a new show airing on Saturdays devoted exclusively to alien abductions. Scrubbs now running for his life believes he has angered his superiors within the organization. He learns that his life is worth very little when he is ambushed at an arranged rendezvous location and forced to go into hiding. Scrubbs decides to contact Banion with the truth about the government's involvement in the UFO controversy and try to right the wrongs his agency has committed.
This report prepared by David Fletcher