Is it just me, or does it seem like the government has admitted there are UFOs?

And by "just me" I mean me, "60 Minutes," New Yorker magazine and other mainstream media outlets that recently did stories on military-verified encounters. The Navy and Air Force used to be so tight-lipped about these things they couldn't suck soup through a pipette, and now they can't stop releasing footage of hypersonic Tic Tac pellets.

Personally, I wouldn't be surprised. I'm one of those credulous fools who thinks there's probably life elsewhere — growing up in Fargo, we believed in Minneapolis, which some said was just a crazy tale — but until recently I've never seen any credible evidence.

Let's get some common cliches out of the way.

• "Why would aliens be interested in us? We're so stupid, lol."

Let's say you saw an anthill in your backyard in June. In July, you noted that the ants had constructed a small hydroelectric dam and had strung power lines. In August, you observed the ants launch a rocket, which came down in Edina, planted a flag and returned to your backyard. Now, you can get to Edina in a matter of minutes in a high-tech car, but I think you'd still be impressed with the ants.

• "The government has hidden the truth because people would panic."

Really? You learn that there are real UFOs, and you run to Target and buy toilet paper? People might panic if something landed in their yard and a grasshopper in a spacesuit got out and laid waste to everything with a heat ray. But just learning UFOs aren't from Earth would be replaced tomorrow with some other thought, like, "I'm a month past my semiannual dental cleaning." It would be something we factor in as we go along.

• "People can't handle the idea of more advanced civilizations. It would upset our concept of the universe and our role in it."

Uh-huh. That's why "Star Trek" and "Star Wars" made billions of dollars.

• "It's all a coverup to hide our own advanced tech."

If so, what did you expect them to say? "Ever since these grainy, easy-to-fake videos started appearing on YouTube, there's been speculation that they're actually secret government weapons developed at Area 52. No, not Area 51; that's a cover story for Area 52, which is actually in Hibbing.

"Now that many people have seen these inconclusive videos, we might as well admit that these are, indeed, highly advanced U.S. special weapons, and we wish no one had asked, because we kind of wanted them to be a surprise someday. Remember how everyone was stunned in the first Gulf War when we could put a missile through a window and show you video as it happened? Heck, we'd had that since 1926."

So what would I do if someone ran up and shouted that a UFO had landed in the Southdale parking lot? I'd say, "Probably the old Herberger's side, there's always lots of room there." Then I would drive over — not to see for myself, but to pick up something at Trader Joe's, because there wouldn't be a line.

P.S.: Kidding. I would be thrilled to have lived to see this day. Also, I would go to Cub. • 612-673-7858 • Twitter: @Lileks •