Sixty-six years ago yesterday, on June 8, 1947, The Roswell Daily Record headline read “RAAF Captures Flying Saucer On Ranch In Roswell Region”. The headline refers to the crash of an unidentified flying object that occurred the day before in New Mexico. Well, the Roswell Army Air Field Public Information Officer, Walter Haut, issued a press release stating that it was an unidentified “flying disk” BUT, later that same day the Commanding General of the Eighth Air Force, Roger Ramey, was like slow your roll, we just got ourselves a downed weather balloon. A press conference was held and pieces of foil, rubber, and wood, said to be debris from the crash, and supposedly proof of the fact that it was just a weather balloon, was shown.
So end of story, right? Just a weather balloon. Everybody go back to your lives. Just a weather balloon.
Everybody did go back to their lives for the next 30 years or so UNTIL physicist and ufologist (seriously…this is a thing?) Stanton T. Friedman interviewed Major Jesse Marcel, who was involved in the recovery of the “weather balloon” debris in 1947 and Mr. Marcel had a lot to say about the incidents of that day back in 1947. Mr. Marcel stated that he believed that was no weather balloon that was recovered that day. No sir. That was an alien spacecraft and not only that, BUT, the government knew that it was an alien spacecraft and the whole weather balloon story was just that, a story to cover up what the debris really was. You can imagine how the story spread from ufologist to ufologist, professional and amateur alike (I am totally guessing that one could even BE a professional ufologist, but I imagine it could happen).
As is often the case in these situations, many more people stepped forward with more information about witness intimidation and soon claims of a large-scale government cover up sprang forward, with allegedly as many as 11 crash sites being involved. In 1989, former mortician Glenn Dennis claimed to have been involved with an actual alien autopsy that took place in Roswell, with beings recovered from the crash that took place in 1947.
So far, I have just retold the story I have read online about the Roswell crash because of the anniversary yesterday. The truth is, whispers of other beings visiting our earth go way back, and the show Ancient Aliens on the History Channel claims that extraterrestrials have visited Earth for millions of years and that architectural phenomena like those found in Egypt and Easter Island, among other things, is proof of this. I like the show not only because it is thought-provoking, but also because one of the experts, writer and proponent of the idea that ancient astronauts interacted with ancient humans, Giorgio Tsoukalos, has some amazing crazy-ass hair, and I respect that. I’m a very shallow person.
Some of the pictures and video clips I have seen that stand as supposed “proof” of extraterrestrials vary from silly to what very much look like pictures of trash can lids that have been tossed into the air with the picture taken at the exact right moment. Impressive in itself maybe, but not extraterrestrial in nature.
The belief in extraterrestrials extends further than mere sightings, however. Many people (as many as hundreds perhaps depending on the source) claim to have actually been abducted by extraterrestrial beings. Typical claims involve being subjected to medical exams (with the aliens showing a special interest in our reproductive systems) and often the aliens have a message for us humans like “you guys are screwing up the environment” or “dude, nuclear war, that shit is bad”. Some people have stated that the abductions were terrifying, while some found them to be pleasurable (hey, whatever floats your boat).
In all seriousness, the government lies to us, man. They do it all the time. Do I think some of it is because of reasons pertaining to national security? Sure I do. The F-117 Stealth Fighter was developed and flew for almost a decade while the public was told that the project was still in the developmental stages. I can imagine that was a matter of national security. I also imagine that in this world full of “if it’s different KILL IT” that a warehouse full of spacecraft and aliens would be considered a matter of security. People far more intelligent than I am think aliens may exist as well.
Scientist, writer, astronomer, and all-around bad ass Dr. Carl Sagan did more than let us know that we are all made of “star stuff”. He also sought to understand and describe the cosmos in ways that actually made sense to those of us who maybe were not award-winning scientists. Dr. Sagan also teetered between skepticism, because of the lack of proof, and the desire to believe that aliens did exist, though he did not think they visited our earth.
In 1977 Carl Sagan was given the opportunity by NASA to send messages on Voyager 1 and 2 to extraterrestrials as part of the Voyager Interstellar Mission. The Voyager crafts are the fastest spacecrafts and are going the farthest than any others thus far. The messages, referred to as the Golden Record, are on phonograph record (let’s hope the aliens have a turntable) and include 116 pictures and diagrams about our earth and human species. Also included are recordings of the world’s great music (This pre-dates Bieber, which probably explains why we have not been met with some extraterrestrial hostilities as of yet), and includes the brainwaves of a young woman in love (if you are not enamored with Carl Sagan yet, this should do it for you).
“A billion years from now, when everything on Earth we’ve ever made has crumbled into dust, when the continents are changed beyond recognition and our species is unimaginably altered or extinct, the Voyager record will still speak for us.”
- Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan
As of now, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence marches on and YOU can be a part of it through SETI@home (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). SETI@home is a program run out of UC Berkeley and after downloading some free software on your home computer, your computer will help analyze radio signals, weeding through man-made signals in search of narrow band-width radio signals, which do not naturally occur, and would be proof of extraterrestrial life.
I don’t know without a doubt that extraterrestrials exist, but I think they do. As Dr. Sagan said, Our universe is made of “billions upon billions” of stars and to think that we are the ONLY intelligent creatures to inhabit one planet is really kind of snotty of us. There is so much on THIS planet that we are still discovering, like life in the deepest parts of the ocean, so why would we think that we know beyond the shadow of a doubt that aliens do not exist?
“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. “
— Carl Sagan