Little Green Men are from Mars. Big Blue Women are from Venus.
Which came first, the chicken or the extraterrestrial?
The answer may suprise you. It did me.
A New Approach to the UFO Phenomenon
The vast majority of eyewitness reports,
as regards close encounters with extraterrestrials,
describe such entities as possessing humanlike bodies.
The following essay seeks to dispel the criticisms by skeptics
who argue that such similarities are both unlikely and nonsensical.
It doesn't happen very often. Usually never. In fact, it's so rare an occurrence that even when others read or see something that sparks an original thought or idea, they fail to take some form of creative action. Sometimes, once in a great while, we're smarter or more clever than a lot of other people. Not better, just a tad more insightful. We stumble upon an idea which, perhaps, has eluded all other human beings on the planet. An epiphany, of sorts. This, then, is my personal revelation.
Like most kids, I was fascinated and intrigued, sometimes frightened, by the prospect of alien beings coming to Earth from another planet. The whole subject which includes both its fictional and purely scientific components, stays with some of us more than it does with others. For me, I've spent my entire life, off and on, thinking about UFOs and trying to make up my mind as to whether the topic represented genuine facts, or only imaginative, often highly profitable fiction.
If only the matter was that simple and straightforward. Anything but, as it turned out. One of the more troubling aspects that keep skeptics skeptical -- or in my particular case, used to -- is a bothersome consistency with respect to so-called close encounters and the overwhelming majority of eyewitness accounts. Although lots of separate elements are unique to each report, one specific detail repeats over and over again, seemingly regardless of all other circumstances and conditions: extraterrestrials bear striking resemblances to human beings.
So as not to mislead, however, these likenesses refer to generalities and not specifics. This is to say that a single head with two eyes, and a torso which sports two arms with hands, and two legs with feet, are typically the norm when it comes to alien body designs. Both extraterrestrial theorists and serious scientists alike have long pondered the apparent anthropoidal nature of aliens, and how it is that in a cosmos of near infinite possibilities, unrelated technological beings should all share uniformly similar anatomies.
Sporting physiques that are so humanlike in terms of their possessing two arms with hands, two legs with feet, and a head fitted with two eyes -- presumably capable of stereoscopic vision -- that some common, mutually shared design would appear to be at work.
Or is it more that we look like them? Instead of the other way around. The best guesses put forth by the UFO community would suggest that a common ancestor long ago seeded the universe with DNA and other genetic material whose structure would ultimately mature into beings who, in one way or another, resembled themselves.
Such a proposal, while plausible, represents the most complicated and conditional answer for why humans and aliens appear to share overlapping physical attributes. The forces of nature rarely, however, employ complexity when something far more simple is available for accomplishing exactly the same results. Or in other words, complex systems arise out of initially simple constructs, and not the other way around.
A far more rational and reasonable explanation would ask whether or not a universal model already exists that might apply to how life should be expected to evolve on any planet where it does so. If such were the case, then this could immediately address -- and potentially resolve -- the two most problematical questions as regards the existence of extraterrestrials: namely the anthropoidal similarities among aliens and ourselves, and how that could have come about in the absence of any common, extraterrestrial ancestors.
And herein lies the solution which was mentioned at the very beginning of this introduction. An answer, so to speak, that appears to have escaped the notice of the brightest minds in the business. This is not to say, however, that I consider myself particularly brighter than the virtual army of others who have contemplated these same, aforementioned questions about shared characteristics among humans and aliens. I don't have a long string of letters and credentials attached to my name. And in most respects, I'm a very ordinary person.
It is precisely from such unlikely individuals, though, that certain insights and perceptions are sometimes possible, which more educated people miss by virtue of being "too close to the forest to see the trees" as the saying goes.
I think this is precisely one of those situations. Where an extraordinary, universal truth has revealed itself to someone quite average otherwise. What follows is a long dissertation that describes, or attempts to, the simple, underlying principles which apply to everyone, everywhere, regardless of where you live and who you are. Well, mostly. One thing about universality is that it is hardly ever the same all the time. For example, the laws of physics appear mostly the same wherever astronomers look, until they try to peek inside a Black Hole. So it probably goes with evolution and the processes that drive it.
