What makes me wonder about U.F.O. sightings are all the reports of fast, zigzaging patterns in the sky. Why would you need a zigzag movement in outer space? To steer around hurtling meteorites? Wouldn’t a craft capable of extended space travel also have an early warning system so flight paths could be redirected up or down or sideways to avoid calamity rather than making hard rights and lefts like a Chevy on a stretch of bad road dodging potholes?
Accounts by those claiming actually to have seen aliens are likewise consistent: spindly creatures with big bald heads, tiny chins, huge eyes, and a grey skin tone. No peaches and cream, apple-cheeked neighbors be they. The descriptions originate either in supposed military logs from Area 51—a firing range in the Nevada desert—that document an alien crash during the Eisenhower administration involving fatalities (theirs, not ours), or from abduction encounters suffered chiefly by terrified long-haul truckers in the Midwest who report being beamed up to an onboard laboratory where the aforementioned grey spindlies with huge eyes “do things to them,” apparently of a sexual nature, and unpleasant. I bet if the lab techs looked like Anna Nicole Smith (may she rest in peace) rather than spermatozoa with legs there would be fewer complaints.
Another thing I always wonder about is why it’s assumed these vessels and their occupants are extraterrestrial. Where, if not outer space, might a zigzag maneuver be useful? Below ground. Zipping around meteorites is unlikely, but what about stalagmites? What if at the time of Noah folks who missed the Ark (talk about missing the boat!) sought shelter beneath the earth in a network of caves, and then stayed on generation after generation? Or escapees from the plague, or folks who just got fed up with how things were going topside and descended deep, deep into the earth and formed communities? For a light source they’d have bioluminescence, which appears in glowworms (actually not worms at all but the larvae of fungus gnats), to name one source. For food? Caves tend to be damp and have a constant temperature, which is an ecosystem ideal for fungi, mosses, and algae. Mushrooms thrive because caves are full of nutrient-rich bat guano, a perfect soil for them. There are also cave fish, cave crayfish, cave shrimp, isopods, amphipods, and, of course, bats. Not much meat on bats, but a dozen might make a meal. Cave shrimp plus sauteed bat and you’ve got yourself surf ’n turf; a nice algae and mushroom salad to start, and, with glowworms as a centerpiece, you have the ambiance of a candlelight dinner. What you don’t have is vitamin D.
Vitamin D improves the body’s absorption of calcium and helps maintain bone health. Cavefish have very high body-fat levels and some vitamin D could be gotten from them, but not enough to replace sunlight. Vitamin D shortage creates calcium deficiency, hence the “aliens” spindly little bodies, very small teeth, or none at all, resulting in tiny jaws. Huge eyes? The better to see with in the dark. Big heads? Maybe a paucity of mind-numbing Bridezillas episodes resulted in bigger brains, hence the cutting-edge technology of zigzagging aircraft. Hair loss? Think naked moles. That dreadful pallor from living in the dark could be a useful camouflage—how many spelunkers have spelunked right past them because they blended into the rocks? But back to the vitamin D problem; its deficiency also makes for a sperm count and motility that’s shot to hell, hence terrified long-haul truckers having “things done to them.” Perhaps this subterranean civilization, whose men folk are shooting blanks due to generations of vitamin D deficiency, have sent out a posse of sperm rustlers!
Most invasion-from-outer-space scenarios involve either advanced civilizations looking down their lofty noses at us for being primitive barbarians obsessed with self-destruction and unworthy of their superior knowledge, or conversely, Klingon warrior types with bulging muscles here to either eat our lunch or turn us into lunch. Let us envision another. The scene: A moonless night sky bursting with stars as various heads of state and prominent scientists assemble on the White House lawn. With heads tilted back they scan the heavens in anticipation of the arrival of the Official Alien Delegation that has at long last Made Contact. The air is so still you can hear their heartbeats. They hold their collective breath. They look. They wait. They wait some more. Someone clears his throat. Someone checks her watch. Then, with all eyes still fixed upward, there’s a lengthy creeeeek of an unknown hinge on an unknown door nestled in the earth. Glances left and right. The sound of an impatient ahem!, and all eyes look down to see a 4-foot-tall bald lady with a small pointy chin and her hands on her hips staring up at one of the more manly and hirsute of the assembled group: “Ya wanna dance, big boy?”
The aliens have finally arrived, but they’re not shaking their heads with dismay at our self-destructive and violent natures as evidenced by war. Rather they are baffled that so many of our kind regard childbearing as a curse and abortion as a sacred rite while their own gals would give their eye-teeth (if they had any) to be expecting. We’ve been anticipating an alien life form from a distant galaxy far, far away, but maybe they’ve been here all along, right below our feet. And they’re us!