What If Aliens Are Here? The UFO UAP Phenomenon
Let me tell you a halloween story. Actually two of them, both contributing to my writing career and eventual youtube channels decades later. When I was a little kid in the early 1980’s, my father was a military contractor and field engineer.
That work required frequent travel and frequent moves, so I was a sort of contractor counterpart to a military brat. As you know, I have a keen interest in meteorites and here’s how that happened. When I was about 6 or 7, would have been around 1981 or 82, I was with my dad on a friend’s property located in an odd little town located about an hour north of St. Louis in rural
Missouri, my home state. This town is ironically named Louisiana, Missouri, and has all sorts of stories of odd phenomena surrounding it. As a skeptic and science minded person I take them with a grain of salt, but stories exist of Momo the Missouri monster, a kind of bigfoot or wildman that a local sheriff once tried to corner on a hill with his officers long ago only to close in and find nothing. There were also stories of cattle mutilations, haunted houses and tales of how the native americans avoided the area because they felt it was cursed. Take that as you will, but to a 7 year old, these accounts were spooky.
This story however is all too scientific, one that haunts me to this day. It was after midnight, the stars blazing overhead in the days before St. Louis’ growing sky glow started drowning them out, the men were spotting racoons with high powered flashlights, a sort of precursor to hunting them, though I never actually remember anyone actually doing that. Rather I think it was just a fun activity of going out in the middle of the night spotting nocturnal wildlife.
My dad’s friend Charlie told a story that’s captivated me ever since. He was walking on the shore of a pond on the property and noticed a large black rock that hadn’t been there the day before. He told of taking a hammer to it and breaking a piece off, suggesting it was stone rather than iron, and taking it to a local shop owner that knew something of science. They concluded that it was a meteorite. This blew my then young mind, the idea that a rock could fall from outer space.
It seemed mysterious, and not of this earth, but from somewhere else. This at a time when I was being exposed to movies such as the original film version of War of the Worlds where an object of this nature falls to the ground, only to herald our destruction at the hands of aliens until the bacteria save us. This has stayed with me all these years because if it was a meteorite, it was never investigated and is not in any of the literature, thusly somewhere in rural Pike county Missouri there lies a meteorite sitting on the shore of a pond forgotten after being discovered over 40 years ago. My dad died a few years ago sadly, but he did live long enough to see my erstwhile success on youtube and was an avid watcher of the channels. He once said to me, people sure like your voice, to which I replied yeah some do, but that it was something that wasn’t my doing to which he replied you’re welcome.
But herein is the second story, and is the original root of my interest in alien life and the Fermi Paradox. As a contractor, my dad had many military friends and contacts. At the time, would have been around 1985, in Nevada not far from Area 51, when I was around ten, my parents had guests for dinner related to my dad’s work. While they were in civilian dress, I had seen some of them before festooned with military brass, my dad many years later telling me that they were colonels and generals. I don’t remember much of the dinner conversation, except one key point. Amid the cigar smoke and after dinner drinks, there was a hushed conversation about rumors of the recovery of an object of alien origin in New Mexico many years before.
Just rumors being passed around, but again, my imagination was captivated with something that was once again from another world, but not merely a rock this time, but a purported piece of bonafide alien technology. The subjects I cover today were thus born, and a lifetime fascination with the question of are we alone. Fast forward to today, by far the most common question I get in my comments sections here and at Event Horizon is people asking what exactly is my take on the UAP/UFO phenomenon. This is closely followed by often angry comments that I’m ignoring the subject, and when I do sheepishly approach it in videos also come comments that I should pay it no mind as there is no proof.
The former is actually correct, I tend to avoid the topic because even though I’m interested and follow the study of it, I simply don’t know what it is after all these years, remember the word unidentified is ever present here, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t openly state that there was a taboo on it that’s been lessened of late, which is a good thing. But it would be silly if I sat around endlessly speculating about alien life on youtube without addressing the UFO subject directly. After all, it would be beyond silly if I ignored the possibility of close alien life, that’s just a recipe for how you can miss something important.
Now I should first preface this with a statement. I’m a skeptic at a certain level, but I’m also open minded. And my mind can be changed. I don’t even need extraordinary evidence, I merely need good evidence. We don’t yet have that with the UFO phenomenon. We have accounts, but word of mouth accounts aren’t very actionable scientifically, they can tell you something’s going on you should look into, and maybe where to look, but usually not much else, particularly in regards to the material nature of the phenomenon.
What I will tell you is this, I’ve seen enough to say that there’s something here, and it should be looked into rigorously by science. Where I am not a skeptic however is in If you’ve seen a UFO, I’m inclined to believe you. I have no doubt people see strange things in the sky that they can’t readily explain, and admittedly in 35 years of amateur astronomy, I have seen a few such things myself. For me though, strange lights in the sky do not lead me to the conclusion that I’m seeing aliens. And I’ll get to that, it’s a worse problem than you think than merely raw skepticism. There is also the problem that whatever it is, it could be weirder than aliens.
