A View from Stanage Edge in the Peak District

Are We Alone in the Universe?

(Published: 1 May 2004)


To some people it's unthinkable, most people don't want to talk about it and many people dismiss it out of hand. The 'mainstream' media ridicule the idea, the 'established' scientists avoid the idea, the religious leaders just don't comment on the idea and the military organisations of our Governments do their best to deflect reasonable enquiries into the idea.

What is this 'taboo' subject that nobody wants to (officially) talk about? It's the very real possibility that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the Universe and may have been visiting our planet for thousands of years.

The point of this essay is to show just how ridiculous it is to take the 'mainstream' view that we are the only planet in the entire Universe to harbour any form of life.



I can normally gauge how bad a UFO documentary is going to be if they ask such 'none' questions such as "Do UFOs exists?". I can see from that one question that the makers haven't even bothered to grasp the correct terminology and therefore unlikely to deliver a balanced and worthwhile discussion about the subject.

So, let's get one thing straight before we go any further:

The term 'UFO' is an abbreviation of 'Unidentified Flying Object'. This refers to an object, seen in the sky, that has yet to be positively identified. It does not mean 'space ship' or 'craft from another planet' or 'Extraterrestrial vehicle'. The only connection between UFOs and Extraterrestrials is that the explanation given for some UFOs is that they could be craft under the control of an Extraterrestrial Intelligence.

So, the real question is not "Do UFOs exist?" (because they do), but "Could some UFOs be craft of an Extraterrestrial origin?"

Of course, the Governments of this world will never (publicly) admit that some of the more exotic UFO cases could be of an Extraterrestrial origin. It seems odd to me, that when a Government agency investigates a UFO case, every other avenue of explanation is exhausted; but the possibility of ET craft is never considered. So (officially) all unresolved Government investigated UFO cases remain exactly that - sightings of Unidentified Flying Objects.

Some of the recorded cases are extraordinary; we're not just talking about 'lights in the sky'. Some of the witness testimony is from trained pilots, military personnel and even astronauts who have encountered strange looking craft, performing aerial manoeuvres at speeds unmatched by our own current technology. A lot of the eye-witness cases are also backed-up by radar traces and sometimes video and still images.

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Photographs and Videos

The Internet is awash with video sequences and still images of UFOs. In my opinion, images and videos of UFOs presented in isolation, are little more than a distraction from the real question about the existence of Extraterrestrial Life. They don't actually prove anything.

Unfortunately, there is a significant question about the credibility of any photograph or video - if NASA published an image and stated that it showed a vehicle of Extraterrestrial origin then the whole world would swallow that explanation without question. If the same image was presented by 'Mr. Smith' of 'Somewhereville' then he would be dismissed as a hoaxer.

My point is that the authenticity of a photograph or video is purely subjective. What does a ship from another planet look like? If a photograph was taken of a 'real' ship hanging in the sky looking like the automobile hub-cap then those who are inclined to believe in ET would say that it's a craft from another world and those who aren't inclined to believe in ET would say it's an automobile hub-cap. Who's right? Neither and both.

I think we should get away from presenting video and photographs as 'proof' that Extraterrestrial craft exist - I've already made my mind up about the existence of Extraterrestrial Life and I arrived at my conclusions based purely on logic.

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I believe that the proof that life exists on other planets is all around us. The fact that we exist is proof that life also exists on other planets. There are approximately 400 billion stars in our galaxy and there are countless galaxies in the Universe.

Let's just stop there and consider the numbers. The English language is useful tool for expressing ideas but unfortunately (or fortunately) it allows us to throw very large numbers into the arena so easily that they lose their impact; the number '400 billion' is easy to say but represents a very large number:

There are approximately 400,000,000,000 stars in our own galaxy. Personally, I find it hard to visualise 400 stars never mind 400 billion.

People seem to forget just how insignificant we are as a planet in relation to the rest of our galaxy. The Earth is just a speck of dust drifting through space in the outer reaches of just one of a near-infinite number of galaxies which, in turn, are drifting through the Universe. If God did create the Universe and all that's in it, then why did He only create life on a single planet and leave the rest barren? What's the purpose of the other planets in the solar system? What is the purpose of all the other countless stars and galaxies? Why not just create the Earth and the Sun and leave it at that? If the Universe was a 'project' and the only life is here on Earth then the rest of the Universe is pretty much redundant. A waste of effort surely.

