Looking for extraterrestrial life is akin to a search for a cosmic needle-in-a-haystack, as evidenced by the above incredible Hubble Space Telescope image showing approximately 10,000 galaxies.
In large part, thanks to NASA’s Kepler spacecraft, more than 1,400 planets have been identified beyond Earth.
A few days ago, NASA tried closing the gap between life on Earth and the possibilities of life elsewhere. The space agency and the Library of Congress (image below left) brought together scientists, historians, philosophers and theologians from around the world for a two-day symposium, “Preparing For Discovery.” Their agenda: To explore how we prepare for the inevitable discovery of extraterrestrial life, be it simple microbial organisms or intelligent beings.
“We’re looking at all scenarios about finding life. If you find microbes, that’s one thing. If you find intelligence, it’s another. And if they communicate, it’s something else, and depending on what they say, it’s something else!” said astronomer, symposium organizer and former chief NASA historian, Steven J. Dick.
“The idea is not to wait until we make a discovery, but to try and prepare the public for what the implications might be when such a discovery is made,” Dick told The Huffington Post. “I think the reason that NASA is backing this is because of all the recent activity in the discovery of exoplanets and the advances in astrobiology in general.
“People just consider it much more likely now that we’re going to find something — probably microbes first and maybe intelligence later,” he added. “The driving force behind this is from a scientific point of view that it seems much more likely now that we are going to find life at some point in the future.”
Among the many speakers at last week’s astrobiology symposium, one has raised a few international eyebrows in recent years.
“I believe [alien life exists], but I have no evidence. I would be really excited and it would make my understanding of my religion deeper and richer in ways that I can’t even predict yet, which is why it would be so exciting,” Brother Guy Consolmagno, a Jesuit brother, astronomer and Vatican planetary scientist told HuffPost senior science editor David Freeman.
Consolmagno has publicly stated his belief that “any entity — no matter how many tentacles it has — has a soul,” and he’s suggested that he would be happy to baptize any ETs, as long as they requested it.
“There has to be freedom to do science. Being a good scientist means admitting we never have the whole truth — there’s always more to learn.” Consolmagno also doesn’t think the public would panic when or if it’s revealed that alien life has been found.
“I really think it would be a three-day wonder and then we’d go back to worrying about reality TV or the crazy things going on in Washington — that’s the way human beings are. Because I think most people are like me: we expect it’s out there. And our reaction would be, ‘Wow, thank heavens. It’s about time.”
Earth is no longer the center of the universe, nor is it flat — at least that’s the currently accepted thinking among most scientists. And we now know, conclusively, that there are a lot more planets than the ones in our own solar system.
“The number of habitable worlds in our galaxy is certainly in the tens of billions, minimum, and we haven’t even talked about the moons. And the number of galaxies we can see, other than our own, is about 100 billion,” Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at California’s SETI Institute told HuffPost.
Watch this video zooming and panning through the night sky to show 10,000 galaxies photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope.
At the NASA/Library of Congress symposium, Shostak gave out some startling numbers about how many stars there are in the part of the universe that we can see. “It’s a big number: 10,000 billion, billion. And we know that most of those stars have planets — 70 or 80 percent. If all of those planets are sterile, and you’re the only interesting thing happening in the cosmos, then you are a miracle. That would be exceptional in the extreme. So, the middle-of-the-road approach is to say, ‘You’re not a miracle, you’re just another duck in a row of ducks.'”
“The bottom line of this,” Shostak said, “is something like one in five of all stars may have an analog to Earth. That’s a lot of habitable worlds, and, indeed, the number of Earths in our own galaxy might be on the order of 50 billion.”
Those are big numbers to ponder.
The D.C. conference included a great deal of discussion about the upcoming mission of the Hubble’s long-anticipated successor: the James Webb Space Telescope. As large as a tennis court, this deep space observatory is scheduled for a 2018 launch and will orbit beyond our moon. The Webb telescope will focus on new planetary discoveries and collect data from the atmospheres of those planets, looking for certain things that might point to what we would consider possible indicators of life.
HuffPost asked Dick, an astrobiologist, for his opinion on the continuing output of UFO reports around the world.
“I try to keep an open mind on this. Ninety-some percent can be explained by natural phenomena, etc. The question is what to do with the other 3 or 4 percent,” Dick said. “My opinion is that they should be studied further, on the one hand. By definition, they’re something that we don’t know what they are. They could be some physical, psychological or social phenomena that we don’t know about. But I think it’s jumping to a conclusion that they’re extraterrestrial. I don’t see that evidence.
“I haven’t looked at the evidence close enough to say that there’s intelligence behind it. But I’ve seen enough to know that there are unexplained things that we should look at more, and right now, the U.S. government is not doing that.”
CORRECTION: We originally referred to Guy Consolmagno as a Jesuit priest. He is, in fact, a Jesuit brother, and the correction has been made in the text above. We apologize for the initial error.
