As a science writer, my official position on ghosts and aliens is that they Do Not Exist. As a layperson who really likes to watch Ghost Adventures, I love ghost stories and tales of alien abduction. It’s all fiction, of course. Officially.
In case you’re wondering, and you’re not but I’m going to tell you anyway, I don’t actually think Planet Earth has ever been visited by aliens. Don’t get me wrong, there probably is life on other worlds — the universe is just way too vast for there not to be — but everything that lives in this universe has the same problem: the enormous distances that separate galaxies and solar systems. I just don’t think any intelligent species survives long enough to figure out how to overcome that problem, if overcoming that problem is even possible.
Ghosts, though, are totally real. I mean, they’re not real, because science writers don’t believe in ghosts.
Anyway, we went to Area 51 because aliens are cool. Okay, we didn’t “go” to Area 51 because no one does that without a security clearance. We just stopped at the end of the dirt road and looked down it. Which I think was probably smart since nobody really knows how far down that road you can go before they start shooting at you.
We did stop by Rachel Nevada’s only booming business, the Little A’Le’Inn, which is a diner/motel that has a business model entirely based on the fact that conspiracy theorists think Area 51 has something to do with aliens. We ordered pie and had an X-Files worthy conversation with the bartender. My daughter bought a pink inflatable alien for her bedroom and we continued on towards Tonopah just as night was falling.
Sadly, we saw nothing but pronghorns, cows, and stars as we drove down what is famously known as the “Extraterrestrial Highway.” Not so much as an airplane that could be momentarily confused for a spaceship. Oh well. It’s still fun to believe.