To assume that we're the only planet to have life is like saying that if you turned over every pebble on every beach on every shoreline in the world then you could only expect to find life clinging to exactly one. It seems to me highly improbable that the Earth is the only planet in the entire Universe to harbour life.

If that were to be the case then the argument could me made that the chances of this happening by accident are so remote as to suggest divine intervention. But let us not just assume that the Earth is the only place in the Universe that life can be found; you can only categorically say that we are the only planet with life after you have verified that every other planet in the Universe is lifeless. Of course if you believe that the Universe was created by God in six days and that He decided to create life on Earth and nowhere else, then you're mind is made up for you - life does not exist anywhere else because there's no mention of it in the bible.

But if you believe that life evolved naturally on Earth and that we are an 'accident' of evolution then the logical conclusion must be that life also evolved on other planets. If life exists on other planets then some of it will be intelligent. All will have evolved at different rates. Our civilisation has come a long way in a very short time. Since the invention of computers, the rate at which we can create new technologies has increased exponentially. It's becoming increasingly difficult to predict where we'll be, technologically speaking, in even a hundred years time.

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Closed Minds

Why is it so difficult to have a serious discussion about ET and UFOs? It's almost impossible to approach the subject without being ridiculed. It's amazing how many people simply won't even entertain the idea. The 'shutters' come down the moment the subject is brought up. They simply refuse to have a rational discussion and instead resort to cheap comments about 'little green men' and 'flying saucers'. Why is it that anyone contemplating the possibility of life on other planets is automatically considered to be something of a 'nut'?

I blame the mainstream media - most UFO 'documentaries' are presented in a very shallow manner - the weakest cases are examined, the witnesses are interviewed and edited out of context to erode their credibility and the underlying assumption throughout is that the whole 'ET idea' is 'crazy'. This negative 'spin' on the subject totally misleads the viewer who will then dismiss the whole 'UFO thing' as ridiculous. It's no wonder that conspiracy theories spring up on a regular basis claiming that the makers of these programmes have a hidden agenda of disinformation - when a subject is represented as badly as this in the mainstream media, it's easy to arrive at that conclusion.

This process of ridicule isolates individuals in their way of thinking and pushes them to seek out other similar-minded individuals. This in turn encourages people to join clubs, attend meetings and which, in turn, further fuels the notion that anyone with an interest in the UFO/ET phenomena is a 'geek', brainwashed by a cult group.

If only people would open their minds just a little. Personally, I don't believe in God but that doesn't mean He doesn't exist. Conversely, just because millions people do believe in God that doesn't mean that He does exist either.

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The Impossible

I think people misuse and overuse the word 'impossible'. They say something is impossible when they really mean they don't know how it is possible. Just because you don't know how something is done does not mean it's impossible.

People also often confuse possibility with probability - it is possible that the moon is hollow, but it is highly improbable.

Personally, I believe that everything is possible. There is nothing that can't be done. Saying something is impossible because you don't know how to do it is like saying something doesn't exist; you can never prove that something does not exist because there is always the possibility that, in an infinite Universe, you will discover that it does exist after all.

Perhaps it's just a case of applying the term to set of specific circumstances. Is it possible for me to levitate at will? Well, all I can say is that I don't know how to, but does that mean it's impossible? Is it impossible because I don't know how to or is it impossible for anybody to levitate at will?

Some things are said to be impossible when their real possibility threatens a trillion dollar business; an example being zero-point energy versus oil.

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Inter-stellar Travel

We already know that our current space technology won't get us to the next star system in anything less than several hundred years. This is because our craft currently travel in a straight line in three-dimensional space at only a fraction of the speed of light. But we are discovering that there are more exotic ways of travelling - why spend hundreds of years travelling to a remote location when you can bring the location to your present position in literally no time at all.

Already, our own scientific community is contemplating the possibility of using worm holes to travel between two points in space. This theory involves bending the fabric of space so that the journey start-point and end-destination are brought to together in the same location effectively cancelling the actual distance between to the two points. The two points can be anywhere in the Universe allowing almost instantaneous travel between star systems on opposite sides of the same galaxy or even in different galaxies. This might sound far-fetched, but the theoretical model does fit our current understanding of the nature of our Universe.

