The Truth Is (Still) Out There

Looking for aliens. Photo: Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images

This year has already seen a plague. Time to level up and explore new, apocalyptic horizons. A new economic depression? Bad! Donald Trump? Really not great! What could be worse? Well, the Navy might have the answer. Its pilots reported eight encounters with “unidentified aerial vehicles” between 2013 and 2019, the New York Times reported on Thursday. In some cases, Navy pilots nearly collided with the objects.

The Times had already covered several of the incidents detailed in Thursday’s report. In one, a former Navy pilot “described a close encounter off Virginia Beach with what looked like a flying sphere encasing a cube, as recounted by a fellow pilot and later reported to the squadron safety officer,” the paper said. Now a Freedom of Information request has released new authentication for those incidents, and detailed previously unreported encounters.

In 2014, for example, radar tracked an object “approximately the size of a suitcase” that came within 1,000 feet of a Navy jet. To quote many a liberal Twitter account, this is not normal. But does it mean that aliens have staked us out? It’s hard to imagine what, if anything, they could find of value here, on our swiftly roasting planet. If they do not require potable water or clean air, then, yes, perhaps they’ve found heaven, but otherwise, what’s the point?

Also, many terrestrial objects are abnormal. Consider the Boston Dynamics robot dogs. They fill me with an overwhelming primal terror, but I concede that they are not alien in origin. The mind of man is a horrifying thing.

Then there are SpaceX’s Starlink satellites. To people who recently saw them at night, the satellites looked suspicious. But they are not alien either, unless Elon Musk is even more nefarious than we have all assumed. A similar caveat applies to the objects encountered by the Navy pilots. They might also have mundane explanations, as the Times and the Department of Defense are both careful to stress. Though of course they would say so! I have seen the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode where the Ferengi travel back in time to Roswell, and I am skeptical of my government.

The Times first reported the existence of the Pentagon’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program in 2017; the program shuttered in 2012. But alien news has spilled forth ever since. In April, the Pentagon released three videos that depict unidentified objects moving at great speed. “I just wonder if it’s real,” President Trump told Reuters. “That’s a hell of a video.” He’s right! It’s disturbing. Maybe it’s the Ferengi. Maybe it’s the weird large-headed creatures from Signs, the ones who hate water, and the nation’s VSCO girls will rise up and defend us with their Hydro Flasks. I hear the Space Force is looking for recruits.

Why Would Aliens Want Earth Anyway?