Speaking from empirical scientific proof supported by data and experiment… I would have to say NO.
I mean, seriously, the Roswell saucers crashed because of a little electromagnetic interference. And if you think about this planet… Donald Trump? Are you kidding me?
These are Tellerons, not intelligent alien lifeforms.
So there is simply no evidence that intelligent life exists anywhere in this universe.
“You are evidence of that,” you say, “since you apparently believe the government has been covering up the existence of aliens since 1947.”
And you would be right. I am not claiming to be intelligent. I am not monkey-headed stupid either. And the government has been covering up the existence of visitors from other worlds since they took possession of the crashed space ship, or possibly two spaceships, from Roswell, New Mexico. The stupid part is that their efforts to cover it up and change the story are proof that it is true. Nobody goes to that much effort over that many years just for a bit of a goof-play.
The reason the aliens were there looking around at an army air base is fairly obvious. What did the army air corps do in 1945 in Japan after all? The little gray guys were just worried about what their stupid neighbors were up to. Sooner or later, you know, stupid neighbors will mess all over your own back yard. So they came to investigate and stupidly got caught in a lightning storm, or possibly an Earther monkey-people weapon system. We are obviously dangerous enough for that.
So speaking of empirical evidence, you have a chain of stupidity causing event after event, and all of it subverted by dishonest attempts to keep people from knowing the truth. Humans from this planet were stupid enough to use a couple of nuclear weapons to murder other humans. This is documented stupidity.
If you believe the military and U.S. government, then you believe that they were using Project Mogul balloons to monitor Russian nuclear weapons development and crashed one of their super-secret balloons. Then the government officials misidentified their own balloon and okay-ed a newspaper report that the army had recovered a flying saucer. Immediately after being chewed out by a general, they then published a retraction newspaper story claiming the debris was a weather balloon, substituting pictures of crap from a real weather balloon that looked nothing at all like a flying saucer, and removing the top secret balloon crap so the Russians couldn’t learn that they were using balloons in the New Mexico desert. More documented stupidity.
And if you don’t believe the military and U.S. government, then you are probably considering the eyewitness testimony of people who were there and saw things and heard things and were then threatened by military goons to be quiet or be disappeared into the New Mexico desert. Now, eyewitness testimony is not considered absolute proof because witnesses can be unreliable and even tell lies. But hundreds of people? Who corroborate numerous rumors and details? Even people like intelligence officer Major Jesse Marcel who would later reveal stunning details to UFO investigators? And you can’t guarantee silence from witnesses, even with threats, especially over time. But the fact that the government tried? Yep, documented stupidity.
So, is there intelligent life in this universe? There is definitely life. But intelligent life? The evidence says “NO!” And remember, we elected Donald Trump to be our leader.
With Gyro driving, a rather unnerving prospect for those riding with him, the first pink Cadillacko swooped down on the planet Cornucopea out of the clouds. They were supposed to be establishing a base camp on the planet.
Besides Gyro, the Nebulon boy who gave the first Cadillacko its air bubble field and its silly Nebulonin nickname, the grav speeder held Billy Iowa, wearing his cowboy sombrero and leather moccasins, Luigi the Onion Guy, for whom they had no workable space suit, and Mai Ling, scantily dressed in form-fitting battle armor and wearing the ring-sleeve device that could amplify her telekinetic throwing arm.
The second Cadillacko carried Hassan Parker, who had to wear a full space suit instead of being nude like usual, Taffy King and Shu Kwai, all suited and combat ready.
The third grav speeder carried Ged Aero-sensei, Junior Aero, his adopted Nebulon nephew, and Sara Smith, the strongest telepath and healer of the group.
The drop zone looked like a field of flowers undulating in a high wind. But as they zoomed closer, you could see the large daisy-heads and thistle-heads were all ripping into and damaging the other plants.
“What do we do, Sensei?” Billy radioed through the comm dot on his neck.
“Clear the landing zone. Weed-killer weapons and mowers! We have to cut the weeds down to size.”
Gyro, being Gyro, nose-dived the pink-and-white Space Cadillac into the soft dirt of the field of fighting flowers. It plowed a deep furrow in a semi-circle in the middle of the large open space. Shu-Kwai landed his gray-and-white Space Cadillac much more gently beside it.
The telekinetics, Shu and Taffy King, leaped out of their vehicle with weapons that were more like chainsaws than the lawnmowers they were supposed to be. Each had two, one controlled by each hand. So, four flying blades whirled through the air, slicing and dicing, turning Throckpods into salad.
