2012 Doomsday Scenarios: Month One

Okay it’s 2012 now, supposedly our final year according to the Mayan calendar. Earth was put on notice last week with that big solar flare that could’ve disrupted our satellites (but thankfully didn’t). With all the hoopla about the end of the world, one has to wonder if this is our swan song, how will it end? Here at Starloggers, we’re going to examine the possible doomsday scenarios each month as a sort of countdown.

Doomsday Scenario No. 12: The Aliens Are Coming, The Aliens Are Coming

Whether the E.T.s are friendly, cuddly visitors or blood thirsty, destructive invaders, it can’t be denied that once they do arrive life as we know it is over. So even if the first contact is benevolent our isolation in the universe is gone and with it the way we see ourselves. This scenario would bring about an end of our world. These are the possible scenarios:

  • Friendly, curious neighbors come by to say hello: Think of E.T. or Starman or the alien greys from Close Encounters Of The Third Kind. They mean well, they’re just explorers but their arrival is nonetheless disruptive. A variation of this scenario is explored in Carl Sagan’s book Contact (and film based on his work), where just the radio signals from another star changes our society.
  • We’re invited: Continuing to look at Contact, the aliens willingly or unwittingly give humanity the technology to travel to their world. This theme is also seen with the film Stargate and its TV shows, the John Carter books and Adam Strange in comic books.
  • The Enforcers: The gist of this scenario goes like this, aliens make first contact with humans. But we’re given a stern warning to clean up our act and play nice otherwise either¬† A) we can’t join their club or B) they’ll wipe us off the map. Option A was presented in Allen Steele’s Coyote universe books and option B was best shown with the classic The Day The Earth Stood Still.
  • Caught up in an interplanetary conflict: This is the plot for those Transformers films. We’re standing by innocently in our little blue world obsessed with nonsense like taxes, the presidential election and Snookie until BAM! A bunch of aliens from two different sides arrive and duke it out, using our planet as a battlefield. This also happened in the book The Last World War and the Aliens Vs. Predators films.
  • Aliens with a mysterious agenda: Most recently seen with the V series but a terrific example is Arthur C. Clarke’s novel Childhood’s End. What happens is that aliens arrive in mammoth motherships over major cities. They claim to be peaceful and want to help humanity but have another agenda they’re keeping from us. With V (the original show, the remake was pretty vague–could be why the show failed) the aliens wanted our water and us for food. In Childhood’s End the mysterious Overlords arrived to shepherd in our next evolutionary stage and move our descendants into the cosmos. Another example is that show from the late ’90s Gene Roddenberry’s Earth: Final Conflict, where the mysterious Taelons arrive on Earth bringing an era of peace but have secret motives for coming to our world.
  • This Petri dish Earth or we taste like chicken: The first V show and mini-series fit this bill. And if the UFO fanatics are to be believed, alien greys come to our planet to create human/alien hybrids and to conduct painful, invasive experiments on humans. On the big screen, this was best shown with the underrated film A Fire In The Sky.
  • INVASION: The tried and true plotline of alien contact. Aliens arrive in huge ships and proceed to stomp us into smithereens until the heroes in the third act find a way to beat them. Examples in film, shows and books are numerous and include War Of The Worlds, Independence Day, Battle: Los Angeles, Footfall, the Worldwar books, etc. A variation of the invasion scenario is the clandestine invasion where the aliens slowly infiltrate us until it’s too late. Check out the shows Threshold, ¬†The X-Files, The Invaders, and First Wave (this invasion scenario is probably prevalent on TV for budgetary reasons) as examples. On film the most famous example is Invasion Of The Body Snatchers.

That’s one look at how 2012 could the end of the world as we know it (apologies to R.E.M.). One month down, eleven more to go; be prepared.

Special thanks to GEO for his contribution