UFOs again in the headlines

Silly belief that advanced civilization would visit this place

Warning: This column includes some graphic details that readers may find disturbing.

Those who read The Pipestone Flyer’s website noticed there have been a couple of stories recently from Canadian Press describing unidentified flying objects; photos, videos and other “evidence” just slightly out of focus and tantalizingly incomplete.

I’ve always been fascinated by the UFO phenomenon and all of its disparate parts: close encounters of the third kind, alien abduction, captured flying saucers and so on. Most, if not all of it, was conducted by the U.S. military as part of the Cold War.

But I digress. Many years of reading about the UFO phenomenon have led me to develop my own philosophy that no extraterrestrial has ever stepped foot this planet and I’ll tell you why.

According to the laws of physics, the speed of light is the fastest speed possible in nature. It equals roughly 186,000 miles per second, very fast by human standards, but not very fast by galactic standards. The Andromeda galaxy is the closest spiral galaxy we have to our own Milky Way; the Andromeda is estimated to be 2.54 million light years away; that is, if we had a spacecraft capable of travelling the speed of light, it would take two and a half million years to get to Andromeda. Thus, for practical space travel to occur, a very technologically advanced civilization would have to be involved capable of inventing faster than light travel.

The late Carl Sagan, looking at the vast scope of our universe, calculated that the universe should contain about half a million civilizations, and that civilizations capable of space travel would have to be peaceful; violent civilizations would destroy themselves long before inventing faster than light travel. Thus, aliens visiting other planets would be unbelievably scientifically advanced, and embrace a philosophy of non-violence.

The Rwandan genocide is a horrifying massacre that was perpetrated by the Hutu majority of Rwanda against the Tutsi minority in the spring and summer of 1994. The Hutus organized armed gangs that hunted down every Tutsi they could find and either shot them or hacked them to death with machetes. Estimates conducted after the massacre claim about 70 per cent of the Tutsi population of Rwanda was killed, equalling about half a million to one million people.

It’s also estimated, judging by survivor accounts, that the Hutu gangs raped between 250,000 and half a million Tutsi women.

In the late 1990s I was working in Fort Macleod down by Lethbridge, and it happened that a local fellow who was in the Canadian forces had been sent to Rwanda just before the massacre as a United Nations peacekeeper and I had a chance to interview him. This fellow told me things he saw after the massacre, including driving along a dirt road that had a wall of hacked corpses piled up on the side. He said he drove for kilometre after kilometre and the wall of corpses just kept going. Thousands and thousands and thousands of human beings murdered.

I submit to you this: if a peaceful, incredibly advanced civilization came across this planet, there is no reason they would be interested in this place, let alone step foot here.

Stu Salkeld is editor of The Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer and writes a regular column for the newspaper.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Second annual Sledz and Treadz Poker Rally at Pigeon Lake Feb. 29

Vehicle and poker event will benefit Lakedell School

Summer villages would like to fix Range Road #11

County of Wetaskiwin hears about problems with Pigeon Lake route

Farmers, please check your canola bins

Spoiling occurs, and producers don’t want to suffer for it

AHS review is a key commitment to Albertans

Internal savings will allow more money to be directed to patients and front-line care

Lengthy vehicle chase includes attempt to ram police vehicle says RCMP

Wetaskiwin RCMP charge three after police vehicle rammed

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Canadian nurses’ unions warn national standards for coronavirus protection too low

President says safety protocols nationwide are inadequate compared to those in Ontario and other countries

Murder of sex worker exposes Canada’s hypocrisy on prostitution: advocate

A 2014 law made purchasing sex or benefiting from the selling of sex illegal

Canada’s flag was flown for first time 55 years ago today

The flag is used to celebrate wins in sports, honour Canada Day, and flown at half-mast after tragedy

No shirts, no city services: Firefighter calendar too steamy for Ontario officials

The city has never funded the calendars, but has OK’d photoshoots at city-owned properties

CFL teams under the microscope after free agency begins

While some big names remain, here’s what lies ahead leading up to next month’s CFL combine in Toronto

Most Read