X Files -  I want to believe ufo image

Are Aliens Real?

Depending on who you ask, you'll either get a sleuth of half-cooked conspiracy theories or maybe a couple of shoddy-produced videos of alien ships visiting sacred sites around the world, but the true answer to whether or not aliens are real isn't so cut and dry. The truth about the existence of extraterrestrial life is a complex and scientific question that deserves a scientific answer.

So while we might not have a smoking gun (aliens bodies or crafts) we do have a ton of evidence that points to, yes, aliens are indeed real, whether we can prove them or not. Here are thirteen reasons for believing that we aren't the only intelligent beings living in our universe. 

1. The Math Says Yes and So Does Avi Loeb

Avi Loed Harvard scientist says must exist

Avi Loeb, the Harvard University astrophysicist said the following in an interview with Scientific American on the likelihood that intelligent life can be found in our universe, 

based on the data from NASA’s Kepler mission, roughly half of the galaxy’s sunlike stars have a planet about the size of the Earth, at about the same distance of the Earth from the sun, so that you can have liquid water on the surface and the chemistry of life as we know it. So if you roll the dice on life billions of times in the Milky Way, what is the chance that we are alone? Minuscule, most likely! To say that if you arrange for similar circumstances, you get similar outcomes is, to me, the most conservative statement imaginable.

The chances that we are alone in the universe are so small that it's nearly impossible that we are the only evolved species living on one of the millions of stars in the Milky Way galaxy. So if we begin with that simple fact, that our existence is proof positive that intelligent life exists, then what other proof do we need, when it comes to asking the question, do aliens exist? Yes, and we are the proof. 

2. The Signs are There

ʻOumuamua -  the scout comet that passed our sun in 2017

In 2017, astronomers around the world were busy observing Oumuamua, the name given to an interstellar object that was seen traveling through our observable part of the galaxy. The name 'Oumuamua' is a Hawaiian word that roughly translated to 'scout', and was first observed by Robert Weryk using the Pan-STARRS telescope at the Haleakala Observatory in Hawaii. 

Oumuamua is the first-ever interstellar object astronomers have observed entering our galaxy, and it puzzled scientists around the world because it didn't act like any normal astroid they had seen before. For one, it was shaped differently than most asteroids and it had a bright sheen which was 10 times brighter than the average comet. In addition to that, it showed no signs of being affected by the gravitational pull of our sun as it passed us and gained speed as it shot away, something normal comets don't do, eventually leaving many scientists baffled. 

3. The Government Is Being Somewhat Honest About the Possibilities 

60 Minutes interview with an Air Force pilot who claims he saw UFO's

Now usually when the Government says something is real, that gives us pause, but when it comes to alien life and whether U.S servicemen are being spied on by alien beings, we don't have much historical context to hold on to. And yes, the government is taking the 'alien question' very, very seriously these days. 

In a 60-Minutes report that was released back in June of 2021, the 60 Minutes team conducted interviews with a number of Air Force pilots and service members who all claimed to have seen aliens while conducting military drills while out at sea. The four service members who together watched for over an hour as a foreign craft followed and performed impossible aerial maneuvers, together confirmed that the most well documented alien sighting in Air Force history, was only one of many such events. 

4. Harry Reid Has Been Saying it For Years

Harry Ried -  the retired US Senator from Nevada has long been a supporter of honest UFO discussion

Harry Reid the retired Senator from Nevada has a long history of promoting honest conversations around the realities of aliens and UFOs. In a New York Times OpEd, Reid said this about his passion for Aliens,  

I’ve always been fascinated by things I don’t understand — by the mysterious and the unexplained — and I believe this fascination comes in part from growing up in rural Nevada.

In 2007, while working as the Senate majority leader, Ried was instrumental in securing $22 million for the funding of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, a clandestine operation ran through the Pentagon dedicated to investigating the alien phenomenon. 

And while the program is no longer around, the government has taken up its mantle installing a new program named the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force. Reid, who wanted to bring the discussions around aliens and UFOs into a more formal arena retired happily knowing that the talks of aliens were no longer relegated to the dark tin-foil corners of public discourse. 

