There are over 100 star systems within only 20 light years, thousands within 100 – like a string of islands, sometimes spread out, sometimes clustered together – but it’s a very Local Neighborhood, a tiny dot in our vast galaxy. The Milky Way Galaxy is a mostly flat, spiral disc over 100,000 light years (ly) across; bulging in the middle to 20,000 ly thick; very thin by us, at 3000 ly, roughly two thirds of the way out. In our galaxy alone, estimates range from 100 billion to 10 trillion stars. Even the most conservative of scientists allow that life, in some form, must exist somewhere – the more open minded speculate even intelligent life, in some form, might be prevalent in each of them. Given the age of the galaxy, (our sun is a third generation star), the existence of a space based society, in some form, seems a certainty, even in our Local Neighborhood. But it’s like walking in, in the middle of a movie. Anyone want to tell us what’s going on?So, why haven’t they landed on the White House front lawn? Why aren’t we applying for the United Federation of Planets? Why aren’t we their servants, or slaves? Perhaps we are and don’t even know it. Perhaps they have no use for us – or they’re waiting for us to develop one. Maybe they’ve been watching us for thousands, even millions of years, perhaps from Mars, or a Space Base on the far side of our tidal-locked geocynchronous moon: influencing our society, and even our evolution. Oh, really. What other hobbies do they have?
Our development (as a species, as a society) has taken many twists and turns – even in just the last several thousand years, (of which we are most sure): we’re just waking up. Technology, culture, spirituality, economics; humans are toddlers, and we’re making things up as we go along, or that’s the impression. There is no certainty that any other species evolved along the same lines. Maybe, on their planet, in their system, radio was not a viable means of communication. Different natural resources open different societies in different directions – cultures based on those foundations. If superconductors are common on Rigel 12, we’re no match for ’em. But if they could destroy us whenever they want, and they haven’t yet – does that mean they’re good guys? Not necessarily.
Imagine an alien race: say, only a couple thousand years ahead of us; and a couple dozen light years away, just venturing out into the Local Neighborhood – and the first sentiently inhabited planet they come across is using radio, TV, and all kinds of things they weren’t even looking into until they started living substantially outside their home system. What would they make of us? What would we make of veritable headhunters with exquisite wine and ball point pens? Or perhaps they came upon us much earlier: as cavemen; as apes.
Or, on the other hand, we could be hamsters: to menacing Reptilians – considering lesser species like us as prey. What if there were hundreds of species, just within local reach, all with different upbringings, different motivations – each with their different place in a vast, complex, alien society? One learns to find one’s place.
If the Alien Phenomenon is related to Crop Circles, Cattle Mutilations, etc; it’s a parent (or of an elder generation). But Alien Abductions is what makes it all real – brings it all home, ties it all together – gives a meaning to the mystery. What could the aliens want with a cow’s reproductive organs, eyes, tongue, every last drop of blood (and a few other things) – but nothing else – and what could they want with us? And what are Crop Circles all about? Are they universal symbolism for species which have no practical or informal translation protocol? If the messages are intended for anyone down here, whoever they are, perhaps they’re wise to not talk about it.
What if the presence of one alien species brought us and our humble little world to the attention of another, yet even more highly evolved? «What could they be so interested in?» they might ask themselves while passing by, or even just looking from home. Maybe they already know.
It’s hard to imagine sometimes, but the sheer scope of intelligence one must expect from any alien species able to bridge the gap between stars – well, it boggles the mind. Or perhaps the leap in technology isn’t really so very far off after all. The trick is, once we get out there, will we be able to deal with the neighbors? What will we have to barter with? We might need their help on everything.