Sunday, August 25, 2013
The Marvellous Mysteriousness of Mysteries
Area 51 actually exists, and here's a great big sorry-about-that to all the folks we've called delusional nutters for decades (well, maybe I made up the apology bit, but hey, if pants-on-fire statements are good enough for leading government agencies, then they're good enough for me). If the C.I.A.was expecting cheers and kudos for their belated honesty, which was, let's not forget, forced upon then, they must have been mightily disappointed. Military buffs and alien conspiracy theorists all over the world responded to the confession with a resounding d'oh and demanded they move on to the really good stuff, a.k.a. extraterrestrials and saucer-shaped hovering objects.
The Truth will soon be revealed:
''I'm thinking that they're probably testing the waters now to see how mad people get about the big lie and cover-up,'' said Audrey Hewins, a woman from Maine who runs a support group for people like her who believe they have been contacted by extraterrestrials. ''We're hoping the CIA is leading up to disclosure'' of the existence of space aliens on Earth. ''We know that they're here and have been here for a long time.''
So one of the great, fun, mostly-for-adults mysteries of our times is hotting up again, and citizens are gleefully girding their pens to write letters to their local representatives demanding that all be revealed, and inundating the C.I.A. with petitions to come clean about their despicable desert autopsies. You wonder if such tales of Little Green Folk, be they of the leprechaun type or rewritten for modern audiences as refugees from Alpha Centauri, will ever go away. People, I suspect, are reluctant to give up on the mysteries that make this mundane world that little more magical and exciting. It's the little kid in us grabbing at anything that will recreate the wonder we used to feel for the world's amazingness before we grew up, decided we knew everything, and became cynical.
Mysteries are time-honoured incentives for further intellectual investigating and getting out there to explore the murky ponds, exotic jungles and inscrutable mountain peaks of the world.
And the mystery of Area 51, for all it's attendant nutbaggery, does invite people to look at the universe and wonder the kind of what ifs that question our place in the cosmos, as well as the honesty of human governments.
Are we alone amongst the stars? If so, then I'm glad we have Bigfoot along for the ride to keep us company.