UFOs: Speculations Off The thorough End

UFOs: Speculations Off The thorough End

If one accepts the idea that UFOs are extraterrestrial spaceships, and one accepts the idea that extraterrestrials have been around for quite some important time (ancient astronauts), then one can and should extrapolate back in our planet’s history already further and postulate that they might have been around for most, if not all of our geological history.

This essay is totally speculative; it’s time to really jump off the thorough end. The general gist of the speculation centres on the idea that, an answer to the Fermi Paradox, ‘where is everybody?’ is that IMHO, ‘They’re heeeere.’ UFOs, well the bona fide UFOs (those that retain their ‘unidentified’ position after proper investigation) are a manifestation of extraterrestrial visitation to Planet Earth. That extraterrestrial – Planet Earth connection goes back a long, long way.

And, I think we’re character!

Panspermia is the idea that simple, microbial life can be transported around the cosmos via natural method. For example, meteorites can carry spores inside them and when they intersect a appropriate abode, seed said abode. That’s ballistic panspermia. There’s also direct panspermia. That’s where the seeding is done not naturally, but artificially – by intelligent life forms or extraterrestrials as far as we are concerned.

If we accept that direct panspermia is a possibility; that there could be alien Johnny Appleseeds out there deliberately seeding empty but otherwise environmentally appropriate (as in bio-friendly) planets, and if we accept that Earth would have been noted, logged and in the cosmic databank way before humans were thought of in anyone’s philosophy, and we accept the possibility as outlined in the introduction to The War of the Worlds that Earth life might be to aliens what “creatures that swim and multiple in a drop of water” are to us, well, maybe we’re the petrii dish! We were seeded, we evolved, and we’re under the microscope. [Actually the Appleseed bit is optional for the following discussion, though it might help account for a ‘we are property’ attitude.]

Panspermia doesn’t invalidate Darwinian evolution, although it might be difficult from the fossil record to discriminate natural from artificial selection, in case aliens took a hand in guiding life’s pathways along. The only possible evidence I could see for that might be evolutionary biologist and palaeontologist (the late) Stephen Jay Gould’s evolutionary theory of ‘punctuated-equilibrium’ where life forms exist for lengthy periods of time where hardly any evolution happens, interspersed with fleeting time periods where all evolutionary hell breaks loose and there’s rapid change.

By analogy, one can look at the canine branch of the tree of life. It’s probably been fairly steady-as-she-goes for millions of years, then ‘all of a sudden’ dogs of all shapes and sizes and breeds appear. It’s a punctuated-equilibrium happening. Why? Humans, that’s why. It’s not natural selection but quick-smart artificial selection. Dogs aren’t the only example – all manner of crops, tropical and goldfish breeds, and any and all manner of organisms that take human’s fancy have been placed under artificial selection for reasons ranging from the highly desirable (drought resistant wheat) to the totally frivolous (goldfish with ultra-bludging eyes; dog breeds who resemble their wolf cousins as closely as chalk resembles cheese). Well, perhaps, in terms of the abduction scenario, we strike ET’s fancy!

Okay, so that’s a hypothesis. Surely sceptics would argue that aliens would have prevented the asteroid that slammed into the Yucatan Peninsula 65 million years ago resulting in a mass extinction event that included all the non-avian dinosaurs. Well, not necessarily. We don’t watch our lab animals around the clock. Our aliens might have been off duty, on R&R, 65 million years ago. Maybe they only pop around once every 10,000 years or so to check on things and consequently totally missed the big extinction event. Or, they may have deliberately let it collide, not because of any non-interference directive, but because the event was part of the natural scheme of things and wanted to see what would happen – a natural experiment. I average we’ve no qualms about introducing a penicillin bullet into a microbe inhabited petrii dish just to see what happens. We also rarely interfere in the natural scheme of wildlife biology. I average we may film a pack of hyenas chasing down and killing their prey for a TV documentary, but we don’t interfere.

If aliens allowed that mass extinction, if aliens seeded Earth, if aliens indulged in prehistoric artificial selection, then aliens might be taking a hands-on approach (abductions anyone?) with regards to our species. But surely, sceptics would argue, we are an intelligent species, several cuts above microbes and plants and fish and such. Surely aliens wouldn’t think of us as lab rats and study us in that War of the Worlds cold and calculating manner? Would they? I wouldn’t bet on it.

