Some residents of Denver are really, really curious about alien life. And obviously, I don’t blame them for their desire to know whether we’re alone in the universe or not, and if the latter is the case, what real aliens from a different solar system look like. In their desire to know, they proposed a commission to handle extraterrestrial affairs and succeeded in putting it on the ballot during the midterm elections. Fear not, your tax dollars had nothing to fear because the commission was supposed to be funded by grants and donations from citizens with an interest in alien life. Of course I say this in past tense because the proposition didn’t pass at the polls and the city of Denver won’t have it’s very own commission on otherworldly life. But why? Maybe the initiative’s appeal to long standing conspiracy theories involving government deals with UFOs had voters questioning if their city really needed to formally ratify UFOlogists’ lore, even if this wouldn’t be done at taxpayer’s expense?
You may remember some rumors about this proposition from late last year, when this blog hosted an edition of the Skeptics’ Circle and linked to a brief article on the subject. The whole thing was organized by UFOlogy buffs with a little too much time on their hands, one of whom even claimed to have real footage of a classic humanoid Gray alien peeking into a bedroom, and used this “evidence” to argue for a committee tasked with investigate UFO sightings and conduct exopolitical affairs for the city of Denver. And this isn’t the only time that zealous UFOlogists tried to create a legally recognized committee to deal with aliens. Over the summer of last year, European alien hunters petitioned the EU to form an exopolitical council and were summarily ignored, primarily because giving conspiracy theorists money and political clout to push their dearly held notions of an alien presence on Earth is a bad idea. Today, a lot of people are sure that aliens exist. There’s already a body that’s responsible for finding their attempts to communicate with us, and most of NASA’s current programs in space exploration are based on finding any possible scientific proof of alien habitats nearby.
So why give paranoid conspiracy theorists who convinced themselves that our governments are hiding aliens any influence in what scientists are already doing to find confirmed evidence of otherworldly life? So we could either waste money on chasing non-existent proof of their fervent beliefs, or justify their campaigns with votes and government seals of approval so others could throw their money down the same sinkhole? In case they haven’t noticed, money’s a little tight for everyone nowadays with the Great Recession and a job market that’s highly unlikely to recover until 2017, and will never be the same again, so spending it to order the military or bureaucrats to find documents that don’t exist is ridiculous to say the least. The public would quickly shift their opinion of UFOlogists, re-branding them from harmless conspiracy theorists with way too much time on their hands and not enough things to keep them busy, to expensive pests who need to be removed from positions of power. And even worse, most UFOlogists will just see the negative opinion of their actions as a conspiracy to derail them just as they’re getting close to “the truth” and obliviously press on.
It’s all in good fun when people who think we’re about to be attacked by aliens living on the dark side of the Moon, or that a sinister species of alien/human hybrids is using vaccines to cull our population, or that the valleys and craters of the Moon conceal ancient alien cities, or that the government was ready to show us the extraterrestrial diplomats with who they’ve been dealing for decades on the news last year, organize a club to vent their fantasies and float in the clouds for an evening or two. But when they decide to interfere with the real world and demand that scientists and governments show them something that simply isn’t there, we have to play the part of the bad guys and tell them to cut it out. Some amateur UFOlogists’ dreams of an alien intervention with our nuclear programs born of their concern for all living things, shouldn’t dictate policy or international law, much less how we spend our military and scientific dollars.