But if Earth has indeed been visited by extraterrestrial beings, the chances seem good that at least our bodies share a lot in common. And if our muscles and bones, eyes and ears are more alike than dissimilar, then perhaps a few other things might be mutually simpatico as well. The great irony of imagination may prove, in the end, that it tended to overshoot the spaceport, so to speak.
Which is to say that the mult-tentacled, slimy monsters of science fiction, in reality, look more like your next door neighbor than something that bore rows of teeth and possessed a penchant for human blood.
In H.G. Wells masterpiece, The War of the Worlds, it turned out that the tiniest of things defeated the would-be conquerors and enslavers of humankind. Akin to how a dinosaur might have dismissed the rodent underfoot who scurried for cover as the behemoth passed, we are surrounded by ancestors and predecessors alike, all of them reminders of what came before, while others hint at futures yet to come.
For homo sapiens, we need only look upward, among the leaves of tall trees, and watch as shrews, lemurs, and others scamper about the branches. And with delicate hands and fingers, clutch a juicy berry with the same dexterity as a surgeon might turn the focus wheel of a microscope.
The Leprechauns of Eden
Or: Eve was a Shrew!
Little Green Men are from Mars,
Big Blue Women are from Venus.
Among the annals of UFO reportage, including eyewitness testimonies which pertain to both sightings and supposed encounters with beings from another world, a common thread appears to connect many if not most accounts. This seems particularly true as concerns physical contact which in its most extreme form, involves actual abductions.
The commonality to which this essay makes reference and addresses as its central issue, pertains to the physicality of the extraterrestrials in question. Among the vast majority of authenticated cases, abductees and others describe these otherworldly aliens as exhibiting anthropoidal or humanlike characteristics. By this it is meant that such beings possess two arms with hands and fingers, stand on two legs, and view their surroundings via pairs of dark eyes seated within large and hairless heads.
While specific details might vary from one witness to another, in terms of skin color, height, torso shape and size, a consistent pattern of general impressions runs throughout the UFO record. And that pattern suggests time and again, in one way or another, that aliens either resemble human beings, or boast features and traits that are more human in appearance, than they are some other, less identifiable creature.
To both skeptics and believers alike, such similarities are significant and important. They tell us something about the alleged extraterrestrial experience that either strengthens the credibility of these reports, or helps to expose them as untrustworthy, and the result of predictable, purely human responses to unusual or traumatic events.
In support of the notion that not only have alien beings visited our planet in the past, and continue to do so presently, but that their bodies are also humanoid in nature, one possible theory could easily explain the reasons for why these observations might well be based in fact.
What follows is a presentation of some theories and hypothetical remarks which propose to make the case that extraterrestrials with anthropoidal or hominian bodies, do indeed account for most if not all reports of contact between them and ourselves.
Further, an assumption is made that some or even most of these interactions do not involve hoaxes or intentional deceptions. It is to be presumed, therefore, that this essay concerns itself solely with those situations and events for which no rational or reasonable alternative explanations are satisfactory to both doubters and supporters alike.
anthropoid / anthropoidal
noun/adjective: 1. resembling a monkey or ape. 2. resembling a human being.
noun: a manlike creature
noun: an automaton that resembles a human being.
adjective: having the appearance or characteristics of a human being.
noun: a human being whose body, in whole or part, functions via electromechanical devices.
noun: in biology, the field of science concerned with comparisons of communication and control
between biological and artificial processes and systems.
noun: an automaton that resembles a human being.
noun: the area of artificial intelligence concerned with the practical use of robots.
the fossil record
Primates and rodents, along with lagomorphs, tree shrews, and colugos, are members of the Euarchontoglire clade, one of four superorders of placental mammals. The four were grouped according to the results of mitochondrial DNA tests. The lineage that led to the evolution of primates and rodents split during the late Cretaceous period.
prehistory and beyond
It's been said that all technology represents extensions of human nervous systems. Put another way, all living organisms, whether humans or fishes, insects or even microbes, interact with their environments via sensory impulses which feed information into some form of neurological processing center. In the case of higher animals, brains and central nervous systems are capable of deciphering input with a great deal of sensitivity and detail.
