Has the internet snuffed out aliens?

September 5, 2007 at 3:00 am 16 comments

Greece doorwayAwhile back, I did a post on UFOs – not because I believe in them but because I had been reading a lot of stuff on Neil Armstrong and NASA. And I started to think about whether astronauts had ever had a close encounter and what had happened to Kenneth Arnold, the dude who first reported spotting UFOs way back in 1947. So I did a post that was largely tongue-in-cheek – asking things like why aliens have such unusual names and why they seem to wander aimlessly in the desert.

What I didn’t expect was the reaction to that post – over 5,000 hits in the course of a few days, but more surprising was the email reaction and some of the comments left. One email that stood out was from someone in the US who says he is a Raelian – 14th generation to be exact. Now I may not believe all the stuff I was told, but I respect everyone’s right to an opinion and I looked up every book or link that people sent me.

The reaction prompted some further thinking. I cast my mind back to the Jurassic Park era when I was growing up (pre-fall of Berlin Wall, I’ll reveal that much). I remember kids in my high-school obssessed, as I was, with Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica reruns on TV; we had “launch parties”, whenever a space shuttle took off or landed (hey, remember this was pre-internet, iPods and other exciting stuff). Then in the early 1990s, it was all about The X-Files and the delectable David Duchovny (the thinking woman’s sex-symbol). Along came the internet and somehow over the last 10 or so years, it seems to me we have been sidetracked by matters less extra-terrestrial.

A space shuttle launch these days produces a stifled yawn; NASA’s talk of aiming for Mars falls on less excited ears; a TV show about alien autopsies barely rates against reality TV drivel; aliens appear to have become lost in space.

So this had me thinking: why do we no longer seem to be interested in whether or not aliens are amongst us? Why are kids these days more interested in becoming the next singing idol than they are in watching Star Trek: Enterprise? I didn’t have to ponder this for too long because my RSS feeds delivered a very interesting article in the New Statesmen, which talks about how in the age of the internet and instant communications, aliens have become irrelevant. Gasp! Perhaps the Department of Homeland Security has been really successful in keeping out immigrants :)-

Anyway, the US used to account for about 99% of all UFO sightings (what are they drinking over there?) but now there’s barely a sighting reported these days. One interesting theory is that there is an exact parallel between the rise in the use of the internet and the fall in UFO sightings. Pre-internet (and I struggle to remember what it was like), I guess there was more time available to spend staring at the heavens and we’ve swapped this for staring at a blinking computer screen. But the article also talks about another far more intriguing theory: “…. aliens are a projection of our inner irrationalities, anxieties and fears. The spaceships arrived as a cultural device for making sense of things incomprehensible to ordinary folks. Now we have a new, all-encompassing tool. So, instead of projecting our fears of the inexplicable on to outer space, we project them into cyberspace“.

The flurry of UFO sightings of course occurred during the heady days of early space travel and against the backdrop of the Cold War. You just never knew what those pesky Russkies were up to – would they beat the US to the Moon? Had they come across a crashed alien craft and exploited alien technology for their Sputnik programme? It was all a lot of space bluff really, but these were our cultural references in the 1950s and 1960s – Russia, spies, space race, secret squirrel stuff. And so our anxieties over the then Soviet Union, for example, manifested as spaceships zooming around the sky or projecting bright mysterious beams onto houses and sucking up kids and parents to conduct medical experiments on. The rise of science eclipsed earlier times when religious beliefs functioned as cultural reference points and led to miraculous sightings of the Virgin Mary or burning of witches. Strange experiences could be explained in terms of science, UFOs, aliens, alien abductions etc and so the apparitions of the Virgin Mary or the spectre of witches was replaced.

And so the decline of UFO sightings can be explained by viewing the Internet and instant communications as our new cultural reference point. As the article says: “People seek to explain the inexplicable through the internet – by developing virtual communities, in chat rooms, through exploring virtual worlds and playing games where they can actually take on the persona of visiting aliens. With the internet, we have become self-absorbed and inward-looking. UFOs have become irrelevant“.

Even Steven Spielberg is pondering why there are less alien sightings at a time when pretty swish technology could easily record First Contact. As Spielberg says: “There are millions of video cameras out there and they’re picking up less videos of UFOs, alleged UFOs, than we picked up in the 1970s and 1980s. There’s 150 per cent more cameras, so why are we getting less from up there?

