A unique and difficult challenge

 

“If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as

when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t

 turn out well for the Native Americans.”                             

Stephen Hawking

Date:               Saturday, July 5, 1947

Time:              0715 hours

 Location:        Main Crash Site

                        Sanchos Ranch

                        Northwest of Roswell, NM, USA

 

‘Your world is in great danger. The very survival of your species will depend on what happens here this day. It is imperative that you make informed decisions.’

There was a pause to let the weight of what had been communicated fully set in on the group. It wasn’t a threat, they all understood that very clearly, it was something the alien feared. The alien continued . . .

‘We are your friends, as are all advanced alien races within our galaxy. Fourteen different alien species from fourteen very different worlds have survived the trials of evolution to emerge from “the physical age” as explorers, protectors and citizens of our galaxy. It is our very sincere hope that humanity will one day join us as a valued addition to the rich tapestry of advanced beings striving to explore this galaxy and master further evolution.

            ‘Once you have mastered the physical age, humans will embark on a journey of exploration more exciting than anything previously conceived . . . you will start your evolutionary journey through “the spiritual age”. But first you must survive the evolutionary trials presented as technology impacts your destiny.’

‘I think you need to elaborate quite substantially,’ said Colonel Rafter, mirroring the thoughts of the other officers. ‘What trials?’

‘As I previously communicated to you, life is abundant in our galaxy. So too has been the advent of intelligent life. For many millions of years, possibly even billions of years, self-aware, intelligent species have emerged from the physical age only to self-destruct at the threshold of a new and greater evolutionary journey. We believe many hundreds of worlds have perished this way since the dawn of time.

            ‘However, as you will one day discover, “nature is imperfect, by design”. The process of intelligent life emerging from the physical age eventually produced an unexpected result. One intelligent alien race survived. One alien species overcame the final trial of the physical age to continue their journey along their evolutionary path. We are that species. About 6 million of your years ago, we survived Armageddon.’

‘What did you survive?’ pursued Colonel Rafter. ‘What’s Armageddon?’

That the alien “avoided” the question was clear to everyone.

‘Very few of our species survived. Less than a thousand of our race escaped the total destruction of our planet and our entire solar system. The destruction was absolute . . . nothing remains now. Virtually the entire biological diversity of our planet, with all its potential, has been lost for all time.

            ‘With our planet gone, there was nothing left but to look for a new home. The exploration of this galaxy and our journey through the spiritual age began. We have never found a replacement planet to call home. Instead, as our population has grown, we have built numerous space cities, each capable of holding many millions of our people. Cities containing our species have been sent off to explore in every direction across the galaxy.

            ‘Near the center of our galaxy, a new sun has been created. Around that sun, each of the surviving alien species is building a permanent presence. Finally, a base we will all eventually call “home”.’

Evan envisaged a “gentle”, purposely engineered sun that was being slowly drawn into sustainable orbit around the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way Galaxy. The sun’s orbit would eventually lie just out of reach of the insatiable accretion (feeding) process that sustains the black hole. The aliens selectively use that accretion process as a supply source for the materials they need for the creation of 14 new worlds and more than 20 moons currently at various stages of completion.

Each world closely replicates the planetary and environmental circumstances of the destroyed alien home-worlds. The incredible darkness of the event horizon looms ominously in the night skies of these new worlds. Proximity to the supermassive black hole means that time moves slowly in this fully artificial solar system. Completion was still millions of years away, but there was no rush for some reason.

Colonel Rafter wanted to ask a question, but before he could speak, the alien continued. It sensed the question on Rafter’s mind.

‘The trial that you must face cannot be known to you at this point Colonel Rafter. It is doubtful you could understand it, and it would negatively impact upon the human race’s chances of survival in the future I’m afraid.

            ‘Exploring the galaxy over millions of years we have come across thousands of worlds with evolving lifeforms, several hundred of which offer hope of developing a self-aware species. Many have already reached the threshold of entering the spiritual age. However, not all make their way through safely.

            ‘When we first discovered intelligent life in the galaxy other than our own it was a time of great celebration. Our two worlds befriended as we attempted to assist them through the technological perils that lay ahead. It proved to be a most costly and incorrect decision. Not only was the world of our new friends lost, but a great Space City, our largest and proudest technological achievement at the time, was also completely lost.’

The alien conveyed genuine emotion. Evan sensed the truth of what was being communicated. However, the alien also continued to be very guarded of the content of what he revealed. Truth and deception.

‘In the first four million years of our exploration of the galaxy, several more worlds in an advanced technological state were discovered. Despite our best efforts, those worlds and all they contained were also lost completely. At the final stage of technological evolution, each species advances at an incredible pace. It heralds a time of unprecedented peace and prosperity. At this time, you are at your greatest; you are also at your greatest risk. This is when an advanced species will most likely fail, and when they will likely destroy themselves. You know this as Armageddon.’

Con was intrigued with the biblical reference. He looked among the group to see if anyone else thought the reference to be of interest. Most sat mesmerized by the alien communicated imagery, their eyes closed unaware of Con’s glance.

