Was 2020 the year alien life was revealed and no one cared?

The world has had more important matters to attend to

There’s a trope in sci-fi movies that the world just isn’t ready for alien contact. In movies like “Men in Black” and “Independence Day,” the government is said to have known about aliens - the ones from space, not the human version from other countries - since the 1940s or 50s but kept it a secret to avoid a panic. 2020 may have destroyed that plot device.

Not many people remember, but it was only a little more than a year ago that internet users planned a raid on Area 51 to find the truth about whether the government parked captured alien spacecraft at the mysterious location in the Nevada desert. Perhaps owing to Nevada’s legalization of marijuana, the raid petered out before many of the participants made it to Area 51 and the movement morphed into a spontaneous UFO-themed music festival and a trove of internet memes.

A few months later, COVID-19 hit the world. A few months after that, the US Navy released aerial video footage of unidentified flying objects. The world’s reaction was, “Hush, we’re busy with a pandemic here.”

But that wasn’t the end of the matter. Last month, the former head of Israel's Defense Ministry's space directorate went public with the claim that world governments have been in contact with extraterrestrials for years. The interview was originally published in Hebrew but the Jerusalem Post translated portions into English this week.

Haim Eshed, a retired professor and general who headed Israel’s space agency for nearly 30 years, said that a “Galactic Federation” had signed treaties that allow the aliens to perform research on Earth and gives the US and Israel access to a secret underground base on Mars. Eshed says that the aliens helped Earth to avoid a nuclear war, which is another sci-fi trope going back to the 1950s.

Eshed says that President Trump was “on the verge” of disclosing the existence of the aliens, but representatives from the Federation convinced him to hold off on the grounds that humanity needed to "evolve and reach a stage where we will... understand what space and spaceships are" in order to avoid mass panic. The Federation seems to have a sort of Prime Directive.

Apparently, Eshed decided on his own that humanity has evolved to a safe level. And apparently, he’s right. What little coverage there has been of his claims has been met with a collective “meh.” I’d be tempted to say that the pandemic has helped mankind to mature but then I look at the people on social media who think that wearing a medical mask is the first step in a process that ends with being forced onto a train bound for an American Auschwitz.

Is Eshed on the level? He has not provided any evidence to support his claims, which he expounds on in his new book, The Universe Beyond the Horizon – conversations with Professor Haim Eshed. Selling books could be a motive for making sensational and untrue claims, but Eshed has a reputation as a respected academic and government official.

Maybe the 87-year-old Israeli is suffering from mental problems that come with advanced age. But maybe he’s telling the truth.

Maybe there really are aliens among us. And maybe Eshed is part of a plan to condition humanity to the idea that we are not alone. It could be that the Navy films and the Eshed book are steps toward a big reveal.

I don’t know whether aliens are real or not, but it is true that the Navy videos show something that is unexplained. As a top defense official, if there is an explanation to what the videos show, Haim Eshed is as likely to know what it is as anyone. Whether he is telling the truth about what he knows is a different question.

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