The new alien task force was created in 2020 and back in June of 2021, a small collection of documents and images were released to the public in an effort to help shine a light on the investigations into the alien question. As well, the language used to talk about aliens and UFOs has changed. Instead of referring to UFOs as UFOs, the new term is UAP which stands for Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon. And while it is a small step, it's a step in the right direction which has given the much-needed credence to the subject. 

5. The Richest Men in The World Are Believers

Jeff Besoz and Elon Musk having lunch together

While neither Musk nor Bezos have directly come out and said they are true believers, the writing is on the wall. Both of the world's richest men are in the space business, and both see the future of the human race as a multi-planet species, in fact making us the world-conquering alien race. 

Elon Musk however has been more forthcoming on his thoughts about aliens, as he is known for speaking freely about the topic. Once on Joe Rogan's podcast, Musk said that he currently doesn't have proof that aliens have visited Earth, and even called the possible alien lifeforms "shy" for not revealing themselves. His direct quote from the Joe Rogan show reads as follows. 

“Honestly, I think I would know if there were aliens. I mean, if they wanted us to know [about them], they could just show up and walk down main street like ‘Hey, I’m an alien check me out. Here’s my spaceship, I just landed in the middle of Times Square. If there are aliens, they are just very subtle. They’re being pretty shy. So, as far as we can tell there’s none nor are we seeing signals from any other solar system.”

But Musk doesn't just stop there, by calling the possibility that the aliens are shy, he takes it a step further and has said, “If [we’re not in] a simulation, then maybe we’re in a lab and there’s some advanced alien civilization that’s just watching how we develop, out of curiosity, like mold in a petri dish.” So while Musk isn't an out-there alien truther, he is strongly considering the options, while also not letting himself get carried away with needless speculations. 

6. Too Many Encounters to Count

Areas of high activity -  a global map of alien sighting from the last 100 years

Now we are not saying that everyone who claims to have seen a UFO is telling the truth, but with over decades of such sightings taking place around the world, it does beg the question, what do these events and sightings have in common? 

While sighting like Roswell stick in the mind due to their popularization in pop culture, including tourist destinations, movies, and television shows, there are plenty of lesser-known and possibly more credible instances of alien sightings. And one of the most credible took place 100 miles off the coast of southern California in 2004. 

The sighting in question is known as the USS Nimitz Tic-Tac UFO Incident and was seen by U.S. Navy pilot Cmdr. David Fravor while conducting a U.S. Navy strike fighter squadron exercise.  Fravor claimed to have seen "something not from this earth" that he described as a tic-tac-looking object moving at incredibly high speeds. The UAP was also seen by a separate crew than Fravor's and was eventually caught on camera for over a minute. The footage which can be viewed above was declassified in 2017 and was publicized by the New York Times after the Pentagon confirmed the existence of their Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program. 

7. Stephen Wolfram Claims He Can Talk to Aliens

Stephen Wolfram is a British-American computer scientist and physicist

Stephen Wolfram is a British-American computer scientist and physicist with a genius-level IQ who seriously claims that he's written a new language that allows him to communicate with aliens. No really. 

Wolfram who worked on Denis Villeneuve's film 'Arrival' as a language specialist and who helped come up with the alien writing featured in the film, has tried to create a real universal language that could be used to communicate with extraterrestrials. 

In a very long blog post, Wolfram talks about the language that he's been working on building for nearly four decades. This is how he describes his language:

"We can think of the Wolfram Language as providing a compressed representation (or, in effect, a model) of the core content of our civilization. Some of that content is algorithmic and structural; some of it is data and knowledge about the details of our world and its history. It’s a bit like those Egyptian tomb models, which show things Egyptians cared about doing. If we give the aliens the Wolfram Language we’re essentially giving them a computational model of things we care about doing. Except, of course, that by providing a whole language—rather than just individual pictures or dioramas—we’re communicating in a vastly broader and deeper way."

