What does Tesla and SpaceX honcho Elon Musk know that he’s not telling the rest of us? Perhaps a lot. Maybe nothing. I don’t know, but during a recent tech conference, Musk addressed a few questions about the future of mankind, space travel and “dem aliens” that left people in the audience scratching their heads. First of all, is the U.S. Government hiding information about extraterrestrial species from the public? Nope. He also dissed Area 51, but I’m pretty sure that part was just a joke. (Express.co.uk)
The tech mogul dismissed speculation about the US Government being in contact with aliens and covering up their existence from the public. He said: “There are people out there who think we have found aliens. Trust me, I would know: We have not.
“People ask me if I have been to Area 51. Ok, please. SpaceX actually has area 59 and it’s eight better than area 51.”
Mr Musk also spoke out about the importance of future exploratory missions to Mars, particularly if something were to happen to the Earth.
What exactly is going on here? I’m really hoping this wasn’t another example of him, er… “indulging” himself as he did on Joe Rogan’s show before taking the stage. But let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and say that he’s not.
If Musk can state definitively that our government doesn’t have any additional information about possible extraterrestrials visiting the Earth, how would he have come by this information? Granted, he’s done a lot of work with NASA over the past decade and I’m fairly sure he’s even launched a few payloads for our military. But that doesn’t mean that they would spill the beans on absolutely everything to him.
This is particularly true when you look at his late-night Twitter habits. He probably wouldn’t be considered a very good security risk to handle beyond top-secret material, given his stream of consciousness social media rants. (Of course, I’ve said the same thing about President Trump for the same reason. If Defense knows anything about aliens, I doubt they’ve told him either.) Suffice to say that I’m not ready to concede that Musk is the final authority on this question, whether he asks me to trust him or not.
As for the Area 51 thing… come on, man. That was just a joke. Area 59 is eight better than Area 51. (Okay… I didn’t say it was a good joke.)
The last topic he touched on was an important one that we should all be considering, however, and I don’t disagree with him. Musk is hardly the first person to suggest that we only have a limited window of technological supremacy, and if we’re ever going to get off this rock and improve mankind’s chances of lasting for the long run, this window may not be open for long. Whether it’s a comet smashing into our planet or some catastrophe of our own making, we’re not going to be at this point forever, assuming any of us even survive.
Going to Mars is a fun project and could produce a lot of good science, but we’re never going to terraform that planet even if we had an interest in trying. Or at least we won’t be able to do it in a useful amount of time. Getting viable populations of human beings to other Earth-like worlds is going to be a herculean task, but it’s one we need to be investing in right now unless we want to throw in the towel and admit that human beings will eventually just be a footnote in cosmic history.
Yes, Musk can get a bit wacky at times, but he’s no dummy. And he’s right about the need to expand beyond the bounds of Earth if it’s at all possible. I hope he keeps cooking up ideas and advancing aerospace technology. And maybe put down the bong for a while.