for ufologists, hope springs eternal

Ufologists are promising a grand unveiling of our extraterrestrial neighbors to the world. Problem is that none of the details they offer make any sense...

humanoid alien

Quick question to whom it may concern. Why would any publication hire someone who claims to be an expert in a discipline that doesn’t actually exist, especially one that’s obsessed with the idea that the U.S. is about to announce its knowledge of an intelligent alien species in contact with our planet? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for amusement, but Michael Salia actually seems serious, predicting that there will be an official White House announcement that we’re not alone in December of this year. The only big question in his mind is whether the government will be introducing us to alien ambassadors, or uncorking the Roswell aliens frozen somewhere at Wright-Patterson AFB for safekeeping while their spacecraft were reverse-engineered by the Men in Black.

As mentioned numerous times before, I’m all for government efforts to find alien life and the idea that at least some of the planets scattered across our vast universe should be home to alien civilizations, sounds perfectly plausible to me. But the reality of the vast distances and significant timelines involved in finding extraterrestrial empires makes establishing and maintaining contact across tens, if not hundreds, of light years very difficult. And this is not to mention that intelligence is an evolutionary fluke that would help with survival only in certain environments and under certain conditions. So when we consider what science has to say on the subject, it’s very hard to take statements like this with any measure of seriousness…

[David Wilcock] furthermore claimed […] that “a two-hour international TV special has already been booked that will introduce an alien species, similar to humans, to the world.”

Maybe, half a century ago, you could get away with presenting aliens as similar to us. However due to the fact that astrobiology is such a widely discussed topic and scientists are thinking about aliens who not only won’t look anything like us, they’ll have radically different chemistry, that statement usually disqualifies the claim the moment it’s uttered. For an alien creature to look even remotely hominid would require not only a planet much like Earth, but an evolutionary history that almost mimics ours. The chances of finding intelligent hominids in the galaxy are even smaller than finding an alien civilization in the first place. And lets note the “expert” used by Salia and point out that Wilcock is a filmmaker who sunk so deeply into the most ridiculous New Age woo that even the Huffington Post steers clear of him. Anything he has to say about aliens, or science in general, tends to be so incredibly outlandish and ridiculous, it would make your brain hurt since he lacks any sort of scientific or historical education and simply waxes poetic about things of he clearly doesn’t understand.

And while we’re looking at experts being quoted, let’s consider Pete Peterson who’s said to possess the kind of amazing, high quality information ufologists could only dream of, which is why the people at the conspiracy archive Project Camelot made a summary of their discussions with him. That summary is just a bullet point collection of every pseudoscientific New Age nonsense you can possibly find on the web, including claims of superluminal military craft and the idea that up to 15% of humans have alien ancestry. Really, if the inane and meaningless technobabble streaming from these people’s mouths is what’s holding up your argument, you’d be better off consulting the magic 8-ball and third rate sci-fi pulp in the discount bin of your local bookshop. Or if you’re Salia, you could dig your hole even deeper and get Richard Hoagland talking about how the LCROSS mission found an alien base on the Moon, channeling Russian conspiracy theories retold by Alfred Webre, as well as invoke unidentified sources in the following manner…

Finally, two independent and confidential sources have revealed to me that face to face meetings have recently occurred between U.S. military officials with one or more groups of extraterrestrial visitors. This allegedly led to confidence being built for future cooperation with the extraterrestrials that will be formally announced to the world public either at the end of 2009, or early 2010.

That sound you’re hearing in the background are the independent and confidential sources either snickering that Salia fell for their prank, or browsing Prison Planet and Above Top Secret for more reliable and trustworthy tips to pass along. A meeting between humans and aliens that aren’t planning how events will unfold over the next few decades or centuries because all the physical barriers in travel and communication between worlds that are light years apart would make short term conceptualizing both irrelevant and impossible? Maybe I’m a little ahead of myself here, but aren’t we living in a century in which most people have a grip on the basic rules of special relativity and familiarity with the idea that otherworldly creatures would face huge barriers in culture, language and politics that would be the equivalent of humans trying to conduct business deals with whales?

Ok, I understand that the world is a pretty boring place much of the time and many of us are looking for a little excitement in our lives. But replacing the real world with an elaborate fantasy which requires you to turn your mind off so you can listen to the senseless blathering of people like Wilcock or Hoagland without question, is probably not the best way to do it. Wherever the aliens are, whatever they look like and however we’ll be talking to them in the future, is bound to be a hell of a lot more interesting and exciting than any ufologist’s daydream. So rather than give the aforementioned cranks the time of day, channel your energies towards SETI. They’re a real scientific team looking for actual alien civilizations, not just purveyors of the next set of woo buzzwords and amateur conspiracy theorists who’s tall tales are utterly devoid of both sense and science.

# oddities // astrobiology / conspiracy / new ageism

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