Did you catch this item in the morning news?
Former NASA astronaut and moon-walker Dr. Edgar Mitchell – a veteran of the Apollo 14 mission – has stunningly claimed aliens exist.
And he says extra-terrestrials have visited Earth on several occasions – but the alien contact has been repeatedly covered up by governments for six decades.
Chillingly, he claimed our technology is “not nearly as sophisticated” as theirs and “had they been hostile”, he warned “we would be been gone by now”.
I’ll give you a second to laugh and begin working on some jokes in your head. See what you can do with “tin foil helmet.”
But now let’s think about this. Is Mitchell a wackadoo? Maybe he used to be rational but now, at age 77, he’s simply wandered around the bend? These are certainly possibilities, but let’s remember – he’s a PhD who walked on the moon. That’s a little tougher source to dismiss than the average liquored-up hillbilly who gets abducted along a deserted road in the Mississippi outback.
Let’s begin with a bit of context. Recent data back from the Mars explorer mission indicate that the Red Planet “once hosted vast lakes, flowing rivers, even oceans. Water, of course, is an essential building block for life as we know it. So where there’s water, there could theoretically be life.
For most of my life I’ve heard the argument that in a universe with billions of stars and solar systems, the odds that the Earth was the only place with life were pretty thin. But now we need to retinker that equation, because if the conditions for life exist or existed on two adjacent planets in the same system, it’s more than reasonable to assume that the same conditions exist in potentially millions of other spots around the universe, right?
None of this proves there’s alien life, of course, but you have to be as silly to dismiss the possibility as you would to assume that there’s a thumping Rigellian metropolis hidden beneath the Nevada desert.
Next issue: life â‰ advanced intelligence. Very true. Even Crichton posited in The Andromeda Strain that our eventual first encounter would be with stray microscopic life floating around in space. And a lot had to go right for us to evolve to our current state, such as it is. So what are the odds that an alien society could be sufficiently advanced to have the kind of space travel needed to traverse galaxies?
Well, first, let’s calculate the odds that a culture could have evolved to roughly our level. Billions of planets, and say a .0000001% chance per. Do your own math, and play along for fun.
Now, how much older would a society have to be in order to evolve the kind of technology we’re talking about? Thousands of years, surely?
Maybe not. Consider our technology curve over just the last 50 years. Now ask yourself – if things progress along a similar curve for another 200 years, and if we were to make space exploration a priority (yeah, I know, a lot of “if” in that equation), what might we be capable of? Colonization of our solar system seems a given, at the very least, and it isn’t hard to imagine development of interstellar travel technology.
On a cosmological scale, 500 years is as a microsecond, so it’s plausible that a society not that much older than ours would have cultivated the technology necessary to reach us.
But how would they find us? That’s the easy part. We’ve been squirting all kinds of transmissions into space for decades (remember Contact?) The alien society we’re theorizing about would certainly have something like SETI, and if they had the tech needed to get here then their search tech would be far more advanced than ours.
I’m not even going to address the “why would the government cover it up?” question. We can certainly entertain the “could the government successfully cover it up?” question – in fact, that strikes me as the weakest part of Mitchell’s whole assertion. But really, this isn’t my point at all.
Dr. Mitchell may or may not be nuts, but the realm of scientific plausibility doesn’t allow us to dismiss his claims as readily as we might want to. I believe the evidence suggests every likelihood that alien life probably exists, and if it does there’s no way to rule out the existence of societies that are advanced enough to find us. This doesn’t mean that they are here, to be sure, only that the idea isn’t as crazy as we may have once thought.
We’ve speculated about life on other planets for a very long time, but recent evidence from the surface of Mars, I believe, changes the tone of those speculations in ways that have me laughing at Dr. Mitchell a lot less than I might have five years ago.
Thx to Greg Stene for passing this item along.