Does extraterrestrial life exist, and if so, has it been to Earth? There is no concrete scientific evidence that would point to a “yes” answer to this question, but UFO enthusiasts firmly believe there is something out there and that it has been here. But as much as this group of people believes and lobbies astronomers to fund this sort of research, not surprisingly a major of the scientists say “no.”
Lord Martin Rees, the official UK Royal Astronomer, tells the Huffington Post that UFOs do not exist but commends their believers for their sincerity and passion. Although the subject is of great interest, there is no scientific evidence that says otherwise.
“We should look by all possible techniques,” Rees said. “We’ve no idea what’s out there, and so we should look for anything that might seem to be some sort of artifact rather than something natural.”
Rees, author of the new book From Here to Infinity: A Vision for the Future of Science, believes there may be extraterrestrial life out there, but more research needs to go into exploration rather than funding notions of UFOs. The British astronomer has spent nearly 40 years looking at the stars in the night sky and remains “utterly unconvinced” that any aliens have come to Earth.
“I think most astronomers would dismiss these,” Rees said. “I dismiss them because if aliens had made the great effort to traverse interstellar distances to come here, they wouldn’t just meet a few well-known cranks, make a few circles in corn fields and go away again.”
SETI Institute senior astronomer Seth Shostak also believes these claims to be bunk. Shostak receives countless emails from UFO enthusiasts stating their dissatisfaction toward modern astronomers who don’t take them seriously. These emails describe “alien sightings, extraterrestrial plans for Earth, and agitated screeds about the reluctance of scientists to take the whole subject seriously.”