The Extraterrestrial Hypothesis (ETH).
Of all hypotheses concerning UFOs, the extraterrestrial hypothesis (ETH) is perhaps the most enduring. Briefly stated, it is the belief that UFOs are spacecraft piloted by alien intelligences from other worlds. But what substance is there for such a widely held belief? Who are these visitors and where have they come from?
The dawn of the modern UFO era began in 1947 with the Kenneth Arnold sighting of nine flying discs over the Cascade Mountains, Washington State, USA. From this event the term ‘flying saucer’ came into being. But how did the simple sighting of these objects evolve into spacecraft piloted by beings from other worlds?
Scientists before the commencement of WWII had already mooted the exploration and possible colonisation of space. It was during the war, however, that rocket technology truly advanced, and humanity took a closer step to achieving its dream. If the exploration of space was within our grasp, came the logical argument, then who was to say that a more advanced civilisation had not already done so?
In 1947 and the intervening years, reports of extraordinary craft and their occupants began to surface. The aerodynamic design and flight characteristics were far in advance of anything humanity had achieved at the time. Even with today’s technology we cannot duplicate them, thus supporting the notion that they were extraterrestrial in origin. Reason and science are now telling us that the declarations of early contactees such as George Adamski, and others, who claimed to have made contact with beings from Venus, Saturn, and Mars, are extremely unlikely and suspect, because unmanned probes sent to these worlds have thus far been unable to detect even the simplest of microorganisms, let alone sentient intelligence (although in the latter case recent developments show that this might not be true).
As our knowledge of our solar neighbours expands we are increasingly forced to look further afield for the origins of these strange visitors. In doing so we must first assume that; (1) extraterrestrial intelligences have arisen elsewhere in the universe, perhaps many times, (2) that some form of technologically advanced civilisation has reached the point whereby interstellar travel is possible; and (3) that such civilisations have arrived here on Earth and are pursuing covert missions.
Frank Drake, a scientist and one of the pioneers of SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) formulated an equation that attempts to give a number as to how many intelligences there may be in the universe.
This equation contains cosmic, biological, and technological terms. The first expresses the conditions necessary for the existence of stars with planets suitable for the appearance of life. R is the number of stars formed per year in our galaxy; S is the fraction of these stars that are of solar type; P is the fraction of these that have planets; E is the number of planets situated at distances from the stars that are suitable to the appearance of life.
Next, we have the biological terms. L is the fraction of planets on which life appears; I is the fraction of these on which intelligence develops;
Finally, the technological terms. C is the fraction of intelligent species that develop communications technology; V is the lifetime of the communication phase in years. Interestingly, this equation produces an alarmingly high number of possible intelligences.
To date, SETI have been unable to detect any alien made radio wave/pulses from neighbouring star systems, in apparent contradiction of the extraterrestrial hypothesis, thereby adding fuel to the School of One concept – that we are indeed alone in the universe.
This naturally creates a paradox. If we are indeed the only intelligence, then who or what is responsible for the global sightings of structured craft and their bizarre occupants, such as was reported in 1955 by the Sutton family. They endured a three-hour ordeal at their farmhouse in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, USA, at the hands of several ‘glowing creatures’, following the landing of a UFO.
In the majority of close encounters of the 3rd and 4th kind the entities are frequently described as being anthropomorphic i.e. two arms, two legs etc. But many biologists believe this would be extremely improbable, given that our evolutionary path is the result of certain influencing factors such as the composition of our atmosphere, gravity, our distance from the sun, and many others. The suggestion, therefore, that there are countless other worlds whose characteristics match ours exactly, and whose inhabitants have followed the same genetic pathways and mutations as ours is, they believe, untenable. By applying such logic we reach the inescapable conclusion that it is the more outlandish entities that give credence and support to the extraterrestrial hypothesis.
Another stumbling (though not insurmountable) block for the ETH is the vast interstellar distances involved. Spacecraft capable of travelling interstellar distances are currently way beyond our technological skills. Even if we built a ship capable of travelling at light speed (300,000 km per second) it would take at least 100,000 years for it to travel from one edge of our galaxy to the other.
However, advanced alien civilisations may have overcome this problem by using their advanced knowledge of the fabric of space-time. Theoretically, it is possible to travel faster than the speed of light. The four-dimensional universe consists of length, breadth, height and time. By manipulating or ‘bending’ space-time, so that the space behind you expands vastly and the space ahead of you shrinks or collapses, you arrive at your destination in literally no time at all.
There are literally dozens of recorded alien species alleged to be visiting our home world, but how many of them are genuine? We have to take in factors such as cultural influences, hallucinations, hoaxes, mental aberrations, and mass hysteria – to name but a few. Given the thousands upon thousands of reports from all around the globe, from all walks of life and cultures, this author finds it possible that at least a few of these encounters could be of genuine extraterrestrial biological entities (EBEs).
© David Calvert 2011
Drake’s Equation Revised.
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