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Aliens and UFOs: Pros and Cons  




There was a time in my life when this topic posed a challenge. Now it is so far beneath me I can’t stand it. But it’s a good place to start for a few reasons. It is an elementary rhetorical exercise (it should be a scientific one), which gives me a chance to demonstrate basic writing and reasoning skills. It is a static topic so a well-prepared argument will stand the test of time. And, I plan to use it allegorically in future essays.


I consider believers in aliens and alien-related UFOs to be of two types:

  • “professionals” who write books and maintain websites about aliens and UFOs.
  • “amateurs” who buy the books and visit their websites.


Null Hypothesis


The burden of proof is on the professionals. They need to prove their case and disprove the null hypothesis. Simply, it’s the established scientific paradigm based on all prior discovery that needs to be disproved before we are convinced of their claim. Here, the central null hypothesis is: aliens and alien-related UFOs have never landed on our planet.


For such an extraordinary claim as this, it’s possible to formulate many more null hypotheses concerning the how, what, when, where, why, and who, of alien space travel. One example, how are the aliens overcoming the speed of light? The null hypothesis is the speed of light is the fastest speed anything can travel.


Although the burden of proof is on the professionals, in the following essay I’m going to show you some of the tricks of their trade.


Wiggle Room in the Space-Time Continuum


In the Introduction to his book Alien Agenda, Jim Marrs states in the first two sentences, “The controversy over the existence of UFOs is over. UFOs are real.” (page x). Notice the wiggle room, not intelligent alien life forms are real and have visited Earth, but flying objects that as of right now have yet to be identified. An amateur might have seen a meteor but refused to accept that as an answer and so in his mind it remains an unidentified flying object.


(Marrs, Jim. Alien Agenda. New York: HarperCollins, 1997. Print.)


Everything Under the Sun


The very first chapter of Alien Agenda is titled: “The Greatest UFO?” It sets the standard for the sheer multitude of supposed UFOs. From the second paragraph, “Although this object is identified – at least we have a name for it and we know it’s there – the moon cannot be hastily disqualified as a UFO.” (Marrs, page 1).


Yes, even the moon. Literally everything under the Sun is potentially a UFO or linked to aliens. This is a standard technique professionals use because they know no one has the time to research and explain everything.


Categorize Their Arguments 


Because they count on this trick that no one has the time to explain all of their claims, it is important to categorize the claims they make. For example, I can’t give a complete and detailed history of the moon. Right off the top of my head, I can’t explain how the Great Pyramid of Egypt (a major subsection in Alien Agenda) was built. But anyone with any academic sensibility at all knows to start with the belief that it was built by non-aliens, then start researching the subject of ancient Egyptian archeology. This category is: Everything is possibly linked to aliens or alien-related UFOs.


Everybody Under the Sun


Professionals use the same technique when passing along eyewitness accounts. These are so numerous it is impossible to explain all of them – which gives the professionals a sense of validation. Even people from Biblical times are linked to aliens – it’s standard boilerplate in books about aliens and UFOs. Among others, Marrs mentions Jacob, Zechariah, and Ezekiel. This category is: Everybody is possibly linked to aliens or alien-related UFOs.


No Physical Evidence


In the Introduction section Jim Marrs states, “While admittedly the UFO mystery is seriously deepened by the lack of hard physical evidence, anyone who can state unequivocally that UFOs do not exist either has neglected to study the massive amount of literature now available or is in a state of denial that no amount of evidence will penetrate.” (page xiv).


“Mystery” is a word professionals like to use. Due to the “lack of hard physical evidence” the “mystery” is “seriously deepened”. I’d say. There is no hard physical evidence of aliens, or alien-related UFOs, in anyone’s possession that can be brought forth and pass academic, scientific, and medical testing.


Notice the last half of the quote, if you’re scientific you’re either ignorant or in denial. And notice the part about “massive amount of literature”, almost daring you to try to explain everything. The challenge would not be in the message, nor in limitations of the messenger, but in the limitations of the listeners.


CONspiracy Theories: Discourse of the Feeble-Minded


The whole myth surrounding aliens and UFOs is a testament to the utility of a good conspiracy theory.


A conspiracy theory is a handy device used to avoid the responsibility of having to prove a point through logical means. These theories are elaborate, intricate, even sophisticated in their own way, but based on nothing but the ability of the speaker to dodge every request for proof.


The main fallback position is that people in the government are conspiring to cover-up evidence and information. It is unlikely however that out of all the people supposedly involved in this cover-up, from the presidential administrations, the CIA, the FBI, NASA, law enforcement, the media, to the military-industrial complex, no one ever squealed or got caught with any alien evidence. The reason for this of course, is that there isn’t any evidence to get caught with. But isn’t it funny how people usually consider the government to be bloated and incompetent - unless it’s aliens - then people think the government works to 100% efficiency. This supposed cover-up has worked to perfection since ancient Egypt.


