I'm gettin' itchy to meet a galactic neighbor. The time feels right. Don't ask me why. The question of extraterrestrial life comes up fairly regularly in my conversations; I guess because I probably instigate it. The last two or three times it's come up I was met with the response, "I don't think there's anyone out there." That's amazing to me...because I'm so convinced they ARE out there. Maybe it's all those Saturday afternoons watching pods turn into people or trips to a Forbidden Planet or even laughing at Plan 9 From Outer Space. Hey, even an eight year old kid can see they changed Bela Lugosi's mid flick. And now it's day....whoops....now it's night..uh oh.... day again. Or maybe it's the late night radio shows I've been running into. Ninety percent of that conversation I don't buy into. I can't say they're wrong. I always say, and will continue to say, ANY THING'S possible. I just....don't buy into most of it. I'm not even sure we've ever been observed or visited. I'm just sure they're out there. All those great Sci fi movies, as cool as they were, always left me a little cold. I mean, I wanted them to land in my back yard.
Then the question comes up, "Well, why haven't they visited us?" The simple answer is I don't know. No one does. But I have a couple of theories. One is distance. Earth like planets have been discovered a few stars away from us. Ten.....fifteen years ago the big question was,"Are there any other planets out there?" Now we know there are. Many. That doesn't mean there's any kind of life out there....but it doesn't mean there isn't, either. But to get to the closest one, traveling at or near the speed of light, is a generational trip. And that's just tooling around in our own cosmic neighborhood. And the ability to reach anything close to the speed of light is a long way off. Talk to Einstein. So barring the invention of warp drives or wormhole shortcuts or inter dimensional pathways, it may simply be a matter of leapfrogging our way across the galaxy; a colony here, move on, a colony there, move on, etc. And once we get done with the two hundred billion stars in our galaxy, we can move on to the two hundred billion stars in each of the two hundred billion other galaxies. That' a lot of planets, man. And take these numbers with a grain of salt. Give or take a few billion either way.
My other theory is maybe they've been watching and observing for a long time but have no desire to interact. Could it be we're.....boring? Maybe it's that Star Trek prime directive thing where they can't interfere with a species' natural evolution. Or they're just sizing us up; sittin' back and watching.....seeing if we're gonna make the cut. Maybe whoever's in charge of this whole eternal universe thing set it up so we CAN'T reach each other. He's given us the tools to cruise around our own cosmic block but no further. As if to say, "Look around, have fun, but tend to your own garden." You can almost see the girl's camp across the lake...but not quite. Curiosity, the latest Mars rover, took off this morning. It's exciting stuff. But TOO SLOW!!! Can someone please invent impulse power NOW?!
I love watching Nova or tales about the evolution of the universe on the History Channel but the frustrating thing is it always turns out the same. Maybe they're there. Maybe they're not. It's like watching the guys chasing the ghosts. Just show me video of a ghost standing there, wouldja. Not something in the dark at the end of the room for a second and a half that's probably a reflection or a shadow. I guess they can hear it saying "Get Out," but all I hear is static. And I've got a wild imagination. I definitely heard John say,"I buried Paul" at the end of Strawberry Fields. When I was fifteen that was a head turner; till I found out he meant Paul was buried in the mix of the album. Dang, skunked again. So we seem to think they're out there..... but....... the old back and forth.
That doesn't stop me from going out at night and throwing out an open invitation to the universe. So far, no response. I don't think anything landed in Roswell, I don't think there's been any alien abductions ...or autopsies. I don't think the government knows anymore than anyone else. And if they do....quit worrying about the panic in the streets scenario. We can handle it. I think.
This quote has been attributed to a few different folks, Isaac Asimov among them. I like it. "The universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it's stranger than we can imagine." Put that in your phaser and fire it. Peace.