No Close Encounters Please

Suddenly everyone is talking about space aliens and many are convinced that the government is covering up actual close encounters.

I’ve never seen an unidentified flying object (UFO) and I am quite certain that there isn’t an extraterrestrial (ET) hiding in my tool shed. I just don’t believe there is intelligent life on other planets. After all, here on Earth, with such a hospitable environment, there seems to be little intelligent life. And even if there were other life forms out there, the universe is so vast I doubt they would ever stumble upon us.

close encounters
No close encounters, please. Photo by Brian McMahon,

But suddenly everyone is talking about space aliens and many conspiracy theorists are convinced that the U.S. government is covering up the existence of such creatures. They think that a UFO crashed in Roswell, New Mexico and that the space wreckage is now in a highly classified air force facility in Nevada called Area 51.

There they say the government is attempting to reverse engineer the spacecraft to create an aircraft with superior alien technology. Some even believe that extraterrestrials are helping with that endeavor. In an effort to get to the bottom of this, there was an event last week near Area 51 called “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us.” Unfortunately, security did stop them all. So we are still in the dark about this secret facility.

But it’s not just a bunch of conspiracy kooks that believe in space aliens. Some very prominent individuals are convinced that ETs exist and that the government is trying to keep it a secret. John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign manager, actually stated that if elected, Hillary was going to lead a UFO disclosure movement and, to prevent that, the CIA and Pentagon arranged for her to lose the election (so it wasn’t just the Russians). Another theory is that she lost because she had a wacko for a campaign manager.

Now presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has promised that he would expose what the government knows about aliens because his wife would insist that he do it. When asked if his wife was a UFO nut he replied “there is only one nut in my family and that’s me. I’m proposing to cancel all student debt, make college free and offer Medicare for all, including to any little green men who may come to Earth. It doesn’t get any nuttier than that. But I will raise taxes here so much that, despite free health care, extraterrestrials will most likely choose a lower tax planet.”

Even President Trump has been discussing the possibility that space aliens may have visited Earth. During an actual interview on Fox News, Tucker Carlson asked the president about a claim that a wrecked alien space ship had been found. He also asked about a recent briefing the president had regarding Navy pilots who reported seeing strange objects flying at hypersonic speeds. Trump replied “Well, I don’t want to really get into it too much. But personally I tend to doubt it. I’m not a believer, but you know anything is possible.” Yes, unfortunately after the 2016 election we do know that anything is possible.

Surveys have shown that many people hope that there is extraterrestrial life and are excited about the prospect of communicating with them. For decades scientists have been broadcasting our existence across the universe through radio signals in an effort to make contact with aliens. And in 1977 America launched the Voyager space probe. On board the vehicle is The Golden Record. The purpose of this audio visual disc was to send a greeting to any ETs that found it. On the disc is the classical music of Beethoven and Stravinsky along with the sounds of Chuck Berry. There is also information on what we humans look like, where we live and how to find us. Welcoming greetings in 55 languages were included too.

Wait! Why are we encouraging them to drop in? Why are we acting like they will be our best buds? Haven’t people seen Independence Day, The War of the Worlds or Signs? If extraterrestrials visit Earth they most likely won’t be lovable sorts like Mork or Uncle Martin or Alf. They may come here to eat us or enslave us or worse yet, breed with us. I agree with theoretical physicist Steven Hawking who said “If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans.”

Instead we should beam recordings designed to keep them away. We could start by sending the entire three hour recording of the last Democratic presidential debate. This could be followed by a marathon of Adam Sandler movies, Rush Limbaugh radio shows and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo reruns. For added insurance against outer space visitors, videos of Trump rallies could be sent.

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has said “perhaps we’ve never been visited by aliens because they have looked upon Earth and decided there’s no sign of intelligent life.” I want to keep them thinking that way. Beaming these recording into outer space will go a long way to ensuring that, if aliens do in fact exist, they will pass us by. Of course, if they are coming to eat us or breed with us we are screwed.

No close encounters please.

JC Wade
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