Saucer Doctrine

Letters to Astronautics and Aeronautics, p. 6., November 1966

While I quite agree with Solomon W. Golomb's warning (August 1966 A/A, page 16) that not all visiting extraterrestrials would necessarily be benevolent beings, I would like to point out that in promulgating his "Saucer Doctrine is basic mythos" idea he seems to be carefully choosing material that fits his own "deep psychological need." He has (accidentally? deliberately?) not mentioned the fact that increasing numbers of scientists are comming to regard UFOs as manifestations of unknown, or little known, terrestrial phenomena (Aviation Week, Aug. 22, 1966, page 48) while a smaller (but growing) group of scientists have accepted, as a working hypothesis, the possibility that some reported UFOS could be some sort of extraterrestrial surveillance craft.

I would suggest that Dr. Golomb and others of a like mind consider carefully these words of J. Allen Hynek, Chairman of the Astronomy Department of Northwestern Univ. and chief civilian consultant on UFOs to the USAF: "Scientists could have used the UFO problem to give a beautiful example of the scientific method, to show the public how they go about studying a puzzling phenomenon. Instead, most of them treated the subject with contempt. Ridicule is not part of the scientific method."

George Early
Bloomfield, Conn.

The Conclusion of Solomon W. Golomb's piece on extraterrestrial visitors (August 1966 A/A, page 16) was apparently that we had little to gain and, indeed, much to lose if we attract Them. On the contrary, it seems to me that we have much to gain; but, even if we could communicate with Them, it is unlikely that we could attract Them, for what have They to gain? There are at least five reasons Superior Intelligence would be interested in this planet and its inhabitants.

First, as many suppose, They might want to be friends with us, giving us the great knowledge They possess, irrigate our deserts, feed our starving, etc., etc. But what do They gain for Themselves? They gain about as much as man does if he teaches a herd of wild pigs etiquette.

Another possible reason for comming to Earth has been exploited fully by the motion picture industry: Their mother planet is dying out. However, couldn't a civilization capable of building a spacecraft to carry large numbers of Their people to another planet for colonization also be capable of finding a more suitable solution to Their problem?

Man might be a wonderful food for some faraway galactic connoisseurs of exotic foods. But imagine the cost of a pound of meat transported a hunder light years away. It would be much better to kidnap a few specimens and establish a farm on the home planet.

Might man be used as a slave? An advanced civilization wouldn't come all the way to Earth just to pick up some humans for use as slaves, for we are neither smart nor strong. However, a pretty blonde might make a nice pet.

Finally, the Visitors might be making routine scientific exploration. This would seem most likely. Since They would not want Their observations ruined by our becomming disturbed by Their presence, They certainly wouldn't contact us and would try to do Their work secretly.

No matter how hard we try, can we attract Them?

Brent L. Marsh
Newark, Delaware