Thus when homo sapiens turned their curious, inventive minds to the development of various technologies, it was only natural that such tools would be for the purpose of accentuating those human faculties by which the world was made comprehensible. Moreover, that the observed realities of life and existence in general, were determined as largely universal in nature. That regardless of whether something was a tiger, a gazelle, an eagle, a spider or even a god or goddess, everything and everyone viewed the world and interacted with it in much the same ways.
The idea is both logical and practical, therefore, that any creature which is solely dependent on sensory organs, and then moves forward to develop various forms of technology, would seek to devise instrumentalities that amplify, enhance, and surpass the limitations of flesh and blood bodies.
In the case of homo sapiens, the desire has always been to do more, and do things better than if our efforts were unaided by artificial means. This then extends beyond just the five senses of smell, touch, taste, sight, and hearing. It meant inventing and constructing designs that improved strength and gave protection from both the elements and predators, more effective methods of killing animals, raising them in large numbers, and ultimately the growing and harvesting of food crops. All of it for the sole purpose of extending human lifespans--for more than just the few who happened to live longer than most others.
With the relatively recent arrival of great civilizations and with them, the luxury of leisure time--time that could then be spent satisfying our curiosity about not only the immediate environment itself, but gazing upward at the canopy of sky and stars, and wondering about them as well.
Since our awareness of everything physical is achieved solely via our senses, the basic five (but likely more) of which represent our only means of perceiving the world, then whether in the act of creating conveniences or aiding our pursuit of knowledge, all artifacts and instrumentations would be designed so as to accommodate those same senses.
No greater examples exist for how human technology is based on human perceptions, than the telescope and microscope. No two inventions, themselves based on long histories of other discoveries and other inventions, exemplify and personify--utterly epitomize--technical advancements that are little more than big improvements over human eyeballs and the vision they provide.
The point, however, is that despite how sophisticated is the technology itself, the actual reading of all the pretty pictures, whether stars or viruses, is still a matter of human interpretation and interpolation. All of which is limited by our concepts, both scientific and philosophical, as to how vision is itself defined.
For example, we know that human eyes see very little of the light that actually fills the air or vacuum of outer space. Thus when we develop a device for extending our visual acuity, we are still only viewing more of the same kinds of colors and light waves to which we're typically accustomed. The spectroscope, an invention which reveals the otherwise hidden spectra of light that surrounds us, is nonetheless a glorified version of a human retina.
And again, because we can only see in ways that our limited bodies and sensory organs permit, it seems only fitting that our machines reflect, even heighten those same limitations. Is it any wonder that when astronomers view their magnificent images of distant galaxies, that our language only allows descriptions which relate to things that have little or nothing to do with what galaxies truly are? Or how they might appear to forms of life whose own technology is very different from our own.
Over the past decades, scientists have sent many unmanned probes into space, the purposes of which were, and are, to photograph and collect data about worlds other than our own. In addition, such probes also seek to explore the depths of space itself, and confirm or deny our theories and assumptions about the cosmos in general.
The newest of these probes, while bearing no real resemblance to the people who designed them, nonetheless mimic many human attributes. Stereoscopic vision, listening devices, the ability to move, dig holes, and perform other feats are, by their very nature, expressive of both human traits and those of most terrestrial mammals.
When we land on Mars and look around, sniff out this and analyze that, we presuppose that we're exploring and investigating simply another version of Earth. Rather than an alien world that bears little if any connection to either us or our planet. As a kind of proxy human, our probes can only observe and otherwise detect those things which are recognizable to human senses and human sensibilities. If a particular rock happens to resemble a strange object found only on another distant planet somewhere, neither the probe's camera nor its makers note any such distinction. It's just not in our visual vocabulary to do so.
It's as if the entire universe speaks a million foreign languages, and not only do we poor humans fail to understand what's being said, but remain unaware and oblivious to the multitude of voices all around us.
Before moving on, a final review is warranted with respect to the Martian probes themselves. If we imagine, for a moment, that money was no object when it came to the design and building of the most advanced probe possible, and that an increased technology was available to construct the ideal machine, what would that vehicle look like?
