Mars has been colonized.
Bear with me on this one. Over the years I've found small items which refer to a Mars colony. I'm not certain if one exists, or if someone has been yanking my chain. Here is what I've found:
20 odd years before, a joint mission by NASA and SpaceX has brought the first group of humans on the lonely red planet. Since then, Colony One has grown into a sprawling underground complex operated by some 200 astronauts and scientists from 19 nations.
With the completion of its first fully functional nuclear power plant complex 2 years before, dubbed Cornucopia One, the research station now has abundant energy to ensure its continued safe occupation and rapid expansion.
The hunt for the fabled green men had been relegated to a far second place against the search for resources to keep the Mars colony running. After 5 exciting years of direct terrestrial exploration and more than 20 years prior, using remotely operated rovers, most scientists have given up on the prospect of finding evidence of past Martian life. The red sands of the desert planet had simply been too efficient at burying everything.
A deep reconnaissance drone spotted a shiny object protruding from the sand around 13 miles away from home base. Subsequent exploratory missions using drones, unmanned rovers and, much, much later, teams of archeologists unearthed, or as Prasad Kulkarni would have it, unmarsed an ancient alien site of unknown origin.
In the months that followed, Earth news was replete with exciting discoveries of previously unknown exotic materials, strange devices of unfamiliar function, and an equally abundant collection of conspiracy theories.
Although most of the electronics found within the ruins had long since eroded, one particular object, a heavy, rectangular chunk of unknown composite material, had sparked renewed interest in the archeological community due to the cryptic glyphs and drawing that it contained.
After many more years of intense scrutiny and debate, a team of scientists announced that Isotopic dating revealed that the object was made around the time that life on Earth began, give or take a few million years.
Another team disclosed that the drawing appeared to be a map to the authorsí home world. Using computer simulations and educated guesswork, astronomers traced its origin to a long extinct star system.
Further evidence suggested that these ancient aliens seeded life on Venus, Earth and Mars, and guided the evolution of early life for about a billion years before mysteriously disappearing.
Consequently, many questions arose from these discoveries, questions that scientists from all over the world will endeavor to answer in the coming decades.
Why did they leave?
Did they survive the death of their star, or the slow ravage of time?
If they endured, where are they now?
Are they still observing us, and perhaps guiding our evolution?
Will they ever return?
Now, going back to the OPís question, what is so scary about this narrative? Well, I can think of a few.
For those who believe that life is sacred and must be cherished, the Universe is indifferent to life. It will obliterate, consume, smash, scorch and freeze planets without regard to the biology that thrives within.
For nationalists who believe that their country represents the pinnacle of human society, no matter how powerful or advanced or resilient a civilizations is, it will eventually perish, either by natural means or through its own folly.
For those who seek divine salvation, Religion is nothing more than the aftermath of genetic imprinting passed down through eons of evolution that pays homage to our creators, that our belief in an omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent divine being, for whom billions have warred and died over, is nothing but an illusion.
In simple terms, the scariest thing we could possibly discover in our search for alien life is that everything that we know about life, our culture, our civilization, and perhaps, even ourselves, is wrong.