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Are We In A ‘Galactic Zoo’ Protected By Aliens? Scientists Meet To Investigate The ‘Great Silence’

Are we alone? Probably not. After all, astronomers have already found 4,001 confirmed exoplanets in our Milky Way galaxy, and expect there to be over 50 billion exoplanets out there. For scientists gathering in Paris today, the question is different: why haven’t we made contact with alien civilizations?

What is the Fermi Paradox and the “Great Silence?”

Italian physicist Enrico Fermi asked ‘where is everybody?’ back in 1950 in what’s now called the Fermi Paradox. It addresses a contradiction in astronomy, and can be summarized thus: if extraterrestrial life and even intelligent alien civilizations are not just likely, but highly probable, then why have none of them been in contact with us? Are there biological or sociological explanations for this “Great Silence?”

“We are very interested in the scientific approach used in the analysis of the Fermi Paradox and the search for intelligent life in the universe,” said Cyril Birnbaum and Brigitte David at the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie (Cité), the science museum in Paris that’s hosting today’s meeting. “The question ‘Are we alone?’ affects us all, because it is directly related to humanity and our place in the cosmos.”

Illustration of the view from the innermost of the two exoplanets orbiting Gliese 667 C (largest star, a red dwarf) in the Gliese 667 system, which lies around 24 light years from Earth in the constellation Scorpius.

What are scientists doing in Paris?

Today, leading researchers from the fields of astrophysics, biology, sociology, psychology, and history are meeting at the Cité. “Every two years, METI International (METI stands for messaging extraterrestrial intelligence) organizes a one-day workshop in Paris as part of a series of workshops entitled What is Life? An Extraterrestrial Perspective,” said Florence Raulin Cerceau, co-chair of the workshop and a member of METI’s Board of Directors. The scientists are discussing some pretty insane-sounding questions:

  • Are extraterrestrials staying silent out of concern for how contact would impact humanity?
  • Do we live in a “galactic zoo?”
  • Should we send intentional radio messages to nearby stars to signal humanity’s interest in joining the “galactic club?”
  • Will extraterrestrial intelligence be similar to human intelligence?
  • Did life get to earth from elsewhere in the galaxy (interstellar migration)?

“This puzzle of why we haven’t detected extraterrestrial life has been discussed often, but in this workshop’s unique focus, many of the talks tackled a controversial explanation first suggested in the 1970s called the ‘zoo hypothesis,’” said Raulin Cerceau. Ah yes, the idea that we’re being watched by aliens and … perhaps even being protected by them.

If a zebra started pounding out a series of prime numbers in a zoo, would we re-evaluate their intelligence? That’s how some scientists are characterizing the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

What is the “zoo hypothesis”?

This is a mind-warping idea that there are alien civilizations out there (no, not on Oumuamua) that know all about us, but purposefully hide from us. It certainly explains the “Great Silence.” “Perhaps extraterrestrials are watching humans on Earth, much like we watch animals in a zoo,” explains Douglas Vakoch, president of METI. “How can we get the galactic zookeepers to reveal themselves?” At a workshop, Vakoch proposed that humans should be more active in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. “If we went to a zoo and suddenly a zebra turned toward us, looked us in the eye, and started pounding out a series of prime numbers with its hoof, that would establish a radically different relationship between us and the zebra, and we would feel compelled to respond,” he said.

It’s hard to disagree with that. “We can do the same with extraterrestrials by transmitting powerful, intentional, information-rich radio signals to nearby stars,” he said.

No, there are no aliens watching us from Oumuamua, the first interstellar asteroid that passed through the solar system in late 2018.

What is the “galactic quarantine” theory?

Think the “zoo hypothesis” theory is insane? That’s nothing compared to another theory about alien benevolence. “It seems likely that extraterrestrials are imposing a ‘galactic quarantine’ because they realize it would be culturally disruptive for us to learn about them,” said Jean-Pierre Rospars, the honorary research director at the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique and co-chair of the workshop. “Cognitive evolution on Earth shows random features while also following predictable paths … we can expect the repeated, independent emergence of intelligent species in the universe, and we should expect to see more or less similar forms of intelligence everywhere, under favorable conditions,” he added. “There’s no reason to think that humans have reached the highest cognitive level possible. Higher levels might evolve on Earth in the future and already be reached elsewhere.”

The Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) at the Green Bank Observatory, West Virginia, is the world’s largest fully steerable radio telescope.

What does the Drake Equation try to do?

A formula to estimate the number of technological civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy, the Drake Equation is an attempt to put the Fermi Paradox into numbers. The Drake Equation was posited in 1961 by Dr. Frank Drake, a radio astronomer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia.

What is the Drake Equation?

OK, don’t expect any answers here. The formula below, which comes from the SETI Institute might seem impressive, but it’s mostly guesswork. Practically speaking, its purpose is not to find a definitive answer, but to keep the discussion going about the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

N = R* x fp x ne x fl x fi x fc x L

N = The number of civilizations in the Milky Way Galaxy whose electromagnetic emissions are detectable.

R = The rate of formation of stars suitable for the development of intelligent life.

fp = The fraction of those stars with planetary systems.

ne = The number of planets, per solar system, with an environment suitable for life.

fl = The fraction of suitable planets on which life actually appears.

fi = The fraction of life bearing planets on which intelligent life emerges.

fc = The fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space.

L = The length of time such civilizations release detectable signals into space.

METI puts a special emphasis on those last three terms, which explore not just the frequency of intelligence-bearing worlds, but how long they last (before they get wiped out).

A total eclipse of the Moon is an impressive spectacle. But it also provides another viewing opportunity: a dark, moonlight-free starry sky. At Cerro Paranal in the Chilean Atacama Desert, one of the most remote places in the world, the distance from sources of light pollution makes the night sky all the more remarkable during a total lunar eclipse. This panorama photo, taken by ESO Photo Ambassador Yuri Beletsky, shows the view of the starry sky from the site of ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) at Cerro Paranal during the total lunar eclipse of 21 December 2010. The reddish disc of the Moon is seen on the right of the image, while the Milky Way arches across the heavens in all its beauty. Another faint glow of light is also visible, surrounding the brilliant planet Venus in the bottom left corner of the picture. This phenomenon, known as zodiacal light, is produced by sunlight reflecting off dust in the plane of the planets. It is so faint that it’s normally obscured by moonlight or light pollution. During a total lunar eclipse, the Earth’s shadow blocks direct sunlight from the Moon. The Moon is still visible, red in colour because only light rays at the red end of the spectrum are able to reach the Moon after being redirected through the Earth’s atmosphere (the blue and green light rays are scattered much more strongly). Interestingly the Moon, which appears above one of VLT’s Unit Telescopes (UT2), was being observed by UT1 that night. UT1 and UT2 are also known as Antu (meaning The Sun in Mapudungun, one of Chile’s native languages) and Kueyen (The Moon), respectively. Links ESO Photo Ambassadors webpage #L

Radio astronomy Vs interstellar colonization

While for now, radio astronomy is the only practical way of humans sending messages out into the cosmos, says one scientist, only full-blown colonization of other stars is the only way to prove the existence of intelligent life. “It appears that although radio communications provide a natural means for searching for extra-terrestrial intelligence for civilizations younger than a few millennia, older civilizations should rather develop extensive programs of interstellar colonization,” said Nicolas Prantzos, director of research of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), in advance of Monday’s meeting. “This is the only way to achieve undisputable evidence, either for or against the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence, within their lifetime.”

In 1960, Dr. Frank Drake at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia used the 25-meter dish for his Project Ozma, in which he searched two nearby stars called Epsilon Eridani (an artist’s impression pictured here) and Tau Ceti for signs of alien life.