Mai-ling leaped out with a razor pistol in her hand. She fired round throwing-star-like objects in groups of five, then whipped the blades through the air sawing thorns neatly off of every violent flower-person she saw.
Hassan manned the spray-gun with the toxic weed-killer in it, spraying withering death upon Throckpods to a range of fifty feet.
Soon an army of violent flowers was reduced to smoking piles of flower-chips and salad-squares.
By the time Ged-sensei and Sara and Junior disembarked from their pink-and-white Cadillac, the battle was already over.
Luigi the Onion Guy came bouncing furiously across the field to confront Ged.
“nO! Oh, nO! You muSt nOt spILl, ChloroPhyll!” he shouted in his weird little Onion-guy accent.
“But you wanted help in driving away to evil Throckpods and their master, did you not?”
Luigi just stank out a lot of foul smells that the translator couldn’t begin to translate. It is well known that bad words are more a matter of disgustingly figurative language that does not translate well to beings who have no reference for flower emotions, flower body parts, flower behavior, or flower-based bad thoughts.
“Luigi is swearing at you, Sensei,” Gyro tried to explain while adjusting the translator’s many translation-equivalents adjustment bars.
“We need to understand him better. Can anyone read his mind?”
Sara looked at Ged with a sorrowful expression on her face. “I am beginning to sense some of the stronger emotions coming from plant-minds. He is upset because to them, all flower-life is sacred, including the Throckpods. That’s what he wants us to cure about the Throckpods. Their leader makes them render and kill other plant-life sacrilegiously.”
“Very well, then. We will set up base-camp in this cleared field and try hard to understand these flower-people better.”
“Yes, we need to study them and do some research,” said Hassan Parker. “I can get out of this space suit and start research immediately as the rest of you set up the camp.”
“I think I have seen enough of your naked body. And you really should join us in the physical labor before doing the mental work.” Shu Kwai was not making suggestions. He was issuing commands. “And while we are here, everybody wears protective body coverings. There are many unknown plant-based dangers here, and we want no one to be at risk.”
So, eight student ninjas, their ninja sensei, and one irate Onion began building a base camp.
My only mountain left to climb in this life (taking into account that my health problems prevent me from climbing literal mountains) is to write that one final masterpiece that defines me as a writer.
The book on the left is definitely not going to be the one. It takes something more than a mere comic science fiction novel. It has to be a serious masterpiece. Like how A Tale of Two Cities defines the writing career of Charles Dickens. Or The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn defines Mark Twain. Or Ernest Hemingway is best displayed in the pages of The Sun Also Rises. Or William Faulkner is at the pinnacle of his writing power in The Sound and the Fury. Or Michael Crichton entered the Pantheon of the Writing Gods with Jurassic Park. Or Saul Bellow mastered it with Henderson the Rain King.
By the way, if you add Thomas Hardy’s Return of the Native and Thomas Mann’s Der Zauberberg (The Magic Mountain) to the list of masterpiece novels, you now possess Mickey’s List of novels you absolutely have to read to have any hope of becoming a really great novelist yourself… or a list of the books you have to read to know “what in the ever-loving heck” Mickey is talking about when he talks about novel-writing.
I believe, and several nudists agree, that Recipes for Gingerbread Children is one of the best things that I have written. It is not something that attracts readers like moths to a candle-flame, though. It does have naked twin teenage girls in it who unapologetically practice nudism at home and with their willing friends whenever and wherever possible. That turns some readers off. But it is a novel about a story-teller telling fairy tales until she finally has to face the story of her own survival in the Nazi death camps in World War II. The story has power and a theme of how love conquers fear and terrible loss. But I don’t believe that book is the best that I can do.
My novel The Baby Werewolf is among the best writing I have done. I think it definitely shows what skills I have at organizing a fiction story told entirely in first person, creating believable characters in a B-Movie world, satirizing the horror genre, and at the same time dealing with my own personal demons surrounding being the survivor of a sexual assault by a sexual predator.
It shares plot and characters and even events with Recipes, and the two books should be read in tandem. That and other small drawbacks prevent it from really being my masterpiece.
Magical Miss Morgan contains all the fictionalized versions of my teacher stories based on my thirty-one years as a teacher, working with some teachers who were far better than I ever was, and some really incredible kids.
