Why don’t they just land on the White House lawn and introduce themselves?
Why don’t they let someone get a real picture/video instead of those grainy, jumpy images?
I’ve already shared my thoughts on whether or not life exists out there in our galaxy, or even our own solar system.
To discuss what might be going on in the head of an intelligent alien being, what might motivate them is something science fiction writers have been doing for decades. What we are finding as our knowledge base expands is that, more and more often than not, science fiction is becoming science fact. Want an example? Just take out your cell phone. It’s a communicator and minicomputer you can carry in your purse or pocket. Before my smart phone, my celly had to be the clamshell kind. Why? Because flipping that little gizmo open was my own personal Star Trek moment, each and every time.
Today, Hub and I were catching up on episodes of The Clone Wars animated series. In Season 5, Anakin and Obi Wan, with Anakin’s padawan Ahsoka travel to Onderon to aid rebels who are fighting the Separatist controlled government of the system. The Jedi must keep their assistance hidden from the Separatists so as not to draw the attention of Count Dooku and thus escalate the fighting. The Jedi are there strictly to train the rebels and stay in the background, not to fight the rebel’s battles for them.
Why don’t the Jedi simply step up and clean out the Separatists on Onderon? Anakin, Obi Wan and Ahsoka could have easily wiped up the mess on their own. Two reasons, first they don’t want the Separatists to know the Jedi council is involved. But also, the Jedi know the Onderon people must fight their own battles, and win their system back for themselves. They are willing to provide support and education, but not publicly.
So I have to ask the what if question. What if the reason aliens don’t land and introduce themselves is that they don’t want to have their presence publicly acknowledged? What do you think? Could the reasons be benevolent, like the Jedi? Or, conversely, what if it’s like the movie They Live?
What do you think? Or perhaps the biggest question is, why would they bother to come here at all?
I love hearing from you! Please share your thoughts!
I think we can be fairly sure that the anthropomorphic visions which dominate our ‘alien/flying saucer’ mythology (with due fuelling from Hollywood) are of our own creation. Indeed, a lot of the ‘mystery’ attached to UFO’s occurs not because the object is scientifically unidentifiable in an absolute sense, but because the observer personally cannot explain it. Others can’t either, when explained in the terms described by the observer. Because they themselves can’t explain it, however, does not automatically make it an alien spacecraft.
The reality, alas, is likely to be not only stranger than we imagine. It will be stranger than we CAN imagine. The evidence is piling up that Earth is quite unique in many ways, meaning that what we think of as ‘normal’ is also going to be unique. We think life is likely going to be common, but we don’t know. Even if it is, who says it will automatically become intelligent? Or that it will want to travel? Or – well, anything, really?
Humanity has experience of one inhabited world only, and everything we imagine about the others is framed by that mind-set. Hence our portrayals of aliens as humanoid, the rationalisations as to why that would be so, and so forth.
My take? I think that if we find the aliens – or if they come to us – it will be like nothing we imagine. And we will know. Absolutely, utterly and unequivocally. I also think that the experience will change us, because of the nature of the human condition, in ways that we probably cannot predict now – but which will be obvious in hindsight.
The corollary to this is that (a) these aliens may not actually exist – we just don’t know yet – and (b) even if they do, we might not find or detect them and vice-versa. Space is huge. It would take our fastest current probe 19,000 years to reach the nearest star alone. And then there is the distance in time; many alien species might have arisen, flourished and vanished before we appeared. We might vanish before another appears. We don’t know.
But it’s all food for thought.
Hi Matthew, and thank you for your thoughtful comment. Indeed, our vision, our imagining of what alien life might be like can only be anthropomorphic and/or anthropocentric. It is all we know. But the imagining, the envisioning sure is fun. I also think that the consideration of life, beings and intelligences outside of our Earth helps create a space and willingness within to accept all humanity as a holistic community. ‘We’re all in this together’ if you will, we are all human, all related at the most basic level.
I think there is a certain order to the Universe, unwritten laws. Another entity cannot step in until another requests assistance. There are masters or those more in tune who are ready and willing to channel the information, but those channelers are not in huge abundance. It takes the masses to ask in order to get the greatest good. I think too many of us are short-sighted and just don’t get it. But that in and of itself is a process. We’ll get it eventually and then when we do, the help will arrive. Like the saying goes, “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”
I agree. I think Star Trek called it The Prime Directive. It does feel as though this is a time of awakening, more and more people are feeling that urgency, that ‘something’s happening’ tingling. I do my best to stay on the positive side and keep that light energy flowing.
I’ve kind of taken the linguistic point of view. Why would a truly alien race wish to be involved in earthly activities? How could they relate to us unless they came from a planet so similar to ours that their concept of tree and ours is almost the same. Heck, we could appear to be ants or perhaps dolphins, something to be studied, but not something we’d consider asking to ‘take me to your leader.’ In a way I’m saying the same thing Diana is, we humans are not yet ready to be students. When we’re ready, we will find some answers.
True. From an outsiders viewpoint, humans probably look pretty crazy. 😉
If aliens come to earth, it’s probably to conquer the planet. I know that’s the pessimistic view but look at human history. Larger nations with better weapons and more technology invade and conquer foreign lands. Or maybe I’ve just watched Independence Day too many times 🙂
A case of Europeans finding the New World all over again. Except this time we’d be the Indians. My brother used to say that aliens would be religious fanatics, trying to convert us. Or maybe he just played too much Halo.
I’ve dealt with aliens in two of my books (both as yet unpublished) – in one, they came here unintentionally (crash landing); in the other, they’re casing the joint to consider taking over, because they trashed their own planet. Of course, a good possibility is that none have ever landed – “there’s no intelligent life down here, let’s move on!” 🙂
I hope you get those published soon! Science fiction is one of my favorite genres.
My husband and I had a conversation about this after watching Battleship this summer. If aliens exist and have the technology to come visit us, do we really want to gamble on them being benevolent? I wouldn’t.
Another thought was that if they exist they might be like the Vulcans in Star Trek who kept their distance until humans reached a certain level of technological advancement.
What if it’s both?
I think if they came they would keep their distance long enough to study us and learn all they could about us. I would never assume them to be benevolent. Why would one search beyond their own space? Simple for the sake of exploration or because they could? Maybe. Or because they depleted their own resources more likely. I go with – always prepare for the worst. The more intimately they know us, they better they are at destroying us.
What my gut says is, there are multiple species with multiple motivations but the main issue is consciousness. I can’t quantify or explain it better than that yet. I’m working on being able to give a better explanation. But yeah, for some, I definitely think it is as you say.