Likewise, when US Navy pilots present that they saw a UAP as in the famous Nimitz encounter, I tend to take their word for it. They are trained in aircraft recognition as well as trained to use the instruments detecting the object, and are best qualified to tell me that they saw something unidentified just as much as if they were to say they saw an aircraft of another nation state while on a patrol mission. So yes, people see strange things in the sky.
Sometimes they are misidentifications, sometimes hoaxes, but sometimes they are truly unexplained and may represent something potentially earth-shakingly important. The discovery of the presence of an alien civilization in our solar system would be the most titanic discovery in human history. That can’t be understated, as it completely changes and even defines our place in the universe.
If it’s weirder than aliens, it would change all paradigms we have in our understanding of our existence. The subject is worth a serious look. And it’s happening.
Harvard’s Galileo Project headed by Avi Loeb, and an all star team of credible mainstream scientists have decided to take a fresh look and try to collect actionable data on the UFO/UAP phenomenon. NASA has also assembled a panel of scientists to look into the matter, and also the Pentagon, along with a project by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics led by Ryan Graves, a US Navy pilot that saw a UAP on duty from an aircraft, and planetary scientist Dr. Ravi Kopparapu. And others, top scientists are now actively looking into UAP from multiple angles.
But here’s where this gets weird. This has all happened before. And the ultimate conclusions were strange indeed. Now many of you familiar with this subject know about Project Bluebook, a half-hearted US government attempt to probe the phenomenon that was more out to debunk than to take a serious, honest look. It in itself replaced previous investigations post world war II. The chief scientist of Bluebook was Dr. J. Allen Hynek, an astronomer at Northwestern
University. He was famous during his tenure in Project Bluebook to have dismissed a multiple witness UFO sighting as swamp gas, which was silly even from a skeptical point of view. He later after much more study privately after the project ended concluded that there was something to the UFO phenomenon. His ultimate conclusions were somewhat surprising. More on that in a bit.
So let me spin a yarn of four accredited scientists that looked into the UFO phenomenon in the past before our current crop of scientists got into the game. The first was Dr. Donald Menzel, an astrophysicist at Harvard that held the astronomy department chair in the 1940’s that decades later would be held by none other than Avi Loeb.
Dr. Menzel is interesting in that he actually saw a UFO or what he thought was one before identifying it as natural. His conclusions at the end of his period of study were that the accounts he saw were all due to misinterpretations of natural phenomena, but with a caveat, he also was haunted by a suspicion that there may be something about our atmosphere that we do not currently have an understanding of. Two other scientists were again Dr. J. Allen Hynek and his associate astronomer and information
scientist Dr. Jaques Vallee. They looked deeply into it, and Dr. Vallee still does, and their conclusion was that the phenomenon actually appears too broad for merely an alien explanation. I’ve seen why, looking at accounts sometimes the UFO or UAP behaves irrationally, such as dumping large amounts of molten metal as has happened in several cases and yes samples exist, but seem to be of earthly isotopic makeup. Or zipping around aimlessly with no clear purpose other than to violate the laws of physics. All too often there is some component of irrationality to the phenomenon, and quite frankly, one does not cross vast distances of space by being irrational.
The fourth scientist is the most surprising, it was atmospheric scientist Dr. James E. McDonald. Dr. McDonald was probably the most qualified scientist ever to look into the UFO phenomenon. You’d normally think it’s the astronomers, but in reality astronomers study natural phenomena in the universe, they’re looking at the composition of stars, the behavior of galaxies and the beginnings of the universe. Something in the atmosphere is not really their bag, though there is a healthy subset within astronomy doing SETI.
You don’t find alien life if you don’t look everywhere it could be. The atmosphere was Dr. McDonald’s specialty however, his main field was the study of cloud formation, and anything going on in the atmosphere is of interest in his specialization, that’s how discoveries are made.
But after many years of studying the phenomenon, his conclusion was that the alien origin hypothesis for UFOs was the least worst one. In other words, he leaned towards aliens. And again, it is in principle possible that whatever this is, it could be even stranger than aliens. Dr. McDonald paid a heavy price for his interest in UFOs. A prominent and very vocal arch skeptic at the time did everything he could to ruin Dr. McDonald, including getting his cloud research funding canceled.
