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Of Aliens and AIDS

Occasionally, someone who reads this weekly column will come up to me and ask something like “Who cares? People that believe in UFOs are just harmless kooks.” I decided that this would be the first question I tackled in 2006.

If I may be so bold, I would like to introduce to you one Dr. Phillip S. Duke. He wrote a book, now several years old, called “The AIDS-ET Connection.” According to Dr. Duke, HIV and AIDS have a most interesting origin: they were created in the 1940s by aliens for use as a biological weapon. In a ‘press release’ for his book, Dr. Duke contends, “HIVs are… alien created ideal Biological Warfare agents of mass human destruction.” The grammarian inside me demands you imagine the abbreviation “sic” after each word in that sentence.

His theory goes something like this: aliens want to colonize our planet, but first they want to wipe out the population. So, using their spaceships, they abducted people and farm animals (yes, farm animals: this is the “cattle mutilation” phenomenon) for use in biological research until they were able to genetically engineer a disease that would destroy our society. The aliens are afraid that if they were to openly fight us, we would make the planet uninhabitable by using atom bombs against them, therefore, they specifically engineered the virus to be spread sexually, thus ensuring that the young, healthy, strong portion of our population, the portion of the population most likely to fight off any incoming invasion, would be the hardest hit. HIV/AIDS is completely unbeatable, so eventually all of humanity will be wiped out, leaving a nice empty world for the aliens.

Some will claim that Dr. Duke is but a lone lunatic; an extremist on the fringes of those that study UFOs. I am not so ignorant as to think that Dr. Duke speaks on behalf of all UFO enthusiasts; but I do submit to you, the reader, that he stands a lot closer to the average UFO enthusiast than you would think. The average person that believes in UFOs is likely to believe that they are spacecraft containing beings from beyond the stars that want to destroy humanity so as to colonize our planet. Basically, this is theory forwarded by all of the “experts” in the UFO enthusiast community, such as Dr. David Jacobs, whom I interviewed some weeks back, who believes that aliens are abducting people so as to create a race of hybrid alien-humans that will gradually replace mankind. Dr. Duke takes this theory but one small step further; it is for this reason that I would say he is not some fringe lunatic; rather, the distance separating the likes of Dr. Duke and the average UFO enthusiast is extremely short.

Dr. Duke’s theories cannot, therefore, be simply dismissed. If you are part of the UFO enthusiast community, you cannot wash your hands of him and say “he does not speak for me.”

I think it is obvious why Dr. Dukes writings are dangerous: they claim that HIV is unbeatable, and we should therefore not bother trying to find a cure. They claim that contracting HIV is a death sentence, and that those who have it should simply be allowed to die, without society taking even minor steps to help them. Some will claim that because relatively few people believe him, he is not a threat to society. Yet, very few people believe the things that motivated the Unabomber, or that motivated Timothy McVeigh, and they were able to do considerable harm to others. This absolute ignorance of basic biology (that AIDS is not always a death sentence), utter lack of moral compunction, and complete defeatist attitude is contemptible.

Up until now, I have only explained why I feel Dr. Duke’s theory is a danger to society; now let me explain why his theory is wrong. According to him, these aliens are extremely technologically advanced: they have defeated the non-trivial challenge of interstellar flight; they are capable of kidnapping people from their homes, performing research on them, and then erasing their memories; and they can do all the things that aliens are supposed to be able to do during the commission of abductions, such as walk through solid objects, make their spaceships invisible, sedate other members of the abductee’s family from great distance, so on and so forth. And yet, though they want to colonize our planet, they are terrified of our nuclear weapons. If they have the capability to abduct thousands and thousands of people from their homes every year, wouldn’t it be easier for the aliens to send a spaceship to every nuclear weapons facility and kidnap those who know how to deploy our atomic weapons? If they can abduct so many thousands of people every year for medical research, it seems to me that in one night they’d be more than able to abduct the tiny number of people with the clearance and ability to set off atomic munitions.

Also, Dr. Duke’s theory would have us believe that while they have accomplished such great technological feats (space flight, for example), the aliens are incapable of disabling atomic weapons before they are deployed. It’s not as though atomic weapons are simple devices: there are all sorts of electronic components that, if any particular one were to be disabled, makes the weapon inoperable. Dr. Duke theorizes that the aliens are afraid we will ruin our planet, so they invented AIDS to wipe out mankind. They decided to take the slowest, least efficient, most roundabout way imaginable to take over our world which, for some unspecified reason, is so special that they’re willing to put this tremendous cost and effort to take it. Yet they’re not willing to think up a decent plan.

If I were you, I would expect a certain amount of professionalism from this fine publication, but please allow me to editorialize for a moment: I’ve heard a lot of asses say a lot of asinine things, but this guy that says AIDS was created by aliens takes the cake, hands down. To you, sir, if you are reading this, I doff my cap. That joke I heard about coal miners, the pope, and Ariel Sharon sitting in a rowboat seems now to be no more inappropriate than the ramblings of a kindergartener, when compared with the idiot filth you have allowed to spill from your pancake-hatch.

In closing, I should mention that Dr. Duke is reviled by many in the UFO enthusiast community. Mostly because many in the UFO community believe that AIDS was created in the 1970s by Henry Kissinger in order to hinder the civil rights movement, and has been used by the shadowy panel of elders who control the US government to prop up the pharmaceutical companies, who…well, never mind the details right now. Though this conspiracy theory is almost certainly wrong, and has little supporting evidence, most of which is probably misinterpreted gibberish, but I will grant them this: they haven’t fallen down the simpleton’s hole and brought space people into it.

Dr. Duke, though it can’t be said he directly represents the UFO enthusiasts, does stand much closer to them than they’d want you to believe. Think of him as the thin end of a wedge of lunacy, foolishness, and plain-out old-fashioned ignorance. Be seeing you.

First published in The Triangle, 13 January 2006.