BOOK REVIEW - THE 37TH PARALLEL : BEN MEZRICH

I picked this one up because I felt like I was in the mood for a non-fiction book that was not related to politics or social issues in ANY way. And I thought, "Hey, aliens. That seems like it's pretty unrelated to that kinda stuff."

Here's what this is not: A solid narrative that answers the question, "Do aliens exist?"

Early on it's pretty clear that this is more a profile of a guy who becomes more and more interested in the question and into finding evidence of little green men.

So I find myself wondering...do I believe there are little green men?

Let's start with the belief I had before I started the book.

There is probably some form of life out there somewhere. Intelligent or not I couldn't have said, but it seems likely that in a universe with so many possibilities, and so little of it explored by us, that there's something out there. It seems MORE likely that there's nothing, but far from impossible, if you ask me.

Yes, I think there's some kind of life out there somewhere, and I still think that after reading this. It seems more than possible, especially if you consider the possibility that there are shades to the universe that we can't perceive. 

Now, AFTER reading the book, what's changed?

Well...not much. 

I think the most likely explanation is simple. When you decide that there are aliens and start looking for proof, basically, anything unexplained that happens goes into the "aliens are real" bucket. A helicopter flying over a given spot, cattle mutilations, black SUV following you home. When you're on the alien thing, all that seems related to aliens. But if you were, say, manufacturing drugs, then you'd probably put all those same things as being related to that somehow because it's what you're worried about.

Or think about it like this. You start to feel sick. You start googling your symptoms. And then whatever comes up, you start thinking, "Hey, I HAVE felt fatigued in addition to that other stuff. And come to think of it, my mucus MAY be a different color than normal."

In short, when you decide on the answer and then start looking for the questions afterward, it shouldn't be surprising that you end up finding questions that lead to your answer.

However, there is one difference in how I feel about paranormal shit.

I do feel like I'm a person who is one good sighting away from becoming a complete nut. Whether it be Bigfoot or a UFO, if something pushed me to the tipping point where I believed in something supernatural, then I don't really see any other way of life other than being completely consumed by that thing.

Which is a realization I came to from this book. It's not a pity thing. It's not like I feel bad for someone who investigates UFO sightings. It's that I think I can empathize with the idea of believing in something that, to most people, seems very crazy, and I can empathize with the idea of having to move forward knowing that something so important and life-changing that I've experienced will be met with skepticism forever. And the frustration of seeing parallel stuff (religious stuff comes to mind...) that is equally bizarre and unproven, and yet a churchgoer is a pillar of the community. Meanwhile, I'm a total nut for having similar beliefs (I believe there's something intelligent up in the sky that visits us occasionally, performs strange acts, and then vanishes without a trace).

And for now, I suppose that my belief isn't that there are little green men out there, but that there are unexplained things going on, and it's good to keep an eye out. Not because I want to blow the lid off some conspiracy or something, but because that's a more interesting world to live in.