MCCULLOUGH: Life on Mars? Not just yet

Nate McCullough

Nate McCullough

As I've told you before, perhaps verbatim, I love a good conspiracy theory. Ditto a good ghost story, monster yarn and tales of the unexplained.

I guess they appeal to my imagination, which has always been a blessing and curse. It's always made me a good storyteller. It also runs away with me sometimes when I need it to stand still.

In any event, these stories -- despite being 99.99 to 100 percent hogwash -- provide me with endless entertainment as I watch nuts look for proof of shadow governments, ghosts and the Loch Ness monster.

I think the all-time kings, though, are the alien believers, especially the "Ancient Aliens" crowd. Those folks will literally believe anything, as long as it could kinda, sorta, maybe, somehow, someway prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that aliens exist and they've visited Earth.

Now as much as I like a good story, I'm also a big fan of actual, proven science. I won't bore you with a physics lesson, but to put it simply, the odds of other life existing elsewhere in our universe are actually pretty good. The odds against them ever visiting Earth are literally astronomical. The distances between stars are just too vast to be overcome by any conventional propulsion method. In other words, unless our galactic neighbors have found a way to break the universal speed limit of the speed of light, there ain't nobody here but us chickens.

But that can't stop the "Ancient Aliens" crowd or one of their favorite theories, which is that we're all actually Martians.

Yep, to get past the whole problem of traveling to another star system taking thousands or millions of years, the alien believers came up with a place right in our backyard: Mars.

Just a scant 16 months away, give or take, it'd be easy for Martians to visit the Earth. And even better, what if we were Martians? What if our Martian ancestors somehow escaped some tragic fate eons ago by settling on Earth?

The we're-all-Martians folks got their first "proof" in the 1970s, when the two Viking spacecraft took photos of a region of Mars that resembled a face.

"Aha!" they all shouted. "Our ancestors left a calling card for us. Case closed."

Of course, more recent images by modern spacecraft carrying modern cameras showed the "face" to actually be just a hill. But that didn't sway the aliens crowd.

They point to other "structures" on Mars. One looks like a pyramid, another a building. One also looks like a smiley face and one looks like Kermit the Frog. The alien crowd, oddly enough, doesn't reference those last two all that often.

They've seen ancient war helmets, pieces of machines, and -- I kid you not -- Bigfoot.

NASA, of course, has had answers for all of these: Mountain, hill, crater, crater, rock, rock and rock.

Recently another image was released from the cameras of the rover on Mars. One of those images showed, to the life-on-Mars folks, what was most definitely, indisputably, indubitably, a rat.

Eeeek! Eureka!

Or not. From NASA: Just another rock.

Maybe the alien-visitor-believers will get their proof one day and make us all eat crow. But I won't hold my breath.

In the meantime, I'll keep entertaining myself with their nutty TV shows and fantastic claims while simultaneously hoping NASA actually figures out how to send a man to the red planet in my lifetime, because that I'd really like to see.

Now if you'll excuse me, the History channel is promising to tell me what the president knows about Bigfoot.

The word is, Sasquatch actually understands the biggest mystery of all -- Obamacare.

Email Nate McCullough at nate.mccullough@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Fridays. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/natemccullough.