Ultimately, McDonald’s wife divorced him as his career was going down in flames after a congressional testimony where he was painted publically as a UFO kook by a congressman with a vested interest in what McDonald was testifying against, and he ultimately committed suicide. Such was the bizarre stigma and taboo associated with this topic. Simply asking the question of whether the reports reflect something real and not understood, and then entertaining an alien hypothesis as a possibility, used to get you ruined in the scientific community. That wasn’t actual skepticism, which is just doubting the truth of something. Oddly enough, that very same self-proclaimed skeptic was known for a claim that all UFOs were plasmas or ball lightning.
Today, we now know that this is not the case, and does not explain all reports especially when there is radar and instrument data associated with it. Make of that what you will. So here is the big question. Could it be possible for the UAP or UFOs, at least in some incidents, be of alien origin? The answer is a very simple yes.
The notion does not violate the laws of physics. This question has been stymied in the stigma unfortunately, with many claiming that the notion is implausible and space is too vast for aliens to be here, or it’s too hard to get here, etc. This is an error, it’s fully plausible that an alien presence could be in the solar system, and there are several ways for that to happen all while staying within known science. This is where we get into the Fermi Paradox. As I’ve said many times on this channel, the thinking is that the galaxy is very old, and was capable of supporting life and civilizations billions of years before Earth formed.
Since the galaxy is only 100,000 light-years across, any civilization that arose and became technological and space faring could have populated the galaxy with their presence within just a few million years. So Enrico Fermi asked, where are they? As in they should be expected to be present both near and far. And there is the time question, it’s actually not so much the great distances of interstellar space, it’s really the vastness of time that’s the problem. Relativistic time dilation lets you cross vast distances of space within a short period of time within your frame of reference. You just have to not care that you’re also traveling rapidly into the future.
Aliens or alien machines may not care, meaning this is an anthropocentric bias. Maybe high relativistic speeds are just a fact of life, and don’t matter in the context of whatever the alien’s objective may be. So there are two ways for the UAP to plausibly be of alien origin. Another however is the idea of passing star systems, the sun has encountered thousands of stars in its history that passed within the oort cloud. If one of them was inhabited, then nothing says they didn’t position a probe in this star system, a kind of 3d printer that prints out customized probes to study earth.
If one dips into the atmosphere and someone sees it then there’s your UFO of alien origin. Such a probe, if sophisticated enough, could conceivably print out biological aliens. A close alien presence is not implausible, and may even be something we should expect to see. As to the possibility of UFOs, we’re at a point now where we can say they exist.
We have Barack Obama and several other former US presidents saying there’s something to it, we have a bipartisan probe in congress pursuing the matter, as well as a newly assembled panel at NASA, a report from the Pentagon stating that they see things they can’t identify, multiple governments known to have looked or are looking into UAP including The United States, France, Russia, China, Australia, Britain, Canada and others. We even have two former senators, Harry Reid and Barry Goldwater decades apart claiming that the US government has a downed UAP. That’s a bit different of a situation than old rumors about Roswell. There are even official reports by the French government that the alien hypothesis fits the data the best. And there’s much, much more.
Granted, there’s plenty of fluff here too. Hoaxes abound, and misinterpretation of mundane things like insects in videos are very much a thing here, but even after all of that there appears to be something here very much worthy of scientific inquiry. This is very much a field that belongs in SETI every bit as much as searching for radio signals. If you look far, you should look near as well. That said, so what does it all mean? And here’s where it gets problematic, and terrifying.
Back to the four scientists. One thought it was natural but weird, two thought it was too broad to merely be aliens, and one thought aliens were the best fit. Those are some very strange conclusions taken as a whole from credentialed scientists. And I fear that we may get more of this given the heavy scientific interest in the phenomenon as of late now that the taboo has lessened. This could get far stranger as we go on, as opposed to getting far more mundane.
If the UAP/UFO phenomenon does have unexplainable attributes and it can be scientifically established with a quality data set, and peer reviewed articles in standard journals that there’s something truly weird in it, then there are two possibilities. It’s either aliens, or it is not, and the two are equally terrifying. And it has to be said that it’s possible that it’s multiple phenomena that we’re erroneously classing together.
A mixed bag, as it were. If it represents an alien presence in our atmosphere with us, then we have a very serious global security problem. We would be in a position of knowing that there is a vastly more advanced space faring alien civilization that has set up shop in the solar system and is actively watching us without landing on the whitehouse lawn and telling us what their motivations are. This is inherently bad, because all solutions to the Fermi paradox vanish except one.
The whole thing collapses to the “they’re already here” solution, and from there it goes straight to the zoo hypothesis, no matter the scenario. The reason for this is that by virtue of superior technology, no matter how often we tell ourselves otherwise, we are not in control of this world. They are. Without them talking to us, we would have to entertain extremely unsettling scenarios, such as that they have been here since the start, and seeded life on earth, only to silently watch a billion years long experiment of natural evolution unfolding before their apparently indifferent eyes.
