UFO Conjecture(s)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Voltaire presages UFO/ET visitations

Voltaire in 1752 wrote Micromégas, perhaps the first piece of science fiction involving ambassadors from another planet witnessing the follies of humankind.

Two excerpts from the short work:

But let us now return to our travelers. Upon leaving Jupiter they traversed a space of around one hundred million leagues and approached the planet Mars, which, as we know, is five times smaller than our own; they swung by two moons that cater to this planet but have escaped the notice of our astronomers. I know very well that Father Castel will write, perhaps even agreeably enough, against the existence of these two moons; but I rely on those who reason by analogy. These good philosophers know how unlikely it would be for Mars, so far from the sun, to have gotten by with less than two moons. Whatever the case may be, our explorers found it so small that they feared not being able to land on it, and they passed it by like two travelers disdainful of a bad village cabaret, pressing on towards a neighboring city. But the Sirian and his companion soon regretted it. They traveled a long time without finding anything. Finally they perceived a small candle, it was earth; this was a pitiful sight to those who had just left Jupiter. Nevertheless, from fear of further regret, they resolved to touch down. Carried by the tail of a comet, and finding an aurora borealis at the ready, they started towards it, and arrived at Earth on the northern coast of the Baltic sea, July 5, 1737, new style.

Since our strangers moved fairly rapidly, they circumnavigated the globe in 36 hours. The sun, in truth, or rather the Earth, makes a similar voyage in a day; but you have to imagine that the going is much easier when one turns on one's axis instead of walking on one's feet. So there they were, back where they started, after having seen the nearly imperceptible pond we call the Mediterranean, and the other little pool that, under the name Ocean, encircles the molehill. The dwarf never got in over his knees, and the other hardly wet his heels. On their way they did all they could to see whether the planet was inhabited or not. They crouched, laid down, felt around everywhere; but their eyes and their hands were not proportionate to the little beings that crawl here, they could not feel in the least any sensation that might lead them to suspect that we and our associates, the other inhabitants of this planet, have the honor of existing.

The full story/work can be read here:




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