“On a planet that increasingly resembles one huge Maximum Security prison, the only intelligent choice is to plan a jail break” – Robert Anton Wilson

I'm innocent I tell you!  I found that flying saucer underneath my jacket, man.
I’m innocent I tell you! I found that flying saucer underneath my jacket, Kojak.

Has anyone considered the possibility that the only aliens we’re dealing with are escaped criminals?  Let’s face it.  They just crossed light years of interstellar space in a seriously tricked-out flying saucer, and one would think that they would at least try to find the cool kids, crank up the bass, and show off their rims.  Instead, the two defining behaviors of modern extraterrestrials seem to be a (1) furtive avoidance of any kind of authority, and (2) hostage taking (fine, “alien abduction”, but more or less the same thing).  It’s like they just broke out of prison, and are trying to evade an intergalactic manhunt.

In addition to scrupulously hiding from governmental representatives or anybody remotely involved with the criminal justice system, extraterrestrials seem to spend a lot of time loitering about in the most desolate corners of the Earth – small rural towns, trailer parks, the wilderness, and all the abandoned places infrequently visited by human beings and preferred by savvy fugitives.  Perhaps they’re all trying to get to Canada, made a wrong turn at Venus, and expect roadblocks at every turn.  Given, it’s pretty hard to “lay-low” when you are used to the perks of advanced technology, which is why roughing it in a remote cabin in Montana until the heat is off likely wouldn’t suit your average alien.  Presumably all the ancient aliens posing as gods, rather than implementing some long-term strategy for the manipulation of human society, were just looking for a good cover identity.

Then there is the whole weird probing fetish and other disturbingly, vaguely sexual experimentation associated with alien abduction.  Lacking a frame of reference we optimistically chalk it up to scientific research into our genetics, when in fact, likely having been incarcerated for many years and lacking in companionship, this is simply how aliens get off.

The truth is we would probably welcome even the most felonious alien with open arms for as director Norman Jewison observed, “We also have a tendency to root for the fugitive. We’re always on the side of the animal being chased”.  We typically like the underdog and the rags to riches story, so you can bet if some sentient reptilian critter from Alpha Centauri landed on our front lawn and said the cops were on his tail, we’d do our best to temporarily stash him in a safe place, point out quickest way to the border, or give him his own reality show, regardless of his rap sheet.

We’ve been beaming signals out into space for a few decades, monitoring the skies for signs of intelligent life, and chasing elusive reports of unidentified flying objects, imagining that one day we’ll get conclusive proof of the existence of extraterrestrials.  Let me suggest a different, and perhaps much more productive approach – let’s try offering blanket amnesty and asylum to any non-terrestrial being that wants to come in out of the cold.  Then let’s see how quickly we get First Contact.