Why aliens could be very different from humans

Why should they be even remotely similar? “The environment on an exoplanet will impose its own rules,” said Roland Lehoucq, an astrophysicist who works at the Commissariat à l’Énergie Atomique (CEA). “There is no trend in biological evolution: the huge range of various morphologies observed on Earth renders any exobiological speculation improbable, at least for macroscopic ‘complex’ life.” Skeptical that humans would have much in common with extraterrestrial life forms, Lehocq discussed “our persistent anthropocentrism in our understanding and description of alien life” and how difficult it is for humans to imagine extraterrestrial intelligence radically different from ourselves.

In short? We’re too self-obsessed to even imagine extraterrestrial life, let alone find and communicate with it, and if there’s not going to be proof within our lifetimes, we’re not much interested in looking. Is there intelligent life out there? Probably, but we’ll probably never find it.

Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes.

Source www.forbes.com

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Aliens & UFO's

Ancient Astronomical Code Found on Alien Mountain in Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, a team of astrobiologists and exogeologists led by Dr. Aravinda Ravibhanu Sumanaratna, while examining the famous “mountain of aliens”, discovered forgotten and previously unknown ancient petroglyphs, which, according to researchers, are closely related to astronomy.

 Photo: CCF-Polonnaruwa / EASL
Photo: CCF-Polonnaruwa / EASL

Scientists have already published their report in a specialized journal entitled “Encoding on Mount Danigala in Sri Lanka”, and Ancient Origins briefly tells about the discovery.

In a letter to this publication, Dr. Sumanaratna of the South Asian Research Department of Astrobiology and Earth Sciences writes that his team was the first to discover petroglyphs associated with Neolithic humans in Sri Lanka.

The discovery was made in the caves of Mount Danigala, which is revered as a sacred site. In the world, it is better known as the “Alien Mountain”, since it was allegedly observed over it many times by UFOs. For scientists, this mountain is of great interest, since petroglyphs have been found in its depths before.

In the new study, the team describes both previously unknown petroglyphs and engravings found in the 19th century by British officer Fossett. However, scientists have forgotten about them for more than a century. The petroglyphs are located in Edakkal Cave on the western slope of the mountain. Overall, they are comparable to other similar archaeological sites in Sri Lanka.

Ancient authors engraved both geometric patterns and primitive images of people with weapons in their hands, animals and plants. The drawings are tentatively dated 5500-4500 BC. Scientists point out that this is the first time that “special types of symbols” were linked to each other.

They write that in the cave almost all the available space was covered with petroglyphs. The largest of them are 7.5 meters long and five meters high. Researchers believe that some randomly carved sets of geometric symbols are in fact an ancient “glue code” representing the “lost astronomical counting system.”

However, this is just a hypothesis, and it is possible that it was put forward to attract tourists to this region. Nevertheless, the work deserves attention if only because the petroglyphs of Mount Danigala are still poorly understood. Given the practice of other ancient peoples around the world, some of these images may indeed have astronomical connotations.

Note that there is still debate in the scientific community regarding the period of settlement of Sri Lanka. Recent discoveries indicate that humans may have arrived here about 300,000 years ago. Some believe that this could have happened 500 thousand years ago. However, the age of the oldest human site found near the Danigala Mountain is about 125 thousand years.

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Aliens & UFO's

David Fravor, a Former US military pilot spoke about the encounter with a UFO

Former US Navy fighter pilot David Fravor said he saw a UFO in 2004. He told Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researcher Lex Friedman what a flying object looks like.

Fravor stated that he and his colleagues saw an object resembling a tick-tock shape on a clear day. Then they carried out a monitoring mission in the region, where they had previously recorded anomalies.

“I saw lights in the sky and they went out,” the pilot said. The words of the ex-military were broadcast by Fox News.

When the military tried to catch up with the alleged UFO, it disappeared. According to the former pilot, the object was behaving aggressively. It disappeared, changed altitude and blocked the radar.

“This is technically an act of aggression,” added Fravor.

Earlier, the US Department of Defense created a working group to investigate unidentified flying objects. The Pentagon has repeatedly reported that it has spotted UFOs. For example, in April 2020, the agency published several videos showing small drones moving at a fairly high speed.

