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Alien Megastructures Found

alien megastructure hypeYou’re going to see a lot of messages like this today: “Astronomers think that they have found an alien megastructure”. These messages are rooted in a scientific paper published last month called Where’s The Flux? which most people who are writing about this story haven’t actually read themselves

Where’s The Flux? doesn’t say anything about extraterrestrial megastructures at all. It takes a look at irregular fluctuations in light coming from a star far away, and considers many of the potential explanations. In the end, the researchers who wrote the paper explain, “we conclude that the scenario most consistent with the data in hand is the passage of a family of exocomet fragments, all of which are associated with a single previous breakup event.” Probably, what’s going on around the star given the tedious name of KIC 8462852 is that a large number of comets have been pulled out of their usual orbits, and have begun colliding with each other to create a great big cloud of debris with an irregular orbit.

However, when Ross Andersen of The Atlantic got a hold of the story, he gave it a sensationalist turn: The phenomenon that looks most like a cloud of comet fragments could actually be a gigantic structure built by an advanced extraterrestrial civilization that is designed to harvest massive amounts of energy from the star. Andersen cited a paper written by Jason Wright that hasn’t been published yet. Wright told Andersen that “Aliens should always be the very last hypothesis you consider, but this looked like something you would expect an alien civilization to build.”

In what way does something that seems to be a cloud of comets look like something we should expect an alien civilization to build? How an we expect anything from an alien civilization, given that we’ve never actually met one? Certainly, the irregular fluctuations of light from KIC 8462852 could be due to extraterrestrial technology, but then, practically anything we see could be extraterrestrial technology in disguise.

alien megastructureWe already have one natural explanation for the fluctuation of light coming from KIC 8462852. Others are possible. We just don’t understand them yet. Sometimes, the most appropriate answer scientists can give to reporters’ questions is “We just don’t know.” But then, a story about a star with light that fluctuates in a way that scientists don’t understand yet doesn’t make for good clickbait.

If people want to see alien megastructures, they don’t need to look off into a far away solar system. There are already alien megastructures right here on Earth. They have infiltrated cities all over our planet. Giant constructions of metal and a strange, transparent amorphous solid material, they have been planted into our natural landscape slowly but surely over the last 100 years, so that now, we take them for granted.

In the meantime, the organizations that inserted these huge constructions into our landscape form alien megastructures of their own, extending their power across national borders to consolidate power, draining it from the human communities that generate it and need it to survive, like gigantic, tentacled parasites. Of course, to say that these vampiric tentacles are physical in the sense that we think of it is to misunderstand how they work. These alien megastructures claim to be human, demanding the same rights as people. They assert that they have physical bodies, calling themselves “corporations”, but they are made up of nothing more than the collection of human bodies that they have assimilated into their folds.

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