20 September 2018

Do I Want To Believe?

I have never been a fan of science fiction or anything having to do with the paranormal.  Still, one of my favorite television programs of all time is The X Files.

Really, Fox Mulder is a modern-day Captain Ahab:  He is obsessed with finding something elusive.  His obsession, like Ahab's is borne of a personal tragedy:  Moby Dick bit off part of Ahab's leg, and Mulder's sister was abducted by aliens.  The show's mantra--The truth is out there--could also have been the novel's epigraph.

Apart from that story, what I also liked so much about the show is the interplay between Mulder and Agent Dana Scully.  While Mulder seems willing to believe in just about anything, Scully is a seeming contradiction:  She is, essentially, an empiricist who believes in God.  Actually, she isn't just a Deist:  She is a full-blown devout Roman Catholic, which is even more mystical or irrational, depending on how you look at it, than Mulder's world (or should I say extraterrestrial) view.

I'm thinking about that now because I think the sky I saw near the end of my ride yesterday had something to do with the ride I took today--into Connecticut.

Turns out, I had the day off.  And the overnight morning rain brought the temperature down from yesterday's levels, which were somewhere between late summer and early fall.  Clouds blanketed the sky, but I knew (even without listening to the weather report) that there was no threat of more rain after 10 am. 

So why Connecticut, you ask.  Well, if you are a regular reader of this blog, you wouldn't ask that, as rides to the Nutmeg State have been part of my repertoire.  But you can ask anyway because I have yet another answer.

You see there have been 64 UFO sightings this year.  Why are they flying over Connecticut?  Maybe it's because aliens don't know yet that they can ride a bike up the ridge from Port Chester to Greenwich.  All they need are bikes that fit.

Do I believe that people sighted UFOs in Connecticut, or anywhere else?  On a purely semantic level, yes:  I am sure that those people actually did see things neither they nor anyone else could identify moving through the sky.  Now, as to whether they're flying saucers with alien life forms:  I don't know.  

If you are a fan of the show, you remember the "I Want To Believe" poster on the wall of the X-Files office.  Do I want to believe? No:  I have no desire one way or the other.  But I am willing to believe, if I see something I find convincing.

I didn't find it today.  But that's not why I rode to Connecticut--140 kilometers round trip--today.


  1. A couple of points:

    Remember that the cosmologist who originated the Big Bang Theory in 1927, Georges Lamaitre, was a catholic priest. And that historically, science developed out of lines of thought coming out of the Franciscan Order of the church.

    Also: UFO means **UNIDENTIFIED** Flying Object. The term is neutral.

    I always wondered how Scully managed to put up with Mulder. I was always expecting her to finally blow her cork after being dragged into situations that by any standard would give birth to major psychological trauma, but on a weekly basis. "Look, Fox, I've had ENOUGH...".

  2. Leo--I was waiting for that moment, too. Alas...

    I guess it's not so surprising that Lamaitre would come out of the Big Bang theory. After all, a French Jesuit priest helped to discover Peking Man and did as much as anyone in the 20th Century to advance evolutionary theory and paleontology in general. He is, of course, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin--who died on Easter Sunday (in 1955) no less!