Welcome to my world and beyond...

A collection of snippets of the books I write and, occasionally, my life and the things that inspire my writing...

Monday, April 23, 2012

A to Z "U" is for UFO


Unidentified flying object!  Few things grip the human psyche the way those three letters strung together do.  You could query people about a dozen different subjects.  Many times, people aren't willing to share--or just don't have an opinion. But not when it comes to UFOs.

Believers and nonbelievers alike will dig in their heels and let you know.  "Between one-third and one-half of Americans believe in unidentified flying objects (UFOs). A somewhat smaller percentage believes that aliens have landed on Earth (Gallup 1996; Southern Focus 1998)."  From http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind00/c8/c8s5.htm

Another poll "Only a third of adults, however, believe it's either very likely or somewhat likely that intelligent aliens from space have visited our planet, according to a survey of 1,003 adults conducted by Scripps Howard News Service and Ohio University.

The poll revealed that one in every 12 Americans has seen a mysterious object in the sky that might have been a visitor from another world, while nearly one in every five personally knows someone who has seen an unidentified flying object."  From here:  http://www.reporternews.com/news/2008/jul/26/you-are-not-alone/

A common sentiment among believers follows suit with Ted Arroway, a character from Carl Sagan's book, "Contact", who says--after his daughter asks him if there is life on other planets, " I don't know, Sparks. But I guess I'd say if it is just us... seems like an awful waste of space."

A common sentiment among nonbelievers is that we would see them.  They would be here...would have been here by now, would be living among us. If humans are capable of space travel, surely intelligent life on other planets is capable interstellar travel.

To which a believer would say, "They have. They are. They live amongst us."

Oy! *laughing* And it goes round and round.

I am going to put a few thoughts out there.  Just because we (Earthlings) are not yet capable of interstellar travel, doesn't mean that other life forms aren't.  It is not a mutually inclusive or exclusive feat.  If we consider the different  rates of evolution on the continents on Earth alone, it gives us a pretty good idea that someone else isn't necessarily going to be at the same place in space travel technology as we are. They could be light years ahead of us (pun intended) or light years behind.

I am inclined to agree with Carl Sagan.  It would be a terrible waste of space. I really think that there is life out there. Intelligent life? Well, depends how we define intelligent life. I have little doubt that there is microbial life.  But, what has it evolved to?
                                                     Credit: Warner Brothers

And...I am not so sure I want to have them visit.  Like Don Henley asks in one of his songs--did they just swing by for McNuggets?  I am not doomsayer, but, I am a realist.  Lifeforms probably aren't cruising around the Universe on an intergalactic version of a Sunday drive.

I have to think of it this way (egotistical--I know) making the assumption that all life forms have similar needs.  Why would WE pack up a ship for star travel, and journey across the night sky to the unknown?

Best I can come up with is that would we need a new place to live. Maybe our world has run out of resources and we need more.  We are out of food-or the conditions that allow us to provide food for ourselves, have deteriorated. There are wars and famine, disease, oppressive regimes ruling the planet (fighting the urge to be cynical here).  None of the scenarios are good.  And we would need pretty specific environmental parameters. The chemicals that make up Earth and its whole atmosphere might not be common at all when we get outside of our solar system.  So, maybe we are desperate and will just take what we need?

I read a book last year called, "Hunt for Skinwalker: Science Confronts the Unexplained at a Remote Ranch in Utah"  It's available on Amazon.  Four stars after 98 reviews. It was written by a respected journalist--well, respected until he wrote the book.  He was not well thought of by his peers after he wrote about his experience at Skinwalker Ranch.  And the scientists involved with the research asked him to not identify them by name in the book. If you like these kinds of  books, it's a good read.  It was interesting.  Okay, I admit...I wasn't quite able to wrap my head around everything he wrote.  I wanted to believe he was telling the truth. Still...denial.  I think that a lot of us are that way.

Have I seen a UFO?  :-)  Oh my god, no!

*hangs head* Okay, that was a lie (I am a natural fiction writer).    I share this purely as a humorous and cautionary tale.  One time (and only once) I saw something in the sky. It was at dusk. I was alone. (never a witness) I had just finished watching the sunset. Not a cloud in the sky the whole time I had been watching.  Then I noticed one lone cloud, small, strangely illuminated, heading from straight south toward the north--which is a rare weather direction, indeed, for western PA. It generally takes an odd storm to coax clouds to float that direction.  Its heading took a gentle turn to the east--to float directly over me--well, where I WAS standing when I first saw it. I was no longer there, because I was running just as fast as my old legs could carry my scared arse.  If I'd had four legs, I know my back ones would have been passing up my front ones. Terrified, glancing over my shoulder, sure it would swoop down on me.  I reached the house, dashed inside, and went to the other side of the kitchen and watched (okay, okay, timidly peeked) until I saw it come overhead. It faded just above the trees below our house.

