Alien Logic, Part One

As I am sure everyone knows by now, the United States Federal Government is about to make its first (allegedly) open disclosure about UFOs, which they have renamed with the military-speak abstraction UAPs (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena), presumably to avoid laughing every time they name the subject of the report. Since there are about a hundred different angles from which to come at this peculiar story, I propose, for the sake of my time and my sanity, to nibble at it slowly over the coming weeks, addressing various elements of the topic gradually — political, psychological, philosophical, scientific, and just downright amusing.

This first entry will simply lay out a few initial questions and personal musings regarding this inherently extraordinary event. (If you are still refusing to admit that this event is inherently extraordinary — the most powerful government in the world effectively hinting that it has evidence that advanced alien civilizations are visiting Earth — then I can only say that you will have to turn off your anti-embarrassment firewall for a few minutes and face up to this fact eventually, so you might as well do it now.)

Without further ado, then, let us begin.

The U.S. government is apparently about to tell the American people that they have credible evidence from hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of direct military encounters and electronic detections, that there really are some UFOs which appear to defy all plausible explanation within our scientific knowledge, and that these seemingly extraterrestrial technologies have been flying in our skies since right around the time of the first atomic bomb tests. As for my use of the term “UFO”: Just because the U.S. military does not want us to have the fun of saying that acronym does not mean we have to follow their officious attempts to rename an object we have been talking about by another name all our lives.

Many people will react to this government declaration with some measure of shock and alarm, but in truth I believe that most of the shock will be feigned, since what is truly alarming — or should be — about this new revelation is what it implies about the U.S. Federal Government’s attitude toward its authority and its power over the American people. For over seventy years, the government has actively or passively denied the legitimacy of all private citizen claims and research into this phenomenon, essentially fostering a climate of discredit around all such ideas, and, more importantly, fomenting an atmosphere of ridicule and even clinical insanity around all the actual people who have claimed to have seen the very things the U.S. military is now openly claiming to have seen.

Could there be a more obvious case of a national government arbitrarily assuming powers far beyond any legitimate republican mandate? They have played “cancel culture” for decades on thousands of ordinary American citizens who were confused or scared, or believed they had vitally important information for the human race, implicitly dismissing them, collectively, as lunatics and conspiracy theorists who deserved to be laughed out of any serious consideration in respectable society. Meanwhile, all this time the government allegedly knew perfectly well that these claims were not ridiculous or “conspiratorial,” because military officers themselves were having similar experiences, and even recording them with radar or infrared cameras. Since at least the late 1940s, then, the U.S. government has made it official policy to demean and destroy the lives and minds of thousands of U.S. citizens, and to belittle and discredit the work of hundreds of “UFO researchers” — a term hitherto always used in scare quotes, as though the very notion were absurd — in an act of pure tyrannical self-protectiveness. There is your military-industrial complex, my friends, and it is every bit as monstrous as your most “lunatic” conspiracy theorist ever claimed.

The American mainstream media, a consistent and obedient servant of the progressive political establishment, is breathless about this story, apparently having tired of manipulating the public over coronavirus for the time being. I would conjecture that they love it for the same reason the U.S. government is undoubtedly excited about it at this time: If played correctly, it will give totalitarians yet another pretext for the assertion of arbitrary powers and random suspensions of liberty on “national security” grounds. Now that the cat is so far out of the bag, the best path for the statists is to acknowledge at least some of what they think (or wish you to think) they know, and then use that very “knowledge” as a weapon with which to bludgeon the citizenry and tether public discussion and private action in new and inventive ways.

If — and I said, and meant, if — aliens have been visiting our planet from “distances” that defy our normal conceptions of science and common sense, using technology that outstrips ours by such leaps and bounds, then surely if “their” intention were to disintegrate us, they could easily have done it from the beginning, and would hardly need to set up base camps in the oceans or what have you, as some are now speculating, or to spend decades monitoring U.S. military bases. Surely the U.S. military could be no deterrent whatsoever to such an advanced intelligence, so why would they even waste their time watching what Earth’s puny military is doing — at least if annihilation were their aim?

If these sightings, particularly the recorded ones, represent what they appear to represent, then there are advanced technologies “out there” which completely defy our theories of physics. This is very interesting to me — perhaps the most interesting aspect of the whole story in a way — because our own most advanced technology (assuming the military’s weirdest UFO sightings are not vehicles of top-secret earthly origin) was developed on the principles of our theories of physics. But those theories, if the military recordings are to be taken at face value, would have to be fundamentally incorrect.

Our modern materialists typically try to finish off all objections to their claims of ultimate truth, and their rejections of all non-materialist beliefs, by citing the fact that their materialist assumptions and theories, when put into practice, actually work. Our airplanes and rockets fly, our radios transmit signals, our machines produce things, and so on, and these undeniable cases of practical efficacy are themselves, supposedly, proof positive of the basic truth of the theories of matter, motion, and mechanism that underlie the technology. If it turns out that there are technologies, from somewhere, which directly refute those theories, however, then it would appear that all the materialists can properly say from now on is that their theories “work,” in the sense of being applicable in certain ways to achieve certain practical results — though they might work, as it turns out, for reasons quite different from the reasons we imagine. In other words, our modern applied science might “work” for reasons other than that the science is true. I tend to subscribe to a version of this latter view, though for reasons quite unrelated to UFOs and aliens.

