Are we alone? That simple question has been posited many times by scientists, theorists, true believers and even those non-believers. Are we humans the only life form in the estimated 100 to 200 billion galaxies that comprise the universe? The answer to whether aliens exist isn’t simple.
THE SCIENCE OF ALIEN LIFE
What Is An Alien?
To many when you mention the word “alien” visions of John Hurt’s Kane come to mind. You know that famous scene where Kane lies across the table, writhing in pain, as the alien bursts out of his chest. Man’s imagination as to what an alien actually is holds no bounds.
As a society we have come up with every imaginable creature we think an alien could represent. From the little green men to Superman. From Alien to E.T. From Predator to Prawns. We have Mr. Spock and Starman. We also have Mars Attacks! and the Klendathu Bugs from Starship Troopers. Of course, we also have Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Our imagination has put a face to every conceivable notion of alien.
Unfortunately, reality is not in the movies or a science fiction book. Alien life, or extraterrestrial life, is something that comes from outside our Earth, not originating on Earth. And while there are plenty of instances where we can question the existence of other life forms, the one thing we are lacking is definitive proof. Right?
Enrico Fermi and His Paradox
While this would be a great rock band name, Enrico Fermi was an Italian-American Nobel Prize winning Physicist who is well-known as being the creator of Chicago-Pile 1, the world’s first nuclear reactor. So what is the brilliant Fermi doing in an alien story? Well, he is also author of the Fermi Paradox. As the story goes, Fermi was having lunch with co-worker at the Los Alamos National Laboratory when he asked the question, “Where are they?” He was referring to aliens, of course. But what is this paradox?
This paradox, or argument if you will, that is the conflict that probability and scale says intelligent life should be common in the universe versus the fact that there is a complete lack of evidence showing there is any intelligent life out there.
While Fermi introduced numbers into his paradox (an estimated number of stars in the Milky Way along with an estimated number of observable stars in the universe), Dr. Frank Drake, SETI Institute founder, introduced his Drake equation which is a way of “estimating the number of technological civilizations that may exist in our galaxy.”
How do we reconcile that or do we even try? With the vastness of our universe, how is it possible that we have not even one shred of evidence of life outside of our planet? The most frustrating issue with the Fermi Paradox, and the Drake equation for that matter, is that there is no answer.
Mufon UFO Network
There are many groups out there who are in search of alien life. One of the groups dedicated to finding other life forms is called the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON).
Their mission statement, “The Scientific Study of UFOs for the Benefit of Humanity”, pretty much says it all. According to MUFON’s executive Director Jan Harzan, they are an organization that “basically collects sighting reports from the public and then goes and investigates them.”
MUFON is one of the world’s leading researchers when it comes to UFOs. Once they investigate, they input their date into the MUFON database that researchers all over the world use. MUFON also promotes UFO research as well as educating the public on their findings.
Another such group is the SETI Institute. SETI is not like MUFON in the hunt for UFOs but more on the side of finding life. They lean more on the side of exploration, teaming up with various entities to create technologies that allow us to explore the deep recesses of space, looking for planets that may hold signs of life, and where we have found possible signs of life then determine what exactly could live there.
Regardless of what our government wants us to believe, they are surely in the business of wanting to find out how alone we really are.
It has been long known that researchers have been able to pick up on various radio signals from deep in space. The questions as to who and what and why can’t be answered but we do know they are out there.
Typically, these radio signals come in bursts or fast radio bursts (FRB) and are a millisecond long. When these FRBs repeat, its sporadic or sometimes in a cluster. But between September 2018 and October 2019, researchers noticed a pattern. The bursts would occur every 16.35 days. The signal would release a burst or two each hour for four days, then go silent for 12. This pattern continued for over the course of a year allowing researchers to find its origin. They were able to trace these FRBs to a massive spiral galaxy located nearly 500 million light-years away.
While none of the information researchers have gleaned shows alien interaction, one can never tell since we are dealing with an event that is taking place 500 million light-years from Earth.
It was 1947 in Roswell, New Mexico when the crash occurred. Was it a weather balloon or something otherworldly? One thing most can agree upon is that something crashed. What led to the “flying saucers” idea to really take hold was that earlier that summer flying saucer stories had already been making their rounds in national newspapers such as the NY Times, so it was definitely on the mind of America.
Rancher W.W. “Mac” Brazel found some suspicious wreckage on his property (some 75 miles from Roswell) and he immediately brought in the local sheriff, who then took it to the commanding officer of the Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF). That very next day the RAAF issued a statement confirming the finding and that, in fact, it was a flying disc that they had retrieved. But the following day after the Roswell Daily Record ran their story about the finding, the U.S. Army reversed course claiming it was a weather balloon that actually had crashed.
For decades many were skeptical of the governments change. It wasn’t until 1994 when the U.S. Air Force released their own report saying the Army weather balloon claim was false and what it really had been was a spy device they had been testing.
