Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Booty Snatchers

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." — Carl Sagan.

Wired has a new feature called Tinfoil Tuesdays. Okay, I'll put my hat on.

This week's story is UFOs Neutered Nukes, Officers Claim. Seven retired Air Force officers called a news conference to say they encountered UFOs that rendered U.S. nukes temporarily inoperable during the Cold War.

Obviously, these extraterrestrials are concerned about the survival of the human race and want us to abandon our nuclear arsenals... or so it would seem.

Every generation tries to imagine the motives of other-worldly beings. I recently read The Eerie Silence, and author Paul Davies points out that each generation projects their own fears and priorities onto the invading aliens. H.G Wells popularized the notion that aliens would value real-estate and mineral resources; wealth in Victorian times meant physical stuff. But a century later, we found ourselves in the middle of "the information age," so we reasoned that aliens would place no value on gold and diamonds, but instead their source of wealth would be knowledge.

Unsurprisingly, our benevolent Cold War visitors wanted us to disarm, but I have to wonder what the concerns of year 2010 aliens would be? If they're still worried about nuclear missiles, they might want to invade Iran or North Korea and save us the work. Better yet, use that nuke neutering device to permanently switch off all nukes, not just a handful.

Or maybe a modern alien fable would be about taxes. Imagine the aliens as teabaggers -- scary thought.

Or maybe the alien civilization would be organized as a giant corporation looking to suppress individual freedoms, bribe politicians, and get billion dollar bailouts...

Space aliens should be the least of our worries right now.
"Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not. In either case the idea is quite staggering." — Arthur C. Clarke.


pinkpackrat said...

I dunno-- the way things are going aliens seem tame compared to say, Sarah Palin or the tea party. The story is so " out there" that I tend to believe it..... in any case, we'll find out eventually-- take me to your leader.

Kristen said...

Yeah I agree the space aliens would definitely be easier to deal with... probably more logical too.

Now I'm reminded of that quote by Ronald Reagan: "Perhaps we need some outside, universal threat to make us recognize this common bond. I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world."