Do you believe in aliens?
I do, which is strange because I consider myself a sceptic. There seems to be no sound reason to believe in extra-terrestrial life and to believe in the existence of little-green-men seems just as superstitious as believing in superstitious nonsense that is religion. More than a few times I’ve wondered whether my belief in aliens is religious, a disguised cry for meaning, for after all, accepting the meaninglessness, the absurdness of the universe, is hard. Have I unknowingly become a follower of Kierkegaard? The emergence of life on this planet is in itself a miracle. So isn’t my belief in extra-terrestrial life similar to a non-rational, religious acceptance in something intangible and yet empirically un-provable?
I doubt it though. I’m a staunch believer in non-belief. After a decades-long inner struggle I’ve managed to kill anything that is religious ever resided within me. Even in the direst of situations I don’t call for external help, even though the temptation is always there. Besides, many ultra-religious people believe in extra-terrestrial life as well. But then, how do I explain my firm belief in the existence of aliens?
I have a question. How can someone look at a starry sky at night and not believe that someone is looking at you, as intrigued and curious as he is, as fascinated and frightened as he is? Go outside and look at the sky. Some of the stars you’ll see have been dead for thousands of years, but only now their lights reach us. This strange place we refer to as universe is infinite, and within it virtually anything is possible.
I’m obsessed with the possibility of alien life. From Tunguska, from Roswell, from Tinley Park Lights to STS-48 I’ve memorised it all. The X-Files was one of my favourite TV shows. Like Mulder, I want to believe, except Mulder wants to believe in everything except the Christian god, whereas I only want to believe in little-green-men. The downside of wanting to believe is seeing what you want to believe. Twice I’ve seen strange lights in night skies. Those lights must have emanated from objects, and since I don’t know what they were, for me they were Unidentified Flying Objects. I have no idea about the size of those objects or about the distance to them from the place where I was. But I saw something, except I’m not sure whether I saw anything at all. Don’t people see what they want to see?
But for me, Foo Fighters, little-green-men, they all exist. They exist in the moments when I see moving satellites and hope them to crash. They exist in those memories of strange lights I’ve seen, or imagined to have seen. They exist in the moments when I lecture to an attentive girlfriend about how it all makes perfect sense. Sometimes I get too carried away, talk about colonisation and alien abductees and kill the romance in it. But still, to believe is much more interesting than to not believe.