Chances are good that it would be anthropoidal in its configuration, and that it would indeed resemble a human being. With its two arms, legs, eyes, ears and other sensing devices, a humanlike body would seem the perfect candidate as an all-terrain, exploratory, investigative vehicle. The ultimate extension of human technology and the capability of a central processing system to navigate its environment, is nothing short of an actual human being.
Or its robotic equivalent.
Given the foregoing conditions and premises, it should be possible to hazard a guess as to what kinds of technology might be invented and produced by advanced alien entities. Such beings would likely engineer machines and instrumentalities which would mimic how human beings went about doing it for themselves. The technologies of extraterrestrials would, of course, be strictly of their own design, and any resemblances to human conformations would also, of course, be strictly coincidental. Or would they?
While homo sapiens are not necessarily the universal model for how intelligent races develop technology, it seems highly likely that they follow some kind of cosmological model that applies to most or all advanced civilizations. At least for those who aspire to utilize sophisticated technologies in order to discover and comprehend their role in the scheme of things. Other than these same technologies, it may well be that no other way exists to understand the universe.
Take flight, for example. Flying is little more than a mode of travel, from one place to another. Regardless of whether one glides through an atmosphere, or uses wings of some kind, or perhaps utilizes a propulsive force of one form of another, the principles of flight likely remain the same, for everyone. No matter who you are or where you live. The same rules, if you will, apply to locomotion over land or through expanses of water. The only questions that will ever matter, will be ones that surround the best possible anatomical designs that then ensure the greatest chances of survival.
Assuming, of course, that survival itself is a critical component of any biological system. Though a certain leap of faith is required, it is probably true that among those worlds, or places, where predator and prey relationships do not evolve, neither will technological civilizations develop to any appreciable degree.
We also assume, of course, that curiosity is not an exclusively human characteristic. Though possibly it is, the idea seems absurdly improbable. The capacity for curiosity appears to be fairly common among lower animals, and is likely an important survival trait. The chances are pretty good, no matter who you are or where you live, that survival ranks high on the list of important considerations.
The question quickly arises as to how similar, and how dissimilar, might be mutually intelligent, technologically advanced races of beings. It's likely quite safe to presume that non-technical species should be very different from one another. It's hard to imagine that ants and whales inhabit the same planet, and on many worlds we could expect to find diversities no less extraordinary.
But what about those creatures who are not only capable of inventing and building wondrous instruments of technical wizardry, but possess the desire and ability to do so. How many of the senses important to us, as humans, are shared by other entities? Are some more important than others? Is speech unnecessary if telepathy of some kind supplants it? If the power of flight was an important or advantageous augmentation to a ground-dwelling entity, would devising the means to fly give way to creating the technology to do so artificially? The answers are almost certainly conditional and in the affirmative.
Taken in order, vision would likely exist as an absolute necessity. Detection of sound would seem equally vital. And depending on how some type of evolution proceeded, in one form or another, the qualities of smell, taste, and touch would play their roles accordingly. Unless a kind of telekinesis evolved, the sense of touch must surely be a requirement for constructing microscopes and telescopes. Or flying machines and even spaceships. Or robots.
I don't happen to believe that anything about a microscope or telescope is exclusively human. The principles involved must certainly apply the same to whoever or whatever might wish to see something closer that is faraway. Or something too small to see otherwise. If somebody wants to overcome the gravitational pull of their planet and head into space, then they need a vehicle capable of achieving escape velocity. Pure and simple. Since it's doubtful that gravity can be overcome by virtue of some physical evolutionary attribute, it seems far more plausible that rocket propulsion, via trial and error, would have followed a course not too unlike that which our own history describes.
And perhaps the aliens' rocket propulsion led to some other development that human scientists have yet to discover. What appears to be less speculative, however, is the notion that all technical civilizations possess many things in common with their human counterparts. Whereby it goes without question that countless differences exist as well.
But just as our humanity is judged by the qualities we share in common with disparate cultures, so ought we not be distracted by the idea that the hand of another might boast delicate tendrils instead of fragile fingers. And focus more on that elegant piece of technical skill which owes its origin solely to universal laws of science and mathematics.
