Friday, February 19, 2010

Little Green Men

The British Ministry of Defence has released the fifth batch of its previously-classified files about unidentified flying objects - UFOs - or, more popularly, "flying saucers." The US Air Force had previously released many thousands of pages of documents relating to the famous Project Blue Book, it's long-term study of UFOs.

So far, there seems to be no smoking gun (or glowing ray gun) in the files that conclusively proves we are being visited, observed, abducted, probed, or quietly invaded. Despite the term "flying saucer," UFOs appear to have been reported in a bewildering array of sizes, shapes, and colors, and to emit a wide variety of sounds.

UFOs capture our imagination like few other things do. As we look up at night into the vastness of space, we wonder whether we are alone in the cosmos, working unaided and unobserved at making our world a worse place. Our imaginations, reflected in books and movies, have pictured UFOs and their inhabitants as friendly (think ET), disinterested, or hostile (think Independence Day). Conspiracy theorists are absolutely convinced that a UFO crashed at Roswell, New Mexico, in the late 1940's, and that the Air Force has alien bodies on ice in a secret room at an unidentified location (perhaps they just saw former vice-president Cheney and made a natural mistake).

I've never seen a UFO, but I think it's hard to imagine that in a universe of billions of galaxies, each consisting of billions of stars, we're all alone. Unfortunately, we'll probably never know...

...because, if there is intelligent life out there, the surest proof of its existence is that it has decided to ignore us.

Have a good day. Watch out for low-flying saucers...

More thoughts tomorrow.



Debbie said...

There is nothing to fear about alien life forms. They may be clever enough to disguise themselves as human, but they are not as smart as us. I know, I married 2 of them. :)

Micky-T said...

I have seen one along with two other friends and we all agreed to have seen the exact same thing. When I reported it to the local military station they passed me from one department to the next for an hour on the phone repeating the story to six or seven people. Then someone came on the phone and said I saw a weather ballon. We didn't see no fricken weather baloon.

Bilbo said...

Debbie - well, at least two alien life forms have good taste.

Micky-T - there are a lot of ordinary things that can look really extraordinary under the right conditions...we live near an Army airfield, and when aircraft land at night in the right conditions, you'd swear the invasion was on.

Bandit said...

great analogy at the end. I think that photo could be from the 50's movie "The Day The Earth Stood Still."

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't worry about aliens. Most planets outside of our solar system are so far away that we couldn't see them until we developed telescope and other modalities that can reach across parsecs of miles.

The aliens are just too far away to get here within the maximum lifetimes of known terrestial beings. Perhaps if they were intelligent carp fish with opposable fins they could live long enough to get here and say, "Take me to your leader." But they would have had to leave their planet long before the birth of Christ, and we sure as heck weren't anywhere on their radar screen (literally) before Tesla and Marconi invented radio only a little more than 100 years ago. To most of the Universe, we remain a silent planet--it will be thousands of years before old I Love Lucy programs will be picked up on any inhabited planet. We'll all be long gone.

PS: I confirm Bilbo regarding military aircraft at night. I live under the Ft. Belvoir air traffic pattern, and any night I wander outside I could easily think E.T. is lining up on short final for my house--and it always turns out it's a chopper going to Ft. Belvoir.

Eminence Grise

Mike said...

"Watch out for low-flying saucers"

I always think of that statement as more of a husband and wife thing.