The U.S government has (more or less) confirmed the existence of aliens. Ok, maybe that’s a stretch but they’ve certainly come closer than ever before to confirming the long-held conspiracy theory that we’re not alone and the government knows it. Which got us thinking, isn’t it time Disney scared the pants off of us again?
The Truth is Out there?
Last month Ryan Graves, the executive director of Americans for Safe Aerospace, David Fravor, a graduate of the Top Gun naval flight school and former commanding officer in the US Navy; and David Grusch, a United States Air Force officer and former intelligence official testified before Congress about UAPs (Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena a.k.a UFO’s). All
Under oath and before a bipartisan hearing, Graves told Congress that he was an F-18 pilot stationed in Virginia Beach in 2014 when his squadron began detecting unknown objects, which he described as “dark gray or black cubes” inside a clear sphere. Such encounters, he added, were “not rare or isolated.”
Favor testified that he saw a tic-tac shaped flying object that used technology “not of this world.” He recounted that the object could stop in mid air and could travel 60 miles per minute. He claims this was seen on a military exercise over the Pacific in 2004.
It was the testimony of Grusch, though, that really interested the committee. He claims that the military is in possession of a downed UAB. When asked if a pilot was recovered from the crash site Graves reported that “biological not of human origin” were discovered at the scene. His statements, however, is the only testimony that isn’t first-hand. He testified to information he received serving as a representative on two Pentagon task forces investigating UAPs and interviewing more than 40 officials over four years.
We’ve always been told that aliens, if real, were not disclosed to the public for the greater good. There would be wide-spread panic,” is the reasoning. The public, however, doesn’t seem to care. Other than memes about how uninterested people are in the hearings the reaction has been low-key. There is no mass hysteria. There is no collective terror. There’s…nothing really.
It’s funny; they were talking about UFOs and “non human biologics” in a hearing yesterday and nobody is paying any attention. There are so many conspiracy theories going on right now, we aren’t even fascinated by Area 51 anymore. pic.twitter.com/kwsOUfpv0C
— Nancy Wicklund Gonzalez (@nancywgonzalez) July 27, 2023
One user on X (formerly Twitter) said “It’s funny; they were talking about UFOs and ‘non human biologics’ in a hearing yesterday and nobody is paying any attention. There are so many conspiracy theories going on right now, we aren’t even fascinated by Area 51 anymore
The Only Alien Encounter Care About
In 1995 Disney did something very…unDisney. They created an absolutely terrifying attraction and put it in Magic Kingdom. ExtraTerrorestrial Alien Encounter was a theater in the round experience that only lasted 8 years. Why? It was deemed too scary. Disney has had some interesting concepts in the past and has certainly never been afraid to push boundaries (they once had a ride where you died and ended up in Hell) but this one was considered much too far.
In a technology demonstration gone wrong, a carnivorous alien is telephoned to Earth where it kills a maintenance worker and then proceeds to terrorize the audience. Water was sprayed on guests to simulate drool and air blown on the back of guest’s neck meant to make you believe the creature was breathing right behind you. It was like It’s a Bugs Life at Animal Kingdom (but on steroids). The ride was so scary grown adults left in tears. Disney eventually put up warning signs to alert guests to what lay in store. The ride was unpopular, though, and closed after less than 10 years in operation.
Is Now the Time to bring Back Alien Encounter?
The unpopularity of the ride is mostly credited to the sheer terror of the experience. It was considered too much for a Disney Park. We winder, though, if the ride was just ahead of its time. In 1995, Disney Adults weren’t yet a known (or catered to) thing. It was also a simpler time. Audiences related Disney to wholesome, family entertainment. A rated-R movie isn’t something they wanted to associate with Disney.
Times have changed. If the reaction to the news that aliens may be real is any indication, we are desensitized now to the topic. That doesn’t mean that we aren’t interested in it though. The American people are just less into theoretical talk about aliens and have taken a “put up or shut up” mentality. Disney has a golden opportunity to make the experience real for us.
After a failed attempt to retool the ride to a more lighthearted Stitch theme, the theater where Alien Encounter once was now sits abandoned. The popularity of Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights proves people don’t mind being scared at a theme park. Could Disney have simply created a ride audiences weren’t ready for? Are we now? I think so.