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Aliens & UFO's

Prince of Liechtenstein: How one of the richest rulers in the world launches millions to search for UFOs

Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein. Keystone / Gian Ehrenzeller

The Prince of Liechtenstein is considered one of the richest rulers in the world. His family’s fortune exceeds $ 7.6 billion, and his personal fortune is $ 4 billion. And this despite the fact that during the Second World War, his relatives lost almost 90 percent of their possessions around the world. 

The monarch tries to live modestly and help his subjects: he repairs roads at his own expense and annually opens the doors of his castle, inviting people to breakfast. He also spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on UFO research. 

Prince-winemaker

“The prince of Liechtenstein, Hans-Adam II, lives in a castle located on a rock in the Alpine principality. This castle bears his name. 38 thousand subjects call the monarch “Your Grace”, he owns a collection of masterpieces of the Renaissance, he owns two palaces in Vienna. According to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index , he is included in the list of the 500 richest people in the world,” Bloomberg describes the European ruler.

The princely family of one of the smallest states in Europe is truly fabulously rich. The ruling dynasty owns the private bank LGT Group, founded in 1920, and other types of business: agricultural and forestry in Lower Austria and Styria, energy and wine. Hans-Adam is personally involved in winemaking, however, his vineyard is quite small – only four hectares, where on average about 10 thousand liters of wine are produced per year.

Ballroom of 165 square meters at the Royal City Palace in Vienna
Ballroom of 165 square meters at the Royal City Palace in Vienna
Photo: LIECHTENSTEIN. 
The Princely Collections, Vaduz – Vienna

In addition, the ruling dynasty has a lot of real estate. The exact number of castles and residences is carefully hidden from the public, but only according to official data, the prince and his family have at least ten castles and palaces. Some of them are home to members of the princely family, others are used as museums.

The most beloved are Vaduz Castle in Liechtenstein, two palaces in Vienna – Garden Palace and City Palace, a family museum in Lower Austria, six more castles scattered throughout Austria, as well as 76 acres of land in Texas. And this is taking into account the fact that after the Second World War the prince’s family lost almost 90 percent of the possessions – 54 castles outside the principality, in the Czech Republic and Austria.

The princely family has learned to extract money from everything that it touches: the monarch and his relatives rent out their Viennese palaces. For several hundred thousand euros, everyone can rent a luxurious room for a reception, wedding or concert

Most of the time, the prince and his wife spend at the Vaduz Castle, where they occupy the eastern wing. On the outside, this medieval building may seem rather gloomy, but inside it is very comfortable. Here, antiquity peacefully coexists with modernity: beautiful elevators – with spiral staircases, large rooms with air conditioning and Wi-Fi are decorated with tapestries and paintings of the 17th-18th centuries. The cellars are meticulously stocked with cupboards and dishes with Chinese painting, a collection of ancient weapons and armor. The prince said more than once that most of all he loves the picturesque view from the window – of the Alps and the Rhine.

Modesty Above All

The Prince of Liechtenstein was born in Zurich, Switzerland, and attended primary school in the Liechtenstein capital Vaduz. After graduating from the Higher Economic Gymnasium, he worked as a clerk in one of the London banks, the name of which is still carefully hidden. After the internship, the prince went to Switzerland, where he entered the commercial university at the faculty of business and economics.

The knowledge gained was very useful to him later. The prince’s family fortune exceeds $ 7.6 billion, and his personal fortune is $ 4 billion, which makes him one of the richest heads of state in the world. In addition, Hans-Adam owns a huge collection of works of art on display at the Liechtenstein Museum in Vienna. The collection began to collect the ancestors of Hans-Adam back in the 17th century, now it contains more than a thousand works of great artists such as Rubens and Van Dyck, Rembrandt and Bruegel.

