Today a friend of mine “liked” this image on Facebook:
First I laughed and then I thought, “actually, that’s kind of FREAKY!!!” It’s kind of funny and possibly even cool in a really wierd way, but when you start looking more closely it gets pretty creepy.
I mean, seriously, look at that third alien on the right. Would you want to come across him in a dark alley at night? I didn’t think so. I wouldn’t turn my back on the guy in the middle either – he looks plain sadistic. And all I can say about the first one on the left, well…clearly aliens have a hierarchy and ol’ leftie here has been assigned all the drugery work. If an alien spaceshift swooped down and these three walked out and your life depended on it, which guy would you try to negotiate with?
This image gets me thinking though, about UFO sightings. I’m not ashamed to admit that I think it is fully possible that aliens exist. To some extent, I think it is just a statistical probability. When you look at the billions of stars out there and how many stars have planets orbiting them (see NASA’s Kepler mission for more info), I think it is likely that there is “alien” life out there. That’s not to say that this alien life is intelligent – it could be microscopic bacteria. But there is a lot we don’t yet know, and it seems arrogant to me to claim with certainty that humans are the only intelligent life in the entire Universe.
There have been lots of people who claim to have seen alien spaceships. Or rather, I should say they have claimed to have seen UFOs. It’s important to keep in mind that UFO stands for Unidentified Flying Object. By this definition, a UFO could be anything from an alien spacecraft to a misplaced frisbee. Once the object is identified, it stops being a UFO.
One of the more interesting possible candidates for Unidentified Flying Objects are bolides, which are chunks of space rock that hurtle through the Earth’s atmosphere so fast that they burn up and start to glow. Sometimes called fireballs, these objects move quickly across the sky and can appear brighter than anything else in the sky besides the Sun and the Moon. A bolide was recently seen in the San Francisco Bay Area on October 17, 2012. By some reports, it was as bright as the full moon and accompanied by a sonic boom. Check out video footage of this fireball captured by Lick Observatory outside of San Jose, California:
I’m sure there was more than one person who saw this streaking across the sky and thought “UFO!” But once you have more information, there is usually a reasonable explanation. It’s kind of like the dog-nose-aliens. If you just saw the noses and didn’t know the context, you probably wouldn’t know what you were looking at. But once you know there is a whole dog attached to the nose, it all makes sense.