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Volume 70, Issue 142, Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Opinion

If we are here, life exists elsewhere

David Salinas
Opinion Columnists

Are extraterrestrials real? Asking a question like this usually comes with the stigma of being considered a science fiction geek or some crazed lunatic that believes in every government conspiracy. 

But I've never seen one complete Star Wars film or Star Trek episode, and I don't believe there were any gunmen on the grassy knoll, yet I'm convinced that aliens exist. According to a Marist Institute for Public Opinion poll taken in the late 1990s, I'm not alone in my belief, with a surprising 60 percent of Americans believing in the existence of intelligent life other than our own. 

When researching the topic of aliens and unidentified flying objects on the Internet, one can see why people consider this a "geek" and "crazed conspiracy theorist" issue. Clicking around the Internet, I found one Web site called "Alien Matrix," and before the page even appeared, a little dialog box popped up saying the Web site is, "Monitored by the Third assembly of Nommos!" I clicked OK with much trepidation. The Web site is a decoded message from the "Nommos," describing their arrival to earth and the spiritual enlightenment they will bring. But even with their higher intelligence and superior levels of enlightenment, the Nommos couldn't shell out a few intergalactic bucks, so the integrity of the site was a bit damaged with all of the eBay advertisements. 

Another Web site had a forum dealing with the specific topic of alien abductions. One man described his post abduction symptoms: "I can just be sitting around, and my heart starts pounding, and it feels like it's gunna pop out of my chest, and it is painful." It's bad, but you can almost imagine The Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons writing that, believing his chest pains were brought on by aliens, rather than his over indulgence in Hot Pockets and blueberry Pop Tarts. One of the more responsible members of the forum said, "I just reckon you need to go the doctor." 

Yet for all the zaniness of these sites, some offer compelling evidence and interesting theories. One site discusses the finding of spiral form objects of the rare metals of tungsten and molybdenum near the Ural Mountains in Russia. Pictures are given of the items, and appear as they are described, bearing, "remarkable resemblances to control elements used in micro-miniature devices in our very latest technology, so-called nanomachines." The technological application of this, however, is currently in its infant stages today, while the spiraled objects found are said to be over 2,000 years old. The frightening yet exciting question posed by the Web site is, "who, of all the people in the world, was at that time capable of creating such superfine micro-filigree objects, something which our own technology is only now just beginning to achieve?"

Whether aliens exist is uncertain, but to absolutely deny the possibility of their existence is ignorant and foolish. While many of the stories created by 30-year-olds living in their parents' basement or rural farmers with sore behinds may be complete fiction, there are still a lot of cases that have yet to be solved. Much like the question of whether there is an afterlife, we may never truly know the answer until we are dead.

Salinas, an opinion columnist for The Daily Cougar, 
can be reached at davidcsalinas@yahoo.com

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