So, if we accept that interstellar travel is possible then the question is "Why wouldn't ET visit Earth?" We have already sent out probes across the solar system. We are already seeking new life on Mars and beyond, so why wouldn't a race from another planet also be curious about the existence of life abroad?

If we accept that, in all probability, life has evolved all over the Universe and some of it will be technologically more advanced than us then surely there is no reason why those civilisations would not visit Earth either in the past, present or future.

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Prove It

I've been looking at this subject now for over 15 years and I have to say that in all that time I've seen no convincing argument against the hypothesis that some UFOs can be attributed to craft under the control of an Extraterrestrial Intelligence. On the other hand, the case for ET is overwhelming. If you're one of those people that dismisses the notion of Extraterrestrials visiting Earth as 'nonsense' then I can only assume that either you haven't examined the evidence or that you're working for one the agencies that continue to profit from the 'status quo.'

I can't prove to anyone (not even to myself) that UFOs are ET craft or that Extraterrestrials even exist. But the documentary evidence is huge and at the end of the day you have to ask yourself what would it take to convince you? Ask yourself this - do you believe in the North Pole? Could you point to it on a map of the world? Could you describe the creatures that live there? You almost certainly answered 'yes' to all those questions but, in all probably, you've never actually been there. You've never actually experienced that place first-hand. You may not have even been to the zoo and seen the wild-life close-up. But you accept it as the truth. You've read the documentary evidence, you seen the films and photographs brought back by those who explore such remote areas. You're re-assured that the North Pole is a real place - you could even go there if you had will and the means.

But what about space, the Moon or even Mars? Only the very few can claim to have experienced those places first-hand. How do you feel about the reality of those events? There's very little chance of you having first-hand experience of those locations. The only 'proof' available to you about the reality of those 'out-of-reach' places is the documentary evidence provided by NASA and other space agencies. If they encountered ET in space and wanted to conceal that fact from the rest of the world how easy would that be? How could you argue against the 'facts' as presented by NASA? You're not in a credible position to challenge them, so you better hope that they're telling you the truth.

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Make Your Mind Up

I'm a skeptic. I never take anything at face value. I don't accept 'astounding' claims just like that. I research the subject, I consider the information collected and I make a judgement based on my understanding at the time. But I can and sometimes do change my mind. As time goes by, further information becomes available that might change my whole perception of an issue. What I don't do is make my mind up about something and stick with that judgement even against overwhelming evidence that may arise at a later date to support the contrary.

While it's healthy to question what you read, it is important to keep an open mind. If you read something that you find preposterous, ask yourself why that is. Dismissing something out-of-hand as 'nonsense' without examining why you think that to be the case, is simply irrational. It's the tactic often employed by pseudo-skeptics. For whatever reason (I suspect questionable intentions) there is a group of people who have made it their mission in life to attack and ridicule the UFO community. They will often cling to the weakest explanations, such as 'swamp gas' or 'weather balloons', in even the most extraordinary UFO cases involving structured craft, multiple-witnesses and radar traces. They do this simply because they deem the idea of ET craft to be 'unthinkable' (or, as I suspect, they work for an 'interested' party). They simply will not accept ET activity as a possibility. They have closed minds and are certainly not true skeptics.

Many in the UFO community are true skeptics. The majority of evidence presented by the UFO community that I have read isn't necessarily biased in favour of the ET reality. I find most materials presented to be balanced and inward-looking. Contrary to popular believe, 'everyday' explanations are sought by even the most enthusiastic ufologists - it's only when all the obvious avenues have been closed that the question then approaches the reality of ET craft.

Which leads me to my final point - if you scratch below the surface of what's presented as 'the truth about UFOs' by the Governments of this world you'll find a very different reality. This is an enormous subject and my short article has probably raised more questions than it has answered. If you've never looked into the subject before, you'll probably already have several arguments against many of the points I've raised. Visit the sites I've listed for you below - you won't have to dig very far to get the answers you're looking for. I have no doubt that in a very short time, you'll arrive at the same conclusion as I and millions of others already have - that it's about time the Governments of this world stopped lying to us and came clean about what they really know about UFOs.

