♬ Starry eyes
How can I get to you
My true little
What can I say or do
For you my little
Starry eyes, starry eyes
Forever shall be mine ♬
— Rocky Erickson
Elementary school-aged Uvular loved In Search of … . He particularly enjoyed going in search of the half-hour what-ifs and did-you-knows about cryptids, phantasms and natural-cum-manmade disasters. Irregularly scheduled, but also seemingly available to every ad-supported television channel viewable by a pre-teen living in late-70s Southeast Virginia, episodes typically aired during rain delays of sporting events.
For young Uvie, Leonard Nimoy’s narration delivered exactly the right mix of credulity, skepticism and encouragement to explore myriad mysteries on one’s own, The dozens of episodes concerning extraterrestrials never quite slid smoothly down the intellectual gullet, however.
It took your abashed Weekend Politics Thread host decades to figure out what did not sit well in the depthless wells of the unexplained. Discussions of visitors from outer space slotted into three narratives:
- Not-so-gentle mockery of and permission to dismiss self-proclaimed abductees,
- Druids and assorted other premodern white Europeans constructing future tourist attractions such as the Cerne Abbas Giant to communicate with sky gods, and
- Ancient aliens building pyramids for Africans, South Americans and Asians.
First, the lack of empathy for the lonely, potentially deluded or actually victimized galled. Worse, the assertion that Black and brown peoples could never accomplish awe-inspiring feats of engineering that assumedly came naturally to white people infuriated.
The long-awaited release of the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena dredged up all this unease with the dialog concerning intelligent life off the Pale Blue Dot.1 Reading the report until the end results in Tommy Lee Jones showing up on your doorstep to zap you with a neutralizer.
Suffice it to summarize that UAPs exist. They remain unidentified. Don’t make TLJ come over there.2
The Pentagon has put us through this before. Surely several Avocadoians recall the terrible Project U.F.O. procedural that ran for two seasons on CBS. Writers and producers premised that on a decades-long compilation of UAP encounters since before World War II dubbed Project BLUE BOOK.3
So, following on 80-plus years of serious (if not always respectful) research, we may never know in our lifetimes if we speed through the vastness of the universe alone as a species capable of posting overlong thread headers sprinkled with dad jokes. We can rest assured, however, that in 2021 aliens looking to probe a person would only need to create Tinder and Grindr accounts. Which may itself point to nonhuman advanced technology. Time, then, for Project BLUE BOOK 2: EVEN BLUER.4