On the 60th anniversary of a UFO crashing (or not) in Roswell, pop culture writer Caitlin Moran wonders in the Times (of London) why she and so many others got sucked into the UFO question, in "Ah, those teenage years of angst and alien nations."
In many ways, this enthusiasm for the idea of alien observation of Earth is baffling. Why are we so excited – 78 per cent of Americans believe in aliens – about the idea of being alien prey? Nearly every way you slice it, human beings don’t come out of the idea of alien contact very well. We’re just parochial, Earth-bound schmucks, sitting here and letting our crops be crushed by intergalactic logos. We look like total losers
Nevertheless, she admits such enthusiastic paranoia is inevitable at a certain stage of life:
Personally, however, I do understand why people are into it. I used to believe in UFOs. Indeed, adolescent belief in almost anything that smacks of a “cover-up” is mandatory. Consider: you are moving towards adulthood. You are discovering, daily, that your parents – in fact, all of society – have consistently lied to you, and about the most fundamental of issues. There is no Father Christmas! The Tooth Fairy is a rather morbid tin in your mother’s bureau! Bullies aren’t cowards who will stop if you hit them – they merely bring all their mates, and then hit you even harder! And “just being who you really are” is one of most pig-headed and fatal pieces of advice known to man. Given that adolescence is a slaughter-ground for all the ideas that you’d previously held to be true, who would not, in these circumstances, start seeking “the truth” elsewhere? Who would not find an emotional echo in claims that a supposedly benign governing force had been lying?