Today is the 66th anniversary of the infamous Roswell UFO Incident. Apparently on July 8, 1947 something came crashing down in the desert near Roswell, New Mexico. I say “something” but a lot of people believe that it was an alien spacecraft. Since then, the military have repeatedly insisted that it was an experimental high-altitude surveillance balloon. But many people refuse to believe that, and to this day, there is this widespread belief that the government has a flying saucer stashed away in Area 51.
To be perfectly honest, I actually believe the government in this case. Why, you may ask? Well, most people have come to expect that the government is going to lie. If the military wants to cover up some sort of experimental surveillance device that was being used to spy on the Soviet Union or maybe even on actual Americans, just come out and say that that’s what it was. Because so many people are going to assume that the government is lying, and believe it was actually a spaceship. And the more the government insists that, no, it really truly was a hi-tech balloon, the more people are going to dig in their heels, stamp their feet, and argue that it must have been a flying saucer. It’s so beautiful in its simplicity: tell the truth to get people to believe a lie.
I think the government has so many better things to cover up than the existence of extraterrestrial life. War profiteering in Iraq and Afghanistan, un-Constitutional surveillance of American citizens, indefinitely detaining suspects without trial, corporations buying politicians to pass laws making big business immune from prosecution & lawsuits, tax cuts for the wealthy while social programs for the poor are gutted; all of this are the things that we should be paying attention to. But instead, the conspiracy-minded are running around harping about how a freaking UFO crash-landed six and a half decades ago.
(*Huff puff!* Okay, I promise to get down from my soapbox now.)
Oh, well, on the bright side, the whole Roswell Affair has supplied genre fiction with more than sixty years of raw material for churning out tales of alien invasions and government conspiracies. If you don’t take this stuff too seriously, it can be very entertaining. You have everything from Independence Day and The X-Files to Lilo & Stitch and Coneheads. And that Google Doodle game where you play a crash-landed alien trying to re-assemble his flying saucer is pretty darn cute! Just don’t spend too much of your spare time rooting around the deserts of the Southwest searching for little grey men from outer space.