the return of the alien menace next door
Exopolitics expert Alfred Webre has a dire warning for his fellow humans about missions surveying the Moon for water ice with kinetic projectiles and spectrometry. Not only do they violate international space law, they’re also bound to affect alien bases on the lunar surface so much, the extraterrestrial powers that be could get pissed off enough to start an interstellar war. Oh great. Just when we already have wars and upheavals along half the globe, now NASA’s lunar bombardments are going to usher in a bloodthirsty horde of aliens that were living on our celestial companion all this time. I wonder what President Obama’s advisers will recommend as our skies swarm with advanced battle craft brimming with multi-petawatt lasers and pure fusion devices that could level our biggest cities in one blast.
Pardon me for being a buzzkill but I have to wonder how exactly we could have a qualified expert in exopolitics on our planet and why he’s not already employed by SETI. After all, exopolitics refers to studying the dynamics of social interactions between species that evolved on different worlds and without a confirmed discovery of alien bacteria, much less an actual intelligent species that wants to interact with us, I can’t imagine there are lots of universities offering qualified, accredited training in this discipline. To say it bluntly, Webre is making it up as he goes along, giving us distilled ufology and conspiracy theories because without a scientific frame of reference, that’s all he’s got.
In the past, I tackled the idea that the Moon is home to an advanced alien species as postulated by a Russian documentary on the subject in a long and detailed post. The evidence presented by Webre is right in line with those ideas and ultimately suffers from a lack of evidence as his main source is a ufology site which, as it so happens, uses the Russian newspaper Pravda as a backbone for its claims, the very same newspaper that floated the ideas behind the documentary in question. And even though in Russian, the word “pravda” means “truth,” this story is a case of eager imaginations of restless conspiracy theorists rather than something being kept secret by the U.S. government. Just think about it. The Moon isn’t very far away. If there’s activity anywhere around the lunar surface, anyone with a starter telescope could see it. Obviously there are many more points that have to be addressed for a proper skeptical inquiry and for those, I’ll refer you to the link above.
But back to Webre’s claims about the potential to start an interstellar war with an exploratory mission. If NASA knows all about the supposed alien bases on the lunar surface, why would it send anything to crash into the Moon? This is the same NASA which fled after after enough close calls with flying saucers and the nefarious beings guarding these outposts according to the conspiracy theory. Why would they come back to start a fight with the aliens? And what about the Kaguya impact? Aren’t those aliens already as ticked off as much as one of the Examiner’s columnists and it doesn’t matter what we do now because we’ve already infuriated those extraterrestrial rulers and their generals?
Finally, as the column tries to wade into international law, Webre’s reasoning that bombarding the Moon isn’t only a potential assault on alien territory, it’s also illegal, rests on the Moon Treaty of 1979, a document that’s ratified by only 13 nations, none of which have any space faring capability. The reason why no country with an astronaut ever agreed to it is because the treaty seeks to share any and all benefits from space exploration with the entire world according to UN committee which would decide who gets what. And without signing this treaty, the world’s space faring nations have no obligation to follow it so for them, it’s not an international law. Seems odd that someone with an advanced degree in law doesn’t know how this process works, but maybe international law isn’t Webre’s strong suit.
Look, I know a universe teeming with alien civilizations and awash in political dramas worth of Star Trek is an exponentially more exciting place to inhabit that a world where mundane problems keep over 99.9999% of the population forever grounded in boring jobs. But unfortunately we don’t live in that kind of universe and finding an alien empire is a complex and very risky business. To say otherwise based on a fanciful tale conjured up in a newspaper once used for Soviet propaganda and then quickly imploded into a cheap tabloid is pretty much like taking the Weekly World News as holy writ and dreaming up complex theories from its highlights. Maybe instead of bulking up on self-appointed exopolitics experts, the Examiner should finally get a science column and find a competent science writer or two.