I, for One, Welcome Our New Alien Overlords

Alien from the popular XCom2 strategy game.

Navy pilots flying off the East Coast, including the Virginia coast, have reported numerous encounters with Unidentified Flying Objects, the New York Times informs us. The newspaper has recounted the pilots’ stories and now that the Trump-Russian collusion theory has melted like the Siberian tundra in summer, people are latching onto a new conspiracy theory. Could the UFOs be aliens (not the kind that sneak across the border)? What’s the government hiding? Even Robert Zullo with the Virginia Mercury is getting into the act, demanding answers in a light-hearted rant: “Tell us about the UFOs already, Mr. President.”

I have no explanation for the flying objects. Are they secret experimental aircraft? Are they meteorological phenomenon? Who knows? Whatever the case, I find no cause for alarm. Whatever they are, they are not extra-terrestrial aliens. I worry more about climate change than I worry about an alien invasion — and I worry about the scourge of feral cats more than I worry about climate change.

For the UFOs to be alien craft, several other things must be true:

Craft designed for atmospheric flight are also capable of space travel. First the UFOs had to reach earth. Then they had to be capable of flying in the atmosphere. I’m not aerospace engineer, but I’m pretty sure that spacecraft designed for interstellar flight at speeds of millions of miles per hour in the vacuum of space are not optimized for zipping around Earth with all of its atmospheric drag.

They landed on Earth without anyone noticing. Humans have studded the planet with radars designed to track satellites and ICBM missiles, among other objects smaller than interstellar spacecraft. We never noticed when alien craft appeared out of nowhere and entered the atmosphere?

Aliens don’t need infrastructure. Envision alien spacecraft flitting all about. If we believe the UFO theorists, they’ve been doing this for decades. But even aliens need an energy source. Even aliens need food (whatever it is they eat). Even aliens need a base of operations. Yet there is no sign in this densely populated planet, every square inch of which is surveilled by military, scientific and Google-owned satellites, of alien infrastructure anywhere.

Aliens have devised an inordinate diversity of aircraft designs. The National UFO Reporting Center has cataloged UFOs and categorized them by design type. There are spherical UFOs, cigar-shaped UFOs, egg-shaped UFOs, rectangular UFOs,  cylindrical UFOs. Remarkably, none of them have that essential property for atmospheric flight — wings. Do they aliens have a bureaucracy, even more perverse than the Pentagon, that has allowed an insane proliferation of weapons/reconnaissance platforms? If you’re a rational species capable of crossing interstellar space, entering the Earth’s atmosphere without detection, and building a totally hidden infrastructure, and observing earthlings for decades without detection, are you really like to have such a wide variety of aircraft types?

Aliens have a rational purpose. Some speculate that the aliens are observing us for inscrutable reasons knowable only to them. We can safely assume of the aliens, if they have mastered interstellar travel, that they are rational. How many decades do the aliens have to spy on humans before getting what they need? What can they find out anyway by skulking around in out-of-the-way places like the Mojave Desert and miles off the East Coast, as opposed to say… hovering over New York City? Add up the sum total of unidentified flying objects for which scientists have no explanation. Surely the activity of these UFOs follow rational patterns of behavior. Finally, if you’re an alien with awesome technology that renders you untouchable, why do you even care if primitive humans see you observing them? They are powerless to stop you. I have yet to see a unified field theory to explain UFO behavior.

Nah, none of this is likely. As much as we’d welcome new alien overlords to rescue us from the likes of Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi, we’re on this planet all by ourselves.

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5 responses to “I, for One, Welcome Our New Alien Overlords

  1. This is delightful. I have never given much thought to whether aliens have visited Earth. Your piece is a fine example of rational thinking and deconstruction of arguments in favor of a proposition.

  2. The observable (by humans) universe follows the laws of physics so if these folks have rapid interstellar space flight all figured out then they must have arrived here way before us. So where do they hang out? From my late night channel surfing research, the back corners of the deep ocean would be my best guess.

    Or their technology might be so advanced as to operate in the realm of the “un-observable” (by humans) universe; the gee-wiz, sci-fi, multidimensional-string theory stuff of particle physicist cocktail parties. In that case we’re screwed.

  3. The interstellar visitors (“alien” seems so MAGA/racist) may be are so advanced, and thus ultimately woke, that western constructs such as aerodynamics and gravity do not apply to them as it would disproportionately affect their spacecraft and they won’t subscribe to such cultural nonsense.
    Or Northam has secretly vetoed the laws of physics because it may disproportionately impact them as a marginalized group.

  4. Don’t you see the obvious? These interstellar travelers, deeply learned in the Iliad, and the ways of Trojan Horses, are populating our earth with Sojourner Aliens – critters like Howard Dean, Elizabeth Warren, Nancy Pelosi – inserted here temporarily among us to subvert our Liberty, our Moms, our Apple Pies, and our American Way.

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