In sense, he wants to build a computerized tomb of all things that humans care about and use. Like chairs, and cathedrals, but in a way where another advanced civilization could interact with and learn from. He is not finished with his language, as AI continues to change and provide him with new tools to update his current work, though he has made much progress. 

8. The Curious Case of Mutilated Livestock 

Deflated bulls found in Oregon confuse and baffle

This bizarre story comes out of the Pacific North-West, specifically Oregon, where five bull deaths have raised alarms and pushed local residents to consider wild explanations. 

The first dead bull was found in eastern Oregon. The bull's sex organs had been removed along with its tongue and the blood had been drained from the bull. In the following days four more bulls had been found, all with the same wounds, missing genitals, tongues, and drained of their blood. 

Authorities have said they found no tracks around the dead bulls and nothing suggesting that they were shot or had eaten poisonous plants. Each of the five bulls was found within 1.5 miles of each other and authorities currently do not have any suspects in custody. 

The bizarre case has put ranchers on edge and since the discovery of the dead bulls back in July, ranchers have been advised to work in pairs and arm themselves when out on the ranch. 

Community members have begun speculating what, or who might be responsible for the killings. UFOs and occult practices have formed the outlier speculations but saner minds believe it might be a retaliation of some kind against the ranch, as the bulls are quite expensive. But so far there have been few inroads made in the case. 

What we do know is that someone in Oregon has themselves a nice collection of bull tongues and penis. Who knows, maybe it is aliens or some strange cult, or maybe just an angry rancher getting his vengeance? But whatever it is, it sure is bizarre. 

9. Theories on Where the Aliens Are

Ancient Aliens Meme -  guy with crazy hair holding out his hands

So it begs the question, that if we have all this 'proof' on the existence of alien life, then where are they? Could they be dead? Lost? Maybe they're asleep? Or maybe they're just too far away and less advanced than us? The answer is all of the above. There are a number of theories as to why we haven't made contact yet. 

Let's start with the worst possible answer, they're all dead. The universe as we know it is 13.78 billion years old, which is a long time for a potential intelligent alien civilization to live and die. Our own Earth is 4.5 billion years old, and in the most recent 100 thousand years we appeared. So assuming that our appearance would coincide with another form of intelligent life is slim, but not out of the realm of possibilities. Just very, very unlikely. 

Another thought is that they're sleeping. We know our universe is expanding and cooling, so there could be a potential civilization with the ability to hibernate for billions if not trillions of years. This idea proposes they are waiting things out until the universe is cooler and more suitable to their liking. Like how we might wait until 4 pm to cut the grass because it's just too hot at 3 pm, but on a scale, we can hardly fathom. 

Stephen Hawkin proposed the idea that we might not want to find aliens out of the fear that they could destroy us. This is where this next theory comes from. Maybe they are hiding from us? Not because they can't control their lust for destruction, but because they're afraid we would try and destroy them, which if we're being honest, we probably would. Oh hiya alien, do you like nukes? Oh well, sorry here you go. End. 

The other possible theories are that we haven't spent long enough looking for them. In reality, our technology has only been advanced enough to search the stars for about 100 years give or take. So maybe we just need to keep looking. 

Another theory is that the aliens aren't advanced enough to answer our calls. it could be true that we are the most advanced being in the universe and any potential planet or alien race that we reach with our messages and spacecraft just aren't on our level yet technologically. 

And lastly, the theory that really is fun to think about is that we've already made contact with aliens and that they aren't out there somewhere but rather they are already here. Were looking at you shapeshifter formally known as Taylor Swift, we see you. 

10. NASA Confirms Evidence of Water on Mars

NASA confirmed liquid water on mars

What we know about life is that more it to grow, there needs to be water, and while other forms of life, ie non-carbon-based life forms like ourselves could theoretically grow without water, finding water in outer space is the surest sign that life on other planets does exist. 

