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The New York Times reported recently, “American intelligence officials have found no evidence that aerial phenomena witnessed by Navy Pilots in recent years are alien spacecraft.”

Darn it. We could use the distraction.

Just imagine if aliens have been flying around, checking us out and looking for a place to land. What would their arrival mean?

The confirmation that we are not alone immediately prompts a religious question. Did God create them, too? If so, the great religions of the world can start debating which God is responsible for this handiwork. And, like all such debates, it will never be settled.

What technology do the aliens have that we don’t? They would have to know more than we do, otherwise how did they get here before we reached them? And, most importantly, is their space travel carbon neutral?

What do they want? We have seen enough movies, read enough sci-fi, to believe space aliens want to: A) Kill us all in the most horrible ways and take over our planet because theirs is dying; B) Learn our ways and make us full-fledged members of some great galactic society; or C) Take a few selfies and fly home because it turns out we are not all that interesting.

The arrival of intelligent life from elsewhere would be, to say the least, big news. I mean the biggest news ever! News organizations would stop obsessing over Joe Manchin and turn their attention to finding out what Zrbex from the planet Uturz likes to do when he is not on interplanetary missions.

What if aliens are kind of boring and give cliché answers at news conferences? “We’re just happy to be here.” “We want to do anything we can to help the planet.” “First of all, I want to thank God for a safe mission.” (Follow up question: “Which God?”)

The “I told you so” crowd is going to be insufferable. About a third of Americans believe alien spacecraft have visited earth. Those folks are going to wear the rest of us out by constantly reminding us that they were right all along, and that Uncle Leroy was abducted by aliens and subjected to the most egregious and humiliating procedures.

When the first alien emerges from the spacecraft and says, “Take me to your leader,” a furious debate will ensue. Thirty-three percent of voters will want the aliens to get on the next plane to Mar-a-Lago, while 56% will insist he/she/they go to the White House and meet with President Joe Biden. The remaining 11% will declare Zrbex their new leader.

All movies, books, TV shows and space fantasies about aliens will immediately become outdated. The whole premise of that genre is based on our imagination, since we didn’t know if aliens existed. If we do know, and they look vaguely like WVU President E. Gordon Gee, only shorter and less pale, then any other depiction is moot.

Finally, would we get answers from these galactic travelers to the existential questions: “Why are we here?” and “What is the meaning of life?” Or would Zrbex and his merry band of space explorers stare back at us, mouths agape, and say, “That’s what we came here to ask you!”

Hoppy Kercheval hosts “Talkline,” on MetroNews.

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