Much has been made of the idea, largely accepted now as absolute fact, that modern homo sapiens evolved from a common primate ancestor which gave rise to both apes and any number of extinct proto-humans. Far less discussed and considered, leastwise in the context of this particular essay, is the equally fascinating notion that primates themselves evolved from yet a different kind of common ancestor: in this case, tree-dwelling shrews, lemurs and similar other animals, all of them capable of negotiating and navigating the complex world of giant arboreal forests.
Thus the proposal that humans evolved from tree-borne rats seems much less plausible or profound than the suggestion that we came from much more humanlike creatures. If, however, we dig deeper into the relevance and significance of such a revelation, we soon realize that nature, i.e., mutational evolution, was working on its own design, its own model for the most survivable form of biological machine, given a life in trees.
As it so happens, the same qualities that maximize survival high in trees, apply in equally advantageous ways to life on the ground. That, however, is its own story of how onetime tree-dwellers adapted to full-time life on the fields and plains, and went on to develop larger and larger brains. Or put another way, went on to exploit all the possible benefits that an upright stance and nimble, dexterous arms and hands then afforded.
For the purposes of this essay, it's more important to concentrate on the models of biological engineering which nature was using for those tree-dwelling residents. Designs which had nothing to do with primates or humans. And everything to do with arms, legs, feet, and most importantly, hands. Let alone, 3-D, stereoscopic vision.
Instead of proposing the somewhat foolish notion that extraterrestrials evolved into humanoid shapes or forms, a much less silly suggestion might hint at the idea that nature operates according to certain tried and true models of similar design. That to one degree or another, such anatomical schemes cross all boundaries where planets share mutual and minimum characteristics otherwise necessary for life to evolve.
Thus while it might seem preposterous on the one hand, no pun intended, to propose that alien beings might bear the characteristics of apes or humans, it seems entirely reasonable to submit the rational and realistic argument that these same aliens should boast arms, hands, legs, and feet. And 3-D, stereoscopic vision.
Furthermore, we know that the progress of evolution is extremely frugal with its endowments. The process rarely bestows more than what are the absolute bare necessities with respect to enhancements and improvements. Therefore while three arms and three legs, and hands with six fingers, heads with three eyes might be better than two arms and two legs, survival is always measured by minimum standards, and never the maximum. The fossil record on Earth is filled with evolutionary excesses, seemingly experimental in nature, and the most successful species nearly always go to those who can do the most, with the least. And rarely if ever, the other way around.
To carry all of the foregoing material to its reasonable and completely rational conclusion, it occurs to me that anthropoidalism, if such a word existed, has less to do with monkeys and apes, let alone humans, and far more to do with a possibly universal model for optimizing life in an arboreal environment. Even then, it's likely that trees exist as only one of many similar kinds of environments where the needs of agile negotiation and navigation favor a repetitive model where arms, legs, hands, feet, and 3-D vision--and big brains--are the ideal choice. Except that choice is mindless, unconscious, and strictly a matter of practicality. It's why planets are spherical and not square.
As a brief aside, it soon becomes apparent as to why ocean-dwelling species such as whales, dolphins, octopuses and other highly intelligent organisms likely never evolve technologically. Interestingly, and from a non-technological standpoint, such animals appear to have been optimized from a purely evolutionary perspective. It's hard to imagine an improved version of a whale, shark, or octopus. Each is already pretty advanced just the way they are. Anything more would seem almost ludicrous, even extravagant, and evolution-- as a process--is never either.
This returns us to the not entirely farcical implication that not only do technical civilizations involve land-dwelling creatures, but those whose own ancestry derived from conditions not inconsistent with anthropoidal modalities. Or put another way, the chances are highly likely that on other worlds where life evolves, and given it is based on predator and prey relationships, that circumstances ought to exist whereby the adoption of two arms and two legs, with hands and feet, 3-D vision and the like, produces species superior to all others. This would include increased intellectual capacities and other senses such as smell, taste, touch, and so forth.
