I always find it fascinating when the mainstream media gets hold of one of those stories that they just don't quite know what to do with.
You know the ones I'm talking about, right? One of those events comes along where science fiction seems to cross paths with reality, and all of a sudden you've got a real life Twilight Zone situation on your hands.
Sometime back in the 1990s, these type of stories briefly exploded into our national collective consciousness all at once, and with such force, that UFOs and aliens seemed to be everywhere. It seemed you couldn't pick up a magazine or turn on the television without seeing one of those little gray alien images, or hearing the various buzzwords of UFOlogy like "Roswell," "Area 51," or "The Face On Mars."
Thanks to the millennium fever which gripped much of the world at the time, as well as television shows like The X-Files, "the truth" as they say, was definitely out there, even if only for a little while. Still, as quick as the idea of UFOs as a cultural phenomenon came, it just as quickly went away - but not before it had been permanently etched into our collective consciousness. In other words, a lasting impact had been made.
So, perhaps as a result of that UFOmania of the nineties, when these sorts of stories come along — as they do every now and then — they have a unique way of capturing our imaginations. As I said, it is also always interesting to see how the media plays them. About this time last year, we saw one such story about a series of UFO sightings in Chicago, seen by numerous witnesses in broad daylight at Chicago's airport.
The media dutifully reported the story, even if they did so a few weeks after the fact. The television commentators also accompanied their coverage with the usual combination of nudges and winks. The story came, the story went. Yet, at least as far as I know, the Chicago sightings themselves were never adequately explained away.
This month, we have not one, but two such stories that would seem to be ripped straight from the pages of Fate Magazine.
So remember the face on Mars?
Back in the nineties, there was considerable talk among both UFOlogists, various pseudo-scientists, and even a few legitimate researchers about a NASA image that appeared to show a giant stone face carved out on the surface of Mars. Some even compared it to the Sphinx. NASA originally attributed the mysterious face to a trick of light and shadow. Later, they released new images from a later expedition that showed what appeared to be something less strange. To me, it looked like a more eroded version of the same thing, and made me wonder if they actually have wind or dust storms up there. Anyway...