"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 8 July 1996. Updated every WEEKDAY.

The Truth Is Way Out There




In the past twenty years, aliens

have gone from secret desert

surveillance missions to brazen

human poaching trips. More aggressive

than Hare Krishnas, smarter than

Moonies, the tiny Greys, with

their greedy Keane-kid eyes and

grabby tapered fingers, are

incessantly plucking up

unsuspecting Earthlings for

increasingly invasive mothership

inspections. According to one

recent survey, as many as 1 in

50 Americans think they may have

been abducted by aliens.

Which is pretty amazing, given

that official FBI statistics

suggest humans kidnap their own

kind at a ratio closer to 1 in 2



Of course, it's not as if anyone

from Quantico or any other

official federal disinformation

unit is likely to tell you

what's what. With the lone

exception of Agent Mulder, the

government's been in a

spluttering state of denial

about Milky Way Magellans ever

since Roswell. As far as the

Feds are concerned, it's a

subject that's best left to

crackpots - just like the

national debt.


In recent years, however, certain

brave disciples of science have

been taking a more assiduous

approach to the truth. They know

it's out there somewhere, and

they aim to find it.



Perhaps the most prominent of

this bunch is Dr. John Mack,

Harvard headshrinker and

Pulitzer Prize-winning author.

According to the Ivy League

alienist, who has transformed

his interviews with over 100

alleged abductees into two

highly respected supermarket

bestsellers, it isn't just

wanderlust that's bringing these

intergalactic Kerouacs to our

planet - the tiny creatures have

the urge to merge. In case after

case, their M.O. is the same:

capture a goofy-looking human,

take it aboard the mothership,

and extract its sperm or eggs

for cross-breeding purposes. Out

of these coercive, clinical

couplings, Mack speculates, the

aliens are developing a new

hybrid race. Its purpose? To

colonize Planet Earth after its

current tenants finish trashing

it to the point of



[Hybrid Child]

In short, it's your average

eco-spiritual, millennial

transcendence theory - complete

with the usual logic-sucking

black holes.


Why, for example, would the

aliens pick humans to repopulate

a barren earth, when it's humans

who are destroying it in the

first place? If the Greys were

as smart as Mack says they are,

they'd be knocking up some less

environmentally volatile

species, like cows or ducks.



And even if for some reason they

felt they owed us ecological

spendthrifts an evolutionary

piggyback, why the one-at-a-time

breeding approach? As archetypal

egghead Carl Sagan points out, a

species that knows enough about

physics to build flying saucers

that can travel billions and

billions of miles across space

ought to know enough about

molecular biology to snatch a

pair of highly-evolved specimens -

Tony Robbins and Uma Thurman,

say - and run their

alien-enhanced sperm and eggs

through some kind of genetic

Xerox machine. Boom! Instant




Not that I'm siding with Sagan on

this one, though. He keeps

calling for real physical

evidence that aliens exist, and

all he has to do is look in the

mirror. His countenance has

always appeared wizened beyond his

years, and in the glory days of

Nova, a suspiciously thick

turtleneck covered an alarming

pencil-neck - his resemblance to

E.T. is not a recent development.

Combine this vaguely foreign

look with the fact that Sagan

always did seem to

know a little too much about

the farthest reaches of the

universe - and, well, it's

obvious he's the product of some

bizarre experiment gone horribly



So it'd be foolish to view the

otherworldly oracle as the final

authority on the subject of

alien abduction; his agenda is

just too unclear at this point.

Besides, there's a flip side to

the "no real physical evidence"

argument Sagan employs: there's

also no real physical evidence

that absolutely disproves the

possibility of alien existence.



This epistemological tug-of-war

makes alien abduction a perfect

subject for the kind of arcane,

tenuously coherent speculation

that thrives on the Web. At a

certain point, in fact, it

begins to seem as if all of the

promiscuous conjecture - on good

aliens and evil aliens, on

government-sponsored mind

control and inner space - is not

a means of arriving at the

truth, but rather, a way to keep

it at bay.



In a world that's increasingly

governed by the stultifying

logic of the computer chip,

alien enthusiasts want mystery

and magic too. Instead of merely

suspending disbelief, they

abduct it and send it shooting

into space, where it becomes the

cornerstone of a new,

techno-medieval worldview:

enlightened irrationalism.

Science and technology are fine,

they suggest, but those things

can only take you so far. And in

response to the notebook-toting

empiricists and their tiresome

bleating about the need for cold

hard facts, the true believers

simply invent theories that are

even more fanciful, esoteric, and




After so much speculation, no

single explanation of the

phenomenon suffices anyway. At

this juncture, a definitive

answer can only disappoint:


"Actually, the Greys are really

aborted fetuses - didn't you

ever notice the resemblance?

Denied a place in Heaven and

doomed to a limbo-like existence

in outer space, they've somehow

evolved into an alien race

that's now coming back to seek

its revenge on us."




"Actually, the whole thing was

made up by a consortium of

self-help industry opportunists

and entertainment moguls. Aliens

are nothing more than angels for

nerds, paranormal parent figures

designed to comfort and guide

the millions of lonely, crybaby

souls who inhabit this planetary



That's all?


"Mack's right - the Greys are

here to save us from ourselves.

In return for clumsy alien sex

and neighborhood ridicule, we

get physical and spiritual

transcendence and a spot on the

Jerry Springer show!"




Truth may be stranger than

science fiction, but ignorance

is far more compelling than


courtesy of the St. Huck