‘As other species from other worlds have had to face the trial of Armageddon, so too will the people of Earth. It is inevitable.’

‘Can’t you help us?’ asked Major Baker.

‘Initially, our attempts to help worlds reaching this threshold all failed. Eventually though, we discovered a path through this cataclysmic event. That path is the only proven path we know of that has succeeded previously.

‘A necessary precondition for success is that there must be no contact before you reach the technology that brings about Armageddon; no assistance from any other race that has already successfully crossed this technological threshold. We have left the solution to Armageddon here on Earth for you to find. You will find it at precisely the right time, and not before that time. What you do with that solution, and whether you implement it at all, is a choice that you must make as a species alone.’

The group fell silent as the weight of what they had just learnt sank in. The end of the world . . . literally! Evan wasn’t sure how the others felt, but he was highly suspicious of the guarded measures that he sensed the alien was revealing the information. Something critical was being left untold.

‘How long before we reach this threshold?’ asked Con concerned for his family.

The alien response was evasive.

‘We are not sure. We have no idea at all.’

Evan sensed confusion and hesitation. The alien did know something very important and critical to our future but was doing its best to mask us from that knowledge.

‘Why does knowledge of an advanced race having survived this Armageddon jeopardize our chances of surviving?’ asked Colonel Curtis.

‘The decision to implement the solution must be universal and fully committed to. It is a very difficult decision. Not all of your population will survive. If you believe that crying out to us for help may offer an alternative, some will try.’

Colonel Rafter stood up slowly and stretched. ‘We need some time to absorb and consider this,’ he said looking very unhappy. ‘How long until your Research Ship arrives?’

‘The Research Ship will not make its final approach to Earth until you have given permission for it to do so Colonel. You have all been given as much information that I believe is safe to provide. From here on in, you are in control. You must decide events from this time forward.’

It was a strong statement, delivered with telepathic conviction, that had the effect of substantially calming the situation, and Colonel Rafter. The three officers moved off together in conference. The two MPs, mostly silent until now, moved over towards Con, Terry and Evan. The alien sat alone, drinking from a second canister that had been in the medical kit.

‘My name is Owens,’ said the taller of the two MPs extending his hand towards Con. He then indicated towards the other MP. ‘And this is Fells.’

Con smiled. ‘My son Terry, and do you know Evan?’

Introductions and handshakes went full cycle.

‘What do you think the officers will decide?’ Con asked of the two MPs.

Fells answered. ‘I don’t know. But honestly, I’m more than happy to leave the decision to them.’

It was a sentiment that reached general agreement.

The officers had disappeared from view having gone over a small knoll behind the spacecraft wreckage. The buzz of intense, and sometimes excited, conversation could be heard in the distance.

The alien was now lying down. Having replaced the breathing apparatus, it had settled on its right side again, eyes closed. The light grey skin seemed paler than before. The alien wasn’t well. It looked as though it might be dying. Con, Terry, Evan, Fells and Owens all set about the task of making the alien more comfortable.

The alien threat communicated at the Roswell crash site

Date:               Saturday, July 5, 1947

Time:              0917 hours

Location:        Main Crash Site

                        Sanchos Ranch

                        Northwest of Roswell, NM, USA

 

The officers returned after more than an hour of deliberation. They immediately rushed to the side of the alien as they noticed the dramatic downturn in its appearance. The alien attempted to sit upright, but it was now too weak. Con assisted the alien into an upright position. It opened its eyes and addressed everyone . . .

‘Please do not be too greatly concerned. Your atmosphere takes a lot of getting used to. So too does the high temperature and punishing gravity. There is nothing more you can do to help me for now. There is nothing that I need that you can provide. If you have questions, or you have something to say, I am more than able to communicate without impairment. I would appreciate knowing your decisions at your earliest convenience.’

Con and Evan tended to the alien’s comfort now that it was in an upright position. They moved the alien slightly, so that its back rested comfortably against a tree. Con removed his jacket and placed it under, and behind the alien’s back. The alien now sat in an elevated position under a shady tree, ready to face the decisions of the officers. It had been offered water but refused. With the alien’s uniform stripped to the waist, its body looked extremely frail and weak.

‘Is the arrival of the Research Ship crucial to your survival?’ asked Con making sure that the officers heard the question?

‘Yes.’

‘Would you say that your need of the Research Ship is urgent?’ Con continued.

‘Yes.’

‘How Urgent?’ asked Con.

‘I have at least two or three hours to live before I must get the air that my lungs need badly. The breathing apparatus assists with your atmosphere, but unfortunately, I have sustained severe injuries to my chest cavity. Breathing is very labored under the weight of your gravity. I need to breathe an atmosphere more suited to my physiology, without the tremendous pressure being exerted on my lungs.’

‘I’m sorry we took so long,’ said Colonel Curtis genuinely. ‘It’s an enormous decision.’

‘I understand completely Colonel Curtis. My life is inconsequential when compared to the weight on your shoulders. Do not be concerned about me. There may be nothing that can save me now anyway. Gentlemen, I sense unresolved issues. Please sit down and let me assist you.’

