inessential by Brent Simmons


You can read de-classified CIA documents about UFOs—go to and search for ufo.

My grandfather once told me a story—I think it was about a cousin of his, but I’m not sure—about a man working for the OSS in New York City during World War II. (The OSS was the precursor to the CIA.)

This guy’s job wasn’t doing covert operations: he mostly sat at a desk.

Except one time he was tasked with searching the apartment of a Nazi spy living in the city.

So he entered the darkened apartment, gun drawn, afraid that the spy was still there. The spy didn’t seem to be there, but he didn’t know for sure.

He was afraid the drumming of his heart would give him away.

My grandfather said—you’ve seen this in movies and TV shows, but imagine doing it in real life. Imagine really being there, and there’s maybe a man who will shoot you, and maybe you’ll have to shoot him. This was a real war.

And you’re just a regular guy, a man with a job, with a wife and children, and you’re in your own city. Most days you sit at a desk. But today you’re afraid for your life.

The dark of the apartment reminds you of what will happen if the spy gets the drop on you. And it reminds you of what will happen if the spy’s masters win the war.

The spy wasn’t there after all. He went slowly from room to room, got what he wanted and left.