Extraordinary claims. Ordinary investigations.

Aliens, aliens everywhere

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Until the mid 20th century, serious speculation about advanced life forms in our solar system was common place. Nowadays, the illustration above would make a scientist laugh. Click for more wonderful illustrations, one alien for each planet.

What happened? Space exploration happened, we actually sent probes to all these planets, finding nothing of the sort, just desolation. But just as these speculative aliens were being killed by science, Ufology appeared and soon enough, much more naive versions of aliens – exactly like humans at first – would emerge and evolve to the Grey alien archetype.

Not that this archetype was something new, on the contrary, fantasy was dealing with them long before they were described as real aliens.

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Martin Kottmeyer wrote an amazing series on the subject in Magonia: Varicose Brains.

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Posted in Aliens | 5 comments

5 Comments so far

  1. PersonFromPorlock June 21st, 2010 10:43 pm

    Current speculation in some parts of the UFO community is that ‘Grays’ are the time-travelling descendents of present-day humanity. I remember reading a novel a few years ago (sorry, can’t remember the title) with that as a premise – that the Grays had come back to save their ancestors from a solar catastrophe – and I’d love to know if that book came out before the above speculation started. Can anybody name it?

  2. the porrohman June 23rd, 2010 10:04 am

    Sorry to say, but the theory that ufo occupants are time travellers has been there almost forever and is not something new…

    Regards.

  3. Optimus June 23rd, 2010 1:47 pm

    Wow, I love those pictures. Such weird speculations of life on every planet of the solar system (and a sexy picture at the end :). And what do we have today? A very human alike entity called the grey. Meh :)

    A friend once told me, the less you know about a field you started being involved with, the more wild your imagination gets. The more you start to know as you experience things, the more down to earth you get concerning how exotic you imagined things. He actually told me that when I did my first attempts at programming for vintage 8bits computers as he already had experience and knew some things weren’t as nice or possible as I imagined them. But now I see that this goes so well with this speculative artwork too, the fact that in the past not much was known about our solar system that people (even scientists) could imagine and speculate about living beings in the planets that would sound ridiculous today.

    But I love that quote, the less you know the more your imagination races. And it’s all in the amazing artworks of the past :)

  4. organelle June 23rd, 2010 5:24 pm

    The more you know, the less your imagination FUNCTIONS. And if you think knowledge is useful, try putting it to use WITHOUT YOUR IMAGINATION sometime! :)

    The next time someone makes fun of you regarding ‘your vivid imagination’ tell them, in no uncertain terms, that they are confused:

    ‘Really? You think my imagination is a problem? That’s interesting. How did you form that critique? Surely it wasn’t with your IMAGINATION!!!’

  5. O July 1st, 2010 12:48 am

    Great link. The aliens seem very receptive — and clearly less Intelligent than humans :). No wonder our grandparents grabbed their shotguns during the H.G. Well radio cast.

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