Personally, as Yale astronomer Michael Faison and I discussed during our interview, when it comes to the question of finding life somewhere out there in the vast reaches of space, it’s not a matter of if but when we discover it. And although many have visions of making contact with creatures from other worlds, there’s a distinct possibility that when we first find life outside of Earth, it’ll be closer than many think — possibly in our own solar system.
I recently saw this story about scientists finding microbial life on a meteorite from Mars. There was also the article speculating whether there could be an ocean teaming with fish-like creatures under the ice of Jupiter’s moon Europa. And don’t forget about the recent LCROSS mission on the moon, where NASA scientists did find water in the dust plumes they created by intentionally creating satellite crashes. I guess the key is that where there’s water, there’s a good possibility of life.
Obviously, if we can find life in our own solar system, that greatly increases the odds of all sorts of life being out there among the billions and billions of solar systems. The real question is whether we can find intelligent life out there among the cosmos.
Of course, there are many who think that we’re already being visited by higher-thinking extraterrestrial beings. I saw this story last week about bizarre cattle mutilations in Colorado.
From the article —
Four calves were found dead in a pasture just north of the New Mexico state line in recent weeks. The dead calves had their skins peeled back and organs cleared from the rib cage. One calf had its tongue removed.
But rancher Manuel Sanchez has found no signs of human attackers, such as footprints or ATV tracks. And there are no signs of an animal attack by a coyote or mountain lion. Usually predators leave pools of blood or drag marks from carrying away the livestock.
Two officers from the Costilla County Sheriff’s Office have investigated the mutilations but say they don’t know what’s killing the calves.
Local UFO enthusiasts are pressing authorities to investigate, but I just have a hard time believing that beings from another world would travel across the vast expanse of time and space just to come to Earth for cattle innards. No offense, but aren’t there more interesting things here to collect or observe? Even though I regularly question our collective intelligence as a species, wouldn’t they want to make some sort of contact with us? You know, just to be polite?
And even if cow’s heart was some sort of intergalactic delicacy, don’t you think it would just be easier for aliens to just take a herd of cows back to their home planet to breed their own population?
One of my favorite UFO contact conspiracies involves the Zeta Reticuli Exchange Program — it has pretty much been exposed as a hoax, but I give it style points for creativity and effort. Basically, the story goes that between 1965 and 1978 there was a secret exchange program between the U.S. and Serpo, a planet of Zeta Reticuli — we sent them six astronauts for those years while they left one of their representatives here with us. The website has a multitude of “leaked documents,” “journals” and other disinformation. A fun place to poke around if you enjoy this kind of thing. Check it out if you get a chance.
Meanwhile, the rest of us will be waiting here for signs of the real deal.