Obviously, this is a tongue-in-cheek headline. We don’t know that another alien civilization exists, let alone one that is hovering above the planet ready to enforce the laws of evolution on our primitive species. With the literal rise of fascism and the literal destruction of the planet nearly guaranteed in the near-future, the end of humanity in the coming century(ies?) almost seems like a foregone conclusion. So please forgive my optimism that we may not go out in a torrent of hurricanes, fires and widespread famine—or Nazis—but instead, by getting zapped by a bunch of aliens. At the very least, this conspiracy theory is a welcome distraction from an incredibly depressing news-cycle.
Now, for a bit of seriousness: there are a few actual, unexplained recent news events underlying this hypothesis. All of them range from “maybe not so crazy” to “come on, man.” This theory and the various links to recent stories underlying it comes thanks to a semi-viral thread from Canadian author and associate professor at the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, Andrew Potter.
*Quick factual note: BuzzFeed News reported that a janitor downloading and distributing child porn from the observatory's servers was the cause behind its bizarre and hasty shutdown.
There's also this weird new development on Mars.
So basically, the theory goes that because all our space probes are shutting down at the same time, this is like the beginning of an attack, where the assaulting party cuts the lights out so you can’t see them coming. If this conspiracy theory does come true, let’s just hope for our sake that the aliens are more civil and merciful than us humans.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.