Really, maybe there’s just not anything particularly alluring for aliens anymore. Maybe an atmosphere thick with pollution causes a UFO to go into a gyrating free fall; maybe we’ve scared them off with reality show drivel, which causes them to think that humans are a pretty trashy, idiotic bunch. But then again, maybe the aliens are a pretty clever lot and have disappeared into cyberspace – a cunning ploy intended to put humans off their guard. And of course, there’s the theory that the internet is based on alien technology – since the internet’s origins lay with Arpanet developed by the US Department of Defense – the theory goes that military types found high-tech stuff on crashed spacecraft and turned it into the internet. Doesn’t work for me though. I’m sure any aliens would have far more advanced technology. We’re also busy using the internet to contact aliens (now, this would assume that any extra-terrestrials out there actually bothered to get a connection to the internet to hear what we’re communicating!).

I sure miss the “good old days” (you know you’re getting old when you mutter this phrase). The time when there was no internet and you watched an episode of Star Trek (can’t beat the original) on a Sunday night and you spooked yourself by wondering if maybe, just maybe, some aliens were staring at you through your living room window, ready to whisk you away to their world of two moons and a red sky.

UPDATE: two readers from the US have emailed me a link and an amusing comment. A comment from Bob – ” They came looking for intelligent life. Stopped at the White House and decided there was none.” LOL. And from Donna – a link to a photo of Bush with an alien appearing in the window behind him. Thanks Rob and Donna!

Picture 4-36

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Entry filed under: Aliens, Internet, Reflections, UFOs.

Politics and the fear of death Narratives

16 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Linda Shaddock  |  September 5, 2007 at 8:12 pm

    i do agree that aliens,persay, have become less interesting in the age of
    instant communication. besides there being anyone and everyone to
    relate their “experiences”, it’s just too much for one to even wade through.

    but, on the other hand, reported ufo sightings have actually risen. There
    is a plethora of amateur video on the web and even the “main stream
    media” is taking notice.

    check it out.

    Reply
  • 2. thinkingshift  |  September 5, 2007 at 11:09 pm

    Hi Linda

    Thx for the comment. I’ve had some emails along the same lines ie sightings have actually risen and on another site, someone left me some stats….so I’ll check it out for sure.
    Kim

    Reply
  • 3. Top Posts « WordPress.com  |  September 6, 2007 at 1:05 am

    […] Has the internet snuffed out aliens? [image]Awhile back, I did a post on UFOs – not because I believe in them but because I had been reading a lot of stuff […] […]

    Reply
  • 4. Matt Moore  |  September 7, 2007 at 1:44 am

    Isn’t our interest in aliens is just a manifestation of goblins, bunyips, fairies, gods, angels, djinn, etc. Non-human entities who may be watching, interacting & controlling us? Religion & spirituality have been on the rise in the last 15 years – so aliens are being displaced by older bogeymen.

    Reply
  • 5. Josh  |  September 7, 2007 at 2:23 am

    I think you’re right – we’ve lost sight of our impossible dreams! I’m a Raelian from Australia and if you believe in ‘conspiracy theories’ you could say that the government use the media to manipulate the people into become distracted from the big dreams eg. world peace, enough money for everyone.

    So the use American Idol to keep the population quite, dulled and distracted! (If you believe in that sort of stuff!) 😉

    I was the same – as a kid I wanted to be an astronaut and I loved everything concerned with space. Then, somewhere along the way, I forgot about all of that stuff until I became Raelian last year.

    -Josh

    Reply
  • 6. thinkingshift  |  September 7, 2007 at 3:16 am

    Hi Matt

    I think that as curious humans, in search of the meaning of life, we have always been fascinated by the unknown or intangible. In our search for self-knowledge, we do look for meaning in many areas. But rationality and the scientific method has, in the recent past, blocked our exploration of meaning in the grey tones of life, because we’ve been looking at the black and white dimensions.

    Historically, why do people worship the moon, different gods, seasons? Because we were looking for something other than US; in order to understand ourselves, we’ve looking at Otherness, life beyond, aliens etc. It’s our desperate search to understand ourselves better. And this has been blocked by rationalism, scientific & linear explanations etc..where the spiritual dimension has no currency. But now perhaps there is a renaissance.
    Kim

    Reply
  • 7. Matt Moore  |  September 7, 2007 at 7:30 am

    hmmm – i agree that it’s part of human nature to search for meaning and something greater than ourselves. but i’m not sure that

    “rationality and the scientific method has, in the recent past, blocked our exploration of meaning in the grey tones of life”

    the discourse around aliens uses elements of modern science to express pre-modern fears & desires. the use of scientific methods & a rational approach to understanding the world has only ever been partial. and i don’t think it’s either/or – the victorian period saw an explosion of interest in both science & the supernatural – the two often fused in movements such as mesmerism.

    as an enlightenment atheist (but a lazy rather than militant one), i view the current interest in spirituality as a consumer craze rather than a renaissance.

