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Aliens and UFOs – Either Our Best Hope or Worst Nightmare

The Pilot and the UFO

This past week it has been hard to ignore the headline making story about U.S. Navy pilot David Fravor (retired) telling of his 2004 encounter with a UFO. Making his tale all the more convincing was a video from the Department of Defense showing the incident.

Saying it was “something I had never seen in my life” Fravor described the object as having no wings and that it flew erratically “like a ping pong ball, bouncing off the wall.” Even with the video and Fravor’s eyewitness account, he knows that there are people who do not believe him, but accepts that because “It is easy to doubt what we can’t explain.”

My Somewhat Close Encounter

I believe Fravor because I too saw something many years ago for which I have no explanation. I was a teenager walking my dog on the beach on the south shore of Long Island just after sunset, and I saw an object shoot across the sky over the ocean, stop, and then zip in the other direction over the shoreline. It hovered briefly and then zipped upwards and shot toward the horizon and disappeared. I asked my dog if he saw it and he just wagged his tail – so much for witnesses.

All these years later I think about that incident and know there has to be intelligent life on other planets. Even without seeing that object, I can believe this because the numerical possibilities of star systems with planets make it likely that there has to be at least one planet like ours that can support life. All the UFO sightings (documented and many undocumented like mine) make me believe even more that we are not alone.

Possibilities Other Than UFOs

There are many people who think these UFO sightings are hoaxes – you know, some guy tossing a Frisbee and then taking photo. There are also the usual suspects like weather balloons and drones that get folks unnecessarily spooked. A good example happened yesterday in Los Angeles when many citizens thought that they spotted a real UFO and took photos but were disappointed to learn it was Elon Musk’s SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that had just taken off from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

I do realize that this happens and perhaps can account for some – or even many – of the reported sightings of UFOs; however, my personal experience and others like Commander Fravor’s cannot be discounted unless some evidence like the SpaceX rocket launch can be provided.

Aliens Could Be a Good Thing

Aliens and their ships – the UFOs people have been seeing – can be in some ways a hopeful sign. Since their planets would have to be light years away, they would have technology much greater than ours and would have much to teach us. They may have found cures for all our diseases, and maybe they have found a way to achieve true and lasting peace. If they would offer us anything, we will need to be willing to learn what they know and open to changing what we think about our place in the universe.

I have hope that they are benevolent, something like Klaatu from the film The Day the Earth Stood Still. These aliens could also warn us of the great danger we face with our nuclear weapons and give us an incentive to disarm. Klaatu was a kind fellow who kept his robot Gort from annihilating the planet, so we would have to hope for this kind of visitor.

We could also hope for an alien like the one from E.T. the Extra-Terrestial who came to learn about our planet and ended up teaching humans about life. It may be wishful thinking that the aliens would be as gentle as E.T. or kind as Klaatu, but I also believe that they have learned over thousands (and perhaps millions) of years of civilization what needs to be done for their species to not only flourish but to survive. Hopefully, they would want to share this knowledge with us.

Aliens Could Also Be a Bad Thing

There is, of course, the possibility that aliens could not be friendly types. Think of the aliens in It! The Terror from Beyond Space or The Thing, and you will get the feeling that our planet will be in great danger. Perhaps the threat of malevolent aliens will be the incentive for the countries of this planet to finally work together to save humanity from something that could destroy the it.

Aliens Are a Bit Like Santa Claus

My feeling is that aliens can see us when we’re sleeping and know when we’re awake, and they don’t want us to see them. I believe they have been coming here for a long time, studying us since we were crawling in and out of caves. For some unknown reason, they seem to have rules of engagement when it comes to dealing with humans. They must have to remain clandestine and not contact us as they follow these rules. Perhaps it is rogue aliens who go off and let themselves get seen by humans, or teenage ones that borrow the keys to Mom and Dad’s flying saucer and buzz housetops during joyrides.

I know for certain that there is so much about space and time we have to learn, and I believe many of us would be willing students if aliens came and were open to being our teachers. My feeling is they could help us with every problem that our world faces, but there may be those who are leery of aliens or want to get them before they get us.

We Must Be Gracious Hosts if Aliens Reveal Themselves

In The Day the Earth Stood Still the alien Klaatu brings a gift of peace and ends up getting shot for his gesture. This is not a way to treat guests – alien or otherwise. We must be careful if they ever reveal themselves to be good hosts because it is the proper thing to do. It is also good to remember that, if they came this far, they have technology way greater than ours and probably could reduce Earth to a cinder in a matter of seconds.

In the film there is the suggestion made that, if Klaatu wanted, he could have destroyed the entire planet. As he leaves the Earth, Klaatu warns the leaders of the world to find a way to peace and not to bring war into outer space, for that there will be serious consequences.

Aliens are probably carefully monitoring us and our technological progress. Maybe they also enjoy watching us – perhaps they have reality TV shows like Keeping Up with the Humans that help them in their study of earthlings. I am certain that we are sometimes entertaining to observe but, at other times, human behavior could even shock or dismay them.

Still, no matter what we do, they appear to keep to some kind of compact to avoid messing in our affairs, sort of like the Prime Directive in Star Trek. If they have been watching us for a long time and have observed our successes and failures, especially our seemingly unending military conflicts, I do wonder if they will ever intervene.

Thinking about it, I fear that their intervention will mean it is too late for us. Hopefully, it will never have to come to that because that will not mean aliens sharing their technology and knowledge of the universe with us, but instead dealing with Earth as if it were cancerous and needed to be removed for the health of the rest of the galaxy. Let’s hope it never has to come to that.

About Victor Lana

Victor Lana's stories, articles, and poems have been published in literary magazines and online. His books 'A Death in Prague' (2002), 'Move' (2003), 'The Savage Quiet September Sun: A Collection of 9/11 Stories' (2005), and 'Like a Passing Shadow' (2009) are available in print, online, and as e-books. His latest books 'Heartbeat and Other Poems,' 'If the Fates Allow: New York Christmas Stories,' 'Garden of Ghosts,' and 'Flashes in the Pan' are available exclusively on Amazon. He has won the National Arts Club Award for Poetry, but has concentrated on writing mostly fiction and non-fiction prose in recent years. He has worked as a faculty advisor to school literary magazines and enjoys the creative process as a writer, editor, and collaborator. He has been with 'Blogcritics Magazine' since July 2005 and has written well over 500 articles; previously co-head sports editor, he now is a Culture and Society editor. Having traveled extensively, Victor has visited six continents and intends to get to Antarctica someday where he figures a few ideas for new stories await him.

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