Kaikōura, New Zealand UFO sighting still flummoxing locals 40 years later
© Image – supplied; Video – The Project
Forty years on from an unidentified flying object (UFO) sighting that put Kaikōura in the international spotlight, those who witnessed the strange occurrences are still confused by what they saw.
Three bright lights appeared in the Kaikōura sky in December 1978, bewildering those to witness it – including air traffic controllers John Cordy and Andy Herd.
It was even caught on camera by an Australian film crew who was in the area trying to capture footage of them.
Journalist Quentin Fogarty said they were transfixed by the mysterious lights, some of which were the size of a house.
“We saw this string of lights, it started as a small pinpoint of light then grew into this large pulsating globe with tinges of orange and red,” he said.
“I’m sitting there transfixed – we were told after it was about the size of a house.”
The objects even appeared on radar, further confusing air traffic staff.
The Muldoon Government said it was squid boats, the moonlight bouncing off cabbages or Venus rising – but those who were there aren’t convinced.
“Come on, radar returns from a field of cabbages? Squid boats doing 180 knots at 14,000 feet?” said Mr Cordy.
Even Mr Herd, a sceptic according to his son, believed the flashing lights were not normal.
“My father was a very sensible man,” Daniel Herd said. “It would have taken a lot for him to believe that this was something as unusual as he did believe that it was.”
Further complicating the mystery is other sightings of UFOs six years earlier in 1972, and a US scientist who studied the lights admitting he believed it wasn’t a hoax… or explainable as squid boats.
You can watch Newshub’s video coverage here.
Watch How A Lightning Strike Temporarily Disables This UFO’s Cloaking Shield
It seems electrical disturbances have an impact on a UFO’s cloaking device, as evidenced by the following video.
An unidentified flying object’s cloaking shield is one of its best assets since it allows the craft’s occupants to remain undetected while performing their obscure activities on Earth.
Visible light can be considered an oscillating electric and magnetic field and because the cloaking shield works on a visible level, it must operate on some kind of electromagnetic principle we’ve yet to discover. You know what else is electromagnetic? The immense power surge caused by a lightning strike. So it makes sense that when a camouflaged UFO is hit by the thousand or so Giga Watts discharged by a lightning bolt, some interference may occur.
In the following video we are treated to the rare sight of such a phenomenon.
During a recent thunderstorm in the U.S., a large, circular UFO became visible after coming in contact with the immense voltage of an electrical discharge between clouds. It is unclear whether the craft was accidentally hit or it was there exactly for that reason. Perhaps these advanced vehicles are able to harvest energy from a variety of sources, including, but not limited to volcanoes, lightning and solar wind.
After lightning touches its surface, the UFO becomes visible for approximately 30 seconds during which it remains lit and illuminates the sky and clouds surrounding its massive body. Once the UFO disappears, the surrounding area returns to its normal luminosity.
Although videos like this are rare, they are not unheard of. In a previous article, we showed you a fleet of UFOs recharging their batteries during a thunderstorm. Another video that quickly went viral featured a creepy UFO exiting a lightning storm at a high velocity.
It’s obvious that aliens always need two things: human specimens and a whole lot of power.
Forestry Worker Attacked By Aliens In Scotland
A seemingly unprovoked attack on a Scottish forestry worker over 30 years ago has been recounted by the victim, who still has no idea why he was targeted.
The forestry worker, Robert Taylor, arrived at work as usual on a typically cold November morning and began walking towards the job site through a woodland path only to emerge into a clearing and see the alien craft.
He described the object as spherical, around 20-30 feet in diameter and hovering around 15 feet from the ground. Shortly after this two objects fell from the craft resembling world war two sea mines, rolled towards him and attached themselves to his hips. As the objects approached, he remembered smelling burning, and shortly after they attached themselves to him they began to pull him towards the main craft.
At this point, he lost consciousness and remembers nothing of whatever happened next. After he came to the object was gone, leaving only marks in the ground below where the craft had been, a graze on his forehead and what he described as an incredible thirst. He also believed at the time that he was not unconscious for more than a minute or two, although was somewhat disoriented by the events.
What provoked the attack is unknown, although presumably, the craft was not expecting Taylor to approach it. Some have speculated that the aliens abducted Taylor in an attempt to erase his memory of having seen them. Others that he was experimented on, and that his time aboard the craft may have been much longer than he thought at the time.
Unlike the majority of UFO sightings or abduction experiences, there are seemingly no arguments forthcoming that the events could have come from a man-made source. Experimental aircraft would not have accounted for the spherical objects that pulled Taylor towards the ship, nor the lack of consciousness. Not to mention that West Lothian where the attack took place is not a location known for its abundance of secret military test bases.
The full eyewitness account of the abduction can be found here:
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