There Are Aliens Among Us: For People Who Love Fanciful Stories And Fantasy Books
13 February 2014
By Mshari Al-Zaydi
A few days ago, I read a strange story on Al-Arabiya's
website about someone who revealed himself to have a
troubled relationship with reality.
The story was about former Canadian Defense Minister
Paul Hellyer, who used an interview with a Russian TV
station to confirm the existence of extra-terrestrial
beings that "have been living among humans for
thousands of years."
The manówho we must remember was once in charge of
military aircraft, ships and troopsósaid that "there
is an association of extraterrestrial beings who are
keeping a watchful eye on what humans are doing, but
that association does not intervene in our affairs."
The minister emphasized that he had himself met with
the leaders of that alien association, who he said
"expressed their disappointment over the behavior of
We might pardon the Canadian minister on account of
his age: He is 91 years old. But we shouldn't pardon
Iran's FARS news agency for its recent report saying
that documents leaked by Edward Snowden had revealed
that since the end of the Second World War, the US
government has been dominated by extra-terrestrial
beings formerly associated with the Nazis.
Their report went on to say that the aliens had helped
the Nazis build submarines, were welcomed to the US by
President Eisenhower, and that to this day they are
working with the US Air Force in Nevada.
The reference to aliens in Nevada reminded me of an
old joke by the late Kuwaiti actor Khaled Al-Nafisi,
who said he had seen underwater cities in Japan where
the residents used little submarines instead of cars.
Famously, one of his competitorsócomedian Sa'ad Al-Farajóbelieved
his statements to be true.
We all know that stories of such fanciful worlds and
of aliens walking among us don't come from thin air.
They have been around for thousands of years, and new
ones have been created in living memory. Even during
the Cold War, the isolation of the "atheist" communist
world and the "Christian" and capitalist West from one
another led to wild speculation in a similar vein.
Perhaps one of the most unique writers of the Cold War
era was Eric von Daniken, who in the late 1960s wrote
Chariots of the Gods. In that book, he details the
"early visits" extra-terrestrials made to Earth, and
speculates that everything we regard as "modern"
technology was in fact known in ancient
civilizationsóand that aliens had brought humans this
technology. He claims there is even evidence of early
extra-terrestrial intervention in human affairs to be
found in our planet's many holy books.
Von Daniken's work became an international sensation,
and he even inspired people in the Arab world to write
their own books on the subject. The late Anis Mansourówho
was once a writer for this newspaperówas perhaps the
icon of that trend in the Middle East, especially
after he wrote his book, Those Who Descended from the
It's no secret that the US government and NASA, its
space program, have carried out scientific
investigations into the existence of life on other
planets. Yet, clearly, the debate about whether or not
aliens walk among us has not yet been settled.
For people who love fanciful stories and fantasy
books, the lack of solid evidence is a perfect thing
to exploit to get attention and, perhaps, fame. But
for scientists, that ambiguity raises questions that
must be answered through challenging inquiry. Between
the two extremes lie the rest of us, caught between
two realitiesóor two falsehoods.
A Saudi journalist and expert on
Islamic movements and Islamic fundamentalism as well
as Saudi affairs. Mshari is Asharq Al-Awsat's opinion
page Editor, where he also contributes a weekly
column. Has worked for the local Saudi press occupying
several posts at Al -Madina newspaper amongst others.
He has been a guest on numerous news and current
affairs programs as an expert on Islamic.