    Reply
  • 8. thinkingshift  |  September 7, 2007 at 9:03 am

    Absolutely. Descartes ‘objective truth” became the dominant discourse at the height of modernity creating the either/or and pushing other explorations of reality, such as mesmerism or the Victorian craze over seances and the occult to the periphery, because they weren’t validated by mainstream science. Co-mingling of science and the spiritual were at the edge perhaps. Popular crazes or fads, with mesmerism leading to hypnosis – but not necessarily sanctioned by science at the time.

    Postmodernity has blurred the boundaries and brought the periphery to mingle and create a a new landscape, where both/and can coexist happily and people are comfortable re-exploring dimensions of what reality might be.

    Reply
  • 9. whalecurry  |  March 8, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    There is one other slightly, and I believe slightly more realistic, explanation for the direct correlation between the decline in UFO sightings and the increase in internet use. Have you ever received one of those “I am the direct inheritant of 6.7 billion US dollars…” emails and wondered exactly how that person is trying to scam money from your already suffering bank account? Reality is they won’t, they just want attention…the satisfaction of fooling other people. You used to have to mock up a loch ness monster and get your dog to tow it in front of your super 8, but these days you just log on to facebook and start fishing for underage jail bait.

    Reply
  • 10. dan  |  June 14, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    do u think the because of the internet, aliens no longer need to take a risk of coming to earth. they can just sit back and learn human culture the easy way. i bet that they scour the internet day in and day out recording everything anyone in the whole world says here. They know all of our weaknesses as a human culture and all of our strengths as well. all without sticking a probe up someones ass to learn about us.

    Reply
  • 11. kelsie  |  November 6, 2008 at 11:01 pm

    please……… if it was something, it would be a ghost and not a alien, but we all no they put it on there or it’s a reflection of something so you people try to make nothing a lot of something.

    Reply
  • 12. Raindo  |  June 4, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    Aliens are still real, its just the word itself ‘alien’ has lost all glory due to its overuse.

    The biggest problem with aliens is that certainly some of them are far more intelligent than humans because they have had more evolution time. So, I don’t think that humans, for the most part, are even capable of perceiving what makes up an aliens features.

    It is time for some real hyper-dimensional aliens that defy even the most well thought out notions of what one should be.

    Reply
  • 13. 1stCalamity  |  August 4, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    Well, our civilization is progressing and honestly I think that the aliens are the ones who are going to contact us, not the other way around. It will be a big deal when they do. For now though we should worry a bout keeping our species alive by stopping war, poverty, religion, and of course GLOBAL WARMING.

    Reply
  • 14. QuantumWeirdness  |  September 22, 2009 at 6:24 am

    If you’re serious about checking into this stuff, google search Project Camelot and check out some of the former national and global goverment employees’ testimonies.

    Take a serious look at quantum physics and the technologies we have been developing over the last few hundred years, including Tesla’s work which they squashed so we wouldn’t have free energy.

    Learn to be intuitive/multi-dimensionally aware; then go back and FEEL the pictures people put out of so-called “aliens” and the people talking about them, and FEEL who’s being honest and who’s not.

    Then, go check out Corra Tapan Richmond’s “Psychosophy” on Google books and compare what you heard with what she talks about when it comes to history, angels, avatars/Christs, and the like. It makes sense, and if you do some research; she started using this serious language when she was a kid! Check out Meher Baba’s teachings and compare that, if you can even comprehend it.

    Go research Millenials/Blue Ray kids at N2Millenials and more Google searches and check out the info on the newer generations coming in.

    I’m not going to hand you the answers, but if you want the truth; I’ve been studying spiritual and scientific information about human potential and spiritual evolution for over a decade. The information coming from all directions fits together into an interesting picture.

    Reply
  • 15. thinkingshift  |  September 22, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    Quantum Wierdness thx for the tips. I have actually read Baba 🙂 I will check out your other links though.

    Reply
  • 16. Francois de la Chevalerie  |  April 27, 2011 at 3:24 am

    Thank you very much for your relevant approach and comments. I addition to that, I have the pleasure to send to you the article I wrote about this concern, Best regards, Francois de la Chevalerie

    THE INTERNET AND THE ALIENS by Francois de la Chevalerie

    The aliens, a once sulfurous theme vampired by grotesque interpretations that, until now, had no established presence. The Internet is an ever evolving major tool of the post-industrial age. Nothing connects these two subjects except a high-risky hypothesis: with a superior technological power at their hands, aliens could blow up the network, trapping or destroying the machine, bringing down the global economy.

