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Little Green People

I write science fiction, so I enjoy UFO stories as much as—maybe more than—the next person. Disclaimer: Although I believe that aliens likely exist, at least somewhere, I am not a fanatic about government cover-ups or a purveyor of conspiracies. I just like the idea that we are not alone in the universe.

In these days of failing democracy, the rise of fascism, pandemics, global climate change, and mass delusions, I don’t need one more thing to speed my bunker preparations. So I’m going to try to see a visit from aliens as a good thing.

NASA has funded various thought experiments about how human beings will react to extraterrestrial life and even provided funding to a group of theologians at the Center for Theological Inquiry to “assess societal implications for NASA’s astrobiological and search for life efforts [sic].”

The notion that theologians were bracing us for the discovery of aliens was promoted heavily on social media. I admit, I fell for the lie, too, and so much so that I spent time counting my supply of water purification tablets. Once I calmed down, though, I realized that studying stuff like this is NASA’s mission. NASA are the space folks, after all. It was still intriguing that the big brains wanted to know how we would react to real little green visitors.

Now sixteen researchers are going to tackle unclassified evidence of UFO’s to see if they can explain things like flying machines spotted by Navy pilots that don’t behave like any aircraft we know. “Still, federal officials continue to monitor UAPs because they are viewed as a potential national security threat, according to Rep. André Carson, D-Indiana.”

NASA’s official position is that it doesn’t believe these objects are alien to Earth, but that they nevertheless might represent a hazard to air travel. That’s the sort of explanation that gets the tinfoil hat crowd all in a dither. To their credit, Congress held its first public hearings on UFO’s in fifty years in May 2022. Doling out information piecemeal is not a winning strategy here, particularly given that some of the information about UFO’s is still classified.

I prefer to think about aliens as benign and curious, like Paul in the 2011 movie of the same name. I like the idea of sitting out in the back yard, smoking a (now legal!) doobie and staring up at the stars, while my new friend regales me with stories of other back yards and other doobies in other worlds.

Either that, or I’m buying fifty more cases of canned goods.


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