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Explaining All The Weird UFO ‘Aliens’
Re gaining a better model of reality, we have three fundamental tasks: (A) collecting data, (B) elaborating theories that can explain data, and (C) finding matches between data and theory. While a half century ago (B) was king, now (A) is king; (C) has always been neglected.
The topic of UFOs has long been taboo, and within the community willing to discuss them (B) and (C) remain taboo. There thus seem to be unusually high returns to doing task (C) regarding UFOs. And as I seem to be especially well-suited to that task, I feel a responsibility to try. So let me return again to the topic of matching UFO data and theory. Specifically to the task of finding the most believable way to explain UFO data via real things (not hallucinations or hoaxes) with amazing abilities cause by “aliens”.
I’ve previously outlined the most plausible account I could find of UFOs as ordinary aliens, i.e., the kind with a planet of origin somewhere who travel here across ordinary space within light-speed limits. But I notice that people often invoke weirder ‘alien’ hypotheses. Such as that UFOs come from some ancient octopi-like civilization deep in our oceans. Or that UFOs result from future time-travelers. Or that UFOs come here from other dimensions in a more-than-four dimensional universe. So let me try to generalize my prior analysis to encompass such possibilities.
The key common element is positing some other place out “there”, where “they” reside, and from which they can and do travel to “here”. This other place may be hard to “see” from here. The UFOs-as-aliens hypothesis posits that some of them have in fact traveled from there to here, and as a result have induced UFOs to appear here often recently, showing what are to us amazing abilities. (There have been maybe ~100K official UFO sighting reports.)
The fact that they can travel from there to here, but we cannot yet travel from here to there, combined with the amazing abilities UFOs display, lead us to describe them as more “advanced” than us. Plausibly due to their traveling down a long evolutionary growth path analogous to ours, but a path down which they went longer and further.
How much further? I’ve said we could explain simple aliens behind UFOs via their being our panspermia siblings, in which case their home world is in our galaxy and they likely reached our tech level over a hundred million years ago. For the more general “aliens” case, it seems hard to imagine a common cause that could have induced the rise of both their and our civ in the last hundred thousand years. (In a universe 14 billion years old.)
Thus we should assume “they” reached something analogous to our tech level at least millions of years ago. (Perhaps their abilities have since decayed in some ways.) This is a timescale on which they could have become completely artificial, with most everything in their world made in factories out of stuff dug up in mines, based on explicit designs. In which case there’s not really an important difference between “them” and “their UFO probes”. If they are not artificial, they likely collectively chosen that outcome, or have some very weird society we just don’t understand.
There are a few more “facts” we’ll want our best theory of UFOs as aliens to explain. First, compared to familiar UFO activity showing amazing abilities, we don’t see remotely similar levels of nearby UFO-like colonization, development, or resource extraction activities. That is, the UFOs we see don’t seem to actually accomplish anything.
Second, we don’t see any evidence of advanced civs, or any form of life actually, anywhere beyond Earth in the observable universe. (The size above which we can exclude active civs is large at far distances, but quite small nearby.)
Third, while it should be quite feasible for an advanced civ, no UFOs have made themselves completely obvious to us. Yet while it should be well within the capabilities of an advanced civ to watch anything here while remaining completely invisible to us, a great many of them instead choose to be weakly visible. Yet these are mostly nearly minimally visible, revealing very little else about themselves besides their existence and a few amazing abilities.
Over long historical timescales, most biological life, and most human culture, has tended to expand into new niches when such became available, grabbing relevant resources and occupying relevant spaces. So it is quite a striking fact that “they” have not done so at any noticeable scale, neither on or anywhere near Earth, not now nor for millions of years. Yet it could have taken only a tiny fraction of their civilization a tiny fraction of that time to completely colonize and rearrange our galaxy (and many others).
We must thus conclude that either no part of them has any inclination whatsoever in that direction, or that their civ has coordinated around an anti-colonization “rule” that prevents such activity. (Such a coordination seems much harder to achieve if “they” are composed of many independent parts, suggesting “they” act as an unified whole re this issue.)
Our civilization clearly does have many parts inclined in such colonization directions, and such parts seem likely to do so on a large scale in much less than a million years. Such behavior would seem to undermine “their” anti-colonization rule. And that right there gives them a reason to travel to see us. (They could of course have many other reasons.)
Obviously, the simplest and most reliable way to achieve such an outcome would be for them to just destroy us. Or to conquer us and force us to obey them. Which they have not done. And thus we can conclude that they are reluctant to do such things; they would rather persuade us to follow their anti-colonization rule voluntarily. So is there a way to understand UFO activity as such a persuasion effort? Especially as a simple safe robust persuasion strategy that could be approved by their civ’s home authorities re a risky might-go-rogue expedition from there to here? I think there is.
Most social species we know of tend to have status ladders, with low status animals deferring to and emulating high status ones. We humans have domesticated other species (and our own) by getting them to see us as at the top of their status ladder. If this pattern also held where they came from, “they” could just plan to hang out near us looking peaceful but impressive, but not revealing more details which might make us hate them (they are aliens after all; there are probably details we would hate, if we knew).
Once we were convinced they exist, and inclined to defer to them, we’d be smart enough to figure out their agenda; it isn’t that complicated. And if their carrot plan doesn’t work, and enough parts of us do start to sufficiently defy their anti-colonization rule, they probably have a stick plan in reserve. Which we won’t like.
And that’s it, my best guess way to explain UFOs as real amazing things arising from “aliens”, be they from planets, the deep, the future, or other dimensions. The fact that they visit but don’t colonize suggests that they collectively enforce a rule against colonization, and are here to get us to follow it, via domesticating us. If we accept them as the most impressive peaceful creatures around, we might follow their lead.
Of course this best account of UFOs as aliens must be compared to our best accounts of UFOs as due to hallucinations, hoaxes, or secret human orgs.