Assuming such is the case, then the parallel evolution of hard and soft technologies should, in theory, be both inevitable and unavoidable. One thing should follow the other, as if conforming to another, equally powerful model of existence that while absent of conscious design, transpires solely because it can.
These then become critical concepts with respect to UFO sightings, alien visitations, close encounters, and possible abductions. Before concluding all of this with my final remarks, it's necessary to return full circle and rejoin the Mars rovers as they traverse the Martian countryside. Scouring the planet in what is likely a futile attempt to uncover the unrecoverable.
As we further evaluate the probes themselves, we might now describe them, in the broadest of terms, as being anthropoidal in nature. They look "cute" to us, like cartoon caricatures, for this very reason. Important to consider, however, while we smile, is the idea that the Mars rovers, other probes as well, have more in common with those tree-dwelling shrews than they do monkeys or apes. We mock ourselves, and miss the point entirely when we think that such devices are modeled after human attributes. They are not. The machines are the byproducts of what evolution dictates as the optimum form of transportation and exploratory vehicle.
And in a kind of poetic dance that imitates nature itself, humans would, were it possible to do so, further refine its probes, in much the same way as evolution did with tree-living lemurs, and produce the best possible conformation. Which in this instance, would be, of course, a very humanlike machine.
Such a hairless, bare-minimum, anthropoidal device, equipped with large, stereoscopic eyes, possibly covered by a thin, grey skin, ought to look somewhat familiar to many of us. To some more than others. To self-proclaimed alien abductees the most, perhaps.
It's not difficult to imagine that some or most of the ingenious ideas that occur to us, as intellectual beings, probably occur to other non-human, but equally intelligent entities as well. Humanity is currently entering a new age of robotics. Artificial intelligence is likely the new paradigm which will soon find its way into every nook, cranny, and facet of human existence.
For lack of a better term, robots will no doubt fulfill at least two separate roles as their relationships with human beings expands exponentially. And in particular, how those associations will manifest themselves with respect to space travel and exploration. It seems likely that robots will both accompany humans as collaborative companions aboard exploratory spaceships, plus go off on their own as autonomous agents.
While humans are still fairly new in the game and their space probes still look like cartoon caricatures, the question must be asked as to how these same probes, or sophisticated explorers might appear, when constructed by designers for whom money was no object. In a manner of speaking. Engineers for whom few limitations posed as obstacles, other than the vast distances between galaxies and worlds. Worlds already mapped out as viable, feasible contenders and candidates for life in any recognizable form. How might such machines look, physically?
Might they possess arms and legs, with hands and feet? Two arms and two legs? And the rest of it? I think the resounding answer is not only maybe, but probably. And if true, the cosmos is likely filled, relatively speaking, with two kinds of interstellar vehicles: those piloted by robots alone, and others where living entities interact with their mechanistic doppelgangers.
If we speculate about the various scenarios which suggest that Earth has been visited by either someone or something from elsewhere, we should not dismiss too quickly our own parochial approach to visiting other someone's or other something's who live elsewhere.
Even now, scientists design our most advanced space probes with architectures suited exclusively for the exact location or place they are intended to examine and explore. On the planet Venus, this meant that the Russian probe, the only one to ever land on the surface, looked nothing like the rovers on Mars. Instead, its heavy shielding and metal skin were quickly destroyed by that world's extreme conditions.
If and when humans send an unmanned probe to an earthlike planet, similar if not identical to the conditions which exist here, what might the architecture of that machine resemble? What if we were not limited to constraints of budgets or politics, and our technology was extremely advanced, far more so than it is today--what would the ideal exploratory vehicle look like?
If alien birds flew in an alien sky, our probe might have wings of some sort. Wings that more or less resembled those of the native species, for whom the adaptation worked perfectly. If other creatures moved about, whether on legs and feet, or arms or via some other method, might our probe be fashioned in some way that followed or mimicked the best qualities of what appeared to be the most successful species?
Now imagine the arrival of foreigners to our own planet. Chances seem fifty-fifty, one way or the other, that either the visitors are exploratory probes only, or are accompanied by the actual living entities who built both the spaceship and the probes themselves. Since the distances are so vast between one address and another, my money is on the ship being piloted solely by some kind of robotic but autonomous crew.
