It’s been a good year so far for
paranoid schizophrenics conspiracy theorists. The end of 2010 ushered in 2,000 pages of documented UFO sightings released by the government of New Zealand. The FBI decided to open the doors of its classified vaults to the general public in April this year, including a letter from an FBI Agent investigating the Roswell, New Mexico incident to the FBI director at the time. The document, dated March 22, 1950, had the subject line “Flying Saucers, Information Concerning.” (You can check out the vault here.) In June, the Australian government reported that its X-Files had been “lost.” (Ah, it must be the terrorists!) A few weeks ago, British National Archives released more formerly-classified documents on UFO and extraterrestrial-related political discussions covering the period from 1985-2007.
Today, there is a lot of buzz around NASA’s Kepler Telescope and its discovery of a planet that orbits around two suns, an astrophysical anomaly thought to only have existed in Star Wars until now. Over the past decade, the Kepler Telescope has helped discover Earth-like worlds. Since March, the data gathered by Kepler Telescope and Europe’s COROT planet-hunting probe has been harvested by government SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) institutions.
While I am keenly interested in the findings, I am equally skeptical about some of the seemingly pseudoscientific research being conducted by NASA scientists. A paper published in April 2011 by scientists from NASA’s Planetary Science Division and Pennsylvania State University titled “Would Contact with Extraterrestrials Benefit or Harm Humanity? A Scenario Analysis” had some deep thoughts to share on a potentially harmful alien attack. The science they had to drop was this: “ETI (extraterrestrial intelligence) could attack and kill us, enslave us, or potentially even eat us.” I’m not a believer of the anthropomorphic, human-centric views of ETI that permeate popular science but uh, ok.
What better time than now to tantalize X-Files (the TV show) fans with the possibility of a third X-Files movie to be released in 2012? Gillian Anderson has been quoted on her anticipation of X-Files 3, following David Duchovny’s hint that X-Files 3 is in the works. All this is to say the beloved crime-solving, conspiracy-busting duo might be back on the big screen next year! So, whatever your views may be on the existence of technologically-advanced alien life, the “real” timeline for encounter, and the future of humanity, just remember to trust no one and stay tuned for X-Files Monster of the Week Rewatch and more.
Images courtesy of National Archives of Australia and Natgi