Fox Mulder would be fist-pumping, woo-hooing and high-fiving his way out of the mental hospital right now ... if he were, you know, a real human being.
I invoke the memory of the co-lead character of the fondly remembered TV series "The X-Files" because last week the U.S. government 'fessed up to the actual existence of Area 51 in the Nevada desert northwest of Las Vegas. Area 51, otherwise known as Groom Lake, is the place long suspected of being ground zero for super-secret high-tech military programs.
But since the government would never confirm the base was real, it has for decades captured the public's curiosity not unlike the mystery of KSL News weekend anchor Keith McCord's hair: real or fake?
Conspiracy theorists made a living off the government's reluctance to confirm the base's existence or its mission, speculating that lots of secret James Bond-and-Q-type stuff was going on.
In fact, a declassified document verifies that back in the 1950s the U-2 spy plane was tested there, and in subsequent years so was the SR-71 Blackbird -- coolest aircraft ever; see one at the Hill Aerospace Museum -- the F-117A stealth fighter and B-2 stealth bomber.
And while that's fine, there was nary a word about what people really want to know: Where are the alien bodies from the 1947 Roswell, N.M., crash? Because most Americans, whether or not they will admit it publicly, are pretty certain there are space-being corpses in a fancy meat locker at Area 51.
But while I loved "The X-Files" and have a soft spot for movies, TV series and books about government conspiracies and the like, I'm not one of the believers.
Oswald alone murdered JFK, and Lyndon Johnson didn't put him up to it.
Neil Armstrong actually walked on the lunar surface. (Which doesn't mean you shouldn't see "Capricorn One," a genuinely fun 1970s-era movie about a NASA-faked Mars expedition.)
Muslim radicals, not President George W. Bush and the U.S. government, caused the World Trade Center towers to fall, crashed Flight 93 into Pennsylvania farmland and punched a hole in the Pentagon. For the love of Pete, people, put a fork in it.
And the List of Things Don Doesn't Believe goes on and on.
But here's the reason I don't think the government is stashing alien bodies at Groom Lake or anywhere else: The elected leaders and bureaucrats who run this nation of ours are worse at keeping secrets than 12-year-old girls at a slumber party or Carlos Danger's "secret" sexting friends.
The government can't even keep a lid on the fact that the CIA/NSA/FBI/etc. listen in on al-Qaida party-line calls. They can't keep the likes of Bradley/Chelsea Manning or Mark Snowden from shipping vast quantities of classified documents and information to Wikileaks.
If there really had been alien bodies recovered in Roswell -- or anywhere -- they'd be under glass in the lobby of a Vegas resort hotel and casino, with an Elvis impersonator serving as museum docent. (In case you were wondering: The King died on a toilet in 1977.)
The truth has a way of leaking out. Aliens would be a secret too big to contain. Everyone who's worked at Area 51 over the years had to take national-security oaths. Still, they worked on the aforementioned black-budget programs at what they all called "The Ranch" and still managed to tell bits and pieces to spouses, boyfriends and/or girlfriends and the occasional AM-band, late-night radio talk-show host.
Would it be great if there really were aliens? Sure. But until Mulder AND Scully sneak me into that Area 51 bunker, it's all hokum to me.
Email Don Porter about your favorite "X-Files" episodes at firstname.lastname@example.org.