The World’s Greatest Mystery (Part 1)

Deep breath folks. At the risk of ridicule and destroyed credibility, the subject of UFO’s has now landed on the SCENIC WRITER’S SHACK discussion table.

Netflix have a number of documentaries devoted to the topic and TOP SECRET UFO PROJECTS DECLASSIFIED is one of the better ones.

Across six fascinating episodes, the series proposes the need for a paradigm shift in our thinking. For 6000 years the preeminent lifeform in the Universe has been humanity. But in the face of a growing recognition of the possibility that ‘we are not alone’, a momentous and fundamentalist revision of history may be required.

Thanks to planet-finding techniques like stellar wobble, the transit method, direct imaging, and microlensing, scientists now know there exists trillions of planets across millions of galaxies.

You read that right. TRILLIONS and MILLIONS.

Telescope technology that previously only allowed a view – to use an analogy – to the end of the street – now allows us to see across the park and beyond.

The $10 billion JAMES WEBB SPACE TELESCOPE (100 times more powerful than the HUBBLE telescope, which launched back in 1990) commenced operating from it’s position 1.5 million km into space in late 2021.

It has ushered in a boundary breaking new age of infrared astronomy.

What are the mathematical odds of Earth being the only planet – of trillions of planets – to harbor intelligent life?

Further speculating, can you imagine technology 100 years from now?

What if there existed a civilization – or many civilizations – that were ten’s of thousands of years ahead of us and had learnt how to bend space-time, engineer electro-magnetic, anti-gravity propulsion and build craft using principles based on non-classical physics that could accelerate to 40 000 kilometers per hour without burning jet fuel?

These conjectures are put forward and taken seriously across the series. The point is also made that contrary to popular belief, UFO sightings are NOT purely a modern phenomena.

Since ancient times in recorded history, sightings of craft-like objects in the sky have been observed. As an example, native Hopi Indians, Cherokee and Inuit have all all worshiped flying discs and ‘sky gods’.

Above: Ancient cave paintings going back 7000 years, depicting alien-like beings and space-craft.

For so long, the subject of extraterrestrial life and UFO’s (or UAP’s – Unidentified Aerial Phenomena – as they are now being called) has been relegated to the realm of mere pop culture, rather than the scientific community.

Talk about government cover-ups, alien abductees, secret military divisions specializing in reverse engineering projects, experiments involving the mixing of human and alien DNA and to top it all off the story of a priest who one day waved to aliens and they waved back, SHOULD have all been ridiculous to me.

Yet, the further I progressed in watching this NETFLIX series the more convinced I became that the whole subject deserves, at the very least, more scrutiny from the scientific community.

Recognition of the existence of intelligent life on other planets would indeed signal a turning point in human history. But are we ready for that?

Mankind has been trying to engineer a more enlightened and accepting society since, it could be argued, the 1960’s. Probably longer. There’s still such a long way to go in that endeavor.

Acknowledgement that we share the Universe with other lifeforms would surely add another dimension to our aim of respect for diversity – in all its forms.

I’ve always said I’d believe in flying saucers the day one landed on the school oval at lunchtime.

Well, too late. It’s already happened.

Known as the WESTALL INCIDENT, the school-oval landing took place in Melbourne, Australia. And that’s what SCENIC WRITER’S SHACK will be looking at next time.

Published just last month, THE WRITING RETREAT by Brooklyn-based writer and practicing therapist Julia Bartz, places a group of wanna-be writers at a haunted mansion for a month long writer’s retreat.

There’s a seven figure publishing contract up for grabs but with murder afoot, will anyone live long enough to ‘tell the tale’ ?

Lots of ‘buzz’ around this book which has already made it onto several best seller lists.


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