Thursday, July 07, 2005

Most Australians believe in aliens
By Ray Chesterton
June 23, 2005

IT'S the news that probably won't be alien to many - four out of five Australians believe there are little green men in outer space.

Reader's Digest, noted in past issues for making close friends with body parts in articles like "Hello, I'm Your Kidney" has gone from insightful to outer space. A survey conducted by the magazine reveals 84 per cent of believers in extra terrestrials say they would be friendly, rather than trying to enslave humans. This has terrified Hollywood more than hearing Russell Crowe saying, "I'll phone ya."

To filmmakers, the thought of aliens floating around the galaxy with peaceful intentions and waving "We love Mother Teresa" flags makes their chequebooks run cold.

Hollywood needs aliens.

Grotesque, deformed aliens with gargoyle faces and protruding jaws and tongues dripping with acidic poison.

Nasty is nice.

Occasionally, something warm and cuddly, like a Star Wars Ewok or extraterrestrial ET, slips through the filter.

This is good for balance. And for balancing accounts through better marketing opportunities.

ET, in fact, had a brother who was written out of the movie because of deteriorating health.

Doctors said he was an extra cholesterol.

Opinions about whether aliens exist vary greatly but most of us seem to accept there is life out there somewhere.

Whether aliens have actually landed on earth disguised as human beings is fiercely opposed but rarely from men with mothers-in-law.

Opinions about outer space are as sensitive as telling the truth about your wages or how many women you've taken to bed.

Out-and-out disbelievers say aliens have landed on earth but they were captured by Big Foot and fed to the Loch Ness Monster before being discovered.

True believers say aliens are frequently beamed down to Earth's capital cities, including Sydney. They eventually pass themselves off as human beings after a long period of not
being able to speak English.

They cite cab drivers and CityRail announcers to support their theory.

There are of course claims by Australians of close encounters with aliens.

A website says in 1976 a Hobart couple went to bed but only the woman fell asleep.

Three figures suddenly came through the closed door and tried to put a bag over the man's legs in what seemed to be an attempted kidnap.

The man woke his wife but the aliens escaped through a window.

Experts are divided on the claims, saying such goings on between families in Tasmania may be well established.

In recent years, a young woman in Melbourne claimed a large silver disc landed near her and she was abducted by an alien wearing a loose-fitting metallic green tunic.

Investigations suggested this may have been a journalistic hoax or someone wanting directions to Dancing With The Stars.

Opportunities for Australians to establish friendly relations with aliens were damaged by a shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later philosophy.

Last year when scientists discovered an unidentified flying object, they notified the Government, who notified the army, navy and air force to take immediate action.

Prime Minister John Howard turned white when he got the details of the incident.

"My God," he said.

"We've shot down Santa."