Let us further assume that Earth is somewhat different compared to the world from which this particular ship has traveled. I feel relatively safe in even further assuming (we've come this far, why stop now?) that the crew is capable of adapting themselves to new, sometimes hostile environments. It doesn't seem too far fetched to imagine such machines, whether biologic or otherwise, as being capable of altering their bodies in order to accommodate the specific environmental conditions which might confront them.
They would seek to mold themselves into a shape and form which was ideally suited for the geological and ecological demands of what awaited directly outside their interstellar craft. They would probably study the indigenous species who appeared best adapted for thriving amid the widest possible range of environmental extremes. They'd no doubt zero-in on the dominant species and copy what they discovered. Maybe even improve on the theme where necessary.
They wouldn't have hair, or clothes, or shoes.
They'd likely have two large eyes, with a head to match.
Delicate, dexterous arms and hands, attached to a smallish body,
All of it perched atop legs just barely adequate to support the whole.
Their emotions and personalities, if such exist, should be very different from our own.
They would seem remote, detached, impersonal, even cruel by human standards.
They'd probably look a lot like us. Sort of.
More than 90% of all UFO reports that involve direct contact between extraterrestrials and humans, involve eyewitness testimonies that describe these alien entities as being humanlike in one way or another.
On planet Earth, an anthropoidal architecture is not the model for evolving a human being. The anthropoid design is the symbolic, trial and error blueprint by which a creature might rise to dominate all others. In order to be successful, a long list of conditional circumstances must be satisfied. The first of which is that the previous dominant form must make room for the next. On Earth, the extinction of the dinosaurs provided just the right opportunity for mammals to refine and improve upon their own models of adaptation.
Not mentioned earlier, but appropriate at this point in the discussion is how the mammalian architectural model is itself an extension of the reptilian model. Whether or not the saurian model, while entirely adequate, would or could lead first to sentience, then to great intellect and finally the creation of a technologically advanced civilization, is unknowable.
If I were to hazard a guess, my feeling is that the dinosaurs, in all their myriad forms, would have gone the way of whales, dolphins, and the octopus. Technology requires, indeed demands, a manual dexterity that rivals the finest surgeon. Crude, reptilian claws attached to arms more suited for the flapping of wings than ballet strokes, would have necessitated a good deal of mutational changes. And all such changes would have necessarily enhanced survival, thereby passing the new traits on to future generations.
As reptiles continued to advance, in their own way, perhaps survival would have ceased to be a major factor in their future evolution. Perhaps all mutational changes might have been tolerated over time, and eventually aided in producing the genius dinosaurs who could have lead the others out of their own dark ages.
We'll leave this particular stream of thought with the acknowledgement that while all successful species are predicated upon winning models that came earlier, such species are not the only model, nor are they necessarily the only model upon which a successful, even dominant life form might excel.
In summation, despite my lifelong position as a consummate skeptic, and especially as pertains to UFOs and extraterrestrials, I've had to reexamine these beliefs based on a lot of new information, and a good deal of soul-searching--itself based on new perspectives and fresh points-of-view.
In the way of both a confession and an apology, I had failed to keep pace with the steady advance and improvements in robotics and artificial intelligence. It just never occurred to me that the biology of evolution and the nuts and bolts fields of cybernetics were related in such an intimate, overlapping manner.
I didn't see the real impact of how artificial intelligence was about to change our lives in so many ways; I didn't hear the roar of the coming revolution until recently. And I had certainly never considered the broader picture of how the revelations exposed by the new technologies, might have far reaching implications and consequences with respect not only to the future of humanity, but to reconsideration of alleged extraterrestrial visitations as well.
To close, this was an extremely difficult essay to write. Perhaps the single most challenging piece of its kind that I've ever attempted. I'm far from sure whether or not I made the points worth making, or if I succeeded in making them comprehensible. Only time will tell.
In the meantime, put me down as having revised my entire attitude and otherwise harsh opinions with respect to the whole UFO phenomenon. While not truly classifiable as a believer per se, I'm more hopeful, more optimistic, less hard-nosed and even amenable to the proposition that the truth is out there. And how that truth may well be in the form of anthropoidal aliens who aren't even living entities at all, in the usual sense of the term.
