It’s safe to say that after Israel’s former space security chief claimed last week that Earth had not just made contact with a “galactic federation” but struck a series of deals with it, the international media was agog.
Prof. Haim Eshed, who was promoting the Hebrew book “The Universe Beyond the Horizon – Conversations with Prof. Haim Eshed,” by Hagar Yanai, has serious aerospace chops. He led the Defense Ministry’s space directorate for nearly 30 years, co-founded the Israel Space Agency and the Technion’s Space Research Institute in Haifa.
The 81-year-old has quite the collection of scientific and defense accolades, leading the launch of Israel’s first satellite, Ofek 1, in 1988. However, he’s devoted the past decade to a different research area: unidentified flying objects and aliens. It makes him sound a bit like an “X-Files” crank, but it does bear mentioning that in “The X-Files” at least, the cranks are usually right.
So, in the spirit of the season – which is one of miracles and unlikely triumphs – and in the spirit of 2020, which is one of accepting a reality that piles on impossible and disconcerting developments, your correspondent has decided to believe Eshed’s account.
Even so, there are a few lingering questions that demand answers...
1. What are the aliens getting in return?
What would advanced, shape-shifting, space-time-bending cultures who have done away with war and the corporeal form want with dinky idiots like us? It turns out it has less to do with our intellect than what we’re sitting on. Eshed says that nine aliens representing the Galactic Federation have signed a contract with “us” to conduct experiments. Earth has precious resources: water, biodiversity and, one can assume, that same “us.”
- Cosmic gorilla effect: Are aliens right here among us?
- Can a miracle save us from ecological doom? History says yes
- CERN to tackle the greatest dark matter: Why any of us exist
This contract suggests that the representatives who signed on Earth’s behalf were STEM majors who slept through their humanities requirements, because anyone who’s lightly dabbled in history, literature or Disney’s “Pocahontas” knows that allowing a group with superior technology unfettered – or any – access to a society’s natural resources, even for a fee, generally ends badly. One would hope the U.S. representative would have recognized the sale of Manhattan, and the English representative their entire history, before signing away the Atlantic.
In fact, the countries Eshed lists as involved parties – the United States, Russia, Japan, England and China – are all current or former colonial powers. No one should know the risks better, which makes this even scarier. By letting E.T. take the wheel, the planet’s most powerful governments are effectively saying that our resources are out of their control, and whatever they’re receiving from the federation is valuable enough to let them put the entire planet in the position of the countries and cultures they plundered/are still plundering.
2. What are we getting in return?
The Galactic Federation, Eshed says, has intervened in Earth’s potential nuclear crises, averting an unspecified atomic disaster at Cuba’s Bay of Pigs (Chernobyl isn’t mentioned, so we can assume the aliens let that happen out of some deep-seated grudge toward Ukraine and Belarus).
If the signatories have recognized that Earth needs guidance and supervision, then you know what? Sure, go ahead, use us as your petri dish – but please help us solve the water crisis first.
Eshed says this isn’t the first time humanity’s leaders have signed such deals. Indeed, Dwight Eisenhower’s great-granddaughter, Laura, says that in 1954, the then-president reached an agreement to allow aliens to establish a base at Area 51 and perform experiments on Earth, including on select humans, in exchange for anti-gravity and other advanced technology.
I’m ready to believe the human experimentation never ended, because sometimes my tummy hurts for no reason, but fail to see the benefits of the anti-gravity tech we supposedly gained over 50 years ago. Unless, that is, it’s already in our planes and weapons. The sort of people who would be appointed as signatories are, like Eshed, probably ex-military men with a propensity toward shiny new toys. The United Arab Emirates, for example, normalized ties with Israel and immediately started hinting that F-35s topped its holiday wishlist.
If humanity signed a deal with the aliens for advanced technology, it was always going to use that technology to find new ways to blow up a lot of people at once. At our core, we’re still cavemen whacking each other with clubs, and the aliens definitely know this.
Still, if they’re testing out the coronavirus on us in exchange for being able to vaporize each other, I’m going to be even madder about this than I already am.
3. Where is Israel in all this?
While Eshed never actually mentions Israel’s direct role in contacts with the Galactic Federation, the headlines that emerged after his interview with Yedioth Ahronoth made it sound like Israel was in U.S.-brokered normalization talks with outer space.
From there, my first thought was: “Has anyone told Benny Gantz yet?”
You see, there’s been a pattern in Israel where major diplomatic, security and policy decisions are made without the presence or foreknowledge of the current defense minister. In order to marginalize his rival, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has, among other things, made deals with the UAE, promised them fighter jets and made a clandestine trip to Saudi Arabia – none of which he thought to mention to the person in charge of such matters.
I asked Gantz’s spokesperson whether the minister was involved in Israel’s contacts with the federation and, if not, had he just found out about them from media reports? “There’s really nothing for the defense minister to add on the subject,” she said.
A Defense Ministry spokesperson said no one would be willing to discuss the Galactic Federation with Haaretz – which is understandable, considering it’s totally bonkers. But is it so bonkers that Israel might be involved in these talks? After all, relative to its size, the state has come on leaps and bounds in technological innovation. It also has an outsize stake in what the extraterrestrials would have to offer: It’s an avid consumer and producer of military technology, and its natural resources, particularly water, are under severe threat from climate change.
4. Why now?
Eshed outlines the effects on humanity if aliens revealed themselves too soon: hospital strikes, collapsing economies, literal cannibalism. It would stir an unparalleled panic that destroys every institution and belief the citizens of Earth have held. There wouldn’t be enough toilet paper in the world to horde for this kind of hysteria.
People would be – and have been – killed for revealing or compromising Earth’s contacts with the Galactic Federation, Eshed says. He also affirms that there are countless articles and expert testimonies to back up his claims.
As every news outlet has noted, he also claimed that U.S. President Donald Trump came close to spilling the beans before the federation managed to convince him not to blab – an achievement that clearly attests to their superior intellect and technology.
So why is Eshed choosing to come forward now? He says he can now rest on his academic laurels, that his legacy is safe enough for his deep dive into UFOlogy. Unlike the people in power, he has nothing to lose.
And it would seem that we Earthlings are in the same position.
The proof is in the framing by the international media: A senior Israeli aerospace official says that not only is there life on other planets, but it has already made contact. They don’t delve into the harder-to-believe claims in the Yedioth report, like his story of a Utah cattle mutilation by a shape-shifting alien that can only be seen with advanced instruments tuned to specific frequencies, or that space-tech entrepreneur Robert Bigelow was given a massive payout by NASA to take the footage straight to the Pentagon.
Instead, it’s hopeful. Self-aware and cheeky, yes, but some very smart, tethered people I know have quietly expressed the view that they’ve been waiting for this news to arrive.
This year has been a conga line of unimaginable disaster. There’s the pandemic, of course, but also political ruin. Israel is readying itself for its fourth election in about two years, while the United States struggles with mounting deaths from a phenomenon the sitting president has no interest in curbing.
The news constantly brings revelations of improprieties by our leaderships, oncoming catastrophes and no end in sight. We’re collectively ready for intervention, for an adult in the room – even if the adult shape-shifts, mines our natural resources and maybe eats us. It can’t be significantly worse than what’s already happening, right?
Eshed says the aliens are waiting for humanity to understand “what spaceships and space are” before making direct contact. Considering that said “humanity” includes me, who’s not entirely sure how a pop-up toaster works, that could yet be eons away.
But we might not have eons. With famine, war and, more directly, the climate crisis, we might be as ready as we’ll ever be. If you’re reading this, Galactic Federation: yalla! How can we clean up this mess? We might even listen.