It came from, uh, somewhere…

They are not UFOs (we presume) but what are they?

By Morf Morford, Tacoma Daily Index

By the middle of February, U.S. military jets shot down yet another flying “object” over Lake Huron — the fourth such incident in about a week.

The first was reportedly a Chinese surveillance balloon, or perhaps a weather balloon?, downed off the coast of the Carolinas after it crossed British Columbia and parts of the United States.

Over the following weekend, U.S. fighter jets downed objects in remote areas off the northern coast of Alaska and over Canada’s Yukon territory.

Each of these was shot down by US fighter jets. However, these are just the ones that weren’t missed, which means that what has happened in the past few years is, as one intelligence figure put it, “a catastrophic failure of intelligence.” Which means, in summary, that NORAD (and others) are looking far closer than ever; who knows what they’ll find?

China claims that the USA flew at least ten surveillance balloons over their territory in the previous year or so.

As of the time of this writing, no individual, corporation, military branch or governmental agency has acknowledged any responsibility.

One Pentagon official said there was “no indication of aliens or extraterrestrial activity”. As with most government-speak jargon, I don’t know if that summation is reliable, assuring or deliberately vague – if not evasive.

These “unidentified objects” have been unmanned and, have been some kind of “balloon type” aircraft. This means that they, for the most part, like sailing ships of a few hundred years ago, follow the currents.

Balloons, as most sci-fi fans would know, are the original 19th Century steam-punk excursion into aerial travel.

The current crop of “weather” balloons is, of course, a high tech adaptation of a long-established technology. How they are being used, and by whom, are still open questions.

All of this takes place within the context of rising tensions between the USA and China. And Russia.

With the year-long war in Ukraine and ever more bellicose rhetoric from China regarding the “reclaiming” of Taiwan, one wonders about the timing of these “unidentified objects”, flying, floating, controlled or uncontrolled, terrestrial or extra-galactic vehicles.

Car or bus-sized

Adding to the sheer surrealness of the situation is, of course, how those “objects” are measured.

To describe something from an unknown source, with an unknown purpose is disorienting enough.

An “object” could, of course, be anything. Perhaps that why those “objects” were measured in terms of things we all know – vehicles. A car-sized object is something we are all familiar with. The measurement is, of course, size – not weight or density.

Truly alien vehicles could be any size, from granular to gigantic – and possibly with the ability to switch from one to the other.

Human vehicles, even those that fly or float, seem to be, even unmanned, approximately standard vehicle sized.

As always though, we Americans will default to the “anything but metric” measuring system.

Whether it is football fields, Olympic sized swimming pools, or car lengths, we know our practical measurements. As long as they are not metric.

Naming our enemies

And as long as we can name our enemies, from zombies to Venusians to viruses, we can conquer them. But who might any potential inter-stellar invaders be? And what would be their intentions? Or capabilities?

They are (maybe) still out there

As you might guess, there are people who have studied “the current human probability of invasion of an extraterrestrial civilization.” And, based on what we already know about human history, it doesn’t look good. You can see a summary of this research here –

But there is good news. Sort of: Earth is 100 times more likely to be destroyed by an asteroid than invaded by aliens.

Whether aliens are “out there” or not, for better or worse, from now on we will be looking far closer than we have been.

There goes the neighborhood

We humans like to consider ourselves the center of life and all of creation. But the opposite is just as likely to be true; we might be so far from the “center” of the world, or we might be so uninteresting, or even too menacing and unpredictable to be of interest to any more “intelligent” or developed beings.

Any intelligent life on earth?

If you put yourself in the position of a planet with advanced intelligence (compared to Earth), you have to wonder where they would land and who they would accept as a “leader” or representative of all of us.

One obvious question would be, where would any galactic visitors land?

Even before the USA established the recent “shoot it out of the sky” policy, the places on Earth where a visitor might consider safe to land and interact with earthlings would be limited. Certainly not most of northern or eastern Africa. Or most of the Middle East. Or Russia or Ukraine. Or Syria. Or Turkey. Or most American cities. Or small towns. And definitely not my neighborhood.

In other words, perhaps the most convincing evidence of a “higher intelligence” is that they continue to stay away.