Time Machine Paradox
Updated: Oct 14, 2020
The time machine paradox first crossed my mind some years ago. I was speaking among friends about UFO sightings, and the possibility of extraterrestrials visiting the planet.
I believe, with the sheer vastness of the known universe alone, there is intelligent life somewhere out there. However, that same vastness creates some very complex problems with space and time when it comes to traversing the great distances.
It occurred to me. If some extraterrestrial species was actually capable of such immense feats of technology and science, to control wormholes, create warp drives, or whatever means necessary to deal with traveling extreme distances in space. Why would they be involved in anything remotely like what conspiracy theorist believe is happening, with the crashes, cover-ups, and ongoing mysterious sightings?
Furthermore, if these significantly advanced beings wanted to not be discovered, they would certainly have the technology to remain unseen. Even if by some remote chance an accident happened that cannot be avoided, like the infamous Rosewell incident. I doubt these extraterrestrials would continue to operate on a level within these stories of human conspiracies. There would be no cloak and dagger with continued mysterious sightings for decades. It seems if these beings are that advanced, they would quickly clean up the accident, and vanish, working to prevent any further contact in the future.
Meanwhile, I would think if advanced extraterrestrials didn't care to stay hidden, they would surely just make themselves known to all humanity. If they were a benevolent race, they probably wouldn't want to risk offsetting the balance of power dealing with only certain nations. If they are sinister, lowering themselves to the level of humans would surely be unpleasant. It would then just be mass subjugation, or extermination, for us humans at that point.
So I find it unlikely we are being visited. Some top secret experimental air or space craft would be much more likely an explanation. But, I started to ask myself, what if I give the benefit of the doubt? Maybe some of these sightings and events really are happening. Some testimonials regarding sightings at least appear credible and convincing.
Considering for a moment that such incidents have happened, I pondered further. What could be a motive to stay hidden from the public? I don't buy excuses that humans, even remote communities, could not handle the revelations of not being alone in the universe. It especially doesn't make sense in the 21st century.
Then it hit me. What about the notion of time travelers? Such stories of UFO conspiracies can in some light begin to make more sense when applied to time travel. Perhaps the idea that the unusual appearance of these alien beings is actually because they're some sort of genetically engineered cybernetic hybrid, or bio-organic drone, designed for the stresses of time travel. More importantly, a time traveler might have the motive to stay hidden. That motive could be related to a paradox.
Of course, assumptions have to be made about time travel. In particular, that the traveler is moving on the same timeline wherein their actions have consequences - as portrayed in as vast amount of Sci-Fi literature and film - as opposed to creating alternate timelines, a self-correcting timeline, or other hypotheses. Such a consequential timeline brings the dangers of altering the past, like the grandfather paradox. It is within this timeline model that the time machine paradox also arises.
When actions in the past have consequences on the travelers originating timeline, there are many things that can go wrong. Altering many different things can create paradoxes, the butterfly effect. The factor being considered now is the time machine itself, and what happens if it becomes public knowledge to those in the modern age that it exists.
Science, like many things in this world, is influenced by everyday life. Whether it is a need seeking a solution, a simple observation of the world, or a fictional story of what could be, scientists can find inspiration all over. So, if international headlines announce in overwhelming chorus that time travelers have arrived from the distant future, it would certainly influence scientists to begin looking for how this time travel was possible. Even without further help from, or even observation of, the travelers themselves. Curious minds would be more determined than ever to discover what they now know is possible.
With the new found knowledge that time travel is possible, vast amounts of time and finances would be placed on uncovering just how. This would likely cause the scientific breakthrough to occur sooner than it did within the timeline from which the first time travelers came. Meaning that the series of events which created the time machine in the original timeline may no longer exist. The time travelers themselves may no longer exist in the drastically altered future where time travel was discovered earlier. This scenario would create a strong motive to keep time travel secret in this day and age.
Much of what is believed in modern alien conspiracy begins to make a little more sense when applied to a model of time travel on a consequential timeline. Such travelers would have far more interest in humanity. They may be more willing to risk interaction. It might make more sense to work with governments to maintain the secret if accidentally discovered. They could see higher value in abductions to study genetic deviations over time. More interest leads to more frequent visits. That could lead to more chances of accidents and sightings. There could be time travel tourism in the far future for all we know, and the sightings are just private commerce and individuals breaking the rules. Rules that exist to protect the future from the time machine paradox.
I can see a far flung future where our human/AI cybernetic hybrid ancestors plug into some sort of pod or program to pilot a bio-organic drone made specifically for time travel. Such a bipedal drone might be slim to minimalism mass, pale to reflect light energy well, with big dark eyes to offer optimal sensory feedback. There could be travelers with goals from scientific to recreational. There could even be good and bad travelers, with time cops policing the timeline. It is not so far fetched as to be impossible.
We humans already know time travel is possible in some cases. Such as with the time dilation created when approaching the speed of light or massive gravitational forces. It has been postulated by physicists that wormholes could be used to travel into the past as well as far distances. For all we know, it could be easier to traverse time than distant space. It is even possible in a multidimensional universe that consequential timelines still exist. It could be that in a multiverse, if one were able to travel through time, some unknown force would make it difficult to travel to other timelines, maintaining a consequential timeline. It could also possible that the timeline simply self-corrects as laid out in the H.G. Wells time travel classic, "The Time Machine". No one knows for sure, and that is what makes it so intriguing to ponder.
So next time you see, or hear about, something that cannot be explained, don't be afraid to let the mind wander, because great things both fact and fiction begin with curiosity and creativity. Who knows, it might just be a mysterious traveler from the far future trying to avoid a time machine paradox.