Bronze-level articleExtraterrestrial

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The woo is out there

UFOlogy

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Aliens did it and ran away
If you want to find out more about the possibility of life existing elsewhere in the universe go to our exobiology article - this one is dedicated to scary monsters.

"Extraterrestrial" ("ET") describes any object or being beyond the planet Earth, "an extraterrestrial" almost invariably refers to other life forms. Because of the sheer scale of the cosmos, the possibility that we are the only form of life in the entire universe is remote; therefore some form of life is likely to exist elsewhere on other planets (although some very exotic ideas have been bounced around the place that don't require planets). Fairly primitive life, such as bacteria, has been hypothesized by scientists such as Carl Sagan to even exist elsewhere in our own solar system, although no reliable evidence for this has been found. More advanced life is likely to have formed outside the solar system and many people — kooks and rational thinkers alike — are convinced that it's out there just waiting to be found.

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[edit] Intelligent extraterrestrial life

The narrower and arguably more common definition of "extraterrestrial" is "an intelligent life form that is of extraterrestrial origin" — an alien, in other words. Normally they are thought of as aliens who visit this planet, for whatever reason that aliens might want to visit this planet. This is a pretty cool idea because, assuming communication is even possible with such beings, it would afford the opporunity to compare observations about the nature of reality. This is also cool because, along with spaceships and laser guns, the encounter with aliens is every nerd's dream. As such it is the subject to a lot of crackpot thinking and conspiracy theories. These beliefs range from aliens communicating telepathically with people — similar to mediums talking to the dead — to deliberate cover ups by world governments[1] and reverse engineering of alien technology. Despite the prevalence of such beliefs, and the fantastic and attractive narratives that they produce, they are most likely completely and utterly bullshit. No convincing evidence has ever been found in favor of the existence of such beings, let alone the idea that they may be on Earth right now.

Claims that some UFOs are of extraterrestrial origin and claims of alien abduction have not been substantiated and both phenomena can be easily and simply explained without invoking little green men with anal probes. First hand accounts of interactions with ETs tend to be anecdotal and often unreliable with little or no physical evidence presented. As a result, investigation of alien encounters by science is difficult. Since ETs seem reluctant to do their abductions in or around appropriately equipped scientific laboratories, we have no hard evidence or reason to believe that they are on Earth interacting with us on a near daily basis.

Or maybe they just don't live nearby? Or maybe they just don't like us enough to talk to us face to face face to tentacle? Extraterrestrials, it seems, are still confined to the world of science fiction and wildly entertaining conjecture by exobiologists.

[edit] Drake Equation

See the main article on this topic: Drake Equation

The Drake Equation is an attempt to quantify the likelihood of alien civilizations being capable of communicating with humans on Earth. Named after radio astronomer Frank Drake, it contains a number of variables such as number of stars in a galaxy, number of planets suitable for life, etc. An interactive version can be found here.

One of the main issues with the Drake Equation is the estimated life span of any advanced civilization, i.e., once it becomes advanced enough to communicate, how long before it blows itself up? Drake's original estimate for this value is 10,000 years, while a more modern approach by Michael Shermer set it to only 420 years.[2] This means that any signal received from space is probably going to be from an already long dead civilization.

[edit] Species

Based on the anecdotes and "research" of ufologists and abductees over the last 50 years or so, the aliens that have supposedly come to Earth have been described as "appearing" in many different forms. This indicates that either Earth is either improbably interesting to many, many varieties of aliens — or the reports are the result of hyperactive imaginations.[3] Often, "surprisingly" there is a good correlation between the culture that has observed alien life and what it looks like. The "Grey" species is undoubtedly the most commonly imagined and the most commonly depicted in fiction, from Close Encounters of the Third Kind to the Asgard from Stargate. Similarly, the "flying saucer" shape only became prevalent after UFOs were reported as being "saucer-like", which people misinterpreted as being a description of shape, rather than how they moved through the sky. Some early close encounters reported dart-shaped or cigar-shaped rather than saucer-shaped UFOs, before the saucer meme became predominant.

Either way, "respected" (we use that term very loosely: it really just means respected by other cranks) ufologists have identified several different species of alien. They include:

  • the Greys: These are the most famous popular aliens. They are short, but have really big heads, no hair, grey skin, either very small or no mouth and nose, and really big eyes. They are the most commonly reported aliens in North America. They seem to have an agenda, but the grey agenda should not be confused with the gay agenda (although both seem to involve anal probing).
  • the Nordics: These look like a Nazi's wet dream, although taller and not so into Hitler. For some reason they like to abduct Europeans more than Americans.
  • the Reptilians: Also known as the Gorn,[4] they look like sentient dinosaurs. David Icke and his followers actually believe that Queen Elizabeth, the Bush family, and nearly every other major politician is actually a reptilian in disguise. Seems reasonable enough.
  • the Designers: Also known as the Elohim (singular Elohah), they look exactly like a small version of a Japanese person because, according to Raelians, they made us in their image. They also gave messages to different populations through religious figures like Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed and Moses.
  • the Pleiadians: They really care about us and are into multi-dimensional physics.
  • Rods: Ufologists disagree as to whether these are aliens or spacecraft; more sensible people agree that they are moths.
  • Grand Imperial Warlord Xenu: This is Scientology. 'Nuff said.

Sadly for those who believe in these fantasy people, there is no actual reliable evidence for any of them, as their existence is based solely on people's personal testimony, which is frankly useless. There was a very close call when footage of an autopsy was "leaked" in the 1990s, but this was revealed to be a hoax far too soon for it to be any fun.[5]

[edit] Contact with Earth

See the main article on this topic: aliensdidit

Some of the alien's favourite hobbies while on our planet include:

In November 2011, the United States White House officially stated that the US (and as far as they knew, no other country) has never had contact with alien life. Of course, they also said they do not know who shot Kennedy; it's apparent who's lying, isn't it.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] Footnotes

  1. 'No evidence' for extraterrestrials, says White House Or is that part of a cover-up?
  2. Michael Shermer - Why hasn't ET called?
  3. We apologize to our future alien overlords who may be reading this at a later date.
  4. http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Gorn
  5. Skeptical Enquirer - “Alien Autopsy” Hoax
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