The Home of the E.Ts?
Are we alone in the universe? This ancient question has been asked by earthlings over and over again and the ever-expanding enormity of the universe has only enhanced a sense of mystic ambiguity on the issue. As human intelligence matured and science and technology progressed, this utmost curiosity towards the heavens relentlessly encouraged mankind to interpret the wonders of space and cherish an eager hope for friendly celestial neighbors. Amongst many, Zeta Reticuli, a binary star system (two yellow-orange stars like our Sun namely Zeta1 Reticuli and Zeta2 Reticuli) located 39 light years away from Earth is a strong candidate which many Ufologists strongly believe to be housing an extra-terrestrial civilization.
It all began with the abductions of Barney and Betty Hill, who, many believe were the very first well-documented alien abductees. On the night of September 19, 1961, the 39-year old mailman and 41-year old child-welfare worker were returning home to Portsmouth, New Hampshire after a vacation from Southern Canada. Amongst many strange occurrences that the couple experienced on that bizarre night, one incident stood out. They had absolutely no recollection of two particular hours of their journey home, equivalent to a 35 mile long drive! Puzzled and petrified, the couple decided to go through regressional hypnosis which only revealed the striking details of their abductions. Under hypnosis, Betty drew a “star map” which she claimed to have been shown to her by an alien entity sometime while she was abducted and confined briefly for those two hours in the alien spacecraft with her husband. This “star map” showed all the star systems that the celestial beings had visited during their space expeditions. Now, skeptics will have their say but from this point on this is where the story becomes uniquely interesting from an astronomical point of view. Seven years later in 1968 Marjorie Fish, an amateur astronomer after studying thousands of vantage points for years concluded that the alien entities that abducted the Hills were from a planet orbiting Zeta2 Reticuli!
A graphic representation of aliens.
It does sound like a modern-day urban legend but a few aspects of the incident remain mysterious. For starters neither of the Hills had prior knowledge of astronomy, certainly not enough to understand the rotation of the distant star systems. It wasn't until 1969 when Gliese catalog came out that the stellar map of that region became familiar to ordinary people. How did Betty Hill did know the exact position of the planets which are barely visible to the naked eye? Besides, the “star map” that she drew had all the stars connected by lines which Betty said were frequently-travelled routes by the alien entities where Zeta Reticuli star system was the hub. Ufologists now also think that for a civilization located some where around Zeta Reticuli, Betty Hill's drawn line-routes would be most logical way of exploring the nearby stellar neighbourhood. Now how did she know that? Some might say this is nothing but an other E.T hoax cooked up by two bored middle-aged people indulged by the wild imagination of an amateur astronomer. But the fact is the Hills are considered historically significant by both UFO enthusiasts and debunkers alike as far as alien-human contact is concerned. And concerning Marjorie Fish's findings, experts believe that Fish's explanation of the Hill map indicate the Reticulian system where the ages of the stars are 1 to 3 billion years older than our own. And this suggests the possibility that this would have permitted another terrestrial race of higher intelligence to evolve in another planet long before the human civilization dawned on planet Earth.
The appeal of stars Zeta1 and Zeta2 is intriguing as these two are among the top priorities of NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) which is due in sometime between 2014 and 2020. But it is the mysteries that are constantly associated with Zeta Reticuli that makes this star system truly an enigmatic one. Bob Lazar, the first man to acknowledge the existence of a UFO research facility in Area 51, stated in 1988 that nine Flying Saucers are kept in the facility where he was employed as a scientist to help reverse-engineer them. According to Lazar these were originally from the 4th planet of the Zeta2 Reticuli solar system!
But it is perhaps Project Serpo that is the most mystifying of all as it involves human expedition to the Zeta Reticuli solar system and it all began with the famous UFO crash of Roswell. The story goes that one alien being survived from the crash in the late 1940's and was courteously detained by the US forces. And as some form of trust and communication was established the celestial being said that it was from a planet from the Zeta Reticuli solar system and was allowed to communicate to its home planet via a communication device that survived the crash. In 1962 a secret human astronauts and alien exchange program (titled Project Serpo) was developed with the consent of that planet and in 1965, 12 human astronauts left for that planet via a new alien spacecraft which left a new alien being as previously agreed. The story goes on to say that the human astronauts stayed in the alien home planet from 1965 to 1978 and 8 returned as two died and two decided to remain on the alien planet. It is alleged that the astronauts upon returning home wrote a 3000 page report detailing their stay and way of life in the planet of the two suns!
The extent of truth in these claims may never be verified. But the closest to authenticity one could get is perhaps from the cinema maestro Steven Spielberg's creation “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”. The movie depicts an alien ship landing by prearrangement with the US government and an ambassadorial exchange takes place where a single alien disembarks and is escorted away by humans while 12 astronauts walk into the alien spacecraft on a journey to a distant planet inhabited by an extra-terrestrial race! The movie was released in 1977 and is considered by UFO enthusiasts as the testimony of what truly happened in 1965. As for Spielberg's view in this matter, in his own words, “I really found my faith when I learned that the government was opposed to the film. If NASA took the time to write me a twenty-page letter, then I knew there must be something happening”.
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