The question I want to toss out for everyone’s consideration today is a bit complicated and it deals once again with all of the revelations that have been coming out about interactions between America’s military and the strange UFOs (or UAPs as the government now wants to call them) in our airspace. But this very serious question requires a number of assumptions, so let’s get them out of the way first.

First, we don’t know who built these vehicles and the government at least claims that they don’t either. So let’s take them at their word and accept that they don’t know. (I don’t find this an unreasonable assumption, by the way. Our government and military probably don’t know nearly as much about UFOs as some of us may suspect.) And since the technology displayed by the tic-tacs seems to be such a quantum leap ahead of any current human capabilities (emphasis on seems to be), let’s just assume for the sake of discussion that they were created by some non-human, presumably extraterrestrial intelligence.

If that’s the case, we’re witnessing one of the most remarkable moments in human history. And we should naturally want answers. Who are these aliens? Where do they hail from? What do they want here? And we should rightly be very, very interested in that technology and if we might be able to use it to launch a new era in human development. (Or possibly our immediate self-destruction. I wouldn’t rule either of them out.)

Now here’s the big question. How do we manage to study this situation and come up with any answers? Earlier this year, Christopher Mellon, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and now a senior advisor for To The Stars Academy (TTSA), published a paper on how best to collect information on these visitors (whether there’s anyone inside of them or not) and their technology. He lists a significant number of intelligence and data gathering assets that could be put to use by our government, but apparently are not.

That’s all useful information, but no matter how good our gear may be, there’s still one outstanding problem. At the end of the paper, Mellon poses the following question. (Emphasis added.)

This UAP issue is already uniquely challenging. It lacks recognition or understanding; it lacks acceptance; there is a serious stigma to overcome; and even more difficult is the deceptively serious challenge of helping government officials and the public process such incongruous, disorienting, disruptive and potentially disturbing information. Finally, if these are vehicles created by another species there is the wholly unprecedented challenge of seeking to study an intelligence greater than our own that apparently does not wish to communicate or be understood.

That emphasized excerpt strikes at the heart of the matter. We have now established, at least to my satisfaction, that there are unknown craft displaying phenomenal capabilities entering and leaving our airspace at will and there seems to be nothing we can do about it. We’d like to find a way to get in contact with whoever or whatever created these vehicles and learn about them. We’d like to examine their technology because it could potentially revolutionize our entire global culture.

But so far, at least by all indications, they have shown absolutely zero interest in making contact. In fact, they appear to go out of their way to avoid it. (I forgot to mention above that another assumption here is that all of the various conspiracy theories about our government already working with the aliens in secret are not true.) Clearly, if “they” had any interest in talking to us they could have landed a tic-tac on the lawn of the White House, the Kremlin or any other major government center and said hello.

What if glimpses of them on radar or from the cockpits of fighter jets are all we’re going to get? What if they simply choose to ignore us and go on about whatever business they have here on our planet? What are we supposed to do then?

Have we been making any attempts at signaling them in some fashion? If so, the government should share what they’ve tried, whether there’s been any success or not. But if these craft are not willing to respond, what choice is left? Some have suggested that we should consider trying to shoot one down so we can examine the wreckage. This strikes me as a horrendous idea on a number of counts. First of all, I’m dubious as to whether we have any weapons that could bring down something with the capabilities we’re seeing. And if there’s any chance of striking up a cordial conversation, I think all hopes of that go out the window the moment we start shooting.

There’s also the issue of what their response would be if/when we miss. If their propulsion and navigation technology is that far ahead of ours, how much better might their weapons be? It’s entirely possible that they have the capability to essentially wipe us out, but they simply haven’t bothered thus far because they view us as uninteresting and not representing a threat to them. If one of our pilots is ordered to plow a Sidewinder into one of them, that situation could change.

It’s all horribly frustrating, and I don’t have any answers beyond trying to establish some sort of peaceful contact. But if they choose to ignore us, we could be left here as a comparative stone-age technological culture with a tantalizing, maddening glimpse of something both figuratively and literally out of this world without ever getting any of the answers we’re yearning for.

Of course, as I alluded to above, this entire conversation relies on the assumption that our government is being at least somewhat honest with us. That’s far from assured. We know for a fact that the United States government has covered up all manner of things in the past. And during the Nimitz encounters, it’s been reported that unidentified officials showed up in the aftermath, collected all of the video and radar data and ordered the records to be erased.

But does that mean that The X-Files was actually a documentary all this time and the Pentagon has a special spa set up where the ETs lounge around in between meetings with the top military brass? Sorry, but I can’t allow myself to fall that far down the rabbit hole yet. But I remain convinced that they have a lot more data than just those three short video clips we saw. Some full disclosure would go a long way in building confidence with the public and I think most of us would be willing to forgive them for any past deceptions and indiscretions if they offered it up.

I’m obviously not the first to ponder these perplexing questions and I won’t be the last. With that in mind, allow me to close with a quote from someone who has been studying this subject for decades longer than I have. The legendary (in UFOlogy, at least) John E.L. Tenney offered me these thoughts on the subject today. It’s a favorite theme he repeats in many of his lectures.

Hyper-advanced, possibly, millennia-old extraterrestrials traverse the inky infinitude of space to find us. Should they explain to us the mysteries of the universe as they understand them? Should they engage with us to help forward our technology and knowledge?

Ask yourself this question:

When was the last time you flew across the globe to visit a far distant land in order to explain algebra to a cat? You haven’t and wouldn’t because what good would it actually do…for you or the cat?