The Potato Conspiracy
Last night I saw an alien. My wife did too. She calls them ‘potato men’ on account of their uncanny resemblance to certain tuberose vegetables. Well, perhaps you need to squint a little to appreciate the likeness but there is no denying the similarities in colour. That pasty grey-green colour of a washed coliban.
Perhaps all the close encounters of the third kind can be explained by our western predilection for spuds. We like our chips, mash, or whatever your favourite form of potato is, so much that we populate our dreams with their likeness. Flying saucers, by extension, are simply the packaging material that the potatoes come in or the medium used to present them after cooking.
So many flying saucer sightings look merely like a dinner plate tossed into the air. For me, the whole alien/flying saucer thing has always suffered from a disjoint between fantasy and reality. Why, I wonder, would a being or beings travel the vast instellar distances involved, waste decades or generations in getting here, then startle some poor sod, who no-one is ever going to believe, out in the middle of nowhere. If that were me, the alien that is, I’d be announcing my presence somewhere a little more conspicuous, if only to utter the byline of countless B-grade science fiction movies, namely “take me to your leader”.
Few people know this, but Corona, New Mexico, about 75 miles from Roswell (the incident didn’t actually happen at Roswell), is the home of one of the world’s largest foodstuffs packaging companies. In the 1940s and 50s, US potato chip manufacturers were engaged in a turf war with their British counterparts for dominance of the potato chip market. The material that William “Mac” Brazel recovered was actually a revolutionary kind of chip packaging that would ensure that the chips inside were kept in an optimum environment. This packaging design was seen as a key advantage in the battle for supremacy in the global potato chip market.
UK company, Walkers, it’s now owned by Pepsico, were making huge forays into the American market with their imaginative use of seasonings and flavours, but their packaging, glassine wax paper bags were only marginally better than the tins they used to use in the 1930s. The Corona packaging would ensure that the last chip was as fresh and tasty as the first and would be a huge step in reasserting US dominance of the industry.
I know that this all sounds far-fetched, but there is one question then that must be answered. It is no secret that the final resting place for the supposed ‘crash’ debris was Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio. Is it then mere coincidence that Dayton, Ohio is the home of the oldest US potato chip manufacturer, Mike-sells Potato Chip Company?
I think not.