Decades of sightings of unidentified flying objects that have been archived and studied by scientific groups like MUFON, suggest extraterrestrials may be visiting Earth.
Where might they be coming from?
If new science continues to suggest that we are alone in the Galaxy, how should we rethink famous UFO sightings like Roswell?
This is a question of growing public interest — a situation typical of times since the 19th century when we are approaching a transformative, 1960s-style Maslow Window (such as now) — as evidenced, for example, by serious meetings in recent years on ETs at the Vatican and the UK Royal Society.
What’s especially interesting is that new scientific data and theories — especially in astrophysics and physics — when applied to intriguing UFOs from around the globe, significantly narrow the range of plausible explanations for UFOs while they expand our worldview.
In one of the greatest space programs ever, NASA’s Kepler spacecraft has discovered the first roughly Earth-size planets in orbit around Sun-like stars, suggesting that — while still quite rare — they may be more common than expected in our Galaxy; i.e., about 2-3% of Sun-like stars may have one.
Using an updated, anthropic version of the Drake Equation — including the latest Kepler data — I estimated last year that it’s likely we are alone in the Galaxy. This point has also been made in more depth by others, including especially UK astrophysicist John Gribbin in his 2011 book, Alone in the Universe:
Even if other earths were common, my view is that while life itself may be common, the kind of intelligent, technological civilization that has emerged on Earth may be unique, at least in our Milky Way Galaxy.
In their stunning JBIS paper of 2005, Deardorff et. al asserted that the UFO problem must now be informed by inflation theory which points to an infinite Universe including the real possibility of a multiverse. They conclude
that current cosmological theory predicts that we should be experiencing extraterrestrial visitation…
Extragalactic visitors or those from other universes (if they exist!) would be fundamentally different than emissaries from nearby stars or Mars. Unlike Klaatu and Gort (who originated from our Solar System), the very distant visitors would require exotic transportation concepts (e.g., wormholes) to physically reach us. This suggests an ultra-civilization that’s 10s or 100s of thousands of years (or more) in advance of us, as opposed to only 100+ years for more local visitors. So their technology would be unfathomable to us; as Deardorff et al. (2005) puts it:
The huge technological head start of the presumed ETs would still come as a great shock to many scientists as well as citizenry … It could be so great as to seriously challenge our consensual reality, a not insignificant danger.
For the moment let’s take these budding scientific paradigms seriously and assume we’re alone in the Milky Way Galaxy (the Empty Galaxy Hypothesis; EGH) but that very, very advanced ETs can visit from other galaxies or other universes (the Infinite Universe Hypothesis; IUH).
Here is a preliminary list of 5 EGH/IUH rules-of-thumb that can guide us as we rethink famous UFO cases:
I. Ultra-ETs are assumed to be living biological entities formerly like humans, but are now extremely advanced. For example, their nanosystems almost instantly detect and fix any system defect to the molecular level, so there will be no vehicle crashes or accidents. With such impressive command over space-time in this and possibly other universes, it’s unlikely that ultra-ETs wil experience any equipment-related or environmental surprises.
II. There will be no direct contact with Ultra-ETs. They are so advanced that it would be of little interest.
III. Radio SETI can be expected to fail and there will be no interstellar Von Neumann Probes due to EGH. VNPs — self-replicating machines that could colonize the Galaxy — would be archaic and unnecessary for Ultra-ETs.
IV. Ultra-ETs will be highly rational, for obvious reasons. But it will often be difficult for us to discern their thought patterns.
V. It is unlikely that ultra-ETs have violent or negative intentions toward each other or toward humans because they would have already exercised them. And we’re still here.
To demonstrate the potential utility of this science-based approach, let’s rethink some famous UFO cases in light of new science (EGH/IUH).
1. Roswell UFO Incident (1947):
Previous Analysis: Stan Friedman and other well-known UFO investigators have traditionally regarded Roswell as evidence of a crashed ET spacecraft complete with alien bodies. Indeed, the story has been subjected to multiple — even self-admitted — government coverups.
