Growing up in the 1950s, not long after the 1947 Roswell UFO incident in New Mexico, where rumors raged that an extra-terrestrial spacecraft had crashed with one survivor, I was both frightened and fascinated at the idea of being visited by aliens from another planet.
When I was a child between the ages of 5 and 9, I had recurring nightmares of little greyish beings with larger than average eyes chasing me inside and outside of my house while my parents and older siblings slept motionless. I always dashed out the back door and jumped over the porch banister as they chased me around our backyard amid an unusually bright moonlight in the night. In the dream I always blacked out.
After the blackouts, when I “woke up” in the dreams, I would find myself hanging on our backyard clothes line. Three or four little grey beings just stood there staring at me as I stared at them. Then I would actually wake up, remembering the entire dream. I always hated being caught by these creatures, in spite of the fact that they never did anything to me except look at me.
Back then we called them “Martians,” because the planet Mars was the most likely candidate for life in our solar system outside of earth. Movies like “The Thing,” “The Day the Earth Stood Still” and “War of the Worlds” only fueled my interest and paranoia in other planets breeding both benevolent and dangerous life forms. I wanted to believe there is life on other planets, but like millions who share that belief, I also wanted proof. So you can understand why every exploration to the moon or to Mars gave me goosebumps over the years.
The latest hope for discovering life outside of Earth comes in the form of NASA’s 4-ton Mars Science Laboratory named Curiosity. It’s the largest spacecraft ever sent to another planet. It landed on the Red Planet Aug. 6.
According to NASA, “during the 23 months after landing, Curiosity will analyze dozens of samples drilled from rocks or scooped from the ground as it explores with greater range than any previous Mars rover. Curiosity will carry the most advanced payload of scientific gear ever used on Mars’ surface, a payload more than 10 times as massive as those of earlier Mars rovers. Its assignment: Investigate whether conditions have been favorable for microbial life and for preserving clues in the rocks about possible past life.”
Ever since astronomers turned their telescopes on the fourth planet of our solar system in the 17th century, there has been arguments over what kind of world Mars is — if there are forms of life on it and if we would ever know for certain.
Dr. John Bridges, a British scientist from the University of Leicester’s Space Research Centre who is working with NASA on the project, and will lead tests to determine whether Mars may have supported life, said, “At some stage over the next 10 years, we will be in position to make confident predictions about the relationship between life and Mars or was it simply on Earth.”
I must confess, I do not know when scientists gave up on the idea of finding intelligent life on Mars and settled for searching for “microbial life.” This was not what I was hoping for. I wanted a jaw-dropping, mind-blowing discovery that there were other advanced civilizations in the universe.
Perhaps astrobiologist Alberto Fairen said it best at the SETI Institute and NASA Ames Research Center in 2010, when he said, “There is no human task more significant and profound than testing if we are alone or not in the universe, and Mars must be the first place to look, as it is just facing our front yard.”
I agree that it is in our own best interest to discover whether we are alone or not in the universe. But Mars is not the first place to look. I believe the Bible is the first place to look. Why? Because there is some invisible form of communication that takes place between that book and the person reading it. It somehow creates a belief, a faith, that we are not alone — that other intelligent beings do exist.
Many have communicated with them. Others have seen them take human form in times past. They are wiser, more advanced beings. They live longer and are far stronger and more luminous in appearance than humans. They have also relayed our future.
Finding life on Mars may be the most important scientific achievement of this century. But it will not be the greatest discovery in the history of humankind. That honor goes to those who know, not only by faith, but by their personal experiences that advanced beings do exist in another realm — somewhere in outer space.
Regarding their Grand Creator, Acts 17:27 encourages people to “seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.” — New King James Version.
We are not alone. We can make contact. This is the beginning. For me, finding the existence of life on other planets would open up endless possibilities about this Creator’s purpose for an intergalactic family of living creatures.
If I dismissed such a possibility, well, I guess I wouldn’t be a bit smarter than the Man in the Moon.