This just in from the NASA news wire: 11,000 light-years away from Earth, in the constellation Sagittarius, a massive galactic snake is slithering across the Universe. Of course, it isn’t a real lizard (the appellation is just some weird NASA Halloween humor) but the core of a sooty cloud larger than a dozen of our solar systems, which happens to be shaped sort of like a snake. Disappointing, I know; it would be nice, for once, to have something more interesting than dust, gas, and cold rocks bobbing around in the great beyond.
What if, maybe, outer space just isn’t where the action is? The human race has been glued the stars for centuries, eagerly seeking out radio bursts, blobs of light, and little green dudes; most of us feel the inevitability that if anything ever happens, it will come from the cosmos. This makes sense, of course: for all our textbooks about neutron stars and dark matter, we basically know diddlysquat about space, besides that it’s completely unlike anything we have down here.
In my daily research, I have recently come across a whole underworld of conspiracy theorists and alternative knowledge gurus who are convinced that outer space is so ten years ago. No no, they argue, in quest of the answer to the age-old question (Are We Alone?) we must not look to the outer reaches of the Universe, as we have been conditioned to do, but rather into the belly of our own seemingly benign planet. Space, they propose, is a ‘classic magician’s distraction.’ The real higher intelligence ain’t sending flying saucers from Zeta Reticuli or using its advanced star maps to navigate to Earth and mind-probe us; rather, it lives under the Earthen surface, in thousands of miles of underground tunnels, caverns and cave systems that date back from dinosaur-times.
Who are these higher beings? Not skinny, almond-eyed, bobble-headed aliens, which, incidentally, are referred to as ‘Greys’ in the Ufology community. They’re not little green men, Space Brothers, Venusians, Nords, or Pleiadeans, either. They are, according to a staggeringly large subset of the conspiracy theory Universe, reptilian humanoids. Right: intelligent, supernatural, and highly developed reptile-human hybrids, or Reptoids, which are capable of shape-shifting and allegedly control all the major secret societies, royal bloodlines, and governments on Earth.
Fuck space, right? Seven foot-tall subterranean-dwelling lizards are a galaxy more interesting.
The main proponent of this theory, or at least the most colorful one, is the impressively deadpan David Icke, who is somehow both a former professional soccer player and the former head of the UK Green Party. Icke, in a slew of books, speaking tours, and videos, claims that reptoids are the driving force behind a Da Vinci Code-style worldwide conspiracy that controls humanity. Not one to just dip his toe in the pool, he takes the concept all the way to the deep end, contending that everyone from George W. Bush (most believably, really) to the British Royal family are blood-drinking lizards with extra-terrestrial origins. Sure, it isn’t a huge stretch to imagine the entire Republican Party as a scaly crew of reptilian bastards (actually, it’s kind of fun), but the Queen of England as a minion of the lizard lords? Come on, the woman is not exactly a party animal.
Icke, for whom the reptoid/reptilian thing is only part of a much larger world view involving global conspiracies, borderline anti-Semitism, CIA mind-control, Masonic rituals, and general New-Age philosophy, claims he put together this theory after people world-around confided to him their experiences witnessing powerful political figures morph into lizards and back again. In a particularly lengthy and in-form interview, Icke declares, “I keep meeting people who tell me that they’ve seen people shape-shift into bloody reptiles.”
The second important subset of Reptoid Research falls under the jurisdiction of the slightly more moderate conspiracist John Rhodes, who was the first to seriously investigate and publicly present claims of reptilian-humanoid sightings by founding the Reptoids.com (seriously, check it out) Research Center in the late 90s. Rhodes contends that these cryptozoologic mysteries are not extra-terrestrial in nature, nor do they have anything at all to do with world governments. That kind of talk is just some knee-jerk collective fear of the current global political climate. His lizard men, rather, are evolved from dinosaurs. Yeah! Think about it: if any dinosaurs somehow survived the supposed meteorite impact that doomed their species, and if evolution were for real, then wouldn’t these survivors have evolved into something else? OK, forget about how birds are allegedly evolved from the dinosaurs. Imagine if they became bipedal humanoid intelligences instead! Imagine they still live in ice caves far from human contact! Can you wait until the polar ice caps melt? There will be a whole generation of dinosauroids wandering around, needing refugee housing. What a hell of a drain on the economy: we better call in the seven-foot blood lizard lords to take care of things. Come to think of it, we might as well just stick to the stars, right?
Still, on a sincere note, I know it’s easy to poke fun at the lizard men. I research these things as though they were fiction — it makes it easier, searching for the most salient points — and write about them as though they were truth, earnestly trying to get the point across. Still, I know it’s bullshit: I believe that the world is a feelingless rock with energies and the Universe is a ground for infinites, and nothing more. Sometimes, though, when I’m doing other things, I’m blindsided by the thought that some people really do believe in lizard people, for example, and that for them the world is a darkly malevolent, but purposeful place. This is what devastates me the most.