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Are we Alone?

Updated: Jan 30

For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated with space. As with most of us, it started with those twinkling dots in the night sky. Of course, popular culture then added to the narrative with movies and TV series about alien visitors to our world, us visiting alien worlds as well as encounters between us and "them". As it turns out, I was not the first to be fascinated by the prospect of extra terrestrial civilisations existing out in the cosmos.

Our planet has certain sites that we have been trying to decipher the origins of for centuries. Sacsayhuamán. Stonehenge. Easter Island. The Nasca lines. And, of course, the pyramids of Giza and Teotihuacán. We can't imagine how our ancestors would have created the extraordinary features of the sites, much less what they meant to them. It would be convenient to suppose that visitors from somewhere among the stars could have brought their superior technologies to bear in their creation. The question we will have to ask then is, where did they go? Why have they not returned? Or, have they been around all along and have we just been to blind or primitive in our abilities to recognise them?

The landmark year of 1947 saw two significant events occur which started the UFO fascination as it is experienced today. A pilot by the name of Kenneth Arnold claim to see a group of nine high-speed objects near Mount Rainier in Washington state while flying his small plane. He was quoted as saying that the crescent -shaped objects that he saw travelled, in his estimation, at speeds of several thousand mph and that they moved "like saucers skipping on water". This led to the term "flying saucer". Later that same year, rancher W.W. "Mac" Brazel came across a mysterious 200 yard long wreckage near an army airfield in Roswell, New Mexico. A local paper reported this as being the wreckage of a flying saucer, but later retracted this, stating that it was nothing more than a weather balloon. Our fascination, however, as a society was forever altered skyward and subsequently, many people started reporting sightings of objects they could not explain.

In 1948, the United States Air Force started investigating these aerial phenomena, calling their operation "Project Sign". With the onset of the Cold War, and the paranoia surrounding Soviet technologies, this endeavour was replaced, initially, with "Project Grudge" and, subsequently, with "Project Blue Book" – the longest running investigation into the UFO phenomenon ever conducted by the United States military.

In 1955, the United States Air Force acquired a site in southern Nevada which they called, officially, Homey airport. It would subsequently become known by another name – Area 51. It would become synonymous with all things relating to UFOs. It has been designated "above top secret", with the use of deadly force being given to deter all who would attempt to trespass upon its property.

In the late 1980s, the notoriety of this site was enhanced by the revelations of Bob Lazar, a physicist who claimed to have worked at a site known only as S – 4, located a few miles south of the main installation. He claimed to have seen and examined alien craft, as well as alien technology fuelled by a hitherto unknown element which allowed for the bending of time and space as a means of propulsion and navigation. Element 115, at that time, had not been seen in nature or been synthesised within a laboratory.

As one might imagine, people who showed an interest in "little green men" were labelled as "... wearing tinfoil hats", "conspiracy theorists", and generally regarded as being out of their minds. Yet, over the years, there were those diehards who continued to ask the question "are we alone in the universe?"

Fast forward, then, to 2023. Thanks wholly, or in part, to the Freedom of Information act in the United States, a lot of classified material have come to light from the United States Navy that have indicated that the existence of – and the activities of – extra terrestrial civilisations may not only be real, but may be a lot more common than anyone could have imagined. Video has been released of "tic-tac craft" that have been encountered by US Air Force F-18's that have defied our understanding of physics, aeronautics, as well as their reason for being on our planet.

The question we have to ask ourselves then is this: if alien civilisations are something less akin to science fiction and are, in fact, operating within our reality, what would it mean for us as humanity? Questions of physics aside, what would it mean to our belief systems? How would Christianity explain it? Some have asserted that there was evidence for extraterrestrial visitation in the book of Ezekiel, and its description of "Chariots of Fire". If you are a Christian, would you now question your faith if we were to assume that little green men were not only real but that you may come face-to-face with them at some point in time?

Personally, it would not have any bearing on my belief in God. I have always asserted that the Bible was merely the foundation on that which I hold to be true and whatever came next would merely be part of his plan for me, my life, and my relationship with Him. I have always believed that there was an intelligence behind creation. I have never believed that our understanding of things were all that existed. It excites me to think that, once we progressed past our revolutionary state of puberty, we might join other civilisations among the stars that have already walked the path we are on, and may teach us things about who we are and what our relevance is in the greater scheme of things.

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