The Monsters are not Due on Maple Street

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Ever since the dawn of the flying saucer craze in the late 1940’s, we have been expecting trouble to zoom in from the skies in a multitude of nefarious ways. The outer space menace had plans for world domination and often took the form of bug eyed monsters, (appealing to our innate fear of insects, to get Jungian about it) or more insidiously would disguise themselves as us, making them indistinguishable from our neighbors, much like the feared communist spies during the cold war, lurking in plain sight, sending out devious plans to their cold and power hungry overlords. I remember as a child watching and enjoying reruns of the popular 1950’s era science fiction show, “The Twilight Zone,” in particular I remember an episode entitled, “ Monsters are due on Maple Street.” In the story hidden aliens turn off all the power on the street except for the man with a shortwave radio transceiver and then they watch with glee as the humans turn on each other in suspicion and paranoia. It was in modern science fiction drama such as this that the “Evil Alien” trope became such an integrated staple in our public thought and discourse and it has now become almost universally accepted as fact. I’m here to tell you, however, that the bug-eyed fiends of yore have bugged out on us, and not only do I suspect that they have not found us, I have a suspicion that they probably do not exist at all.

As the worn out UFO saying goes, “ I want to believe.” And I honestly do, in fact, I sincerely believe that we have and most likely still are, being visited from afar. If a person cares to look, they will find more than ample evidence of this if they were to merely glance at any of the vast amounts of legitimate research that is available on the subject. Whether one believes in the commonly held extra-terrestrial hypothesis, (that the beings are from another planet, galaxy, etc..) or if one feels a kinship with the extra-dimensional hypothesis, (that the phenomenon is beyond our current science or understanding) put forth by the likes of Jacques Vallee and John Keel, there have been far too many observations and reports from credible sources for there not to be something going on. There does, however, appear to be scant evidence of any evil doers or high tech cattle rustlers among these interstellar tourists in this data. No Virginia, there are no evil aliens, and I’m going to make my case for why they aren’t coming to take us away.

Let us assume for a moment that there are indeed other creatures from a distant place who are sufficiently advanced enough to visit our green and verdant world at their leisure. Earth has been here for quite some time, much longer than there have been hairless bipeds with binocular vision ruining it with tacky ornamental horticulture and light pollution. If the aliens found out about intelligent apes on this planet, then it could have been anytime in the last couple of hundred thousand years. Given that rather vast time line, the chances that they have just recently stumbled upon us in the last 75 years is fairly remote, even if we were to take into account radio waves, which are just now arriving at some nearby stars and will eventually dissipate into an indistinguishable background noise. Therefore, the likelihood is that they have been observing us for a long time and if they had wanted to enslave us or wipe us out, then it would have been extremely easy anytime before 1900 and just relatively easy anytime since then. If there were a militaristic race lurking in the Milky way, hell bent on destruction, why would they wait until now? I would imagine that these Huns of Alpha Centaurus have their own version of Sun Tzu’s “Art of War,” and would conclude that waiting until the humans can better arm themselves is a pretty stupid idea.

Allow us also to assume that we somehow have something that they would want or need. I strain my limited brain capacity to figure out what we could possibly offer a people who can travel across the galaxy in a spacecraft or who could build some sort of cosmic gateway to reach us. Gold? Seriously? They probably pass entire asteroids made of gold or any other precious mineral on the way here. Sex, mating or hybrids? No, Mars does not want our women and any race that is sufficiently advanced probably has figured out how to make little aliens pretty efficiently and probably have perfected sexbots or maybe even decided to rid themselves of the messy and emotionally charged business altogether. I doubt that a space faring race has need or desire for large litters of offspring and would probably find the idea of mating with us as much of a turn off as we do them. Human history has shown that if you take away the limits on resources it usually takes away the need to compete for these resources and I can not see why that would not translate to other intelligent species on an intergalactic scale. We can’t assume that aliens are as petty and dickish as we are in our current state and who needs to fight over money or land when you can have an entire planet if you really want one?

So,” you may ask, “what about all of the abductions and the probings and weird tests?” Yes, what about those supposed pesky abductions? Well, there are two possibilities here: The first is that they just do not happen. That these are either night terrors, hallucinations or false memory imprints intended to obfuscate another mundane occurrence that someone wants forgotten or remembered incorrectly. Even if there are abductions taking place, we can assume that at least some of these reports are bogus because we know that a certain percentage of the population are liars or desperate for attention.

The second possibility is that we are part of the galactic zoo’s tag and release program. What do us domesticated primates do when we discover a strange new or endangered animal? Most of us do nothing at all because we could care less about a new spotted Lemur on the other side of the world. One of our Universities may send a couple of scientists to tag the creature and possibly observe it from a secluded place, watch it interact with it’s peers in it’s natural environment and then publish a paper on it’s bizarre mating habits. Sound familiar to any of you abductees? Yes, I’m aware that they now wish to be called “experiencers,” but my point stands.

We often give our own attributes to things that we don’t understand. Our Gods were fashioned to be anthropomorphic, made more human so that we could relate to them as we attempted to make sense of the world of the unknown. During the cold war it was understandable that we feared that the dreaded Martians were coming to attack us, we lived under the constant threat of technological annihilation and the newly discovered UFO’s were an extension of that fear, another log on the paranoid fire. The aliens were another outlet for our repressed fears, a place to vent frustration about our immobility and perhaps something to draw humanity closer together. If you want to know who among us might wish for evil aliens today, all one has to do is to ask themselves who the usual suspects are that have historically benefited from fear-mongering. Some would have you believe that these visitors are evil in order to stockpile weapons and continue to erode our liberties: Look citizen, only WE can protect you from these foreign and illegal galactic boogeymen. Some have more mundane concerns and would have you drop your pants and open your wallets so they can enrich themselves financially while spinning tales of fear in books and lectures. It is an unfortunate truth that sometimes the most uncomfortable probing is coming from members of the UFO community itself.

Let me leave you with a scenario that could have taken place sometime after World War Two:

The humans have just set off a nuclear weapon, entering a new and dangerous phase of development. The Galactic Council is acutely aware that this is a critical time in the development of a species, if they can survive their technological advancement before they destroy themselves, then they will take their place among the ancient races of the universe. In order to steer them toward a more enlightened path, a small emissary is dispatched to peacefully make contact with this brash young species. It is the first week of July 1947 and three peaceful ambassadors are shot down over Roswell, New Mexico. The Council makes a hard decision that this species is far too violent and needs a few thousand more years before contact is made. Until then, they will wait and observe.

Belvedere Swizzlestick
Belvedere Swizzlestick

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