In our modern materialist age, the very notion of “life on other planets” is intimately associated with our conception of life as technological. People today who believe there are extraterrestrial lifeforms, or more especially that these have visited Earth, are essentially just saying they “believe in UFOs.” Hence, for many other people, particularly those of a more classical or religious bent, the notion remains fundamentally disturbing, in the sense of life-shattering, as it seems to suggest that our history and all our old beliefs are grounded in pure ignorance — in the inability of pre-modern men to conceive of flying saucers. 

Perhaps it will be somewhat soothing to such disturbed or discomfited individuals to break free of the bonds of our modern technocracy of the mind, and consider that nothing essential about this topic (or any other topic of importance, for that matter) was foreign to our ancient forebears at all. The ancient philosophers considered the question of multiple worlds to be a legitimate theoretical issue, and even those who settled on the conclusion that there must be just one cosmos nevertheless took the alternative of multiple worlds very seriously, in the sense that they thought it needed to be argued against. Furthermore, the materialist Epicurus, one of the greatest post-Aristotelian Greek thinkers, and later his first-century B.C. Roman adherent Lucretius, inferred that there would have to be other inhabited worlds — infinite numbers of them, in fact — from their belief in the infinity of matter and void. Even Plato — the furthest thing from a materialist — in the Timaeus, in the midst of an elaborate speculation about the origin and nature of the cosmos, and while theorizing that the rational order of being forces us to see reality as finite, nevertheless has the dialogue’s eponymous main speaker grant that no certainty may be attained on the precise limits of this finitude, and therefore allow that the number of universes may in truth be “one or five,” although he personally favors one.

Three naïve questions for those so desperate for a new faith or a new reason to care about life that they are prepared to believe, without blinking, anything the mass media and the military-industrial complex are pitching at them this week, as long as it is exciting:

  1. After all these years of supposed UFO encounters, particularly by military pilots and ground crew, and most particularly in recent years, when everyone has easy access to a high-resolution digital camera right in his pocket, why has the military, so far at least, not provided so much as one single clear photographic image of one of these vehicles in flight. I mean, the media is obediently reporting each day now about the fighter pilots who claim they encountered UFOs in the sky every day for years — so where is the smartphone photo to prove it?
  2. Why is everyone — including the military experts who are delivering these “leaked” videos to the public — ignoring the possibility that the speeds and bizarre maneuverability of these fuzzy, distant images could be the result of the normal optical effects of capturing very distant objects, perhaps objects moving at considerable speeds, from a fighter jet also moving at great speed, or even from a handheld camera in an unsteady human grip? I remember the first time I tried to use my 65x superzoom camera to shoot birds flying in the distance. Anyone watching the resulting videos, not knowing what he was looking at, might be forgiven for wondering, “What is that thing, and how the heck can it zip around in the frame that way?” An effect produced by a human standing stock-still, but trying to hold a camera steady in his hands while shooting an identified flying object a few hundred yards away — the slightest twitch in my hands, or even my heartbeat as I tried to hold my breath, knocked the subject in and out of the frame wildly at that distance. And yet, having said that, even those early failed attempts at long-distance bird videos, if stopped and zoomed in on a computer screen, would often show you a decently recognizable image of the bird I was trying to record. Why has the U.S. military thus far failed to release one image even that recognizable?
  3. The video that seems to be getting the most attention, featured on all the news networks, shows grainy footage of a roughly spherical object bobbing around abruptly while descending slowly toward, and then into, the ocean. The descent is slow and unremarkable — only the jerking motion is unusual. And yet the jerking motion conforms exactly to the long-distance photography problem I described above, as is confirmed by watching the object and the sea’s surface simultaneously. The object is merely descending slowly and predictably into the ocean; the zig-zag lateral movements are entirely an effect of a jerky camera. As some annoying folks on the internet have noted, its shape and behavior are suggestive of a balloon or parachute flare.

I will be waiting for the unblurred and decent-sized photographs, or better yet the unidentifiable chunks of techno-junk from a crashed vehicle. Of course, I don’t expect any of that evidence to be as clear and shocking as the photo I have included at the end of this essay, below, taken with my own little 3 megapixel cellphone camera a few years ago.

That by way of an introduction, then. I will have more to say about all this in the days ahead, as time and chance happeneth to my thought processes. I must confess to being largely detached from all the hubbub over this senate report from the military-industrial complex, significant though it is, at least politically. The very fact that the media is so much involved in driving this story makes me more than a little skeptical of its purposes and timing. The fact that the most secretive agencies of the United States government are issuing and disseminating the report virtually assures me that it will conceal and distort more than it reveals and reports — because if there is one thing I know for certain, it is that the U.S. government is no longer fundamentally honorable in its intentions or methods, and this very story is merely one of the weirder instantiations of that dishonor, as noted above.

And if there is another thing I know for certain, it is that we, the human race, know next to nothing, an intellectual shortcoming that is only exacerbated by our modern eagerness to invest unbridled faith in our supposed scientific certainties — a faith which this story threatens to expose for the folly it always was, one way or another, though few outside of Limbo will ever see it that way.

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