Thursday, 22 August 2013
No UFO's. Part 1.
UFO's ARE BACK in the news, and it is high time we took a serious look at this phenomenon. (Actually, the time is ten past eight, so not only are we a few minutes late but I'm hungry.) Up until now, the entire subject of flying saucers has been mostly associated with kooks or oddballs. Frequently, in fact, observers will admit to being a member of both groups. Still, persistent sightings by responsible individuals have caused the Royal Air Force and the scientific community to reexamine a once skeptical attitude, and the sum of two hundred pounds has now been allocated for a comprehensive study of the phenomenon. The question is: Is anything out there? And if so, do they have ray guns?
All UFOs may not prove to be of extraterrestrial origin, but experts do agree that any glowing cigar-shaped aircraft capable of rising straight up at twelve thousand miles per second would require the kind of maintenance and sparkplugs available only on Jupiter. If these objects are indeed from another planet, then the civilization that designed them must be millions of years more advanced than our own. Either that or they are very lucky. Professor Leon Paperjam postulates a civilization in outer space that is more advanced than ours by approx fifteen minutes. This, he feels, gives them a great advantage over us, since they needn't rush to get to most appointments. Dr. Bernie Mansize, who works at the Mount Lambton Observatory, or else is under observation at the Mount Lambton Mental Hospital (the letter is not clear), claims that travellers moving at close to the speed of light would require many millions of years to get here, even from the nearest solar system, and, judging by whats on at the cinema, the trip would hardly be worth it. (It is impossible to travel faster than light, and certainly not desirable, as your hat would more than likely keep blowing off.)
Interestingly, according to modern astronomers, space is finite. This is a very comforting thought—particularly for people who can never remember where they have left things. The key factor in thinking about the universe, however, is that it is expanding and will one day break apart and disappear. That is why if the girl in the office down the corridor has some good points but perhaps not all the qualities you require it's best to compromise.
The most frequently asked question about the UFOs is: If saucers come from outer space, why have their pilots not attempted to make contact with us, instead of hovering mysteriously over deserted areas? My own theory is that for creatures from another solar system 'hovering' may be a socially acceptable mode of relating. It may, indeed, be pleasurable. I myself once hovered over an eighteen-year-old decathlete for six months and had the best time of my life.
It should also be recalled that when we talk of 'life' on other planets we are frequently referring to amino acids, which are never particularly gregarious, even at parties. Most people tend to think of UFOs as a modern problem, but could they be a phenomenon that man has been aware of for centuries? (To us a century seems quite long, particularly if you are holding an I.O.U. from me, but by astronomical standards it is over in a second. For that reason, it is always best to carry a toothbrush and be ready to leave on a moment's notice.) Scientists now tell us that the sighting of unidentified flying objects dates as far back as Biblical times. For instance, there is a passage in the 'Book of Leviticus' that reads, "And a great and silver ball appeared over the Assyrian Armies, and in all of Babylonia there was wailing and gnashing of teeth, till the Prophets bade the multitudes get a grip on themselves and grow the fuck up!"
Was this phenomenon related to one described years later by Parmenides: "Three orange objects did appear suddenly in the heavens and did circle the bar area of Athens, hovering over a hotel swimming pool and causing several of our wisest philosophers to grab for towels"? And, again, were those 'orange objects' similar to what is described in a recently discovered twelfth-century Saxon-church manuscript: "A lauch lauched he; wer richt laith to weet a cork-heild schonne; whilst a red balle lang owre swam aboone. I thank you, ladies and gentlemen"? This last account was taken by medieval clergy to signify that the world was coming to an end, and there was great disappointment when Monday came and everyone had to go back to work. Finally, and most convincingly, in 1822 Goethe himself notes a strange celestial phenomenon. "En route home from the Blakelaw Anxiety Festival," he wrote, "I was crossing a meadow, when I chanced to look up and saw several fiery red balls suddenly appear in the southern sky. They descended at a great rate of speed and began chasing me. I screamed that I was a genius and consequently could not run very fast, but my words were wasted. I became enraged and shouted imprecations at them, whereupon they flew away frightened. I related this story to Beethoven, not realizing he had already gone deaf, and he smiled and nodded and said, 'Right.'"
To be continued,,,,,