Rigabold the pernicketness fought back the urge to laugh in the face of the man serving him at Nullarbor roadhouse when he asked Rigabold if he had seen any UFO’s in his travels. He wasn’t amused by the comment, more at the fact he’d spent quiet a few hours travelling in the dark, in the outback and he’d seen not even a strange light in the sky.
He’d read enough reports to know that UFO sightings in the evening sky, in the outback, were more common than anywhere else in the country. He also knew that it was very rarely those who lived in the outback that reported it, the reports came from city dwellers who suddenly saw things in the skies when they were alone in the middle of nowhere. The common factors between most of the reports always seemed to be any of the following things, alcohol, fatigue, dark, alone and no remaining evidence, then once the story got told to the media outlets they ate up the poor facts so they could be twisted and presented as fact in their next edition.
Rigabold suddenly knew that while the man behind the counter was obviously making conversation he would probably also have been happy for Rigabold to answer in the affirmative. An answer in the affirmative could well be as lucrative to him and his business as the Nullarbor Nymph was to other parts of the Nullarbor because such a story attracted attention and out in the middle of nowhere any attention was good attention. Rigabold quickly decided on his answer.
“They aren’t unidentified if you know what they are.”
The man looked at him with a blank stare, he couldn’t quite make out if Rigabold was serious or just didn’t know what he was talking about.
“Well not many people know what they are, therefore they are ‘unidentified’!” The man said complete with air quotes around the word unidentified. He’d obviously decided Rigabold was serious.
“Just because some ‘people’,” Rigabold showed he too could use air quotes, “don’t know what they are doesn’t mean they are unidentified by all.”
“Well…I…but…yes…I guess.” the man replied. “I suppose the little green men that fly these things aren’t aliens to their own people either?”
Rigabold wasn’t quite sure why the man was stating the obvious but he nodded his head in agreement anyway.
The man said nothing else, he simply turned around and made his way back to the kitchen. Several minutes later he returned with Rigabold’s order, but the same attitude. Rigabold paid for his Chiko Rolls, made short conversation, then offered his farewell and headed for the door.
Outside the Roadhouse Rigabold started eating his first Chiko Roll, he put the remaining ones in the Dodge and then wandered over to the fifth hole of the Nullarbor Links golf course. It was a long par five, for humans, fairly straight drive down to the green. As he ate Rigabold took his notes and pictures to add to his information booklet. He then returned to his wheels and headed off down the road.
Rigabold turned right off the highway, his right indicator flashed orange in the dark of the night despite there being no one else around. He was only about twenty kilometres east of the Nullarbor Roadhouse and turning down the road that lead to the Head Of The Bight.
The Head of the Bight was in fact the Head of the Great Australian Bight which is so named because on a map it looks like a bite has been taken from the bottom of the Australian mainland. As spectacular as it was to look at from the lookout, any angle really, it was also an area where the Southern Right Whale came to mate, birth and play, creating a very wonderful visual sight of such gloriously large creatures. It was out of season for the whales and Rigabold knew he wouldn’t see them on his current visit but that was not why he was headed down to the bight.
Before he got more than a few car lengths down the road he had to bring the Dodge to a stop because of a closed gate. In the glow of the headlights the sign on the gate told him that the gate was opened daily at 8am. Rigabold understood there was little need to open such a place during the evening hours, to normal humans and their inefficient eyes anyway, but how anyone actually got away with closing a gate of a public attraction out in the middle of nowhere was beyond Rigabold.
Using his mind Rigabold unlocked the padlock and pushed the gate open, all without getting out of his vehicle, then once he was through the gate he reversed the process.
Rigabold was only interested in the Head of the Bight for one reason and it was a reason very few other ever visited for. Rumours were rife that an animal roamed the cliffs around the Bight, like most rumours they were unconfirmed with no actual proof. People had blurry photos and shaky videos but none revealed anything undeniable, and they never would until humans realised how to properly fix bad imagery from backwards technology like digital cameras as the Tumcuddulan’s had done more than a thousand years prior.
Rumours were wide and varied as to what the animal Rigabold was looking for actually was. Some called it a dingo, despite most reports suggesting it was black. Some claimed they saw a black dog, obviously a stray. Some even claimed that it was a large cat and the rumours got wider and sillier from that point. Rigabold however knew different and arriving under the cover of darkness was all part of the plan before he left Tumcuddula.
Having travelled down the road to the Head Of The Bight exactly two kilometres Rigabold stopped the Dodge, turned off the lights and got out. As soon as he stepped on the bitumen surface he faced west and let out a loud whistle, he repeated that whistle in a northerly, easterly and southerly direction. There was noises in the bushes as birds and other animals scurried at the sound breaking their silence. Rigabold stood and waited.