Quite except us humans breeding, raising, artificially selecting, and either slaughtering, hunting or experimenting on lesser mammalian species, already those quite evolutionary close to us, a hardly uncommon practice and totally promoted by the Bible by the way, we equally hunt and slaughter and experiment on species we know to be intelligent – like apes and whales. And we can hardly pat ourselves on the back in our treatment of fellow humans. Quite except illegal homicides (as in murder) and legal homicides (like sanctioned warfare or executions), there’s the treatments dished out by the Inquisition (all in the name of God). Then there’s, for your consideration, the experimentation the Nazis did on undesirables; truly producing useful, already valuable medical knowledge in the time of action – knowledge in the textbooks studied by today’s medical students. The military is well known for using the shared troops as unknowing (and probably unwilling if they had known) guinea pigs or cannon fodder, in particular when it came to CBR (chemical – biological – radiological) warfare. Drugs, sooner or later, have to be tested on humans. Someone – truly a group of someone’s – has to be the first guinea pig. “As we sow, so shall we reap”, I believe the saying goes. So, if we can’t take any moral high ground, how can we assume aliens would? Aliens, already if not quite in the Klingon or Romulan class, shouldn’t of necessity be expected to be all lovey-dovey and all caring. They could easily be quite amoral. It’s not invasion, but it’s equally not diplomatic relations. Perhaps they consider us as their character!

I’d like to analyze this idea that we (i.e. – Planet Earth) are character. Is it so outrageous to think that one day some private mining magnate may buy (truly probably lay claim to) a mineral high asteroid, or will all Solar System real estate be forever kept out of private ownership? What about the greater beyond – real estate in interstellar space? If a group of private citizens travel to Vega or Sirius or Tau Ceti or Epsilon Eridani with a view to becoming interstellar real estate entrepreneurs, who’s going to stop them laying claim to one or more of the planets that might be revolving around these stars? – The United Nations? I think not. If there happen to be any natives in the vicinity, perhaps our entrepreneurs might negotiate with these alien locals to somehow buy (or trading more likely as not) for an complete planet. And is there anything fundamentally different in rule between buying or settling a quarter acre block vis-à-vis an complete planet?

But surely the presence of native life forms would make a difference. Wanna bet? You buy a corn field – the corn plants get no say. You buy a dairy farm with dairy cows or a racing stable stocked with horses – they equally get no say. You buy a home – the native residents of termites, cockroaches and rodents get no say. You could buy a far away island complete with native wildlife – which of course has no say in the matter. Now I ‘own’ two cats. I am responsible for them under the law. They don’t know that. If they did know that they’d probably object in the strongest possible way, like scratch my eyes out! nevertheless, they are character and no harmonies can be entered into on the matter. So, we own other lower life forms and they don’t know it. Maybe a higher life form owns us, and we don’t know it!

But surely there must be some interstellar code against owning an abode with intelligent life on it. Why? And how intelligent does the intelligence have to be? – Octopus level? – Parrot level? – At dolphin level? – Maybe at gorilla level? I just think that owning a planet having intelligence on it doesn’t cut any ice, especially if possession occurred before that intelligence evolved or the intelligence in question isn’t in any position to argue the point. This doesn’t average the owners have invasion or occupation as an agenda. As with the Zoo Hypothesis (we’re the animals in the zoo; aliens are the zoo keepers), you can buy a zoo and be kind to the residents or study the residents, already experiment on the residents of the zoo. But for the most part, the owners leave 99.9% of the locals alone 99.9% of the time – but the residents are nevertheless character.

The alleged alien occupants of UFOs leave 99.9% of us humans alone, 99.9% of the time. Maybe they see us as character, maybe they don’t. But there’s nothing in the concept that belongs exclusively in The Twilight Zone.

The ‘we are character (in a zoo)’ hypothesis explains the Fermi Paradox; it explains the observations that UFOs are no threat to national security; it explains the without of any alien invasion; it explains the without of any alien’s ‘take me to your leader’ scenario; it explains the general UFO abduction occurrences*; it probably accounts for the overall ‘cattle’ mutilation area. It doesn’t explain crop circles – unless one would equate them with the sort of diversions, toys, monkey bars, bird swings and other associated furniture you can find in any pet store that we give to amuse our own owned animals. Or, alternatively, perhaps crop circles are akin to the sort of signs (pictograms) behavioural scientists have used in experiments in communicating with apes and monkeys.

*The UFO abduction occurrences makes sense in that it mirrors what wildlife biologists often do in the field – capture, study, tag and release.

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