Aliens: 5 Things We Learned About the Inevitable Invasion at AlienCon 2018
AlienCon might be a celebration of all things Ancient Aliens, but at a packed panel on Friday morning, the focus was on the future. In a little under an hour, Travis Taylor, an aerospace engineer and sci-fi novelist, laid out his vision for how humanity can prepare for the alien invasion that pretty much everyone at the Baltimore Convention Center this weekend seems to be sure is right around the corner.
Long story short: We’re probably all going to die.
But don’t give up hope yet. Here are five things you need to know about the coming alien invasion, how to prepare for it, and what humanity’s war for survival might look like.
1. Aliens Probably Want to Kill Us
When the aliens do arrive, don’t expect a friendly E.T. or even something mysterious like the inscrutable aliens in Arrival. According to Taylor, we’re almost certainly looking at an Independence Day scenario.
“They are going to come and eat us,” he says bluntly.
Best case scenario, aliens see humanity as a workforce to enslave and use to mine the planet for all its remaining resources.
“I’d rather be a slave than food,” Taylor says.
Of course, there are plenty of reasons aliens might travel to Earth, but given the distance and effort required it would need to be worth it. At the very least, it won’t be a chance encounter.
“We do have a big galaxy,” Taylor says, “but we are sending out regular smoke signals saying Eat at Joe’s!”
2. The War Is Going to Suck
Using some of the best computers around (in the early 2000s), Taylor mapped out 150 different scenarios for the inevitable war between humans and an alien invader. There was only one strategy that resulted in a victory, and it’s not pretty:
“The only way was that every person of the age 14 or over was carrying a gun and every woman was pregnant with triplets,” he says. “So we’d need to do fertility treatments. And logistics are being carried out by the wounded, along with pregnant women and children.”
Even worse, humanity would be starting from a huge deficit. Taylor predicts that the aliens will arrive with a bang, decimating most of our civilization before we could even respond.
“They’d wipe us out almost immediately and we’d have to do guerrilla warfare,” he says. “It’d be like how Afghanistan fought off the Soviets.”
Of course, Afghanistan had support from the United States in the form of financial aid and military training. So who’s going to step in and help humanity? The best case scenario might turn Earth into the battleground for a proxy war between rival alien races.
3. Our Current Tech is Pretty Useless
If aliens can make it all the way to Earth from some far-flung galaxy, that pretty much guarantees that their technology is far behind anything we have on Earth. By Taylor’s own calculations, the ships used to reach our planet would be able to withstand an explosion 100 times as powerful as the most powerful nuclear bomb ever developed by humans.
“They have some kind of magic that keeps them from destroying themselves when they go really fast,” he says, guessing that it might be a force field or a new type of metal. “That means that magic will still be with them when they get here, and our most powerful weapon will be 100 times too weak.”
Taylor points to some human technology that might do the trick, including our most-advanced nuclear weapons and Israel’s Iron Dome](https://www.raytheon.com/capabilities/products/irondome), but even that probably won’t make much of a dent.
Our best hope is that the government has been secretly developing something new for this exact scenario — and that it keeps these weapons a secret until we actually need them.
“You lost any advantage you have by telling anybody you have this,” Taylor says. “I personally think these things should be kept classified, just like we did with the Manhattan Project.”
Additionally, he argues that we need to invest much more heavily in preparing for an alien invasion. That means buildings Mechas that can transform from planes into tanks mid-battle, along with powered armor suits (cue the slide featuring a picture of Iron Man). He also adds that our current spacesuit technology needs to be dramatically improved if we want to even consider taking the fight up into space, which is probably better than fighting it out here on Earth.
“We should be pissed that this isn’t being developed,” Taylor says.
4. How to Survive the Invasion
Step one: Get as far away from major cities as possible. That’s where the aliens will attack first.
“The brightest spots on earth are Paris, Tokyo, and New York,” Taylor says. “So those places are gone.”
Instead, you’ll want to go somewhere as remote as possible.
“If they show up I want to hang out in a mountain in the Amazon, or Siberia,” he says.
Additionally, Taylor suggests that everyone comes up with a plan for survival. Forget driving to safety in your car, traffic will make that impossible. Your best bet is a motorcycle, an off-road vehicle, or even a bicycle. You may also need to stock up on any medicine you’ll need to survive once aliens blow society apart.
5. It’s Not Very Likely
Before you sell your house, move to the rainforest, and start building an Iron Man suit, it’s worth mentioning that the chances of this actually happening aren’t very likely. By Taylor’s own analysis, the probability of an alien invasion is less than one percent. It’s not zero, but it’s very, very unlikely.
“It’s very low,” Taylor says, “but it is possible.”