Site Archive: Commentaries
Extraterrestrial Intelligence Revisited
By Bufo Calvin*
Above the general hubbub at the November 30th, 1996 meeting of the Union of Students of Universal Cosmic Knowledge rose this sneering proclamation: "Aliens are idiots!" I couldn't help but notice and several of the conversations I was in paused for a moment. I looked around and spotted the man who had made this heretical statement, leaning against the old video game in the corner of the room. Despite his seemingly casual posture, he radiated a confidence I had never encountered before: his thin arms folded across his prodigous chest, his round face cocked to one side, the nattiness of his blue turtle neck and grey sports coat contrasting with his rumpled jogging pants.
In short order, I realized that this was the legendary UFO investigator, futurist, and foley artist, Louis Stern. I couldn't believe my luck! Here was the author of the classic book, Stop Thinking! About Flying Saucers! I had been coming to these meetings for six months, hoping to encounter the "Ambrose Bierce of UFOlogy," to gain the benefit of his insight into the most baffling mystery of the last semi-century. Excusing myself from my companions, I made my way through the crowd of abductees, contactees, and various other "tees" to approach someone who could, in all honesty, be called a "ter."
Bufo Calvin: Excuse me.
Louis Stern: Why?
BC: Um...I didn't want to interrupt your conversation.
LS: My dear boy, do you see anyone to whom I am talking?
BC: No. Are you talking to anyone?
LS: I am talking at several people, however, as no one is talking back, it can hardly be called a conversation. I learned many years ago that the level of intellectual exchange in ufology is so low as to be nearly undetectable, so there is no point in bothering to wait for people to pay attention to you.
BC: Ah. So, I thought I heard you say, "Aliens are idiots." Is that right?
LS: That is most certainly what I said. The evidence is incontestible, despite the opinion of the alien groupies you see around us.
BC: What evidence is that?
LS: It's apparent in their behaviour. Take a look at the Corrigan Crash Incident, for instance. I assume you are familiar with it?
LS: What killed the occupants of that craft?
BC: Some people have suggested radar interfered with...
CP. It's because the aliens are morons! [Sighs.] Describe the crash scene.
BC: Well, the witnesses say there was the craft stuck into the sand, the aliens laying in the sand, some dead, one alive...
LS: Precisely! The craft was undamaged! That's why it was able to be flown at Heinz later. It wasn't explosive decompression, or fire, or anything. It was the impact itself that killed them! How idiotic can you be?
BC: Wouldn't they have been going pretty fast...
LS: The chairs. Describe the chairs.
BC: I've heard they were one piece, coming right out of the floor, obviously built for someone smaller than a human, with a control panel and...
LS: And the seatbelts?
BC: Seatbelts? I don't remember anything about seatbelts.
LS: Because there weren't any. Or airbags, or any other kind of restraining device. Imagine that! Travelling thousands of light years, surviving cosmic rays, meteors, and all kinds of dangers, and getting killed by bumping into dirt! Duh!
BC: I'll admit that sounds like a certain lack of...forethought.
LS: And cattle mutilations.
BC: What about them?
LS: Are they evidence of intelligence?
BC: The technology seems to be pretty good, and they manage not to get caught.
LS: If you think technology equals intelligence, you've never tried to keep a raccoon out of a henhouse or had a conversation with a television repairperson. And there are thousands of cockroaches, ants, and mice in this house right now that haven't been caught. Are you saying they are smarter than the owner?
BC: No, I guess not.
LS: Well, you might be wrong. [Grins.] Do our bovine butchers want to be caught?
LS: What makes you say that?
BC: I assume not...otherwise, they would do it in broad daylight where people would catch them.
LS: Correct. So, if they do not want to get caught, what's the best way to avoid it? TAKE HOME A COW AND A BULL AND GROW YOUR OWN! It's not that complicated!
BC: What if they wouldn't survive?
LS: So do it on Earth somewhere. There are plenty of places where you could raise cattle where no one would ever know. Besides, if they are so smart, don't you think they could solve the problems?