I think, as semi-autobiographical fiction goes, it is one of my best novels, but won’t end up being the best that I have written when all things are said and done.
I also think Sing Sad Songs and A Field Guide to Fauns are among my very best endeavors. But neither one of those is the best work I have done either.
I would have to say that at this moment, Snow Babies is the best novel I have already written. More actual human beings have read and fallen in love with this story than anything else I have written. Is it my masterpiece? I hope not. I hope that I still have one more in me that will be even better. Right now my work in progress is The Boy Who Rose on a Golden Wing. At 4,000 words, it feels like a good one. Will it be my very best? I don’t know. But as long as there is breath in me, I will keep on writing and hoping.
Yes, it is very possible that my imagination was galvanized in childhood by TV.
It seems to me that NBC had even more power over me than the other two networks. We could get CBS and ABC on our black-and-white TV. But the only NBC affiliate in Iowa was not able to be received in our little town. We had to go to Grandma’s house in Mason City where Grandma had a color TV.
Of course, it used to be referred to as the “Boob Tube” because psychologists and people who mattered kept saying that TV makes you stupid. Which, naturally, has a grain of truth to it because you don’t watch TV actively. You sit there and passively let the stories, commercials, and propaganda about sugary breakfast cereals flow in one ear, poison your brain, and then flow out the other ear leaving only water-logged thinking-muscles behind them.
The Saturday Matinees on CBS provided my youthful imagination with science fiction, fantasy, and heroes of all kinds.
I taught myself to draw cartoon characters based on the animated shows I watched on TV. I not only copied Mickey, for obvious reasons, but also Donald and Daffy Ducks, Space Ghost, Jonny Quest, Yogi Bear, and the Herculoids.
And Batman! With Adam West and Burt Ward and Cesar Romero as the Joker. Bam! Boff! Sock! Pow! Bright colors, goofy Riddler plots, and really bad jokes that were so bad they made you laugh.
And I loved monster movies. Not horror movies really. I never loved Freddy Krueger or Jason. But the Wolfman? Frankenstein’s Monster? Bela Lugosi’s Dracula? The Creature from the Black Lagoon? My inspirations!
And, of course, Disney on Sunday nights. The Wonderful World of Disney in living color.
This particular Iowa trip has me thinking hard about mortality and the cold harsh wind that blows toward us from the future. My cousin’s only son lost his battle with depression, and his family finally came to terms with the loss. But the sadness is past. The responsibilities of the living is what remains.
I was born while Eisenhower was President. I was alive and aware when Kennedy was assassinated and when men first walked on the moon. I was teaching in a classroom when the first teacher in space was killed on the exploding space shuttle. And I was also in the classroom when the twin towers fell on 9-11. It is an important part of the responsibilities I have for being alive to keep that past alive too.
My mother’s knickknack shelf.
The reason we collect and care about little extraneous things like porcelain eggs, angels, fine blue china plates, and the California Raisins singing I Heard It Through the Grapevine is because those little, otherwise unimportant things connect us to memories of important times and places and people. We keep old photographs around, many of them black and white, for the same reasons.
The fiction I write is not contemporary. It is mostly historical fiction. It is set in a recent past where the Beatles and the Eagles provided the sound track to our lives. It does not cross the border into the 21st Century. The part of my writing that is not about the past is science fiction set in the far future, entirely in the universe of my imagination. It is my duty to connect the past to the future.
And I share that duty with everyone who is alive. My great grandparents and grandparents are now gone from this world. But their horse-and-buggy memories about life on the farm before electric lights and cars… with humorous outhouse stories thrown in for comic relief… are in me too. I am steeped in the past in so many ways… And I must not fail to pass that finely brewed essence on to my children and anyone young who will listen. It is a grave responsibility. And it is possible to reach the grave without having fulfilled that important purpose.
In times of great sadness and loss we must think about how life goes on. There has to be a will to carry on and deliver the past to the future. Every story-teller carries that burden, whether in large or small packages. And there is no guarantee that tomorrow will even arrive. So here is my duty for the day. One more window has been opened.
While Ged Aero-sensei and Naylund Smith-sensei were busy flying the Super Rooster towards the planet Cornucopea, the White Spider students gathered in the recreation room with the forward view on the holoscreen.
Mai Ling and Taffy King sat together on the floor, missing their third since Jadalaqstbr hadn’t returned from her mission until after they had collectively left.
