Magonia, the review blog of esoteric books (0r should that be, books on esoterica?), recently revisited two books on Unidentified Flying Objects from the 1950s by Morris K. Jessup, the first writer, they say, to use the term “UFO” in a commercial publication.
Ah, those were the days, I take it, when the assumed evidence for the reality of alien spacecraft was growing steadily. Soon we would know the truth! Governments would be forced to admit that there was Someone Else! Perhaps a disk-shaped spacecraft would float down onto the White House lawn — or in Red Square, why not? — and a being would step out, proclaiming, “We come in peace.”
Or, conversely, the aliens would not be peaceful, and Earth would have to put aside its wars and rivalries to unite in a battle to save humanity. We have all seen book and movie versions of these possible scenarios, going back to War of the Worlds in 1897, at least.
Astronomers have now found — by calculation if not direct observation — many planets that orbit their suns not too close and not too far — the habitable zone — and which, therefore, could possibly contain life “as we know it.”
But getting there is the thing. With our chemically fueled rockets, which are limited in size, even a trip to Mars would take half a year or more. And right now, that would be a one-way trip — although some people are still volunteering. It did not take so much fuel for astronauts to escape the Moon, but Mars would require quite a bit more.
“Hyperdrive” and “warp drive” are science-fiction plot devices, not technology that is anywhere in sight.
So when it comes to actual physical aliens visiting us, I see only two possibilities:
1. They travel slower than the speed of light, which means that they either have incredibly long lifespans or that they have learned to “hibernate” while traveling for many years.
2. They travel faster than the speed of light using a sort of “hyperdrive.” But if they can do that, what else can they do?
They would have no need to land a spaceship on the edge of town, leaving scorched spots on the ground, drop a ladder, and climb down wearing silvery suits, looking for someone to put on their operating table and probe.
Instead, their technology would so far ahead of ours that it would seem invisible to us. And so might they. We would not even know that we had been observed.
That blog’s name, Magonia, pays homage, I am sure, to French astronomer Jacques Vallée and to the name of a land in the clouds., taken from a medieval French tale. Vallée borrowed the name when he wrote Passport to Magonia, introducing his “interdimensional hypothesis.”
Briefly, it states that the Visitors/Fairies/aliens etc. are not from Out There but from In Here, “visitations from other ‘realities’ or ‘dimensions’ that coexist separately alongside our own.”
Maybe they live in Icelandic boulders, or as someone in a dream once told me, “inside the walls.” Either way, they should not be disturbed. Contact with them can be extremely upsetting.
This idea has long made more sense to me than the idea of physical “flying saucers” coming chug-chug-chug through interstellar space. Now you see them, now you don’t.