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(Dec. 5, 2005)

hellyer (16K)

Sept. 25, 2005. Former Defense Minister Paul Hellyer:

"UFO's are as real as the airplanes that fly over your head."

"I'm so concerned about what the consequences might be of starting an intergalactic war, that I just think I had to say something."

Whoa... Paul! Chill dude. First of all, consider that in order for aliens to come from another star, they would have to travel at least several if not hundreds or thousands of light years, meaning they would have to be able to travel faster than the speed of light, a feat far beyond our wildest imaginings, or even our ability to simply comprehend. When you approach the speed of light (186,000 miles per second), the laws of physics start to bend and sway in the wind. To conquer the speed of light, you would have to be able to manipulate time/space... like a god. Do you really think alien entities with that kind of power would waste their time surreptitiously buzzing around Earth in flying saucers, abducting and probing, and letting themselves be accidentally seen? If any aliens were for some reason interested in a few primitive ape-like creatures on a distant world, they would most assuredly be quite capable of getting all the information they wanted, completely undetected, from a nice safe distance.

Besides, there are literally thousands and thousands of scientists and lay people all over the world who do little if nothing else but search for signs of intelligent life in the universe, and believe me, if they find any, you will know. The whole world will know, and be changed forever. But the first contact will be through radiotelescopes, not little green men in flying saucers.

Aliens (20K)

Because there can be no doubt about the existence of extraterrestrials. If I may paraphrase and extrapolate and completely change the words of Mark Twain: For intelligent life to have evolved from primordial ooze, not once but twice, or more... it is impossible. But considering the billions and billions of planets out there for it to happen on... it is inevitable.

Yes, the universe is undoubtedly teeming with intelligent life, and the sky is definitely full of UFO's, but the two are not connected, except in the fanciful imaginings of those who wish, and dream, and hope, and yearn for passive adventure. Remember what the U in UFO stands for: Unidentified! As an amateur astronomer I see UFO's constantly. The more you look at the sky, especially at night, the more you see. It becomes commonplace. But there are so many things they could be. There are so many man-made objects flying and floating and drifting around the sky. Of course it's a lot more exciting and sexy to think the strangely moving light in the sky is an alien spaceship, instead of the reflection from a car's headlights miles away, bouncing up into the sky.

Paul's worries about an intergalactic war simply show his ignorance of his own subject matter. An interstellar war stretching over thousands of light years is ludicrous enough, but the closest galaxies are many millions of light years away. I don't think we'll be starting a war with another galaxy any time soon.

Having said all that, I want to cheer Paul and all his cohorts for making people think beyond themselves, and bringing attention to the fact that we are obviously not alone in the universe, and the sooner we accept that fact, the better off we'll be. Because sooner or later, one of those radiotelescopes will pick up a signal...

radiotelescope (92K)

You can join in the scientific search for extraterrestrial life. Download and analyze radiotelescope data with the
SETI Screen Saver.

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