Prince of Liechtenstein Hans-Adam II and his wife Maria at the celebration of the 300th anniversary of Liechtenstein at Vaduz Castle
Prince of Liechtenstein Hans-Adam II and his wife Maria at the celebration of the 300th anniversary of Liechtenstein at Vaduz Castle

This collection is one of the largest in the world, second only to the collection of the British Windsors. The prince speaks about this rather evasively: “Somewhere we have an advantage, somewhere they have. It is very difficult to judge whose collection is more expensive. For me, these are just assets that should generate income. I myself prefer contemporary art. “

Despite the huge fortune, representatives of the princely family do not boast of wealth, trying to live modestly. Thus, the wife of Hans-Adam II, Princess Maria Kinski, herself looks after the garden in the main castle.

There is no Bentley, Bugatti, Maserati, Ferrari or even Rolls-Royce in the princely garage. All family members drive regular Audi without chauffeurs

In addition, Hans-Adam II and his wife raised their children on their own, without teachers and governesses. True, they always had a housekeeper and a nanny who took care of the children when their parents were away. Three sons and a daughter of the princely couple went to an ordinary school in Liechtenstein.

Hans-Adam II married his cousin, Countess Maria Kinski von Whinitz und Tettau, while still a student. Subsequently, the prince claimed that he fell in love with his future wife at first sight, as soon as she entered the room, and from the first minute he knew that they would get married. Marie did not pay attention to the crown prince, because he was five years younger than her. Moreover, then she was in love with another.

Wedding of Hans-Adam II and Maria Kinski von Wchinitz und Tettau
Wedding of Hans-Adam II and Maria Kinski von Wchinitz und Tettau
Photo: Werner Pfändler / RDB / ullstein bild via Getty Image

But the future prince did not give up, and his persistence was rewarded: Marie’s relatives gave permission for their marriage. The wedding ceremony in July 1967 attracted the attention of all of Europe.

Marie ordered a dress from a Parisian couturier – in the Empire style, made of white silk, with embroidery from pearls and beads. Her head was adorned with the Fringe tiara belonging to the Habsburg family. Among the guests are emperors, queens, princes and princesses, representatives of ancient German-speaking nobles. For the subjects of Liechtenstein, the tables were set right on the street – and they were bursting with various dishes. The tradition of treating residents, and there are about 32 thousand of them in the country, has survived to this day. Once a year, Vaduz Castle opens its doors for everyone to have breakfast with the prince. This is how Liechtenstein’s National Day is celebrated.

To rest

As a member of the aristocracy, Hans-Adam constantly emphasizes that he is very close to his people. Among his entourage, they say that the monarch loves to run barefoot in the forest, goes downhill skiing, diving, is interested in archeology and loves science fiction.

The Franco-American ufologist Jacques Vallee published three volumes of diaries called Forbidden Science. In them, he told about a meeting with Hans-Adam II and his family at Vaduz Castle in November 1989. “We dined in a small living room with his wife, sister and two children. Until late at night we discussed UFOs and other paranormal phenomena, ”the scientist recalled.

According to Vallee, the monarch was convinced for many decades that aliens were visiting Earth, so he sponsored international UFO research for many years, spending millions of dollars on it.

The prince told the ufologist that he saw a UFO in childhood, and also that his aunt saw the UFO in Munich in the 1950s. Most of the money was received by American researchers. So, the ruler laid out 200 thousand dollars for a study called “How many Americans were abducted by aliens.”

Facade of Garden Palace
Facade of Garden Palace
Photo: LIECHTENSTEIN. 
The Princely Collections, Vaduz – Vienna

According to the constitution, the prince is the head of state, he represents Liechtenstein abroad and has the right to pardon, his signature is necessary for the entry into force of laws adopted by parliament. In addition, financially, he is independent from the state – he lives on his own funds, and all roads of the principality are repaired on them. Hans-Adam II tried to expand his princely powers, receiving the full support of the population – however, the parliament still retains basic rights.

Officially, Hans-Adam II is still considered the ruling monarch, but he actually retired from business, transferring the day-to-day administration of the state to his son, Crown Prince Alois. He explained his decision as follows: he and his wife usually did not make large state visits, limiting themselves to only modest trips to Switzerland and Austria, but now is the time to see the world.

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