Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Do You Believe in Martians?

This past Friday afternoon, as my husband and I returned from having gone to a movie matinee, as we approached the street where we turn into our neighborhood, we could see flashing lights further down the block. While we weren’t quite sure what the lights signified, we knew it meant there was some kind of emergency.  The flashing  lights appeared to be at a doctor’s office nearby our home.

We went on home, and then while I was walking our dog around the block, I came near the doctor’s office but decided against walking down to see the commotion. As I turned the corner, I heard a neighbor call out my name—so I walked back to her.  She then proceeded to fill me in on all the excitement—a driver just learning to drive had lost control of his car and hit the accelerator instead of the brakes. Somehow, while driving along a straight street he managed to turn his car almost a full right hand turn…right into the doctor’s office, taking out a large window.  The car then came to rest INSIDE the doctor’s office.*

When I got home and told my husband what the flashing lights had signified, he responded—well, there have been so many stories lately in the news of cars driving into house.  And that was true—within the past week there have been about a half dozen such stories in our general part of central Pennsylvania. My husband then continued to speculate—I think it’s aliens. We have been invaded by aliens from space who don’t know how to drive.

Of course, he was jesting (half) and recalling the scene from the movie “Starman” where Jeff Bridges plays an alien who lands on earth, and then proceeds to try to pass as a human, having taken such a form. One wonderful scene is when he is driving….well, it would be better to see it—rent the movie. Hence, the origin of my husband’s “aliens have invaded and don’t know how to drive” explanation.

Now, this hypothesis might sound preposterous, but hold that thought.
In a recent op-ed piece, Nicholas Kristhof, whose pieces appear in the New York Times, wrote that Americans are “much more likely to believe that there are signs that aliens have visited Earth (77 percent) than that humans are causing climate change (44 percent).”

Admittedly, the percentage of people who believe in something can’t make something true. . .or can it?

Remember Orson Welles’ 1938 radio broadcast The War of the Worlds?  No, I don’t  mean did you listen to it (although maybe one or two readers did).  But surely you have heard about it.  Welles was a wunderkind when he presented an episode of radio drama on October 30, 1938.  The program was staged as a realistic news casting of an invasion from outer space.  While there may not have been as much widespread panic as originally reported, those people who tuned in to the radio broadcast late missed the disclaimer.  So, there were some listeners who mistook the program as an actual news broadcast.  They believed we were being invaded by Martians.

Bah—you say—too far-fetched.  (I assume that puts you outside the 77 percent group).  And I think I too would say that—except. . .  Except for the recent story about the Mars Rover.    The Mars Rover Opportunity is out and about on the planet Mars looking for rocks.  Opportunity is equipped with cameras and sends images back to Earth (including a “selfie”).  Check out the link to see the “before” and “after” photos.  The images were taken 12 days apart, with the first one showing flat Martian ground.  The second one reveals a donut-shaped  rock, right smack in the middle of where there had NOT been such a rock 12 days before. 

Cue the Twilight Zone music—doo doo doo doo.

And then there’s the whole Roswell scene. 

So, who’s to say that all these cars crashing into houses are not evidence of aliens (who don’t know how to drive) having invaded Planet Earth?

Well, maybe, who knows—maybe we have been invaded or at least visited.

Do you believe in Martians?

*No one was in that part of the doctor’s office at the time and no one was injured.


NCmountainwoman said...

I'm definitely not in the 77% who believe aliens have visited us. As for the magic appearance of the doughnut rock, I'm sure there are simple explanations. I love a good sci-fi story, but I'm not a believer.

Anonymous said...

Read C. S. Lewis's "Out Of The Silent Planet" for an explanation. Of course there is life on Mars. Lewis proves it. And why shouldn't they invade us? (Tongue in Cheek)

David E. Climenhaga

Anvilcloud said...

I trust that no one abducted during the writing of this post.

Peruby said...

I think "Starman" was one of my Mom's favorite movies.

Red means stop, green means go and yellow means "Go VERY fast!"


KGMom said...

@Peruby--precisely that scene!

Ginnie said...

Well, I'm not sure if I believe in Martians or not ...but if they are invading us they need to at least pass the drivers test before getting in a car !