Or maybe they are. Maybe they're comprised of both autonomous cyborg versions of themselves, accompanied by their original benefactors as collaborating companions. Relationships that only emotion-based humans might define as such.
In his best selling book, Communion, about alien abduction, author Whitley Strieber describes encounters with at least two different kind of aliens, all of them anthropoid in terms of their physicality. One of my big criticisms over the years, of not just Strieber's books but of alien abduction accounts in general, has always been the previously laughable notion that extraterrestrials almost always resembled people. Little people, big people, narrow heads, big heads, and skinny legs with noodles for arms.
I'm laughing a lot less nowadays. Once my imagination and intellect accepted the wild idea that aliens must, almost of necessity, be humanoid in appearance, and that their seeming lack of emotions and desire to interact with humans in general seemed to make a strange kind of sense, then even the act of kidnapping people might befit a certain set of circumstances.
The historical record is filled with compelling stories where elements of truth intertwine with embellishment and outright falsehoods. The UFO phenomenon, for me, feels akin in many respects to these same kinds of accounts where degrees of truth, lies, misinterpretations and faulty recollections are all thrown into a tumbling cement mixer, then spilled out for everyone to see and judge for themselves.
I used to go out at night and feel so alone as I stared up into a proverbial, star-studded sky. I don't get that same impression any longer. Anymore, I'm struck by the strange sensation that someone is staring back.
The following is a copy of a letter that references the popular TV series, Ancient Aliens, Season 8, Episode 5: Alien Evolution. The missive was sent to a friend of mine, the president of one of the larger science-fiction clubs around, and who tolerates my occasional forays into wild, conjectural ramblings about one thing or another.
In this particular case, I wanted to share the idea that I had possibly hit upon a rare, if not altogether unprecedented approach to why aliens and humans might share similar body shapes and other anatomical structures. By the way, the anagram MUFON stands for Mutual UFO Network. A worldwide organization dedicated to research and validation of the UFO phenomenon.
One more quick point, if you'll allow me.
I have to further abuse our friendship just for a moment while I brag a tiny bit. After watching one of the latest episodes of "Ancient Aliens" (which is a pretty well done show) in this case the episode called, "Alien Evolution", the last third of the show is all about how aliens look a lot like humans, or vice versa. Sound familiar? I was flabbergasted to see how they tackled the same questions as I did. Great minds think alike?
What I was so thrilled with, quite frankly, was the realization that the conclusions I come to in my essay are considerably more scientific and logically sound than those of the people in the show. The best they could do was imagine, as the reason why humans and aliens appear similar, is due to a common alien ancestor, who "seeded" the universe with their own DNA. Ha, nice try, guys.
This proposal is laughable when you read my explanation which relies solely on Darwinian evolution and natural selection. And the far more rational suggestion that nature uses certain bodily "models" over and over again. In this case, two arms with hands, two legs with feet, a torso and head with stereo vision. Add to this the idea that humans ultimately evolved from tree shrews, and not so much from primates, who themselves evolved from the same shrews, lemurs, and others.
And what is so special about a tree shrew? "Nothing," is the correct answer. Other than they evolved two arms with hands, two legs with feet, a torso, and a head with stereo vision. Sound familiar? Stand the shrew upright, and you, in effect, have the blueprint model for humans and aliens and all others who require a degree of manual dexterity and stereo vision. Then the question becomes one of, "Are there trees (or their equivalent) on other worlds?" And not, "Are there primates or apes on other worlds?"
This seems so simple once you latch onto it. And yet I'm the only one (as testified to by the lack of any other theory on the TV show) who thinks this answers, or at least points to, the whole debate in question.
As we speak, Mufon has a copy of my essay and is supposedly reading it. I even received an email acknowledgement of this fact, sent to my personal inbox. How much do you want to bet they miss the whole thing? As did the dozen or so other organizations to whom I offered to send my essay, and never heard back. Maybe they'll steal the idea. I wouldn't mind. Not if it sheds light on what is otherwise a very mysterious puzzle.
Thanks for listening and letting me sound off.