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An Allegory About Unidentified Floating Objects

With the recent headlines about UFOs, Ran Chakrabarti offers a playful reimagining of a civilization’s encounter with mysterious travelers set in 16th-century Mexico.
By
Hernán Cortés

Entrance of Hernán Cortés into Mexico. Via the Library of Congress.

August 04, 2023 23:24 EDT
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With Congress recently hearing testimony from whistleblower David Grusch and retired navy pilots David Fravor and Ryan Graves in relation to strange goings-on in the skies and the alleged retrieval of crashed objects and “biologics” from other worlds, this author dug around in the archive to assess whether we’ve been here before; and what the potential consequences might be.

Tenochtitlán. Thursday, January 23, 1519.

Mayan fishermen have been reporting unidentified floating objects (UFOs) for quite some time now. These mysterious objects, often with pointed protrusions and white, flexible material have been spotted with increasing frequency by coastal dwellers on the eastern seaboard ever since the early part of 1493.

“We don’t know what they are, but they appear, often on the horizon for some time,” Ixpiyacoc, a fisherman from a small coastal town on the Yucatán peninsula told our reporter. “Then they disappear, like magic.”

“But it’s the stories of white men coming ashore with metal hats that really strike fear of the unknown into our hearts,” he continued, looking visibly shaken. 

Back in the empire, the Aztec government takes a very different view on the matter and denies the reports. “Unidentified floating objects are just a figment of people’s imagination,” said a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense in the capital, Tenochtitlán.

“These UFOs are total nonsense,” a leading scientist employed by the Ministry of Technology was quoted as saying. “We are alone on this planet, and it’s flat,” he continued.

But others are more troubled by the possibility that there could be life elsewhere on the earth and that it may be hostile. They have cautioned about the possibility of contact with other forms of intelligent life.

“Twenty years ago, we cast out a message in a clay pot from the shores of our land,” said Camaxtli, head of the Aztec Search for Terrestrial Intelligence. “Who knows whether it will ever be found by intelligent life? We just don’t know how vast the ocean is, and what’s at the other end of it,” he continued. “Whether it’s endless and stretches to infinity, we’ll just never know.” 

But just what did that pot contain? “We spent a lot of time thinking what to write on the parchment and whether other forms of intelligent life would understand our phonetic glyphs,” Camxtli explained. “So we settled with pictograms of who we are and where we come from and the stars that we can see in the sky.” 

However, there are those that are deeply concerned about the consequences of the pot-throwing act. 

“Imagine, if someone finds it: they come; they might want our gold, our women, our men, our natural resources, our livestock. We could be enslaved,” said a wise old man who spoke to us anonymously. “I think it was a pretty stupid thing to do, and who knows who might pick up the message?” 

But the mystery doesn’t stop there. Mayan conspiracy theorists from the Yucatán peninsula talk openly about a recent meeting between their leaders and “them.” Some Aztecs have reported similar happenings.

“There are some who say that Aztec ruler, Moctezuma has already met with the strangers from elsewhere,” said an official in the Aztec government on condition of anonymity, fueling rumors that the Aztec government met with life forms from elsewhere on the beaches near the town of Cempoala.

“There are eyewitness accounts that Moctezuma met with six tall white men with beards. They rowed ashore from this strange wooden contraption called a ship, the likes of which we had never seen before,” the official continued. “Our delegation was in a state of total confusion and awe as the leader of their delegation gave them gifts and then demonstrated the power of an object that spat fire and metal balls.”

“It was extraordinary,” he continued, “The delegation took off their metal headpieces and spoke in a strange language that we could not understand and offered us a thing called ‘Christianity’ in return for our gold and silver.”

After the meeting, the Aztecs were promised one of these Unidentified Floating Objects (otherwise known as ‘ships’) and Aztec scientists are trying to reverse engineer the technology.

“Those who’ve allegedly seen these ‘ships’ just can’t believe the complexity of the engineering,” said the official. “How they manage to cross the ocean is just unbelievable.”

Many others regard these claims as completely preposterous. “If these white people exist, then why don’t they come down in front of the great pyramid at Tenochtitlán and show themselves to the world?” a skeptical Aztec elder said.

Others have a more sophisticated argument.

