Occasionally I will let myself be sucked into watching one of the many programs that comes on about Alien Abductions, UFOs and Area 51. Last night was no exception. I watched yet another program on Area 51 and the secret tests and planes. Let’s not forget the UFOs that we are supposedly backward engineering, leading to much of the technology that we have today.
First I will address the UFOs. Are their UFOs? Well… anything that flies and that you do not know what it is, is an UFO. So does that not meet the requirement? OK… so I was a bit evasive. But all I will say is that this is a big universe, I would be disappointed if we were the only “intelligent” beings in it. Why have they not visited us? Why would they want to? What do we have to offer them? We are a self destructive, xenophobic society and have a tendency to destroy or take apart much of what we do not understand. For much of our history, we have been looking for new and exciting ways to destroy each other, all a extra-terrestrial visit would give us is something new to feel threatened by right now.
Alien Abductions… where do I start here? Assuming that a visiting alien is anything like us, it is plausible. Look at how we treat animals when we collect them, if there are aliens out there that are anything like us, why should we expect them to be any nicer to sub-species than we are. I would hope that any truly evolved alien species that has developed interstellar spacecraft and travel would have been smart enough to think of something like the “Prime Directive” of Star Trek fame. But I may be being too hopeful. After all, the early seafarers and explorers were doing all their work in the name of science, conquest and fortune… I may be a little wishful on the science part, but a guy has to have dreams.
I will not completely discount alien abductions… if the above is true, and there are aliens out there that are examining life that they find, then collection and examination is the cornerstone of the scientific process. But some of the other stories you hear are a little out there. You would think that any aliens that took the time to cross the ocean of space to get here, would be interested in something more that fondling overweight men and women (since it seems that those are the only ones that report it.) and inserting anal probes, then leaving chips of metal and things that look hauntingly like genital warts, on people. Chances are that if they collect a specimen, they are going to do a full examination, probably leading up to a vivisection or autopsy. Again… I have never been abducted. However if given the chance, I guess I would not complain too much if someone like Chiana from Farscape or one of those Orion Slave Girls took me for some investigation. Might be fun.
Now to Area 51 (or any other secret government base, for that matter)… OK… So Groom lake is off limits to us and they may be playing around with mysterious secret weapons and planes.
WHO CARES!!! What makes us think that there is anything going on there that we need to know about? There are certain things that go on in this country that we really do not need to know about for our own protection. There are probably MANY places like Dreamland/Groom Lake/Area 51, and some of them we do not even know about. But the question stands… why DO we need to know? In spite of this fear that everyone seems to have that the government is hiding stuff because it could hurt us, and this feeling that we, as Americans, have the right to know what our government is doing, we do not. Imagine what kind of Nation this would be if all of a sudden, one day, the Pentagon decides. “Hey… Let’s open up the bases and the various programs we have to public scrutiny. Full Disclosure, fellas! Unzip and whip it out!”
Secrecy exists for a reason. It is not only to protect our secrets and our projects from the “Bad Guys”<Insert evil mustachioed man in black fedora and cape>, but it is also to protect our citizens. If everyone knows about all the programs that the government is working on, then it will not be long before the “Bad Guys”, (remember them… they are still out there!) start thinking up ways to counter the steps we take. People not knowing what we (our government) is doing is in our best interest as a nation. If they (the government) ever decides subscribe to this fantasy that some people have that the “people need to know”, then we have effectively shot ourselves in the foot. A good analogy I like to use is this, but you have to be old enough to remember playing board games, and specifically one called “Battleship.” When you play Battleship, the whole point is to not let the other player see where your ships are. This is your little “National Secret.” However, you will do many things to get a glimpse at the other player’s board. This is nothing more than spying, and the entire game process is a simplified microcosm of National Security. Both players have secrets that they need to keep to win. Now… lets throw in another player. This person represents the “Fan-boys” that have nothing better to do than sit out on the perimeter of places like Area 51, and try to take pictures of plastic bags caught up in a dust devil and sell them off as being the latest UFO Hybrid that the military is working on.
This person is watching the game from the side. He knows where all your ships are, but he has no interest in your security, he just knows because he thinks he has the right to know. This is because you are playing with a game that he bought. The other player knows that the Fan Boy knows what you have, and knows he might be able to pick up queues from him.
I know… the above is a very simplistic (Gawd… I hate using that word) way of looking at the issue, but I think is comes close.
I will not fault the fan-boys for going out, and camping for days to MAYBE see SOMETHING that MIGHT be a secret plane or UFO or maybe a couple cows that the Air Force decided to throw in the old Trebuche to lob at the unclean masses (Monty Python joke there.) They need something to do as well. Personally I enjoy going to the air shows that the various branches put on from time to time. There you get to have some good eats, see some neat aircraft that you KNOW exist, watch some kewl fly-bys, and have a good time with some friends. That is my idea of fun, though it may not be so to others.
Does Area 51 exist? I am sure that it does… but you know. Whether they are testing UFOs, secret spy planes, super lasers or filling my granny’s bloomers with helium and calling them Goodyear, is none of my business. They do what they do because it protects us all. Personally I think they are probably having fun at the expense of all the Fan-boys and girls that camp out there. I know I would, if in their position.