David Cogswell | March 08, 2016 12:30 PM ET
Aliens on Safari
I am not a knee-jerk naysayer. I don’t immediately jump to the denial of every possibility I have never heard of before. These days you have to keep an open mind.
Practically every day I hear something I would never have imagined possible even weeks before. I just heard a rumor that there was a discussion the other night during a presidential debate about the size of one or more of the candidates’ private parts. I can’t confirm this. But if true, this is one of those things I would never have believed possible even six months ago.
Not so long ago I heard the Pope quoted as saying, “A gay person who is seeking God, who is of good will – well, who am I to judge him?” The Pope!
That would have been one of the last things I would have expected to hear from a Pontiff a few years ago. And I would have been surprised back then to hear myself say, “I love the Pope,” as I often do now.
How rapidly the parameters of the possible slide.
Times are changing fast. One must keep an open mind.
So I will stick to my customary policy of non-judgment in regard to something recently brought to my attention by an esteemed colleague. It is an article from an online publication called Inquisitr.com with a catchy headline that may be the longest I’ve ever seen. I’ll quote the whole title:
ALIENS MAY BE VISITING EARTH FOR TOURISM, UFOS SPOTTED AROUND THE WORLD COULD BE RUN BY ALIEN TOUR OPERATORS, ACCORDING TO UFO RESEARCHERS.
Well, there ya go. I wonder if you ever thought of that one before. Who knows? Could be.
Just for a moment let’s suspend disbelief and just s’pose it is true. It gives a shot of adrenaline to the imagination to consider the nearly infinite possible ramifications of such a possibility, if it is indeed a possibility.
One thing that pops into my mind right away is that if this is true — if aliens are really observing us and snapping pictures to take back to their loved ones in distant galaxies — we are really lucky that these alien tourists are just benign observers, or perhaps photographers or filmmakers. I’m breathing a huge sigh of relief.
I guess what I mean to say is that it’s good that these alleged alien tourists seem to fit the profile of today’s safari goers, rather than the big game hunters of the past, such as Theodore Roosevelt, who claimed to have killed 512 beasts including 17 lions, 11 elephants and 20 rhinoceri, when he went on safari.
Actually we still have big game hunting concessions in Africa. That is still going on. But in any case, I hope there are not any of those kinds of safaris being offered to alien tourists coming to Earth.
While the historical big game hunters were intent on bringing home body parts, the modern safari taker is interested primarily in bringing home jpegs. Taking pictures seems to have become the primary activity during travel among humans today. Hopefully that is roughly true of alien tourists as well. One wonders what kinds of technological toys the aliens have to play with while they’re here.
It does certainly feel strange to consider being on the other end of the safari camera. Could it really be true that we are being observed by alien tourists? Are we the Big Game for alien visitors to see during a breathtaking week in an exotic locale? I wonder what their tourism posters look like? Do they show pictures of humans on their brochures?
Do they come here to observe us as an endangered species in a vanishing wilderness?
If they can even get here we know they must be far more technologically advanced than we are. So what kinds of images could they be snapping? Maybe they are able to capture full dimensional moving holographs of us to take back to their planets to play in their living rooms.
Who knows? A moving image of you, indistinguishable from your actual physical presence, may be flitting around some child’s nursery on another planet at this very minute.
One hopes that the alien safari goers are advanced enough to practice sustainable travel policies. Certainly I have heard no evidence of them leaving litter around. In fact they seem to barely leave any trace of their presence at all, which is consistent with the mantra of sustainability: “Tread softly, take nothing, leave nothing behind.”
If they are so much more advanced than us, as we would expect, then they may have discovered these principles of sustainability centuries ago. But then again, we really have no way of knowing.
What if, for example, we find out during our first encounter with aliens that it turns out that evolution doesn’t necessarily move in an upward direction at all, as we often seem to assume?
Some theorists of the modern age, such as Devo or Mike Judge in “Idiocracy,” have suggested the possibility that human beings are actually evolving backward, into less intelligent beasts.
Once again suspending judgment, what if this is true? If it is happening here, isn’t it possible that it has also happened to alien populations, some of whom may be traveling to Earth as tourists?
What if populations on other planets have mirrored our evolution from, say the language of Jane Austen to Valley Girl English? What bestial level might they have evolved to by this time?
Using our own evolution during the last 30 years as a reference point, how might we expect that aliens to have evolved so far beyond us?
Obviously their technology must make ours seem very primitive. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they are smart is individuals. Surely we have seen enough evidence of that.
It could be that we are about to encounter the most dumbed-down beings ever, evolved incomprehensibly farther than we. It’s possible, again using our own tourism industry as a guide, that the first wave of alien tourists was the elite, the more sophisticated travelers, and that we are just about to experience the next wave: the mass market traveler.
What if they are just dummies? What if the universe is about to dump a bunch of dumb tourists on our planet?
Oh God. I hate to think of it.
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