“ I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people.” (Maya Angelou)
It seemed to be more than “business as usual” to Walter when he first found out in his capacity of Supervisor of Public Security that he would soon be safeguarding some valuable artifacts of public interest on special display for the much anticipated two week exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. Taking deep breaths to calm himself , he began to nervously look again over his classified level, job description papers during those days. For he would become the lead official for protecting the safety of firsthand evidence to the world that life existed on other places of our universe. So he resolved to concentrate intently in the coming days on such written instructions outlining the dimensions of the auditorium, pedestrian access to and from the showcased items as well entry/exit path locations in the building.
No doubt, Walter would also prioritize then, several items at the exhibition which would require his utmost, maximum security attention to avoid theft or vandalism at the “Explore the Universe” gallery of this museum. There would be the powerful telescope which first sighted the incoming silvery disc that so rapidly descended on our planet over a year ago at a business parking lot in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Those closeup photographs and videos taken of these gray skinned beings of miniature stature during their brief visit of peace to earth would no doubt draw a crowd as well. In addition, the curious scroll of alien written markings handed to our President and his First Lady during this cordial greeting ceremony would no doubt dictate extra protective attention in the coming days.
You might wonder at this point of the story why such a celebratory event as the first contact of extraterrestrial beings with humans would require such vigilant protective efforts? Know then that extremist propaganda sites on social media had consistently publicized untruthful conspiracy theories for months after the landing that this close encounter with life, existing outside our world, would lead to a militant invasion of hostile aliens who aimed to destroy mankind. Based on such “ramped up” fear reasoning then, this showcase of goodwill toward these other- world beings at the Nation’s Capitol represented to these false mass media enthusiasts an unmitigated governmental threat to their lives, liberty, and country. How many other NASA galleries at this museum depicting real evidence of the unknown possibilities of the universe by extension would be similarly viewed dangerously by such conspiracy loving sources as well?
So a “ fired up” mass of truth disbelievers at this historic event would now congregate on the grounds of the National Mall in vehement protest on the first morning of the exhibition opening. Standing at his vantage point near the front entrance of the museum then, Walter sensed strongly that trouble at this location would be brewing today. For Walter and several of his colleagues would soon warily witness in the distance, rising hatred fomented by fiery anti-government speakers urging thousands of protest attendees to “fight like a dog” that day. His instinct would soon alarm him of an imminent threat that a violent march invasion amid the hallowed grounds of the museum would take place. So with “lightning speed”, Walter immediately ordered his security staff to carefully remove as many of these extraterrestrial exhibits that would be possible and store these valuable artifacts in the undergraduate basement vaults of the museum. He also communicated to the District of Columbia Police authorities that additional manpower of an emergency nature would need to be taken to stop the anticipated angry crowd from vandalizing the museum property and the treasured astronomy artifacts remaining on the floors inside.
So as I conclude this story, let us embrace then Walter’s calm heroism to preserve such authentic history’s understanding from mindless conspiracy theory destruction. For while he could not prevent museum windows from being shattered, doors breached, and floors littered amid this raucous mob invasion this day, his determined efforts to anticipate the carnage expected to be inflicted by the mob on the the museum interior would insure that these precious exhibits of peace on earth and beyond would remain relatively undisturbed.
You might thus find some parallels in this account to last Wednesday’s shocking mob invasion of the U.S. Capitol. For it seems that both the imagined and real catastrophes described in this blog could have been avoided if social media had not fomented false conspiracy theories concerning extraterrestrial contact- election matters respectively going tragically wrong. Thus we must search more intently within ourselves in 2021 for fact and truthful understanding, while our political leaders must inspire us further by doing the same.