Richard Gunn - 16th May 2004

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Related Sites

The UFO subject is one of greatest generators of traffic on the internet. Type 'UFO' into your favourite search engine and you'll be overwhelmed with the number of results. Here is a few site links that I would recommend to anyone new to the subject.

UFO Evidence

Home Page - www.ufoevidence.org

Extract from the Web Site:

Welcome! UFO Evidence is one of the Internet's largest sources of quality research and information on the UFO phenomenon, with over 2,000 articles, documents and resources.

My Comment:

One of the best sources for UFO articles and discussion. Very well laid out and organised. You ought to spend some time reading through as much of the materials on this site as you can.

Starting Points:

The Disclosure Project

Home Page - www.disclosureproject.org

Extract from the Web Site:

The Disclosure Project is a non-profit research project working to fully disclose the facts about UFOs, extraterrestrial intelligence, and classified advanced energy and propulsion systems. We have over 400 government, military, and intelligence community witnesses testifying to their direct, personal, first hand experience with UFOs, ETs, ET technology, and the cover-up that keeps this information secret.

My Comment:

Brave attempt to force the US Government to allow over 400 government, military, and intelligence community witnesses to testify to their direct, personal, first hand experience with UFOs, ETs, ET technology, and the cover-up that keeps this information secret. If you've got a fast connection be sure to download the 2001 Press Conference Video - congratulations go to the global press for it's refusal to give the conference the publicity it deserved. Unfortunately, in recent times, the project seems to have lost it's way.

Above Top Secret

Home Page - www.abovetopsecret.com

Extract from the Web Site:

We are the Internet's largest and most popular community dedicated to the intelligent discussion and debate of "alternative topics."

My Comment:

Very popular site covering many subjects as well as the UFO phenomena. Lots of info about secret projects and conspiracy theories. A bit of a 'free-for-all' at times but well worth a visit. The forums are heavily used.

Starting Points:

The Black Vault

Home Page - www.theblackvault.com

Starting Points:

My Comment:

This site started out as a database for documents obtained through the American Freedom of Information Act. The site has over 100,000 pages of declassified top-secret documents and has now expanded to cover many more topics of a similarly 'exotic' nature.

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Related Films

The UFO phenomena has been covered many times in film and television. Hollywood generally shies away from films that make the audience think and instead prefers to produce action films where the 'aliens' are shown as 'monsters' intent on invading and taking over the Earth.

Here, I've tried to list films that take a more 'mature' approach to the subject of extra-terrestrial life.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)


Plot Summary:

The monoliths have been watching us. They gave us the "evolutionary kick in the pants" we needed to survive at the Dawn of Time. In 1999, we discovered a second monolith on the moon. Now, in the year 2001, the S.S. Discovery and its crew, Captains Dave Bowman and Frank Poole, and their on-board computer, HAL-9000, must discover what alien force is watching us...

My Comment:

Arthur C Clarke (the Author of 2001) once said "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from Magic." So, did our ancestors really worship 'spiritual' gods or did they in fact come into contact with highly advanced beings who descended from 'heaven'?

2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984)


Plot Summary:

In this sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey, a joint American- Soviet expedition is sent to Jupiter to discover what went wrong with the U.S.S. Discovery against a backdrop of growing global tensions. Among the mysteries the expedition must explain are the appearance of a huge black monolith in Jupiter's orbit and the fate of H.A.L., the Discovery's sentient computer. Based on a novel written by Arthur C. Clarke.

My Comment:

This sequel is much more 'mainstream' than the original and therefore loses critical acclaim. But it's still has it's moments and does a good job of furthering the story.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)


Plot Summary:

Planes reported missing in 1945 suddenly appear in the Mojave desert. A commercial flight is buzzed by a 'bright' object that the pilot 'wouldn't know how to describe'. Roy Neary, while working one night, has a Close Encounter... The US Government determine where the visitors plan to land and create an elaborate cover-up to keep people away. However, a group of people, including Neary, share a vision which draws them to the place and a meeting with new, and old, friends.

My Comment:

There are those that say that essentially this film is based on actual events. UFO folklore tells of a 'meeting' in the 1950's at a top secret US military base where we 'Earthlings' officially made contact and exchanged 'personnel'.

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