BC: I guess so. Maybe they want us to know they are mutilating the cattle.
BC: To send us a message.
LS: What message?
BC: That they can do what they want to and we can't stop them.
LS: Wouldn't there be easier and less risky ways to do that than to slaughter hundreds of cows over twenty years? Wouldn't a few overflights of the Pentagon do that?
BC: Maybe, but maybe they don't know that.
LS: Then they are stupid!
BC: I don't think culturally ignorant is the same thing as stupid.
LS: It is if you've been involved in the culture for more than fifty years! I mean, they've been abducting people, planting false memories of deers and owls in them, getting into shoot-outs with military jets, and they haven't figured out that cows are not high on our priority list! Have them mutilate a couple of sitcom stars, and then see the reaction.
BC: But then the society would have to react. It would force us to realize that they are here, and maybe they don't think we're ready for that.
LS: No, they aren't ready for that. Don't fall for that "prime directive" thing. If they didn't want to interfere with our culture, we wouldn't even know they were here! You could get all the data you want without ever breaking orbit. And you wouldn't fly around at night lit up like Robert Downey, Jr. at a bachelor party!
BC: Maybe that's unintentional.
LS: Nonsense! Haven't you read reports where they fly around with the lights out? Or for that matter, are invisible? No, they can turn the lights out if they want to...they're just too stupid.
BC: But what if they don't care if we see them?
LS: Then they'd be flying over the Superbowl on the way to an abduction. No, they are idiots, that's all. What about the black helicopters?
BC: What about them?
LS: Who do they belong to?
BC: There are several theories about that...
LS: Have you heard stories of UFOs turning into black helicopters?
LS: Can you imagine anything that dumb? If you want to disguise yourself, don't turn into something no one has ever seen! Turn into a police helicopter, or a military one, but have a registration number and some paint. You don't try to blend into a crowd by wearing purple make-up, and you don't try to look like a common aircraft by being all black.
BC: What if their intelligence is so far above ours that we just can't understand it?
LS: Oh, not that again. They'd love it if you thought that. Look, what if that's true. Then there's no point in trying to figure it out, right?
BC: I suppose so.
LS: So why bother talking about it? Why not just ignore it and go watch the Travel Channel? It's because you could be wrong and you could figure it out. Then, you've stopped for no reason. Besides, they've never done anything an equally stupid Earthling couldn't have done. It's just too disheartening to think that the rest of the universe isn't any smarter than we are. What a state that would be!
BC: But maybe only the stupid ones come here?
LS: Precisely, my boy, precisely...I never doubted it for a moment.
So saying, Louis Stern grinned a big grin and hobbled off in the direction of the kitchen. I was left pondering what I had heard. I thought about the hundreds of books I had read on UFOs, and tried to find anything that would prove to me that he was wrong. I thought of stories of broken-down spaceships, of ufonauts apparently being surprised while collecting samples with a pail and shovel, of abductees being put back into bed with their clothes on backwards. I thought about using a wheat field as a method of communication. I thought about the messages contactees had received: ecological disaster, the dangers of nuclear war, engine plans that didn't work, and tried to find something that clearly came from a superior intelligence.
But I couldn't come up with anything. With a sad sort of feeling in the pit of my stomach, I turned to listen to the speaker, a channeler who was busily telling us how the spiritual SWAT team from the Sagitarius galaxy was coming to make our lives wonderful, and do everything short of showing us how to simplify the tax code while cutting the deficit. I looked at all the people smiling and nodding around me, rapt with knowledge that a better day was coming, and envied them their conviction. But then, contentment only comes to those who stop questioning, and that's not a price I'm willing to pay.
*Bufo Calvin is an author and lecturer on the paranormal. He has appeared on radio and his writings have appeared in many different publications. His Bufo's WEIRD WORLD, known for its sense of humor and critical thinking approach, is sent out free over the Internet. For more information, e-mail: BufoCalvin@aol.com.