Shu Kwai, wearing his white vest and white pants stood on the starboard side of the viewing screen. Hassan Parker, nude except for the goofy red fez on his head (since he was dedicated to the goofy nudity notions of the Classical Worlds, also known as Space Nudists,) stood next to him.
Gyro Sinjarac, the blue-skinned Nebulon, and his best friend Billy Iowa both wore their cowboy hats, boots, and space-cowboy clothes sitting in the middle of the floor.
Junior Aero, blue-skinned Nebulon, and his beloved young lady friend, Sara Smith. Stood together at the back of the group holding hands.
The planet kept looming larger and larger in the viewing screen. It was amazingly green compared to similar planets where life wasn’t merely thriving, but exploding with life. Most such planets were blue from immense bodies of water.
“So, this is a dangerous planet, huh?” asked Mai Ling.
“Yes, those Throckpods were trying to rip my head off and drink my blood,” said Sara.
Taffy King shivered. “I hate the idea of plants that can move and talk… and eat you.”
“Yeah, and it will be worse for us than it was for you, Sara,” Mai Ling said.
“Oh, how so?”
“You had your boyfriend there to protect you,” she said. “Our boyfriends… Taffy’s and mine, are not along to protect us.”
“You two have boyfriends?”
“Taffy loves Rocket,” Gyro blurted out with accompanying giggles.
“But… you, Mai Ling?”
Mai Ling blushed deeply. “Yeah, um… Phoenix says of all the girls he’s met before, I’m the one he likes the most.”
Everyone laughed awkwardly, more from embarrassment than anything else. But no one argued either. They all instantly realized that Phoenix did treat Mai Ling differently. He wasn’t cruel to her.
“So, what about Billy, Gyro, Shu, and Hassan?” Junior asked. “Who are they supposed to protect.”
“Well, it’s rather obvious that Gyro and Billy are in love,” said Taffy with a cruel grin. “And Shu Kwai is more of a monk than a man. And who’s even gonna get near the naked kid?”
Shu Kwai frowned at the teasing, and Hassan looked quite sad for reasons unknown.
“Well, my clairvoyance is pinging right now with answers to all of it,” said Billy Iowa. “I see Gyro with an Earther wife and ten blue kids of varying ages. And Junior and Sara will marry and have a pair of blue twins, a boy and girl… Robert and Valerie, I think.”
“Oh, what about Phoenix and me?” squeaked Mai Ling.
“Well… you do get married… but…”
“Oh, no! What?”
“You can’t have kids of your own. You have to adopt… I think.”
“And what about Rocket and me?” Taffy asked.
“One son, Alfred Einstein Rogers. He’s such a handful you both decide never to have any more.”
“What about Shu?”
“Well, he’s going to be a great teacher, and first among all the White Spider Disciples.”
“Of course he is,” scoffed Taffy.
Suddenly Billy’s face grew pale and the look on his face was the kind of horrified you associate with seeing ghosts.
“No! Don’t say it. I don’t want to know.” Hassan folded his arms across his chest and glared at Billy.
“Do… do you already know it?”
“The curse? It isn’t really any of your business. Take your time-snooping nose out of my future. Don’t you dare tell anyone.”
“Okay. Okay… I wish I could forget it… myself.”
“I’ll take care of it for you,” Hassan said, putting his first two fingers of his right hand to Billy’s temple and pouring blueish telepathic energy into the side of Billy’s head. That, of course, left everyone so stunned about Hassan’s terrible secret that all the romance and future-children stuff was promptly forgotten.
Today I took my number-two son to the airport. He is determined to see friends in California over the course of his two-and-a-half days off. So, he is traveling during a pandemic. But he has had Covid already and is probably still pretty much immune.
It left me with some thinking time on the drive home from the airport, though it cut into my actual writing time.
Work has begun on The Boy Who Rose on a Golden Wing. It is a project that will take some time.
That is a story about growing up and overcoming bipolar disorder and depression. It will be for older teens.
And I have an idea that blossomed from this old illustration. I was thinking about it while driving. I want to write a book about a talking dog. It will be targeted more for younger kids. He solves crimes on the Niland farm and in the rural Iowa town where the Niland family lives and goes to church. Of course, though the character is based mostly on Mr. Peabody from the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, Horatio T. Dogg is also based on my own talking dog, Jade Beyer. In the story Horatio T. Dogg, Super Sleuth, the dog actually only talks to his owner, Bobby Niland. Much in the same way that Jade only talks to me.