    What a fear !

    The fear that uncontrolled forces jostle the Internet is not original. What a good target! Today, the tool is called upon to absorb the memory of mankind. Already 250 million sites irrigate every aspect of our life, swallowing all personal data, all knowledge. Nobody seems to be able to escape even the most authoritarian regime. So the network is worthy for an undesirable action. Many are online to burst the system. Hackers? Terrorists? Dictators? The root name server has already experienced two powerful attacks (in 2002 and 2007). However, human obstruction ability is limited. Behind the Internet’s appearance of democracy, a very happy few hold the keys of the instrument. But the game could be open if an alien force threatens to neutralize the network.

    Inevitably, such an idea will be greeted by shrugs. However, three observations have to be reported.

    Probabilities

    Born 13.7 billion years ago, the universe is supposed to host 200 billion galaxies. Each one gathers a hundred billion stars, these draining in turn an undertermined number of planets! Therefore, it would be amazing that intelligence life does not flourish elsewhere.

    Due to an incredible series of physicochemical phenomena, until now the Earth was the only planet harboring life in the universe. The presence of water and oxygen, a certain temperature, its geographical position to the Sun, these are the general conditions which explain the presence of life.

    According to an “extremely pessimistic” calculation, even excluding the countless Jovian gaseous planets that do not meet these conditions, those likely to host life would approach one billion. From this stock, we could eliminate 99%, those bombarded by meteorites or shaken by gas windstorms. From this figure, let us put aside another 99%, those with a dense carbon dioxide atmosphere or an icy mantle. At the end, the planets sharing the same general conditions of the earth are somewhat uncountable.

    Exo planets

    Since 1993, 600 exo planets have been discovered, all belong to the Jovian gaseous category. With improved detection systems, the list should grow rapidly. However, the hope to make known the existence of ET’s in the next few decades is dubious. In addition, because of today’s inappropriate technology to travel at the speed of light, if by chance we happen to suspect life elsewhere, we would be unable to meet them.

    The UFO way

    So the other way to have an encounter with the ET’s could be done through UFO’s. Unfortunately the vast majority of the so-called cases reflect mainly a lack of knowledge of atmospheric physical phenomena. However some situations defy rational analysis. In France, according to the GEIPAN (Group for the Study and Information on Unidentified Aerospace Phenomena) 28% of them would not find an explanation. A similar figure is found in other countries. The question is : if the UFO phenomenon really exists, why the aliens do not contact us ? Maybe they do not feel the need? Maybe they haven’t our logic? Or maybe, the UFOs constitute a first step before a more serious intervention. If one day a confrontation should happen, it could be done in many ways. A war? A natural disaster? Better yet, taking hold of the Internet is much easier. It could be done in just one click and then disconnected or placed under control. What a comfortable solution for the unexpected travelers!

    Another window

    The third option is based on the controversial analysis made by Paul Von Ward. According to this former pastor, throughout history, humans have alaway communicated with advanced beings (gods, angels or spirits) through trance and dreams. He suggests that miraculous events occurring on earth have their origins elsewhere. According to him, the aliens have already a considerable influence on ours societies, religious, social and economic structures. If this hypothesis is accepted, the activism of the so-called advanced beings could escalate in the coming decades. Aggravating circumstances – political (conflicts) and natural (climatic) – could push them to reinforce their involvement on earth. Once again, the Internet network offers us an unparalleled platform to impose a solution without bloodshed.

    How to secure Internet from space invaders ?

    Historically, the birth of the Internet was associated with a commitment to safety. In 1962, during the Cold War, the U.S. Air Force created a military communications network whose aim was to secure the electronic exchange of information between nerve centers in case of a nuclear attack. Based on a decentralized system, the network should function despite the destruction of one part of the machines. But today the network could be targeted as a whole. Fearing that prospect, the canvas could be to duplicate the system against possible risks ? Beside the on-line network, the root name server, another or more would be kept secret. In this case, even if the global economy and our lives are open to the appetite of alien forces, the vital interests of the Earth would be protected. Moreover, this hypothesis is consistent with the wall of silence that covers information on UFOs for nearly sixty years.

    But because the silence is perhaps the mindset that characterizes supposed extraterrestrials, we do not how they could manage the situation. If fact, today they say nothing, we know nothing about them.

    Reply

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