Alien Visitation: From ‘The Truth Is Out There’ To ‘I Want To Believe’

This is the text of a talk I gave in a debate with
Mary Rodwell on the topic of alien visitation. The debate will be broadcast by SBS (I believe under the title ‘My Mum Talks to Aliens’) in December 2010.


Extraterrestrial aliens.


Mysterious happenings.

Odd marks on the skin.

I can’t talk about aliens without thinking about The X-Files. I’m sorry, but I was a teenager in the 1990s. The X-Files offered something cool. The Truth – and this is something dear to my little scientist heart – Was Out There!

As a young teenager living in the murky mists of Far North Queensland, The X-Files offered something special. It offered a coherent view of the world, but one that was just… twisted slightly. The people were the same; the buildings were the same; but something different rested underneath. Watching The X-Files in the 1990s, we were like the muggles of the world of Harry Potter, muggles being introduced to this magical twist on our normal world. While everything was the same on the surface, underneath was a radically – magically – different world of aliens, wondrous flying machines and government cover-ups and conspiracies of the highest order.

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