9:09am

Thu June 9, 2011
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

I Want To Believe, But Where's The Evidence For Alien Visits To Earth?

Prompted by the Mars "structure" YouTube video posted on The Two-Way blog the other day, I couldn't resist bringing back a classic, the alien autopsy video.

You will watch, no doubt with your mouth agape, the autopsy of an alien corpse recovered from the remains of his (hers?) spaceship, crashed (shot down?) in Roswell in 1947. You can read a short story on the autopsy here.

The video portrays the exact reversal of what so many abductees say happens to them: the surgical bed, the doctors performing tests, the gruesome nature of the whole thing. (In fact, if you are a sensitive viewer, be advised. It gets gross after about 3 minutes, or so.)

Too bad that Ray Santilli, the video producer responsible for the footage, admitted that the video was a hoax. (Although he did say some frames were original, you know, just to keep believers believing ... )

So, the question is: Why do millions of people believe in such nonsense?

As fans of the X-Files know, it's summed up in the poster hanging on FBI agent Fox Mulder's wall: "I want to believe."

If we were to use current technology to fly to Alpha Centauri 4.4 light years away, the closest star to the sun (Proxima Centauri is a bit closer, but is a red-dwarf.), it would take over 100,000 years to get there. The distances are astonishing and wormholes, as far as we can tell, aren't opening up in space just yet.

There are many arguments against alien visitation and I will take this up again soon. But just for starters, apart from the technological difficulties of interstellar travel (what do we know, right? "They" could have found much faster ways to move about), there is also a complete absence of convincing evidence.

Sorry, but the video was a hoax and there is no conspiracy of scientists hiding the truth from an unsuspecting public. Who more than a scientist — who has devoted his/her life to the study of the universe and of life — would love to have conclusive evidence of intelligent life elsewhere? That would be truly amazing!

The fact is that no radio signals, no sample of alien technology, no truly real sighting of a UFO that couldn't be explained with far simpler arguments involving atmospheric disturbances, weather balloons or just plain aircraft in funny visibility conditions, have been registered.

Perhaps it's time we simply accepted the fact that even if we are not alone in our galaxy or the universe (absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, as Carl Sagan liked to remind us), for all practical purposes our cosmic isolation amounts to us being alone.

This doesn't make us less important, but, as I elaborate in my book A Tear at the Edge of Creation, if we are rare, and so is our planet, we should rise up and do all we can to preserve and celebrate what we have. We should stop looking for advanced alien creatures to save us from our mess (or to destroy us for what we've got) and take care of our own legacy to the planet and to the next generations.

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