Side Note

Thought experiment: What if the meteor that exploded over Greenland was actually the work of aliens?

There is literally zero evidence to suggest this is the case, but it’s a fun possibility to consider.

Did y’all hear about that meteor that exploded near an Air Force base in Greenland? Wild, wild stuff — see the following tweets for more info.

The news of the explosion appears to have originated from Ron Baalke of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (see the first of the two tweets above), and eventually made its way to a scientist whose handle is @nukestrat (see the second tweet), who pretty strongly implied that a meteor exploding near an Air Force base almost plunged us into nuclear war. @nukestrat, aka Hans Kristensen, is the Director of Nuclear Information at the Federation of American Scientists, so it makes sense that he would offer nuke-related commentary about whichever news story, pretty much whenever. But it seems as if his tweet began a weird feedback loop in which news outlets kept wondering why the Air Force didn’t acknowledge the explosion in the first place, giving the overall impression that something super fishy was going on.

This is how conspiracy theories start in 2018, I guess — with commentary that quickly spirals into context collapse. But if we’re going to start asking questions that we won’t get answers to, we might as well go all the way into crazytown: What if the so-called “meteor explosion” was actually aliens?

Think about it. In a recent essay The Outline ran on the history of Marxist UFO hunters, A.M. Gittlitz wrote that a set of leftist conspiracy theorists called Posadists were convinced that “UFOs were the work of alien observers who recognized humanity was becoming technologically advanced enough to join a galactic community, but was still too dangerous to open up relations to.” Under this (batty) framework, the explosion could have been a “test” conducted by an alien civilization to see if humanity would get spooked and start nuclear war. In which case, we passed! Go humanity.

While this definitely isn’t a thing that actually happened, it’s fun to think about. Anyways, according to data from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, there’s a relatively high (i.e., 0.16%) chance that an asteroid will hit the earth at some point from 2185 to 2198, so be on the lookout for that I guess?