By: Rosie Alger

Saturday, Nov. 7, marked an interesting and odd occurrence for southern Californian residents. A mysterious blue and white light silently streaked across the sky, causing an uproar in social media attention and concerned phone calls to local law enforcement. It seemed to many that alien life forms may have tried to make contact. The Pentagon released a statement saying that the light was a result of a planned missile flight test from a submarine off the coast of southern California, but is that all there is to the story? Should government officials simply be more forthcoming about missile testing, or is this a cover up for a much larger occasion?

UFO sightings are not new in our country. There have been countless reports, theories, photographs, and videos since the invention of film, especially in southwestern U.S. In 2012, “National Geographic” compiled a list of the top 10 most prominent documented mass UFO sightings in American history. Their list included different cities in Texas, Phoenix, and Los Angeles. The desert seems to be a popular place for aliens to make landfall and this last sighting was no exception. It seems that the epicenter of the UFO reports was in Los Angeles, but according to an article in The Guardian, “The light was visible for hundreds of miles, startling people in Nevada and Arizona and as far north as California’s Sonoma Valley wine country.”

Despite the military explanation, many people appeared to have different descriptions of what this light looked like and many people were dissatisfied with the lateness of the statement regarding the light’s origin. CNN wrote an article about the incident, quoting the official statement from the Pentagon, which said, “The tests were part of a scheduled, ongoing system evaluation test. Launches are conducted on a frequent, recurring basis to ensure the continued reliability of the system. Each test activity provides valuable information about our systems, thus contributing to assurance in our capabilities.”

Many residents and witnesses are not convinced. There was a woman who claimed to have found the corpse of some sort of alien in her backyard shortly after the light. “San Jose, California, resident, Gianna Peponis posted the image to her Facebook page, claiming that just after the “UFO” sighting on Saturday night, she heard a scream in her backyard at about 11:30 a.m. She went outside and found the corpse of a mysterious slimy pink creature,” reported The Inquisitor. There has been minimal information on this aspect of the case.

Despite the fact that this particular light in the sky seems to be accounted for, it has definitely sparked an ongoing and intriguing conversation about life outside the Earth. We tend to think of aliens as ridiculous science fiction creatures that look humanoid, coming down to Earth to terrorize us and maybe become overlords. What if we thought about extraterrestrial life in a more abstract and philosophical way? To say that in this vast, unfathomable universe, there is really only one tiny planet that could possibly sustain any type of life form is a little short sighted and egocentric in my opinion. I’m not saying that I necessarily think that any aliens will be flying in on space crafts to visit us any time soon, but I do wonder if there is possibility of a life that doesn’t look anything like the kind of life as we have come to understand it. If, according to a research article written by several Princeton marine biologists, there are bacteria in the eastern tropical South Pacific Ocean that can convert inorganic nitrogen in their oxygen deficient waters, who is to say there aren’t other types of life out there that don’t need oxygen to survive at all and have found other ways to adapt to environments that we have no possible conception of?

I may not be pulling out my video camera at every shooting star that looks a bit too bright, but I will say that being open to the unknown expanse of possibilities that is outer space can be very rewarding and eve, at times, pretty exciting. If you find yourself uninterested by the prospect of aliens and UFOs, here’s another angle to think about this week’s media racket in California.

Why was the Navy not forthcoming about their plans to test missiles? Should these tests be happening so close to residential areas? Why was the Los Angeles International Airport so late in explaining about the now active military air space and the change in plane air traffic routes? If the blue flash in the sky didn’t make you curious about life outside Earth, it should at least remind you of the cryptic inefficiencies and inadequacies of the U.S. government and bureaucratic system. I just hope people aren’t so cynical and unbelieving that they forget to add this to another page in the X files. You can never have too many government secrets filed away, and, it makes for a good TV show.

The Elm

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