Do you believe?

Movie aliens are big, but teens are divided on the possibility of alien life in the real world

Movie aliens are big, but teens are divided on the possibility of alien life in the real world

June 28, 2005|By JULIE E. GREENE

They stand on opposing sides of an age-old debate.

One a believer. One not.

One says yes and steps up to explain why as quickly as the other says no, stepping back.

"No" because it "just seems ? out there," says Chris Michanco, 15, of Martinsburg, W.Va.

But, older brother Wade, 16, isn't so sure "they" have always been, as Chris put it, "out there."

"They" are aliens.

The ETs in Steven Spielberg's version of "War of the Worlds" to be released Wednesday, June 29, aren't so friendly.

But what about reality, or just conjecture?

"The Roswell incident seemed too much of a coverup," Wade says, explaining why he thinks there could be alien life. Some people believe the U.S. military recovered a UFO that crashed in New Mexico in 1947 and won't admit that's what it was.


Preposterous or plausible?

Tri-State-area teens recently answered this question, pondering the possibility of alien life.

Some giggled or snickered, backing away as if they had been approached by an alien instead of the question of their existence. Others stepped up to explain, sometimes with statistics, just how it could be possible.

"Yes, I believe there is life beyond our solar system, quite possibly intelligent," says Tristan Band, 16, of Keedysville.

"There's no way to know because we've never seen one, but it's likely to look like nothing we ever imagined," Tristan says. "Just like people here on earth, some of it could be friendly, but quite a bit of it could be hostile."

When asked if they believe in alien life, friends Miriam Briceño, 16, and Wanda Garcia, 15, both of Frederick, Md., giggled.

"No. Just don't," Miriam answered. She just doesn't think it's scientifically possible.

Wanda agreed with her friend at first, but then wavered.

"It probably could. Don't think we'll ever see them," she says.

Tyler Llewellyn, 16, of Hagerstown, doesn't think Earth is the only planet with water orbiting a star so there is alien life, somewhere.

"There are other places like that, but we just don't have the telescopes to see them," Tyler says. The life-forms are probably carbon-based, like humans, and possibly humanoid.

Caroline Kreiger, 14, of Hagerstown, says there might be life beyond Earth.

"You'll never know," she says. "I hope it's friendly."

"I would have to say no because I don't think that's something I believe in. It's just not in my league (or realm of possibility)," says Chealsy Vidas, 12, of Hagerstown.

Brandon Harrell, 16, of Hagerstown, guesses he doesn't believe in aliens just because it "sounds crazy."

Carlos Calderon, 13, of Sharpsburg, believes there could be alien life and that it has advanced technology.

Asked what it could look like, Carlos says, "What we think it looks like. Weird with big eyes."

However he doesn't think they'd be friendly. More likely they'd be out to "kill us all."

Justin Cole, 16, of Martinsburg, says he'll believe in aliens until somebody proves otherwise.

Pondering whether they could be friend or foe is a scary thought, Justin says.

"If they're coming and shooting, I don't think they're going to be friendly," he says.

"I don't know. I watch a lot of sci-fi shows. It's always a possibility," says Holly Culbertson, 13, of Chambersburg, Pa. "Just because the universe is so big and so vast. It doesn't mean there can't be other things out there."

"There could be some that are friendly and some that aren't. There could be some that look like us and some that are different," Holly says.

"I don't know if there's alien life out there, but there might be some kind of manifestation ? of extraterrestrial life," says Maisheda Lee-Lucas, 16, of Frederick.

"I do believe there might be something out there, but it's not humanoid," Maisheda says.

Maisheda's younger sister, Lakourdjai, 12, had a more specific alien image in mind thanks to a character in the Rugrats' "All Grown Up" movie who has described aliens.

"I think they're green with these little antennae things that stick out," she says, holding two fingers above her head. "Big eyes, big mouth, talk all the time, but they talk in their own language."

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