We’re seeing more and more talk about extraterrestrial life and UFOs. Just a few weeks ago, Congress met to talk about the possibility of UFOs invading our air space. Whether they are from a foreign nation, or a faraway planet has yet to be determined.
Now, there are more scientists talking about SETI – the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. By figuring out ways to listen to communications and even send out our own communications, we may finally get some answers. Are we alone in the universe?
There’s just one problem with sending out a message – we could get a response.
Supposedly, there is the possibility of four civilizations within the Milky Way galaxy. And if we figure out a way to communicate with them, they could attack.
We’ve already seen a global pandemic. An alien attack would be the next big thing for people to scream, “Are you kidding me?”
In all seriousness, though, we have to consider the possibility that communicating with another intelligent civilization in our galaxy may not be all about technological discoveries. It could be starting a war…
Stephen Hawking’s words seem to resonate right about now. He famously said that “If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for Native Americans.”
These words have been used to discourage the practice of METI – messaging extraterrestrial intelligence.
One paper, as discussed heavily in Vice, suggested that are thought to be four “malicious extraterrestrial civilizations” within our galaxy. The paper, “Estimating the Prevalence of Malicious Extraterrestrial Civilizations” was written by Alberto Caballero, a Ph.D. student at the Spanish University of Vigo.
Astronomers are excited about the idea that there may be life on other planets. They want to do more than make the discovery. They want to be able to communicate. This means that they will be sending messages into space in hopes that some intelligent species will respond. They believe that taking an active approach will provide better results than simply scanning the galaxy with satellites and other listening devices.
This brings us to the WOW! Signal, which cannot be discounted. It was a burst of radio waves discovered by the Big Ear telescope at Ohio State University back in 1977. The signal lasted for a little over a minute and included alphanumeric code. It’s the best signal we’ve received since the SETI program began over 60 years ago.
Caballero is now claiming that he’s pinpointed the source of the WOW! Signal. While he’s published his findings in the International Journal of Astrobiology, Interesting Engineering is quick to point out that “Caballero’s work is more of a thought experiment and has not been verified by astronomers.”
After extrapolating some numbers based on the conflicts here on earth and the number of exoplanets discovered in the Milky Way, Caballero has come up with the number four. By the way, Claudio Maccone, an Italian SETI scientist, has estimated that there are approximately 15,785 civilizations across the Milky Way galaxy.
We’ve just gotten the Pentagon to agree to declassify information about UFOs so that we can see who (or what) has been invading our skies and messing with Navy pilots. It’s highly unlikely that they’ll tell us about messages received from outer space.
We don’t need everyone going into mass hysteria about the planet being invaded…
Of course, the likelihood of being invaded by an extraterrestrial civilization is about as likely as an asteroid hitting our planet. Still, do we really want to take the chance by sending out communications? We might want to listen to Hawking on this one…