'The truth is out there."
So the Fox TV series, "X Files," would have us believe.
Since the alleged crash of a flying saucer in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947, UFOs and their occupants have been firmly entrenched in our culture. Unexplained sightings, government conspiracies, crop circles, cattle mutilations, Hanger 18, Area 51, the Majestic 12, alien abductions, ancient aliens, secret bases and just this week, astronauts reporting "weird" music on the moon ... on and on and on.
The subject of countless books, movies and TV shows, and serious scholarly debate, the first question we ask an ex-President is "Where is the government hiding those space ships?"
As much as many of us want to believe we are not alone, and UFOs are real, there is that one little word that keeps popping up: P-R-O-O-F.
Physical, undeniable, black-and-white evidence. Like if only an alien would drop his wallet and we could check the address on his driver's license. Something like that.
There's also the question of why. Like, why would aliens navigate billions of light years to make designs in corn? I suspect if there are aliens, they would probably take one look at us and say, "Clean up your own mess -- we ain't had breakfast yet."
That's not to say we can't enjoy all the entertainment it generates, like "X Files" and the guy with the wild hair on the History Channel series, "Ancient Aliens."
Early in my newspaper career, I worked alongside a reporter who specialized in investigating conspiracies. His name was Jim Marrs, and his primary focus at that time was the JFK assassination (his book, "Crossfire," was one of the source books for Oliver Stone's movie, "JFK").
Among his many books is one called "Alien Agenda." It takes a thorough look at just about every aspect of the UFO/alien phenomenon. Whether you buy what he's selling or not, it's a fascinating read.
Proof or no proof, UFOs aren't going away. Not so long as people want to believe we are not alone on this tiny blue planet, that there are other civilizations who can save us from ourselves, benevolent beings from "2001: A Space Odyssey" who will elevate us to a new glorious chapter of existence.
Well and good, but first, how about teaching us how to do those cool crop designs?
Yes, I know it's spelled like "Jerry." No, I don't know why it's pronounced "Gary."