EGH/IUH Analysis: EGH suggests the Roswell UFO did not come from our Galaxy, and IUH argues that crashes are not viable (Rule 1). Thus it apparently came from Earth, and may indeed have been a secret military project, although not necessarily one of those specifically mentioned by the U.S.
Similar logic would apply to other alleged UFO crashes, such as Kecksburg, PA in 1965. The Roswell pattern is reinforced by stories of lost NASA documents relating to their investigation of the retrieved UFO. (NASA obviously couldn’t report on their study of a secret military vehicle.)
2. Fr. Gill, Papua, New Guinea (1959):
Previous Analysis: The presence of 3 dozen+ witnesses watching a large UFO for many hours on 2 successive nights and the testimony of respected Anglican priest William Gill (1928-2007) make the case one of the best of all-time — this includes the 4 human-like creatures on the UFO who waved back to Fr. Gill. Dr. J. Allen Hynek investigated the incident and accepted their stories which imply an ET spacecraft.
EGH/IUH Analysis: This UFO probably did not come from our Galaxy because of EGH. Is it plausible that ultra-ETs who are extragalactic or even extra-universal were hovering for hours in full view of humans near Papua New Guinea while they repaired their spacecraft, and even waved back at the ground? This appears to contradict at least the spirit of Rule I and possibly Rule II above and argues against an Ultra-ET. So the Gill UFO apparently came from Earth. Initially Fr. Gill thought the UFO was an American experimental aircraft!!…and ultimately, he seems to have suggested the most scientifically likely explanation.
3. The Travis Walton Abduction (1975)
Previous Analysis: This incident remains controversial despite 6 eyewitnesses to the abducting UFO whose basic story was supported by polygraphs, and active police searches for Walton during the 5 days he was missing. Inside the UFO Walton claims to have encountered 3 Greys with large eyes and a few other beings who appeared to be human-like.
EGH/IUH Analysis: The UFO was not native to our Galaxy according to EGH. The presence of both Greys and human-like creatures in the UFO is an interesting detail, but the Walton story suffers from the same issue of most alleged abductions — motive. Why would Ultra-ETs continue to abduct defenseless humans? It contradicts Rule V and suggests that either the event did not occur or Walton was manipulated by an Earth-based attempt to simulate an encounter with ETs, similar to what Jacques Vallee has previously suggested.
4. The Washington, D.C. UFO Sightings (1952):
Previous Analysis: On two successive weekends numerous UFOs were spotted on both civilian and military radar, and seen from the ground and in the air by pilots and others. The UFOs appeared over the White House, Capitol and Pentagon and when fighter jets were scrambled to intercept them, the UFOs disappeared only to reappear when the jets left. Radar returns measured UFO speeds up to 7000 mph and in one close encounter with multiple UFOs and a jet, the UFOs easily outmaneuvered it. Apparently the Truman White House was concerned enough to issue a shoot-down order for any UFOs that didn’t land when instructed to.
EGH/IUH Analysis: EGH argues against the UFOs being Galactic, but it’s also difficult to imagine anyone from Earth testing secret military hardware over the White House, especially without Truman’s knowledge! This leaves Ultra-UFOs from far away and, with full awareness of Rule IV, invites us to speculate on their motives. Ultra-ETs would not need to test their systems against ours to ascertain their vast superiority, however they might be interested in seeing our reaction to our own helplessness, reminiscent of the Deardorff et al. (2005) quote above.
The theme of high UFO superiority also appears in other UFO incidents such as the Iran UFO of 1976, and the bottomline appears to be the same.
Although some have noted similarities between the celebrated Phoenix Lights of 1997 and the Washington UFOs, it appears more likely that a military explanation suffices for Phoenix.
A FINAL NOTE: None of these very brief discussions should be regarded as conclusive. The point is merely to demonstrate how new perspectives based on new science in astrophysics and cosmology can alter prevous interpretations of UFOs.