But what about the bodies and the eyewitnesses who claim to have seen these alien bodies taken from the wreckage? Glenn Dennis ran a funeral home back in 1947 and after many, many years he decided to finally talk. One of his first comments he made in 1989 to UFO Researcher Stanton Friedman was that the incident could be “the biggest hoax of the millennium or . . . the biggest story of the millennium.”
He recalled during that time how he began to get phone calls wanting to know the best way to handle small bodies and what is the best way to preserve bodies that had been exposed to the elements. He then shared his experience with a nurse from the base who described to him the three alien bodies that medical experts were examining at the base. She even provided drawings of them on a prescription pad. After they split, with the nurse telling Friedman she’d reach out to him to further discuss, he never saw nor heard from her again.
In 1997 a more extensive follow-up report was given by the U.S. Air Force claiming the bodies found were parachute test dummies. This has done nothing to stop the conspiracy theorists continue on their campaign to prove Roswell was ground zero in a flying saucer crash.
If conspiracy is your thing, look no further than Homey Airport. If that name is not familiar to you, maybe it’s because it holds plenty of Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information. Well that and possibly for the fact that we know it as Area 51.
Area 51 is located about 83 miles from Las Vegas Nevada on what many call the Extraterrestrial Highway. The base itself has never been officially declared a secret base which seems strange since in 2005 a Freedom of Information Act request was filed concerning the base and it wasn’t until 2013 that the CIA publicly acknowledged that the base even existed.
What truly goes on there we may never fully know or understand. But those conspiracy people, they have their thoughts. For instance, this is where they believe the flying saucer from Roswell now resides. The prevailing thought is that our government has it and is trying to reverse engineer the spacecraft. There is also rumor that our government conducts meetings with extraterrestrials at the secret base.
There have been other stories emanating from Area 51. One gentleman, Bob Lazar, turned whistleblower against Area 51 claiming he had been hired to work at the facility to help reverse engineer one of the spacecrafts. His claim included the fact that the spacecraft ran on an antimatter reactor and that he also read official government documents describing alien involvement with humans for over 10,000 years. His story was rejected by many who claim Lazar could never produce any proof of his story.
Another Area 51 worker described working on the Roswell spacecraft saying that the craft was also used to train pilots on alien technology. This worker also claimed to have worked with an alien they called J-Rod who was known as a “telepathic translator.”
Area 51 was recently in the news for more unwanted publicity when an anonymous Facebook posting set an event called Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop Us All. The event was to get as many people as possible to enter Area 51 in search of extraterrestrials. While the creator of the posting eventually called it a hoax, over 2 million people responded to it as “going” while another 1.5 million stated they were “interested.”
The Air Force responded by saying they knew of this planned event and in a statement to the Washington Post said, “(Area 51) is an open training range for the U.S. Air Force, and we would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces. The U.S. Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets.”
When all was said and done between 1,500 to 3,000 people showed up for the festivals while over 150 of them made it near the gates to Area 51. 40 or so went all the way to the gate with a handful being arrested.
CONFIRMED UFO SIGHTINGS
There have been thousands upon thousands of alien aircraft sightings. Some have been explained away, some have not. There has been plenty of UFOs caught on video, again, that can be explained away. But there are also some that just can’t be. Watch the following and decide for yourself.
What does it mean that our government is now acknowledging to some degree that these sightings are real? Is this proof positive that we are not alone? How much more proof would you need to say without a shadow of a doubt that there is something besides us out there?
Where Are They?
With a universe so massive, filled with stars and planets too many to truly count, just why haven’t we found other life forms? Perhaps one answer is the fact that the universe IS so massive. The possibility that life is out there, somewhere, is relatively high but just maybe it’s too far away for Earth.
If we look in just our own galaxy, the Milky Way, you will find a galaxy inhabited with around 100 billion stars in a solar system that is about 25,000 light years away from the center of our galaxy. To put this all in perspective, it would take our Sun and the solar system 250 million years to go around the center of the Milky Way. That’s a lot of space to cover. To give a little more perspective, a simple flight to Mars (which really isn’t simple at all) will take at least 7 months. So, while we have ability to see so much of the universe, our ability to explore is quite limited.
The Ongoing Search For Alien Life
Even though we’ve come up with nada (as far as the general public is aware) it doesn’t mean scientists have stopped looking. When we think “alien” we think as described above. But when scientists think “alien”, it could mean anything. Anything living outside of Earth. They are constantly in search of life form, whatever it may be and typically that starts with water. One reason why Mars is such a big deal is that it has already shown signs of prior water on the planet. Water equals life.
This all comes down to what we know we need as humans to survive. The problem with that is, how do we know what we need to survive is what an alien would need to survive. We are making assumptions based on human life forms.
The bottom line is, we just don’t know. There have been many “sightings”, there have been many instances where the possibility of alien interaction has been shown. But without proof positive, we will continue to ask that one simple question. Are we alone?