I researched cloud types, twilight illumination, the prevailing weather direction.  And damn it, none of it made sense. I saw what I saw. Crap.

Or...maybe that story was an exercise in fiction...

And maybe I am the only one who will ever know.

*mumbling* "Nice disclaimer at the end, Teresa. Now nobody thinks you're goofy."

UFOs   So, if they are coming--what do you think they are coming for?

And, have you seen something in the sky you couldn't explain away?  Anything that defied good, solid, rational, logic?  Would you tell anyone if you had?


  1. When I was a wee little girl, on Christmas Eve, I saw Rudolph's red nose leading the sleigh after he left my home. Santa sure was good to us that year...and no one will ever convince me I saw an airplane instead!

    1. :-) ! I like your encounter :-) Thanks for visiting!

  2. I am missing out- never seen anything inexplicable in the sky! Although people do look at me, quite pointedly, when discussing the possibility of alien life already cohabiting Earth :-)

    1. haha! I love it, Lily! Men in Black--one of the best parts in the movie--when Will Smitty starts to find out who is really alien. Might you have made that list? ;-) Thanks for visiting...

  3. Hello, Teresa! I love the movie Contact! I do believe there is other life out there, definitely. Intelligent and otherwise. Why would we be the only ones?

    Have a lovely week and happy A to Z!!

    1. Hi, Laura. It is one of my favorites. Ellie's character is so complex...so flawed! There is no reason I can think of why we would be. :-) Thank you for visiting.

  4. Anyone interested in aliens and UFOs should read the book, Communion. It's allegedly a true account. Scared the pants off of me.


    1. Oh, thanks for the recommendation, Lucy! And thank you for visiting! :-)

  5. I've not seen anything, but I think there must be something out there. Given the size of the universe though, there's only a slim chance they've made it to our place. Never know though!

    1. I agree, Nick. And sound logic. The universe is a mighty big place. Thanks for visiting :-)

  6. My take on it is: Space is big. It would certainly be an awful waste of space if we really were alone, but there could be billions of intelligent races out there and we may still be alone in our galaxy.

    Even if we shared our galaxy with other races, imagine being out for a Sunday drive...and you share the entire world with (say) just five other people. What are the chances of running into one of them?

    That is the kind of scale you need to be thinking on.

    1. Tue. We might be alone in our galaxy. the sheer numbers of galaxies and the enormity of space...incomprehensible to the human brain. Daily I work with numbers 10^11, 10^12. Even so, I rarely stop to think of them as they really are. I not only write them in their "abbreviated form" but I think of them that way too. And to start thinking distance in light years...wow...

      Wonderful Sunday drive analogy! :-)

      Thanks for visiting. :-)

  7. One night when I was walking home with a friend (actually, cutting through a corn field to get home faster - very Twilight Zone-y!) she suddenly yelled UFO, UFO and threw herself on the ground. I didn't see or hear anything, but I threw myself in the dirt with her, face down, just in case. She insisted, that she saw these bright flashing lights, bigger and smaller ones close together moving across the night sky. I have no reason not to believe she saw these lights, but a UFO, I don't know if that's what it was.
    I think there is something besides us out there, maybe not only other life forms, but even different versions of us running around in a parallel universe. Finding proof for that would be completely... awesome freakish scary. For us and them. :)

    1. :-) It really makes your heart pound, huh?

      UP physicist and professor Max Tegmark, Cambridge physicist Neil Turok, and Princeton physicist Paul Steinhardt have some interesting ideas on it all. Their calculations point to the existence of a second 3 dimensional membrane--a universe, right beside ours. They theorize that we can't see it because it is just a bit higher on the dimensional scale. I'm not sure if this is based on the string theory or not. I need to read more about it.

      Also, John Mack, the late Professor of psychiatry at Harvard had some incredible ideas about alien abductions. And it goes hand in hand with the idea above. That the alien's abduct their victims via a portal into the mind. And that mentally ill people, and people who meditate, or even people who are taking hallucinogenic drugs, have brains that can more easily slip through that portal with the "alien". He didn't think that these "abductions" were fabrications or lies. He believed that they were real, but that the human mind in most cases, lacks the receptive nature to be aware of the creatures from another dimension--or parallel universe. His work was cited in a book I recently read. I just found a link to an interview with him.


      Interesting stuff. :-)