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Small Talk: Seeking close encounter of the third kind

One of these days, I am going to turn up at the “Contact in the Desert” out near Palm Springs, or maybe AlienCon is Los Angeles or perhaps the International UFO Conference in Phoenix.

One part of me thinks they are probably filled with rather gullible people, but another very determined part of me absolutely delights in the prospect of getting the lowdown on who might be “out there.” Even in my most rational moments, I just can’t discount the possibility. Sadly, I would have been one of those giddy people atop the Capitol Records building in “Independence Day,” shouting “Come on down for cocktails!” I am just that curious.

My only moments of pause come from the classic “Twilight Zone” episode featuring the book “To Serve Man” — which turned out to be a cookbook. Or I remember my TV favorites like “Earth, the Final Conflict.” I so wanted to trust the Taelons, darn it.

In spite of the possible consequences, I continue to think that coming upon extraterrestrials would be so completely fascinating, that I would jump at the chance. And even if I tried to completely discount their existence, I have the testimony of my very pragmatic Air Force jet pilot father. He quietly mentioned one day, that from time to time, they would encounter something that could outmaneuver and outrun any aircraft he was aware of. It still gives me chills, because my dad was never given to flights of fancy.

It occurs to me now that there isn’t too much aliens could do to us that we have not already done to ourselves — well, almost. Meanwhile, I feed my obsession watching all the incredible photos and experiments coming in from our various successful space exploration projects. I will remain thrilled that I get an up-close look at Jupiter and Mars in my lifetime, even though there may be nobody home.

And to top it off, I see that “Men In Black 4” is coming in June. What a way to start my summer. I think I need to get some new sunglasses.

Jean Gillette is a freelance writer and No. 1 fan of Marvin the Martian. Contact her at [email protected].