A COLLECTION OF STORIES BY LUKE TAGG
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SMOKE: Do Aliens Exist?

Originally published: 24 March 2006

In answer to the question posed by the title of this article: I have no idea. I'd love to believe so, as would most people, but I'm not convinced by the plethora of UFO and alien conspiracy revelations.

The History Channel showed an interesting documentary the other night called "The Day After Roswell", which examined claims made in a book by a top US army officer that the alleged UFO crash at Roswell, New Mexico in 1947 was the real deal.

Lt. Colonel Philip J. Corso wrote the book and what made it documentary-worthy was the fact that Corso was a US Army intelligence officer who was assigned the Roswell case.

His credentials are impeccable: he was a military officer in World War II, an intelligence officer on General Douglas MacArthur's staff during the Korean War, a member of US President Dwight Eisenhower's National Security Council as a Lt. Colonel for four years and the head of Foreign Technology in Army Research and Development at the Pentagon in the early 1960's.

He retired in 1963 having won numerous decorations for his service to the military.

Notice some of the names in that list above, and some of the job titles. He wasn't a kippie arb, let's put it that way.

Corso was the Post Duty Officer at Fort Riley in Kansas in 1947. A shipment arrived from another fort late one night containing - allegedly - artefacts recovered from the crash site, including two alien bodies.

Corso claims he looked inside a crate once they were stocked in the warehouse (and records reflect that a shipment did indeed arrive from Fort Bliss on the night he said it did, and he was indeed the Post Duty Officer assigned to protect it) and inside it was a lifeless, grey form - he says the corpse of an alien.

Corso was put in charge of the Roswell files when working at the Pentagon in the early 60's, and supposedly revealed all in a book he wrote in 1997, called "The Day After Roswell".

His job as head of Foreign Technology in Army Research and Development was to reverse-engineer the artefacts found at the crash site, for human technological advancement.

He claims numerous modern inventions are the result of reverse-engineering the alien technology: night-vision (which he says they worked out from the lens of one of the alien's eyes), fibre optics, integrated circuit boards which became computer chips, high-tensile fibres like Kevlar which he says they worked out from a sample of one of the protective suits the aliens were wearing, and lasers.

Normally I wouldn't even begin to listen to such nonsense, but I had to pause a moment to watch because of the guy's credentials. I understand that credentials aren't everything - maybe the guy has turned into a loon in the intervening years, although he appears to be perfectly capable - the foreword to his book was written by a US Senator.

It's a delicious prospect that his story is true, but the sad fact is that night-vision was already in basic use during WWII (although Corso claims his reverse-engineering progressed the research into it by decades) and all the other inventions mentioned all have recognised inventors.

Doesn't mean he's lying, though. Nobody has been able to definitively disprove any of his claims and naturally he says it was all top-secret and classified, to the extent that companies like IBM weren't even aware of the infiltration of his research into their business.

I could believe it were it a movie, but come on - it's even harder for me to believe in secret government agencies ruthlessly protecting their knowledge of aliens than it is to believe in the aliens themselves.

Not I nor anyone definitively knows what happened at Roswell, but something certainly did. The US Air Force have released three conflicting reports about Roswell since it happened, which of course has led to claims of conspiracies and cover-ups.

But let's argue that it wasn't a UFO that crashed - maybe it was a military aircraft or something. Does it mean that it couldn't happen?

In order for it to happen there would have to be alien life capable of travelling immense distances - a far more evolved species than ourselves. And they'd have to somehow work out that there is life on Earth and travel across time to get here.

I dunno. Sounds too fantastical to be true, but in all honesty I don't see it as any harder to believe than the concept of a big guy with a beard who lives in the sky and who - if you're good - will let you come live with him when you die.


Cheap shot, sure, but you get where I'm going.

Let's take it a step further and hypothesise that it is not possible for living beings to travel such vast distances. Even if they can't visit Earth, could there be other life forms in our universe (or multiverse, depending on your point of view)?

Life as we know it needs water in order to exist, and already we know some of our planets have water. Even if they didn't - isn't it possible that life forms elsewhere could only survive in places a billion degrees below zero, with no air, light or water at all?

How do we know? Anyone who thinks we've got physics and the universe licked needs their head read - we haven't even begun to understand any of it.

In 1964 astronomer Nikolai Kardashev came up with the Kardashev Scale, a method for classifying how advance a civilisation is.

His scale has three types:

Type 1: a civilisation that is able to harness all the power available on a single planet

Type 2: a civilisation capable of harnessing all the power available from a single star

Type 3: A civilisation capable of harnessing all the power available from a single galaxy

Which means that by the Kardashev Scale we aren't even a Type 1 civilisation yet.

Blow your mind with that shit.

I truly believe that if homo sapiens (or future derivatives thereof) manage to keep going for another few hundred billion years they will indeed get to such levels of advancement, and if you can harness the power of a galaxy - understanding it completely - you'd be capable of simply stepping between galaxies and universes.

If we admit that we are still in the dark ages as far as technology and physics go, then surely we must admit that it's possible other life forms could have already reached such advanced levels?

Of course - none of it answers why anyone would spend their brain power travelling to Earth, only to crash into the desert and be shipped away in army crates.

Still - I wonder about it all. My position is that I have to believe in alien life forms, simply because it's too preposterous to believe that Earth is the centre of the universe and the only place capable of sustaining life.

Life has a way where there is a way.

Doesn't necessarily mean I believe in little green or grey men with big eyes and a penchant for torching humans, but even if just on a microbe level there has to be life "out there".

I curse the fact that I will never get to know for sure.

All Smoked Out,
Luke Tagg
Spending time online does bad things to a person, but I'm OK.

Look at me now - all the way from Uitenhage to the bright lights of the big internet.

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Copyright © Luke Tagg. All rights reserved. A few lefts as well.

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