I am still waiting for the aliens. But the big-headed, bug-eyed dwarves many have had close encounters with have avoided me, which is mildly disheartening.
As a kid, I imagined being abducted by aliens. I even rehearsed what I would say — not something as empty as, ‘Take me to your leader.’ Rather something incisive and transformative.
Like: ‘How come you’re so ugly?’
Or: ‘What are those big steel prongs for?’
Of course, I wouldn’t ask the aliens aloud. As everyone knows, aliens are so advanced they communicate telepathically. I have that on good authority — because every portrayal of close encounters of the third kind involve telepathy.
It is exciting stuff. No one wonder, as a nine-year-old, I frequently imagined my abduction.
I lived in Labrador at the time, and was convinced that, with all the empty space between me and the stars in the cool, clear night sky, there was a good chance I’d be ‘seen’ as I ambled along on terra firma.
There were nights I sat outside ... waiting. The aliens never came.
Carl Sagan, an astrophysicist who became popular for the film adaptation of his novel Contact, was the driving force being the establishment of SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Sagan believed the universe is big enough to have multiple homes for sentient beings.
Some people have even gone to the extreme of suggesting that aliens have been here for many years. It’s been suggested that aliens ‘seeded’ Earth so it would give rise to life.
Different kinds of aliens may have visited the Earth over the millennia.
The possibility exists that I was abducted. The aliens may very well have taken me to their mother ship, analyzed me then sent me back to Earth. My memory of the abduction could have been wiped out because, as we know, that’s what aliens do.
We want aliens to exist. We want them to be more intelligent than we are — because then we can look to them for the answers to what ails us and the civilizations we build.
The much more advanced aliens would have long ago found that violence is anathema to life. These sophisticated beings would know that peace and harmony are the litmus of a truly civilized way of living.
As a youngster still recovering from the planet-changing assassination of American president John F. Kennedy, I longed for ‘the answer’ that, perhaps, only aliens could provide. Aliens would long ago have risen above the pettiness, the meanness, the ignorance that seemed to one nine-year-old characteristic of our human condition.
Aliens have all the answers.
The mythology around encounters with alien lifeforms is inextricably tied to our yen for a better balance. Whether aliens exist, whether aliens are living amongst us is less important than our implied recognition of our own shortcomings. Surely, aliens wouldn’t kill one another. Aliens would recoil upon learning that billions of Earthlings live in poverty while their counterparts in the developed world enjoy relative abundance.
I’m still hoping for that long-dreamed abduction. In the meantime, I’ll do my level best to be as ‘alien’ as I can be.