12 AUG 3302
Continuing our series on significant episodes from human history, noted historian Sima Kalhana discusses the Thargoids.
"Are we alone in the universe? It's a question we've been asking for millennia. Even before we expanded into space, we wondered about the possibility of non-human intelligence."
"Of course, for some, the question has already been answered. We have seen the aliens and we have given them a name: the Thargoids. But accounts of Thargoid encounters are shrouded in so much ambiguity, it is hard to accept them as proof of extraterrestrial intelligence. Furthermore, there have been no credible reports of Thargoid sightings for hundreds of years."
"The first reported Thargoid encounters date from 3125, when accounts surfaced that pilots had been pulled from witch-space and attacked by mysterious octagonal starships. Witnesses asserted that the strange vessels were exceptionally fast and remarkably manoeuvrable. Pilots who survived these experiences were convinced they had encountered extraterrestrials, and named the aliens 'Thargoids'."
"As news of these encounters spread, rumours surfaced that the interdictions might be a response to an earlier human attack. Leaked Federal intelligence indicated that colonists in the Veliaze system had encountered and assaulted an extraterrestrial deputation shortly before the Thargoid interdictions began. Suggestions that the Thargoid attacks were a reaction to this attack carried more than a hint of plausibility."
"Not long after, reports of Thargoid encounters came to an abrupt halt. In the decades that followed, not one credible account of a Thargoid encounter was reported. For some, this was proof that the original reports were groundless – 'the fantasies of lonely pilots, looking for attention', as Arvan Corto of the Imperial Navy said at the time."
"But public opinion shifted in 3250 when reports emerged that the disappearance of the Thargoids might have been a direct consequence of a covert anti-Thargoid operation. An anonymous message, delivered to a number of media outlets, claimed that an organisation known as the Intergalactic Naval Reserve Arm had developed a chemical weapon specifically designed to target Thargoid technology. This chemical – known as the mycoid virus – was designed to attack plastic polymers, which were believed to be present in Thargoid hyperdrive systems. The fact that the virus also appeared to harm the Thargoids led to speculation that the aliens' bodies might contain some kind of polymer-like material. The report was dismissed by many leading political figures as a conspiracy theory, but some asserted that it contained enough plausible detail be believable."
"Since then, very little credible information has emerged. The original accounts from 3125 report that Thargoid ships can execute huge hyperspace jumps, while information purportedly from INRA documents indicates that the Thargoids originate from an ammonia-based world. There are even rumours that the Thargoids have a collective consciousness or 'hive mind'. Some of the less outlandish theories include the suggestion that electronic countermeasure technology was reverse-engineered from captured Thargoid vessels."
"And what of the barnacles, Unknown Artefacts and Unknown Probes? Many believe these objects are of non-human origin, which has led to speculation that they were created by the Thargoids. Unfortunately, however, analysis of these objects has not yielded any concrete information about their origin or purpose."
"Are the Thargoids real? Frankly, I don't know. But if they are, their true nature can only be guessed at."