Making sure he blocked the alien from his thoughts, Major Baker pulled Owens and Fells to one side and spoke to them confidentially. Without fanfare, the two MPs gathered their belongings and dutifully headed off towards where the vehicles were parked. The officers then sat around the alien’s new position under the tree. The others were not invited to join them. This was to remain a military matter it seemed.

‘We’re having trouble reconciling events with what you’ve told us,’ said Major Baker not shy about his concerns. ‘Why, if it is imperative that you remain hidden from us, did you fly straight into the United States in full view of our extensive array of radar? Apart from several radar contacts, you were spotted by two aircraft as well.’

The alien took a moment to gather his thoughts. Evan sensed indecision. The alien felt the need to reveal much more than it had originally intended.

‘We never imagined that you had such capacity. Our ships are fully automated. We were in what can best be described as a “slumber” or hibernation. It is a necessary part of the process of long term rapid deceleration.’

            As the accompanying imagery came flooding into the minds of the officers, they sat with their eyes completely closed. With respect being given to the officers’ decision to keep the matter under military control, Con, Terry and Evan were now excluded from the communication.

‘The Space City that orbits your sun travels close to the speed of light. Time slows considerably as you approach the speed of light. Nearly two years ago in Earth time, or less than two minutes ago aboard the Space City, we detected a nuclear detonation here quite unexpectedly. Our most ambitious expectations of your technological capacity couldn’t come close to explaining the detonation. It was decided to send a Research Ship immediately to investigate the circumstances.

            ‘From the perspective of on board our Space City, the Research Ship was launched within a matter of minutes of detecting the detonation. It then took several more minutes for the Research Ship to slow down and achieve orbit around your moon, and then launch this smaller spacecraft. This entire exercise has taken less than 10 minutes from the time we detected the detonation, to this moment, viewed from the perspective of those aboard the Space City.

            ‘Our previous observation of your species was some 2,000 years ago. From that time, to the time that we detected the nuclear detonation, only several hours of time has passed aboard the Space City. 2,000 years ago, you had not even invented the wheel on some parts of the Earth. The nuclear technology we detected seemed impossible for you to reach in such a very short period of time.

            ‘When we departed our Space City, the crew aboard the Research Ship were put into hibernation to enable us to survive the rigors of the extreme rapid deceleration. Not until after we had arrived in your atmosphere did we commence the awakening process, and the process had not finished completely before we crashed.

            ‘We never expected to face hostile forces in the skies. We honestly thought you would still be on horseback using bows and arrows, not flying and using technology such as radar, missiles and high powered jet propelled aircraft.

            ‘The crew aboard the Research Ship were roused from their hibernation process only after we crashed. They have only just been brought up to date on what has transpired. However, with the slow movement of time aboard the Space City, it is likely that they are only barely aware of what is happening here. Onboard the Space City, less than a second has elapsed since we crashed.’

That substantially explained the strange behavior of the intruder into American airspace, it was anticipating a society more typical of one found in the 12th century.

‘But why were you heading straight for the military’s secret testing location?’ asked Major Baker.

‘Earth time about two years ago, we detected the first nuclear detonation not far from here, which was our original destination. After entering Earth’s atmosphere, our spacecraft detected stored nuclear material at another location, the location of your secret jet and missile testing Colonel Rafter. The fully automated spaceship altered its original course to go directly to the site of the stored materials. A secondary site of interest was the White Sands Proving Ground facility where the first detonation had been detected.

            ‘You can now understand, I hope, that we definitely never anticipated an aggressive response using any meaningful technology. It was not considered possible that mankind was capable of such technological achievements yet.’

‘How long have you had the Earth under observation?’ asked Colonel Rafter.

‘We first encountered the Earth around 18,000 years ago. Our last encounter was around 2,000 years ago. Members of that expedition arrived back at the Space City only minutes ago in our time aboard the Space City.’

‘How is it that such an advanced race that’s been keeping tabs on us for 18,000 years can possibly get our current level of technological advancement so incredibly wrong?’ asked Major Baker.

That question caused the alien to stop and think deeply.

‘The answer to that question is one that I am very reluctant to offer as I do not believe it will assist you in determining the best course of action. Do you not have enough on which to base your decision?’

‘What happened with your other expeditions to Earth?’ enquired Colonel Curtis. ‘Were you seen by the human populations at other times when you’ve previously visited here?’

Once again, the alien went silent. The officers all eyed the alien intently. Nearly a minute passed as the alien consulted others of its species aboard the Research Ship.

‘There is much more that I will now need to tell you before you make your final decision. The information I am about to divulge is for everybody with your permission gentlemen.’

Major Baker indicated for the others to come over.

‘Owens and Fells are guarding our vehicles and ensuring our privacy. We’ll update them later.’ Major Baker was lying, and the alien knew it. The alien continued anyway.

‘Your Earth faces a difficult and unique challenge, one that is very different to anything faced by any other world previously.’