Although professionals rely extensively on conspiracy theories, aliens and UFOs are just a small part of the universe of conspiracy theories. They fall into the category of unusual living creatures. There are others such as political conspiracy theories, cultural and social conspiracy theories, “the government is trying to infect us with or get us addicted to…” and personal conspiracy theories, “the cops are out to get me.”


The study of why so many people throughout history have believed in conspiracies could make an entire career in anthropology. 


Science Fiction


In The Everything UFO Book, William Birnes includes a chapter titled “The Science Behind UFOs” where he surmises on the potential for interstellar travel. I’m going to throw a change-up here. The professionals actually demonstrate a smattering knowledge of theoretical physics. Their error lies in the assumption aliens exist and in the assumption that aliens use these modes of travel when there is no proof of either.


(Birnes, William J. The Everything UFO Book. Massachusetts: Adams Media, 2012. Print.)


That doesn’t mean scientific experimentation in physics is worthless. On the contrary, we humans need to continue to develop theories and invent devices that will help us in our attempts to explore the universe.


Here are a few quotes from Birnes’s book. Now don’t let the technical language lose you -- his chapter on science spans an entire eleven pages.


“Fuel also might not be an issue if UFOs from highly advanced technological civilizations are able to use the dark energy of the universe itself as fuel.” (Birnes, page 156).


That’s a big “might” and “if”.


“if space travelers developed a way to travel faster than the speed of light and make the passage through a wormhole at hyperlight speeds, they may not be crushed by the huge gravitational forces.” (Birnes, page 156-157).


There are a bunch of clever ideas like that one. Another example of a clever idea is that there might be a parallel universe somewhere teeming with aliens. Interesting theory, but where is the proof? Another interesting theory is the idea that aliens are just human beings time traveling back to see ourselves. It worked for Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future, but that was just a movie. Another clever idea is that of a “wormhole” through the universe. The possibility of a “wormhole” is an open question, but we have no evidence aliens have ever used one to travel here.


Birnes mentions element 115 and element 116 and their energy to power a spacecraft. “That energy doesn’t drive the craft through space; it draws space and time around the craft.” (page 163).


That is in fact the mode of travel on the animated TV show Futurama. Cubert Farnsworth is Professor Farnsworth’s clone, and he explains the engines on their spaceship “Planet Express”. “I understand how the engines work now. It came to me in a dream. The engines don’t move the ship at all. The ship stays where it is and the engines move the universe around it.” (Episode: “A Clone of My Own”. Futurama. Season 2).


Little Green Men from Marrs


In the Appendix, Marrs starts to reveal what the alien agenda might be:


            [Don Kelly, a design engineer and author of The Free Energy Manual, stated, “Both the oil and nuclear options have brought about the rise of monopolies which have functioned at the expense of the planet’s environment. It’s no wonder that the reported extraterrestrial visitors must consider our planet a wide open insane asylum when we consent to the adoption of dubious energy sources which have the clear potential of destroying the planet and all its inhabitants.” (Marrs, page 393).]


So there you have it. They came from outer space and their agenda is exactly the same as Al Gore’s. Just to reinforce the point, notice how the alien agenda is a perfect match with the political agenda of the observer.




My advice to amateurs is don’t believe everything you hear or read -- some people just like to tell tall tales. And whatever you do, never learn about science, ancient history, archeology, religion, economics, politics, or anything else for that matter, from UFO conspiracy buffs.


This might surprise a lot of you, but I guarantee most professionals don’t believe for a minute aliens or alien-related UFOs are real. Grown men with their above average abilities can’t spend the amount of time and effort it takes to write a book and not have a revelation or two. I’m sure they didn’t believe in aliens even before they began. Then why do they write their books? Simple. Money. There isn’t anything wrong with that. They’re good at what they do and it’s an easy game to play. If you read their books closely you’ll see they never outright say aliens are real – only naturally occurring or man-made UFOs. But they know that in the minds of amateurs aliens and UFOs are synonymous, and off you go on a wild goose chase.


Obviously, I’m unconvinced aliens or alien-related UFOs have ever landed on our planet. I’m a fair-minded guy. All I ask for is proof that can pass the scientific method - including experimentation and testing of any evidence, full disclosure, and replication. However, even that would probably be unnecessary, aliens visiting our planet from light years away would be so apparent and life changing they wouldn’t need anyone to prove their existence. 

April 29, 2012