Filed by Katie Kerrigan

Darwin, Sunday.  Residents of the sleepy hamlet of Howard Springs were terrified this morning by a drone that repeatedly swooped out of the sky toward them, carrying an operating chainsaw. The contraption seems to have arrived at about 8am on Sunday morning, when Jules Fernne heard it while climbing out of the empty swimming pool where he had spent the night.

“I looked around to see where this noise was coming from and there was nothing” said Fernne. “Then I looked up and it was like bearing down on me. The saw was like hanging down underneath the drone and I could see the blades turning and everything. I nearly wet myself. I tried to get back into the house but Margie still had the door locked. So I ran into the garage. It was trying to cut through the roof but I guess it got sick of that and went off somewhere else. Margie still doesn’t believe me.”

Another witness, Mary Shooley, was walking her three Rottweillers at about 8:30am. “At first it sounded like a Nutribullet,” she said, “but when it got closer there was this grating, whooshing sound, pulsing, you know, like the thing was breathing. Like some kind of monster, it was. The dogs went berserk. It started way up in the sky, but suddenly it came straight down and I swear it was aiming directly at me. I ran off behind a telegraph pole and it followed me. Chased me round the pole it did. Nearly cut the pole down. Malcolm, he’s the little dog, he stood up on his hind legs and barked like crazy at it and he was going to lose his head for sure so I threw my handbag at it. That kind of stopped it for a minute and we ran over to Jenny’s place. She said Margie had just told her this stupid story Jules had made up and I said ‘No it’s true’ and she just looked at me like I was strange.”

Several other residents report being frightened by a loud noise between about 8 and 9am on Sunday morning, and some report seeing a flying object with something hanging beneath it.

Sergeant Stephen Kong of the Palmerstone Police Station said “We were called to an incident at Howard Springs about 9:15 on Sunday morning. When we arrived we found no evidence of any unusual activity, although there were saw cuts in the roof of one resident’s garage and a woman’s handbag was found shredded by the side of Madsen road. There being no apparent injuries, and with no clues as to what may have actually transpired on this occasion, our investigations are considered closed until such time as further information may come to light.”

Have your say – post your comments below

Manuel_Dexterity:  Methinks the good burghers of Howard Springs might have got themselves ever so slightly inebriated on Saturday night 🙂

Mick:  No way! I saw the bloody thing and I was stone cold sober. More’s the pity. Went to get some booze on Saturday and guess what? The missus had pinched my photo ID. But that’s another story.

Justine:  I saw it too! It looked quite beautiful, this black machine against the blue sky. It circled round our house like a wedge tailed eagle. I didn’t think the noise was too bad. I wanted to go outside but mum didn’t let me.

BoyScout39:  Typical cops. Something’s going on for sure, but they don’t want us to know. They just shut the investigation down.

BigMamma:  Yep, I’d say something went on all right – between Jules and Mary on Saturday night, and they made up this story about the drone to cover it up.

BoyScout39:  So what about all the other people that saw it too? Eh?

Cherie:  Mick, I took your photo ID for very good reasons that you know all about. And if you ever call me “the missus” again I swear you’ll be holding your own every night between now and Christmas.

TheMonster:  Who the hell is Jules Fernne? I thought I knew everyone in Howard Springs.

BigMamma: That’ll be a bit of Christmas cheer for you, Mick.

TheMonster:  And by the way Howard Springs is just a bunch of isolated properties. No shops, not even a servo. If that’s a “hamlet” I’m Ophelia’s grandmother.

BoyScout39:  Hey, Monster Man, just cause you did Shakespeare at school doesn’t mean there wasn’t a drone.

Manuel_Dexterity:  I hate to throw a dampener on this little party, but a quick google search reveals the following. Any drone capable of lifting the lightest available chain saw (about 6 kg) will have a flight time of no more than 25 minutes. It couldn’t possibly have hung around terrorising people for an hour.

BoyScout39:  Any CIVILIAN drone. There’s an army base about 10 ks from Howard Springs. Who knows what they’ve got?

TheMonster:  Who said I was a man?

Justine:  It could have been an artwork. A machine released into the unknown, with both the power of flight and the power of destruction. It’s an image of the human race.

BoyScout39: Artworks don’t try to kill you.

Justine:  Maybe it wasn’t trying to kill anyone. Maybe it was trying to rouse people from the sameness of their everyday lives. To present them with the actual stark reality of human existence, the beauty and the brutality fused together. It’s like Kurt Cobain brought to life as a machine. It’s beautiful. He would have loved it.

BoyScout39:  Whatever.

Mick: Aw come on, Cherie. You know I don’t mean to disrespect you. I’m just a bit shaken up by that drone thing, that’s all. Let me in, darlin. I need a shower. Please.

X_39$q:  What if someone knew there was a secret drone project at Robertson Barracks? Maybe they knew because one of their friends smuggled themselves onto the base, maybe inside a shipment of uniforms. And maybe their friend SAW three drones manoeuvring with chainsaws. And then what if their friend had a jammer that could scramble the radio codes to the drones so that one of them went ballistic and headed off the base? And they had to send out a special team to get it back, and then tell the police to hush it up? What then? Just sayin.

BoyScout39:  Can we talk on a private channel? #DroneCoverUp

BigMomma:  Before we get carried away here, I just remembered something. “Drone with a Chainsaw” was the title of a screenplay that was being touted about five years ago by someone called Larry Sphinks. Great story – this farmer wants to illegally get rid of trees on his property without being caught, so his son makes this drone for him, but the son is actually a psychopath and he programs the drone to …  Well anyway, I know because I auditioned for the part of a woman that gets decapitated. (Didn’t get the part, and the movie was scrapped in the end.)

Manuel_Dexterity:  Another interesting fact: Larry Sphinks is Katie Kerrigan’s brother-in-law. Look at his wedding photos –

BigMomma: You don’t suppose that (gasp!) Katie stole Larry’s title and just made the rest up?

KatieKerrigan: Now hold on here, making up stories is a serious breach of journalistic ethics. However … there MAY be a case where a reporter who’s had just a teeny bit too much Jack Daniels makes a bet with another reporter that they could write a story about ANYTHING and their editor who sets stupid deadlines and takes four hour lunches wouldn’t even check it before printing.

BigMomma: Oh dear – I hope it was a big bet, Katie, because sadly I’d say you’re out of a job.

Bossman_Joe:  Au contraire, BigMomma 🙂 This story’s generated more social media than our entire last issue (the one with the croc swallowing a pig on the cover). Well done, Katie! If you play your cards right I might invite you to lunch.

KatieKerrigan: In your dreams, Joe.

KatieKerrigan: And can I just make a few other observations?

  1. Cherie, don’t let Mick inside the door until he tells you what he was ACTUALLY doing on Sunday morning, because it wasn’t being chased by a drone with a chainsaw.

  2. Justine, you’re beautiful. Just a tiny bit of advice from a fellow creative. Embrace your dreams, but always keep track of the line where the dreams end and reality begins. Oh, and if you’re ever looking for a job, ring me at Territory Times – we need people like you.

  3. And really, don’t boy scouts have to grow up some time?

BoyScout39:  Yeah, yeah, you made it all up. Very clever. Cops suggested that, did they? Probably everyone else believes you.

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