This week’s hypothetical


You are staying in a remote log cabin for a weekend, completely alone and totally cut off from the wider world. You have a camera and a phone, but you need to hike for two hours down a wooded trail to get reception.

On the first morning of your stay, you’re awoken by a loud crash. You go over the hill to investigate, and you discover a wrecked vehicle. It is, in fact, a classic flying sauce, which has struck the ground hard, tearing a long furrow in the earth and ripping a wide gash in its side.

What do you do?

5 thoughts on “This week’s hypothetical

  1. Ignore it.

    Either it’s inhabited or it isn’t. If it’s inhabited, either they survived or they didn’t. If they survived and need help, they’ll come ask for it. If they don’t need help, either they can repair the ship or they can’t. If they can’t repair the ship, they’ll need help. If they need help, they’ll come ask for it.

    If no aliens come knocking after a week, check it again. If the wreckage is still there, hike out and notify somebody.

  2. Set the camera running as I approach (my camera can do video, it’s my iPhone). See if (a) there are signs of life, and (b) if anything looks injured and the injuries look treatable by a First Aid type approach. If so I will run back to the cabin and get first aid supplies (assuming no contraindications like atmosphere drastically different).

    If the occupants are living beings and uninjured, I try to communicate. If they are dead or the thing is entirely automated, I’ll go inside as much as I think I safely can, getting pictures and possibly samples (I would also try to get samples if feasible in other cases, but tending to injured or establishing good relations comes first).

    If occupants were alive but seriously injured, I would run as fast as was safe to the phone service area. I would call in an emergency 911 and report what I say is a small plane crash with apparently injured people (we will deal with the weird later). After this, or after my exploration, I would upload my pics and bids to some remote sites, and hide some of my samples… Just in case.

    If they turned out to be hostile, I would at least try to throw my phone clear so that hopefully someone would fix out what happened.

  3. janet

    First, I would be totally pissed that some outer space assholes totally messed up my solitude, then I’d be REALLY irked when the government comes around with those damn noisy helicopters and such.
    What the hell can one person do with possible aliens? I don’t think it will be all friendly as Encounters of the 4th kind or what ever. I’m thinking more like conquistadors coming over for dinner.

  4. Lauri

    Okay, I’m doing the best I can not to go on a tangent about BBQ’ed bird, since it’s a classic flying sauce. (I am exposed to way too much Food Network.)

    I’d be very, very careful about approaching it. Assuming this situation isn’t going to follow standard movie plot lines, and they won’t need to eat/torture/BBQ me to heal themselves, they will most likely very edgy.

    Think about it. You’re flying over what amounts to a primitive jungle full of nasty critters, and you crash in it. Are you going to react kindly to the first thing that pokes its snout into the gaping hole in your saucer?

    (Note: I am assuming aliens think we’re nasty, which is why they have never contacted us before.)

    After my oh-so-careful approach, hopefully I’ll have enough time to run away if they turn out to be hostile, and avoid getting shot/vaporized if they’re just tense.

    If I needed to call for help, I’d try to make it sound like a very weird experimental military plane had gone down. I wouldn’t want to drag totally unprepared local/state rescue people into that mess, and hopefully I could get someone from the military to take notice and come deal with it.

    If I’m lucky, I’d get to enjoy the rest my vacation after the government finished interviewing me and conducting my body cavity probe…

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