Or they could be recent, their attention having been drawn by something we did. No matter how you slice it though, we are a curated, watched species for reasons unknown. Curated by someone that has expended a vast amount of time and resources to simply come here, and watch us. We would also have to wonder if they’re not actually interested in us, rather there is some attribute of earth itself that interests them, something perhaps counterintuitive because earth is just another exoplanet among potentially billions of like worlds in the galaxy. But there’s a further problem. Proving something is of alien origin is harder than it appears, and here we get into a debate that has yet to be had.
The closer an alien is to you, the harder it is to prove it’s actually alien. This is why I tend to keep discussion of alien life on this channel to distant aliens. If you detect an artificial signal from a star system light years away, you can reasonably assume that due to the distance humans didn’t build that transmitter. The best explanation is that it would be of truly alien origin, with no connection to our genesis of life on this world.
It would be unambiguously alien. This is not the case for anything close. And here we come up against Roswell.
If you had an alien spacecraft, your go-to method of trying to determine that is through its materials. Isotope ratios are unique to planetary bodies and their raw materials. They serve as fingerprints and can tell you if objects like earth and the moon formed together, or were once part of each other, or formed distantly in a different part of the solar nebula. It’s the same with interstellar objects, including spacecraft, you should be able to tell by isotope ratios whether something is from your planet, or somewhere else.
But there’s a problem, you can artificially alter that to make it appear as though it’s from the planet looking into the matter, or make it appear as though it’s not from there. There can be ambiguity there. Isotope ratios can only take you so far within the alien origin question. Then there are the reports of frozen alien bodies. Reports of this almost invariably describe a primate.
Something like a gray for example in order to take the form that it does, humanoid, would need to be very genetically similar to a human. There’s also no real reason for anything but humans to be humanoid at allon this world, we descend from a fish that had four suitable fins for eventually becoming limbs. That’s it.
It could easily have been six limbs, which seems to be what nature favors in most species, at least in the insect world. Yet more often than not, in fact vastly so, the described aliens are almost identical to us, despite us being on a world that does nothing but produce vastly diverse bioforms ranging from jellyfish to alligators to pelicans. That said, these accounts are immediately suspect on some level, and that’s where you run into the next problem. How you would determine if a frozen alien body was actually of alien origin is by its genetics. Presuming it has genetics, we have to start somewhere.
The problem is that an advanced alien civilization probably has the power to do whatever it wants with its genetic code, including make it look like earth life. In short, a sufficiently powerful command of genetics means that genetic tests become unreliable as an indicator of something’s origins when dealing with the question of advanced alien life. You could never tell with that hanging over your head. And then you come up against another problem. The closer an alien is to you, the more likely it is that it’s from your planet, so long as you see an otherwise great silence. This is the close alien problem within SETI, when you look for radio signals from close by worlds, if you detect one, such as the BLC1 signal, which was interference from Earth, but at the time seemed to be coming from the closest star system to us, then it implies that alien life is common, and it’s everywhere.
That you see something right off the bat right next to you, suggests that whatever you are seeing is very common. Go closer in, such as within the solar system, or the atmosphere, it gets worse, it means that whatever you are seeing is ubiquitous throughout the galaxy. It should be everywhere, and as a result you should see it everywhere. Yet we do not, when we look into the cosmos, we see only the great silence so far. This has led some scientists such as Adam Frank and Jason Wright to point out that we can’t actually eliminate the possibility of prior technological civilizations on earth, the geologic record is too incomplete for it. So by hypothesizing that something is here, it could just as easily be from earth, as in native to it, thusly not alien in origin as weird as it may seem.
Close aliens are bad for proving the existence of alien life. And the final possibility is that whatever is behind the phenomenon is none of the above, and represents something else entirely, neither a product of biological abiogenesis distinct from earth, nor from earth either. A human 1000 years ago could not have envisioned an Iphone because they simply lived in a completely different paradigm, and didn’t know enough about science technology to foresee it. That may be the case here, we may be seeing something we have no conception of its actual nature, and our brains have to come up with something, so we see these things as UFOs.
We really don’t know anything in regards to things like other dimensions in string theory, other than hints of their existence through things like quantum non-locality. Within that unknown science may be an answer for why UAP might ultimately appear to be neither alien nor human, and something we haven’t thought of yet and have no understanding of. Perhaps we never will.
Happy Halloween indeed …. Thanks for listening! I am futurist and science fiction author John Michael Godier currently waxing philosophically about UFO content. I won’t do it often unless something develops, because if you think about it, on this channel I AM the ufo. Very disconcerting and be sure to check out my books at your favorite online book retailer and subscribe to my channels for regular, in-depth explorations into the interesting, weird and unknown aspects of this amazing universe in which we live.