Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Taking UFOs seriously

Here’s an interesting post at Vox: It’s time to take UFOs seriously. Seriously.

I have my doubts, I must say. But sure, let’s see what kind of case this article actually makes . . .

The Pentagon recently released three videos of UFOs recorded by the Navy — one taken in 2004 and the other two in 2015. The videos, which first leaked a couple of years ago, show … well, it’s not exactly clear.

There are various objects — two of which look like aircraft — spinning through the sky and moving in ways that defy easy explanation. As the images bop across the screen, you can hear the pilots’ excitement and confusion in real time as they track whatever it is they’re seeing.

I’m not what you would call a UFO enthusiast, but the videos are the most compelling I’ve ever seen. They seem to confirm, at the very least, that UFOs are real — not that aliens exist, but that there are unidentified objects buzzing around the sky.

The most compelling out of how many videos? Does this author spend a lot of time seeking out and watching UFO videos?

I will add that fake videos of all kinds offer compelling visual evidence of whatever. Did you see this one where the golden eagle snatches up a toddler?

Yeah, that didn’t happen.

But sure, a couple of those naval videos are embedded at the linked article, so let me take a look . . . well, I’m not a pilot or whatever and they just look like shapes to me. You can click through and see what you think of the images and the pilots’ voice-over.

So, the rest of the Vox article is an interview with a guy who is kind of a UFO enthusiast. Click through and read it if you’re interested. It’s mildly interesting to me. The article offers a couple of ideas about why aliens might be present but not making themselves known. I bet there are literally a hundred reasons offered in SF novels. Plus, if challenged, I bet SF readers and writers could come up with ten times that number (some might be variations on a theme).

I bet no one would suggest Andrea K Host’s answer from Starfighter Invitation. Maybe some version of the one in And All the Stars.

Meanwhile, though, I thought this other article offered a fun way to extend this topic. This is an article from last year, where apparently Britain had a poll on what people should do if contacted by aliens.

If aliens call, do not hold a referendum on what to do next, say Britons

In the event that aliens ever contact Earth, the British public is clear on one thing: do not hold a referendum to decide what to do next.

The option to hold a planetary vote on how to respond to inquiring extraterrestrials ranked bottom in a poll of 2,000 Britons asked how humanity’s reaction should be determined.

In a survey commissioned by researchers at Oxford University and conducted by Survation, only 11% of respondents thought such a referendum was a good way to agree on Earth’s cosmic communications. No other option scored lower.

The most popular vote was “Leave the decision to scientists.”

Well, I sure don’t agree with that. Wow, no. Actually I would feel much more confident taking not a planetary vote and not a vote of scientists — however defined for this purpose — but of science fiction readers and writers; plus historians. Those are the two groups I’d ask for opinions and options. Oh! And ethologists. That’s a bit egocentric of me, but it’s honestly very difficult for people to believe that creatures can truly have different instincts than humans. SF readers and writers help there, but so do people who are broadly aware of animal behavior.

Anyway, a couple interesting articles to start the week!

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