When Jews join federations, they are usually organizations created to foster community cohesion, closeness to Israel and outreach to other social and religious groups. According to The Universe Beyond the Horizon, a new book by former Israeli space security chief Haim Eshed co-written with Hagar Yanai, however, the United States and nonspecific others are now working hand-in-hand with a galactic federation that has not yet revealed itself for fear of inspiring panic. Indeed, Eshed attests that they are working together in an underground base on Mars. They’ll come out, Eshed says, when humanity evolves enough to know what space and spaceships are.
Despite its apparent provenance — Eshed is a man of many accomplishments — this story is so bugfuck off the rails we almost feel guilty tearing into its logic. But being who we are, and this site being what it is, we’ll try to make short work of it. Not of UFOlogy in toto — that is work for another day and a bigger, more ambitious ,site — but just for this very tall tale.
We begin by taking umbrage with the ridiculous contention that humans do not know enough about the fabric of space or the nature of spaceships to join the so-called Galactic Federation.
This year, Andrea Ghez of the University of California, Los Angeles, won the Nobel Prize in physics for her discovery of a supermassive singularity shrouded in previously impenetrable gases at the center of the galaxy. So much for not understanding space. Will physics upturn our understanding in the future? Inevitably. But our ability to handle this, indeed, to strive for this, should offer proof enough of our supposed evolution.
As for spacecraft, sure we still suck at it, and no doubt an advanced civilization might possess spacecraft with unusually powerful propulsion systems. But 119 years from the first flight to spacecraft capable of shooting back snapshots from Pluto ain’t bad for a bunch of recalcitrant apes. Maybe we lack their engineering specs, but our alien friends need only monitor the last 75 years of TV to determine that we understand the concept of spacecraft and of our place in the universe well enough.
Panic? Who the hell would panic, barring motherships descending on Washington and blasting the Senate, which, come to think of it…? Truth be told, we yearn as a species for affirmation that we are not alone. We would take joy from the fact that other intelligent species have survived the nuclear threshold. And most of all, we’d love to do business. Any kind of business. That’s who and what we are.
Then there is the issue of secrecy. Washington and Jerusalem leak like buckets with shotgun holes riddling them. One need only consider how Bibi’s secret visit to Saudi Arabia took less than 24 hours to make it into the news cycle, pissing off the Saudis no end. Can you even imagine that during the last election, Trump would have resisted touting himself as the deliverer who was paving the way for humanity to join the Galactic Federation? This alone is more unbelievable than the contention that there is one.
Almost every inch of Mars is monitored by six satellites that were launched by the U.S., Russia, India and the European Space Agency. Barring the use of technologies Arthur C. Clarke once described as sufficiently advanced as to be magical, any attempt to create an underground base on Mars would have kicked up enough dust to set weather sat alarms ringing in every one of these countries. And any one of these countries believing that their competitors might be in cahoots with the excavators, would likely assume a war footing fast enough to snap an
Andorean’s antenna. What kind of alien weisenheimers would take that chance?
One final, perhaps telling matter. Interviewer Hagar Yanay writes fantasy novels. No shame in that of course. Indeed, this may have made her more suitable to complete the project than others. But if you check her Facebook page, she is in a complete snit over people and news organizations trying to follow up on the story, which first appeared in the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth’s weekend magazine, and which had been picked up by NBC abroad. She’s got nothing to say, she insists, and neither does Eshed.
In other words:
- Yanay misunderstood Eshed and is in the soup.
- Yanay can no longer distinguish between fantasy and reality.
- Eshed misinterpreted something he read or heard.
- Eshed, an octogenarian, is suffering from senescence.
- Yedioth got the book wrong in their story.
- The paper, which published the book, and the authors are in on a publishing stunt.
Or: Purim, dear readers, has come early this year.