“Traveling beyond the speed of a paddle canoe is just not physically possible,” a leading witch doctor at the Center for Human Sacrifice went on the record as stating. “These ships just don’t exist, they can’t exist and it would defy the laws of nature if they did,” he dismissively asserted.

But some Aztec government insiders think otherwise. Internal documents seen by our reporters suggest that there could be up to 4 different species of ‘white man’ who organize themselves in what are known as ‘empires.’ While they look similar to us, they are much taller, speak in strange tongues and are obsessed with the extraction of natural resources.

Those few who allege a first-hand encounter with them tell stories that they ride on animals with four legs, which are up to five feet high. 

“It was terrifying,” said an Aztec woman from the town of Texcoco to our reporter in confidence. “I was abducted by four of them who appeared from nowhere on these white four-legged beasts,” she revealed under hypnosis.

While many dismiss the phenomenon, leaked reports suggest that the Aztec government is taking the sightings very, very seriously. 

“There are reports that have been leaked from the Ministry of Defense that a tall white man was found dead, washed up on the shores of the Yucatán peninsula,” village elder Quetzalxochitl told our reporters. “Nobody knows how he got there, but the rumor is that they found a strange wooden object with a metallic barrel and a trigger mechanism.” 

“They also allegedly found parchment with interesting shapes inscribed across it that potentially relate to our phonetic glyphs,” he continued “but nobody so far has been able to decipher what it means.”

Allegedly, the body of the man, the strange wooden object with the metal barrel and the parchment were rushed off to a secret Aztec research facility near Tenochtitlán and examined by a high-level committee comprising, amongst others, the Minister of Defense and the Chief Priest.

“We’ve seen a leaked transcript of the record of that meeting,” Tupac, an investigative reporter at the Tlacōpan Times, told our correspondents. “Apparently, opinion was divided. Some thought that the artifacts and the alien body were dangerous; others thought that they could be a source of great enlightenment and expressed amazement over the script on the parchment.”

“What’s really interesting about the transcript though,” Tupac continued, “was that the Minister of Defense thought that the wooden object with the metal barrel might somehow be useful against the Tlaxcaltecs.” 

“It’s also clear from the transcript that the High Priest expressed reservations about the findings,” Tupac said. “The High Priest remarked, ‘What happens if this parchment leads to the erosion of our belief system and the structures that support it?’” 

Others that we spoke to, however, stress that the transcript is a fake and that the event never happened. They deny that the Aztec government is in possession of the body of a white man and there is any wooden artifact with a metal barrel or any parchment with strange writing on it.

“It’s all nonsense,” laughed General Tezcacoatl with a coy smile. “The leaked transcript is a clear forgery: you can tell by the error in the way that it is dated. It’s the wrong format. We use day, month, year, and not month, day, year,” he continued.

But notwithstanding the best efforts of the Aztec government to gloss over this strange phenomenon, the chattering classes seem to be hooked on the idea of these strange white men and how they might arrange themselves in society.

“It’s a discussion we often see in the marketplace when they go and buy their corn and beans,” local merchant Ichtaca told our reporter “But I think that these guys have just been drinking too much of that potent intoxicant, xocotātl,” he suggested dismissively.

“The implications are potentially enormous,” a professor at an independent educational institution said, on condition of anonymity. “Apart from the obvious stuff in relation to technology and security, we just don’t have a theory of knowledge that is flexible enough to explain change,” he mused. “For that, my hunch is that we are going to have to wait another 200,000 daily cycles of the sun, if (and it’s a big if) the prophecy of Thomas Kuhn writing a script called ‘The Structure of Scientific Revolutions’ is accurate,” he added.

“Just think what it would do to all our belief systems. It could turn people against the Aztec gods. If they started to think for themselves and question their own existence amongst other, more superior beings, it could be chaos,” he pondered further.

Meanwhile, the Aztec government continues to refuse to disclose their records on the matter, saying that Unidentified Floating Objects don’t exist and are not a threat to Aztecs.

“Look, if these so-called ‘ships’ and ‘white men’ exist, and they can sail the vast oceans, they would have taken over us by now,” a leading Aztec prophet said to our reporters.

“Take a look around you, where are they?” he said, with total confidence.

Reporting by Tochtli and Ixtl on the ground 

Edited by Icnoyotl in our Tenochtitlán bureau.

© Aztec Broadcasting Corporation (1519)

[Anton Schauble edited this piece.]

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.

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