What would you do if the media announced extraterrestrials are real? Would your immediate reaction be based on the very cute E.T., the age-defying properties of Cocoon, or be a more fear-based response based on memories of Invasion of the Body Snatchers or Battleship? Would a media blitz announcing the reality of ETs have you searching for Tommy Lee Jones’s secret M.I.B. phone number?
I love the idea of us having a space family. I had to develop that love, though; it didn’t come easily. As a young’un, Saturday nights were often spent watching creature features and outer space epics. This was in the day before Star Wars made a bar full of dangerous, dubious characters comedic.
One of the most fearsome invasion movies – the movie that still gets my heart beating – was The Day The Earth Stood Still with Michael Rennie. The special effects were low budget, but that didn’t keep me from using my imagination. I think I looked over my shoulder for a couple of weeks after I saw that film the first time!
In spite of those 1950’s films designed to scare young kids, and the movies that came later, the idea that we aren’t alone in the universe took hold. I began seeing the world as a larger place. Along came the Space Race, the moon landing, Apollo 13 and the Space Station. Stars were no longer something to wish on but potential destinations. What an exciting time!
We continue to live in exciting times. The Mars Rover Curiosity has sent back phenomenal photos, and is collecting information that has set scientists on their collective ears. Photos of saucer-like ships hovering over the London Olympic Opening Ceremony have been circulating the Internet. Reports of government cover-ups as related to life in space continue to pop up, and not just with the conspiracy theorists.
All this begs the question: how long can we deny the very real probability that we are not alone in the Universe? And more, do we want to do that anymore?
I believe the universe teems with life. I choose to trust that kind and intelligent Yoda and Obi Wan Kenobi types wait to help us transition to a peaceful life. Besides, I want to learn that regenerating trick for daisies from E.T. I hope he comes back to visit, soon.