Carl Sagan—Get in Contact

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Portrait of an American hero (and Brooklyn Super-Nerd), Carl Sagan—Astronomer, Cosmologist, Astrophysicist, Astrobiologist, Author, Entertainer.

Without a doubt, Sagan was one of the great scientific minds of his (or any) era. He published over 600 scientific papers and articles, authored countless books on a plethora of subjects, created Cosmos (the show—not space itself), pioneered SETI, and still managed to get married three times (and probably dated a lot in between).

Despite this man's genius, I've never had any interest in watching the film version of his Alien-themed novel, CONTACT.

Maybe it's because Sagan was always pitching himself as the grand Skeptic, with his version of skepticism feeling more like a religion than a meaningful push for rational inquiry.

I also suppose that I didn't think that he could get his head around the ETI subject, developing a story that I was going to find believable.

In recent years, his image and legacy has changed somewhat due to his Stanford paper controversy being promoted by a compelling yet flawed book on the subject.

Donald Zygutis' 'The Sagan Conspiracy' exposes much of Sagan's views and general thesis regarding the probability that ETIs have visited earth in ancient times. The whole thing was mildly shocking to me, coming from someone who seemed so against this possibility—one that he apparently advocated and studied on behalf of NASA itself. Boggles the mind. 

Apparently, John Keel caught on to this long before Zygutis, writing about Sagan's thesis in one of his many 'Fortean' books on strange subject matter. 

Far from the outlandish conspiracies outlined by Zygutis, I suspect that Sagan might have been on the payroll of the powers-that-be and that he, like others, believed that mankind needed time to get used to the idea of ETI reality—long before any major revelations (so-called "UFO disclosure") took place.

Contact speaks to that issue and many others. It's compelling, worth seeing and highly recommended.

 

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