And in 2015, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter confirmed that liquid water does occasionally flow below the surface of the red planet. And while that might not seem like the biggest epiphany today, in 2015 when the finding was announced it was a pretty big deal. John Grunsfeld, a NASA astronaut and associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, had this to say about the mission in 2015: 

“Our quest on Mars has been to ‘follow the water,’ in our search for life in the universe, and now we have convincing science that validates what we’ve long suspected. This is a significant development, as it appears to confirm that water -- albeit briny -- is flowing today on the surface of Mars.”

So while NASA has yet to confirm the existence of other intelligent life in the universe they have found the correct building block that allows life to flourish, so accounting for what we said above, given enough time, we will eventually find life out there in the universe, it just may take us another billion years. That is if we can survive that long. 

11. Tardigrades Can Survive in Space 

Tardigrades can already survive in the vacuum of space

Tardigrades also known as water bears can already survive in outer space, and they don't even need a spacesuit. These tiny little creatures are famed for being able to withstand some seriously harsh conditions. They can survive living in volcanoes, and in the depths of the seas, and have even been sent into space, without so much as a spacesuit, or a scarf. 

So is it really that much of a stretch to imagine some more advanced creature capable of doing the same thing? No, it isn't. These microscopic creatures have been sent to the moon and taken up to the I.S.S to be used in experiments, though the time they were sent to the moon they crash-landed, though scientists do believe they survived. 

But what does mean about alien life? Well, we could call Tardigrades alien creatures. No really, they are the only known creature on Earth that is capable to live in the emptiness of space. That is already a pretty aliens trait, and if we have them here, we can only imagine what else awaits us out in deep space on the millions and millions of potentially livable planets in the universe. 

12. Alien Bacteria Could Live in the Clouds of Venus 

While the jury on this one is still out, there are theories that the clouds of Venus may provide optimal living conditions for microbial life. The surface on Venus is incredibly hot and probably not the best place for life to live, but 50 kilometers up into Venu's atmosphere, life could potentially be thriving. While the temperature in Venus' clouds are much hotter than here on Earth, the pressure is similar. 

And in 2002, a team of astrobiologists from the University of Texas claimed that the clouds of Venus, which are full of carbon monoxide, have something strange going on that they had no answers for. A mixture of chemicals interacting which one another, that usually wouldn't be found together unless if there were some small 'life form' (bacteria) giving and taking chemicals out of the atmosphere. At least that is what they hypothesized based on how they know similar chemical reactions work here on Earth. So while it isn't confirmed, it is a possibility that Venus is full of bacteria, or at least its clouds are. 

13. We Are All The Proof We Need 

NASA photo of an exploding star

If you would allow me to circle back to the beginning, I'd like to end with another quote from the famed Harvard astrophysicist Avi Loed. Instead of using math to guess how many possible human-like planets there are in the universe (there are a lot), let's get a little more philosophical, shall we? 

If we were to find aliens, what would that do to our belief systems? Would we deny god? Would we claim to be him? Would anything change at all? Well, that depends on what kind of aliens we find. 

And Avi Loed has some seriously crazy thoughts on the matter, and in a recent OpEd titled 'Was Our Universe Created in a Laboratory?' published in Scientific American, he writes this: 

"Now there are a variety of conjectures in the scientific literature for our cosmic origins, including the ideas that our universe emerged from a vacuum fluctuation, or that it is cyclic with repeated periods of contraction and expansion, […] or that it emerged out of the collapse of matter in the interior of a black hole. A less explored possibility is that our universe was created in the laboratory of an advanced technological civilization."

Now what he is saying here, is that we must consider the option that our universe is what people call, 'base reality', but is instead a synthetically created universe, done by some extremely advanced civilization. And while that's a pretty insane statement, it isn't outside the realms of our understanding. Imagine this, you're playing the Sims, but instead of using pixel characters that have no thoughts or memories, you're playing with real living beings. Yeah, that sounds crazy but impossible? Not so much.

So next time someone asks you what you think about aliens, tell them they're being observed in a quantum gravity laboratory, and see where the conversation goes from there.