The sun, or perhaps some other star that warms intelligent beings light-years from Earth, has set on a venerable English institution. After half a century of inspired eccentricity, the British Flying Saucer Bureau has closed the pod bay doors. It has ceased to be. It has expired. It is pushing up crop circles. It is an ex-bureau. The reason: the bureau has virtually stopped receiving reports of flying saucers.
A family enterprise, the bureau was the 1953 brainchild of the late Edgar Plunkett and his son Denis (which makes Denis both the bureau's father and brainbrother). At the height of alien activity, the Plunketts fielded some 30 reported sightings a week, and the bureau claimed about 1,500 members scattered around the world, if not beyond. But now no one seems to be reporting UFOs.
This article was originally published with the title Out of This World.