Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Stewart W. Bench, author of the new A Cosmic Encounter.
To many people who have experienced a sighting of a UFO or these days a UAP (!) and particularly those of us who have had a face-to-face encounter with extraterrestrials, there’s no question that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the cosmos. The denial of that possibility by some factions might prompt many of us to question the extent of intelligent life here! For over seventy years, government agencies charged with investigation of convincingly other-worldly phenomena have insisted that it’s not of extraterrestrial origin. The motive appears to be the fear of adverse public reaction to official acknowledgement of alien visitors. In 1977, NASA expended treasure and effort to produce a recording attached to planetary probes Voyagers 1 and 2 to inform ETs about us if they happened to intercept the probes. The record, with instruction on playing it, contains sounds and images belonging to our planet and its inhabitants. Apparently even NASA couldn’t be trusted with the knowledge that we’ve already been discovered. The Voyagers have departed our solar system and Voyager 1, now about 40,000 years from passing by the closest nearby star, has traveled farther than any other man-made object—almost 12 billion miles.
Unfortunately, with our government’s iron-clad policy of containment, the only “proof” of extraterrestrial visitation is via articles, books, and testimony by experiencers willing to risk ridicule by coming forward. Photos of UFOs exist, but sadly the most authentic are frustratingly nondescript. So, how do we substantiate the title of this article? It’s all in the numbers.
In 1961, astronomer and astrophysicist Frank Drake, a founder of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), produced a mathematical formula that suggested an approximation of societies within the Milky Way galaxy capable of producing radio signals detectable here. The result was a maximum of 50 million candidate planets. Nothing definitive has been detected perhaps because:
- Not all societies would want to announce their presence. (We’ve made very few attempts ourselves.)
- The frequencies we’re monitoring may not be the frequencies that they’re using.
- Advanced societies may have developed communication technologies far more sophisticated than radio or lasers (quantum effects, for instance).
- Owing to the enormity of the galaxy, many societies could have developed, peaked, and faded into oblivion before our planet had even formed.
Let’s consider some mind-bending estimates:
- 1 with 24 zeros: number of stars in the universe.
- 7.6 with 22 zeros: number of stars similar to our sun.
- 1.9 with 22 zeros: number with rocky planets like ours.
- 300 million habitable earth-sized planets in the Milky Way galaxy.
- 10 trillion galaxies in the universe.
- 64 stars similar to ours within 50 light years of earth; presumably a reasonable range for alien explorers.
Conclusion: it seems irrational to deny the odds of intelligent life developing as it did here in at least a few of the billions upon billions of earth-like planets within the cosmos.
Our thanks to Stewart for his guest post! For more from Stewart W. Bench, read his article, “Alien Abductions 101: A Short Primer on the Subject (With an Ulterior Motive).”