ANDERSON: Now it's, err, my pleasure [LAUGHS]
now it's my pleasure to welcome a man who in 1993, shot from obscurity,
to being very much one of the men of the year, following his extraordinary
claim to have been abducted by aliens to another planet. So for
another out of body experience, please welcome Mr. Norman House.
Norman House (Peter Cook) stage right. He wears an awful blue/red/yellow/white
striped & patterned jumper (the sort of thing a maiden aunt
might give at Christmas). He carries with him a metal detector.
His silver hair is swept forward and he wears large brown-rimmed
glasses. He speaks in a nasal tone, similar to that of "Pete".
Wild cheering and applause from audience as Norman House joins
Right, well. Errm, please take a seat. Errm, right, errm, obviously
I'm . . . obviously I'm going to ask you about the alien experience
NORMAN HOUSE: Yes.
CA: But first of all I'd like to establish, you know, who you are,
and where you're from. What do you do for a living?
NH: I'm a, err, quality controller, in a leading biscuit factory.
CA: Oh, right
It is my job to test biscuits for comestibility -
NH: And, and I do this by biting into them -
NH: Tasting them for flavour and texture -
NH: And if the biscuit is satisfactory, I allow another four million
to go by.
CA: I see.
[Norman House selects a biscuit from a plate on the table]
NH: I haven't tested this one.
No, no. I'll take that one on trust. Now this, where do you do this
NH: Ipswich. Ipswich area. Environs of Ipswich.
[Single shout of "Yeah!" from audience]
CA: Oh, well, it's a popular area apparently.
NH: It's very quiet. It's nestled in a little valley. Where we
live we're surrounded by, err, countryside. And we err, have a small
Yes [laughs] -
NH: It's a fascinating area, Ipswich. Because it's where the, err,
the Romans first put down their, errm, their Roman baths were put
down in Ipswich.
CA: Yes, alright. I wasn't really going to ask you about the history
of Ipswich. It's more to do with your astonishing experience of,
errm being abducted by aliens. Now where, where were you when this
NH: I was out errm, with my wife Wendy -
Who also lives in the Ipswich area.
NH: Just above the garage, we have a little flatlet.
NH: And, err, we were out of an evening. I was out metal detecting
CA: Yes. Is that a hobby?
Yes, I like to, I've got this, errm, [picks up metal detector from
beside seat] actually I found this metal detector years ago. I was
very lucky because I borrowed a friend's metal detector -
NH: And I was out detecting, and suddenly I felt there was a strong
feeling that there was something metallic under the ground -
NH: And sure enough I dug away, and lo and behold, there was this
metal detector. Almost as brand new.
CA: Oh right. I suppose that's true. Metal detectors are made of
They are. They are made of metal and one of the problems with a
bad metal detector, is that if it's really poorly made it'll start
detecting itself. And a friend of mine had a detector which detected
itself, and started just curling up and trying to eat the handle.
CA: But this is a good one?
NH: But this is a good one. Yes. And we were out in the car and
err, and then I got out of the car and started detecting -
And err, suddenly I saw this, err, strange glowing object hovering
about one and a half feet above the ground.
CA: Right. Wasn't headlamps, was it? Or anything like that?
NH: No, no. It was an unearthly object. Non-metallic, otherwise
the detector would have -
CA: Immediately -
NH: Detected it. And I felt strangely calm, but at the same time
horribly terrified. And err, I err, I didn't know what to do and
it just stayed there glowing eerily [uses hands to demonstrate a
What sort of size was this?
NH: [emphasises shape made with hands] About that size. Yes, about
that big. It was just hovering there, and I felt something beckoning
at me -
NH: A mental beckoning, more than a physical beckoning and I suddenly
saw a creature getting out of the orb and begin slowly to suck me
into, into it's orbit -
NH: Mentally -
Mentally suck you.
NH: Mentally suck me into the orbit, and I fell into a trance,
and the next thing I knew, I was elsewhere.
CA: Right. [picks up two photographs from the table. One is black
one white, the other in colour. Each shows a glowing sphere.] I
know we've got some pictures in. Did you take these pictures?
NH: No these snaps were taken by my wife, Wendy -
CA: Well that's jolly lucky. You've got two pictures -
That's the better one, the black and white one. That one's upside
down [turns black and white pic up the other way].
CA: I'm sorry. Yes.
NH: [points to black and white pic] It was more colourful than
that [points to blurred colour pic] but not as misshapen as that.
CA: What did these creatures look like? Err, have you got a -
Well, they're, they're, they're rather like, errm [picks up clipboard
and pen from desk], otter-like. Otter-like. Otter-like in shape.
They look rather like this, [draws otter-like shape on clipboard]
you see. [Adds two "slit eyes" to drawing] That sort of
NH: That was one of them. And there was another one like this [draws
identical otter-like shape].
CA: Oh, I see.
- the one that took me.
CA: That was the one that took you [laughs] Now how long did you
spend on this planet?
NH: I was there for approximately four years -
NH: Or seemed to be about four years, but in fact was only three
minutes of our time.
CA: Yes, right. And which planet were you on? Mars or Venus -
Ikea! They are people who arrived millions of years ago in cardboard
boxes, and were forced to assemble themselves.
CA: Yes. Well, I see. It accounts for the strange shape I suppose.
NH: Oh yes. They had no instructions.
CA: And why were they interested in you? You in particular, or
us at all?
NH: I think they shared my love of metal -
But it was mainly because they have a museum up there devoted to
rock 'n' roll.
CA: Yeah. Our rock 'n' roll?
NH: Our rock 'n' roll, and the only rock 'n' roll they've ever
heard was Manfred Mann -
And they were unsure of the lyrics of one of his hits. And that
was "There I was a-walking down the street, going doo-ah-diddy
diddy-dum-diddy". [Pause] And that bit of the lyric was missing.
CA: Oh right.
NH: So they only got up to "Dum-wah-diddy diddy-dum-diddy"
and they wanted to know what, what came after that.
CA: And were you able to tell them?
No, I didn't know that lyric at all. So they were most dissatisfied
with me, err, err, and they are dissatisfied with everything really,
up there on Ikea.
CA: Well how could they communicate with you? Could they speak
NH: No they, they, they, they think they can speak and they communicate
through thought waves.
Through vibrations. Timeless aeon vibrations.
CA: And you could pick this up, could you?
NH: I could tell they didn't like what they'd got.
CA: What's the atmosphere like on the planet?
NH: Well, it, it, it's very thin. Very thin atmosphere. If I hadn't
had some air in my jumper, and err, in my socks with me, I would
have probably been stifled. It's just what I imagine being in Mexico
City is like.
Yes. So what do they do like, for air, for breathing . . . for food?
Do they eat?
NH: They, they, no, they've been on a diet for two million years
because, err, they don't eat. They have no stomachs or no mouths.
They just have err, well I showed you the pictures -
They just have the shape of an otter and two slit eyes. So they
. . . it's a good thing don't eat as there's really nowhere for
them to put the food.
CA: Well quite. Has this experience changed you in anyway?
NH: Yes. An experience like that. In fact that experience [pause]
made me realise just how insignificant they were.
Well thank you very much indeed, Norman House.
RETURN TO TOP
Go to > > > Alan