Carlin heads up in Sky 1 to intercept a UFO over the Arctic
Circle. The Arctic Circle runs along the latitude of 66° 33′
44″ N. It is the latitude north of which the sun remains
above the horizon for 24 hours on the June solstice and for
24 hours below the horizon on the December solstice.
After hitting the UFO with his missiles, Carlin reports that
it went down west of McArthur's Ridge. I've not been able to
identify a real world location by that name within the
The alien from the crashed UFO has damaged his helmet in the
crash, but finds that the freezing cold atmosphere is
preventing the usual rapid aging and deterioration that
normally occurs when his people are exposed to Earth air.
This alien is able to speak English, never before seen in
any alien in the series to date. Carlin asks the alien how
it that he is able to speak English, but gets no answer.
After Carlin is forced to land his damaged aircraft at an
Arctic communications base of the U.S. Army, the base
commander, General Craddock, tells him that the base is one
of the most advanced communications bases in the world and
they've been receiving messages from deep space regarding an
alien invasion. But the general is not aware of SHADO, so
Carlin must remain silent about his mission.
The rifle Carlin takes from the unconscious guard at the
base appears to be an M-16A1, which would be the likely
weapon carried by U.S. Army personnel at the time this story
was written and, as it turns out, at the time the story
takes place (probably 1981 or '82).
Because the Arctic base has picked up alien transmissions,
Straker decides it must be brought under SHADO control at
the end of the story. General Craddock agrees to serve under
SHADO and maintain command of the base.
Even though the alien died after being exposed to the warmth
of the base, Straker remarks that at least they now know how
to keep an alien alive the next time they capture one, i.e.
by maintaining a freezing atmosphere around it.
What was the alien's mission on Earth? Somehow he knew of
General Craddock, so his story of needing to meet with the
general may have had some truth in it. But for what purpose?
Presumably his ability to speak English was in preparation
of his stated intent to meet with General Craddock.
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