Keeping my eyes to the sky


I have always loved UFOs and aliens and all things little green men from another planet.

As a kid I was excited by the idea of seeing a flying saucer or another form of alien craft. I was one of those rare kids who wanted to meet an extra-terrestrial and maybe even take a ride on their ship.

I would still be thrilled to meet up with a being from another planet. But what are the chances of that?

Turns out, according to scientists, it is pretty good. In our galaxy alone, scientists estimate there are nearly 43,000 intelligent alien civilizations. Yes, that is a lot. But when you consider that our Milky Way galaxy has 200 billion stars and possibly 100 billion planets, the number doesn’t seem that big.

And when you also consider there are an estimated 2 trillion galaxies in the universe, you can see why the likelihood of alien life being out there is not only high, but I would say a certainty. Thinking otherwise seems to go against the numbers.

Sure, I know we think of ourselves as incredibly special, but we are just star dust, every one of us and everything around us. We are insignificant when it comes to the universe, our galaxy and really, even our little planet.

We might think we are a big deal, but we truly are not.

I think it is exciting to think about. And we also need to look at other evidence, including videos released in recent years by the military. They have objects clearly recorded doing things that no object known to man can do. Even the government is not offering up the excuses it did for years. It now, publicly, seems to being saying, “Hey, we don’t know what this is, but we are keeping an eye on it.”

The reality? Well, I am not so sure. I am one to stick to evidence and the math, while not buying into some ranting conspiracy nuts. Conspiracy theories are for the weak minded.

So why haven’t we met these space neighbors? Well, there is something called the Drake equation that says there should be a least 20 civilizations that are in our neighborhood.

But there are many reasons we might not have met them yet. It is possible they are not developed enough. Some civilizations also might have already killed themselves off.

But I recently read about something called the Dark Forest solution, which is based on a science fiction novel “The Dark Forest” by Liu Cixin. Yes, it is a novel, and not a science paper. But some of what he writes makes sense to me.

Basically, he says all life forms want to live, and other lifeforms are an unknown, so the safest course of action is to kill other lifeforms before they kill you.

Yes, that is some dark stuff. But if you were a galactic neighbor keeping tabs on little old Earth, our actions would be pretty shocking. World wars, lots of murder, destroying the planet. We don’t look like friendly neighbors who might be up for a little visit.

Now, I don’t mean to say that aliens are going to attack us and wipe us out. And while I believe there are other civilizations out there, that is simply down to the numbers. I am likely to be on the side of evidence, and I have never seen a UFO or an alien. But I have met some people that seem like they are from another planet.

Eventually, we will have contact with a civilization from another planet. I probably won’t be around to see it, but I think it will happen. Hopefully, they will not simply come down and destroy us, even though I honestly wouldn’t blame them.

My hope is that they are very advanced and will teach us how to get along. Maybe there is some technology that will help us find harmony, solve climate change, cure cancer, teach people to use their blinkers.

Maybe.

In the meantime, I will be keeping my eyes to the sky and my mind open.

Brad Jennings is the editor of the Ogle County Life.

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