Wednesday, March 4, 2015

UFOs of the solar system

In August of 2013, Mars became the location of a UFO sighting.

A photo from the Curiosity rover seemed to show a classic, saucer-shaped object in the distance in the skies above the planet. Proponents of an extraterrestrial explanation for this UFO cite that the photo comes straight from NASA and has not been altered. I can't speak to the veracity of these claims but what I believe I can assert is this:

Our skies are not the sole locales of UFO sightings. The entire solar system seems to be an open market for anomalies.

Mars makes sense, really. Was there was once a civilization there, thriving before the waters of the flowing canals retreated to become the sastruga of the poles? What with all of the allegations of giant faces, pyramid-shaped structures, Cydonian Imperatives, and claims even more bizarre than those, the Red Planet would seem a natural fit for UFOs. The suggestion of a past civilization that was lost to a disaster of one sort or another, something I'm still weighing in terms of evidence, is tantalizing. Sightings of UFOs make it all the more so. Add the recent mystery of the "plumes" and...well, there you go.

This even stretches back into antiquity. The Greeks told stories of fires in the sky as Mars warred with Venus. Did a Martian civilization get wiped out in this conflict with the former residents of Venus? Strangely enough, there are those who argue for the presence of artificial structures on "Earth's twin." Indeed Venus was an oft purported point of origin for aliens encountered by "contactees" of the 1950s (see Valiant Thor for example), but the vast majority of scientific data would indicate that conditions on Venus would be inhospitable to...well, just about anything. As such, it would seem this specific claim of "war in the heavens" would be more attributable to mythology attempting to explain meteor showers.

Then there's a "new moon on Neptune." Sorry. Couldn't resist a little shout out to Duran Duran.

Once again in 2013, a discovery was made. There was a heretofore unseen moon orbiting the planet Neptune. Kinda cool if you're into astronomy like I am, but not really UFO-related or even all that bizarre. Upon closer inspection, however, this new moon has a number of oddities.

The moon is only about 11 miles in diameter. It is so small that Voyager failed to even notice it when the probe passed by Neptune in 1989. There are those who would ask, "so when exactly did it show up? Why hasn't it been pulverized by asteroids or been drawn into collision with one of Neptune's other moons?" The subtext of those questions being, "Is it actually a spacecraft?"

Not likely, but if it is, then a greater mystery is "what is it doing around Neptune?" as there doesn't seem to be a whole lot going on there at this time. Or ever. Then again, this may be a case of narrow human perception.

When writing fiction, I have sometimes conjectured that we will never stop seeing UFOs. No matter how much we learn, no matter how much we can explain, no matter how far we advance into the universe and (maybe) encounter other civilizations, we will just keep seeing UFOs. This might speak to the more metaphysical (and to me more interesting) aspects of the phenomena, but it might also be a shadowy indication that there will just always seem to be something else out there.

Part of me never wants it brought into the light.

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