Dang! Just what I need. Another story idea that I need to write before I die. I will have to stay alive until I’m 125.
I have always had an inquiring mind. That is a curse instead of a plus if your main goal in life is to be happy and unbothered by anything. But it has proved to be of benefit to me as I have become an old coot who actually cares about what is true. Yes, I am willing to personally suffer to bring to light that which is actually true and that which must be disbelieved before it truly hurts us.
Don’t judge me yet based on this next question;
“Did you know that the Democratic party is funded by billionaires who want to use the “Deep State” to promote their Satanic rituals involving the murder and cannibalistic consumption of human children?”
I hope you know that I would never promote such a thing as being true. I am even careful of posting this pernicious lie in a question rather than a statement, because that’s one of the tactics the malign promoters of this religious belief use, not actually stating something that will be contradicted immediately, but taken merely as something to be considered and discussed simply because it is offered in question form.
So, how do you tackle such dangerous nonsense?
I prefer the scientific method which provides the structure for your thinking that will keep you on the most likely paths that lead you to what is true and what is not.
Facts should be confirmed by multiple verifiable sources.
We don’t talk much about cold fusion nowadays because when it was discovered in 1989 by a pair of electrochemists whose single experiment produced more heat than what should result from the energy put into the tabletop experiment. But, as is required by the entire scientific community, it couldn’t be reproduced in more repeats of the experiment than those that turned out negative. So, even though Pons and Fleischman did an experiment that answered the dreams of science-fiction nerds like me, they are mostly ignored by now. Cold fusion? Only one flawed source, studied in 1989 and proved still basically untrue in 2004 by a multitude of scientists who wanted it to be true.
Consider the source for Q-Anon conspiracies. One (or possibly more) anonymous government whistle-blowers whose credentials have never been presented or identities revealed, and mind-blowing statements appearing on places like 4-Chan, 8-Chan, and Parlor to be picked up and amplified on such reliable sources of scientifically proven knowledge as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Q-Anon is not the only conspiracy religion out there. My friend Giorgi above has a more benign, but no less ridiculous religion that chooses to replace God Jehovah, Zeus, Odin, Buddha, and other religious figures and deities with Ancient Aliens.
Here’s a second and third test offered by Carl Sagan to use against their ideas;
2. Encourage debate from knowledgeable people from all identifiable perspectives.
3. Do not accept arguments only from positions of authority.
Q-Anon arguments only have the authority of repetition because social media endlessly asks the same “questions” over and over. There is no debate from any recognizable “authority,” just a plethora of unsubstantiated statements and commandments.
In a way, the Ancient-Aliens crowd is guilty of the same thing. They never have skeptics and debunkers on their History-Channel show. You never see Michael Shermer, founder of the Skeptics Society, offering his opinions of their conclusions on that show. Neither do they allow Christian theologians or Buddhist scholars to offer their take on what probably really happened. They do employ physicists, engineers, and historians on their show, but never the ones that don’t agree with their radical theories and conclusions. Since there is no real debate on that show and no identifiable peer review, that show does not qualify as History, let alone Science.
4. Don’t get overly attached to your own ideas.
If you are going to investigate any conspiracy that holds thrall a number of “true believers,” approach everything with a truly open mind. I actually believe alien beings from “out there” have visited Earth. That is based on things, science, and testimony I haven’t even begun to go into here. But I reserve my right to be skeptical about everything, especially my own prejudices, theories, and beliefs. Otherwise I could too easily get trapped into believing in the truth of something that I otherwise would recognize as false. This is the factor that has pulled so many of my otherwise sensible Republican friends onto the flypaper of spurious Q-Anon claims.
5. Use numbers wherever possible. Math is quantifiable information that can “prove” the facts better than most ideas expressed in mere language. It is more precise, and reveals truth in verifiable ways that no poet ever could.
I am known to some in my family (here you could read wife and sisters) as the family conspiracy nut and generally crazy old coot.
But I am not so crazy that I don’t recognize the dangers inherent in some the ideas I am talking about here. As an English teacher I have learned some effective thinking skills that protect me and mine. I can honestly tell you that these thinking skills explained here will help you too. I learned them from a friend who pointed me to Carl Sagan as the source of these thinking skills.
And to any of my friends who might read this post and be offended, I apologize. But you were wrong about Pizzagate, and you are on the wrong side of this too. Aliens probably did NOT build the pyramids.