Fermi paradox

The Paradox of Fermi’s Paradox 

“All this visible universe is not unique in nature and we must believe there are, in other regions of space, other worlds, other beings and other men.”

– Lucretius 99-55 BC


Is it possible some UAP are extraterrestrial craft? Is it reasonable to think there is intelligent alien life visiting earth?

Scientists still debate whether the universe is infinite, but at a minimum, our visible universe contains trillions of galaxies, each with hundreds of billions of planets and moons. As best we can tell, the same laws of physics apply everywhere, and the heavy organic molecules that form the basic building blocks of life are abundant. In short, from the nearest solar systems to the most distant edges of space and time, we are surrounded by endless opportunities for life. Amidst these endless opportunities, intelligent extraterrestrial life is a near mathematical certainty. But what about the prospects for intelligent life to evolve in Earth’s galactic neighborhood? Although estimates vary considerably, many indicate we are probably not alone in the Milky Way.

Duncan Forgan, a Ph.D. Candidate in astronomy at the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh, Scotland, carefully evaluated data on the composition of the Milky Way and concluded there should be over 360 stable, advanced civilizations in our galaxy. He also believes that if microbial life can spread via meteors, we may be sharing the Milky Way with tens of thousands of technologically advanced civilizations.

In 2020, astronomers Tom Westby and Christopher Conselice, researchers at the University of Nottingham, performed an extensive assessment of the latest astronomical data and concluded, within a band of uncertainty, that we share the Milky Way with dozens of other technologically advanced alien civilizations.

Astronomers Adam Frank and Woodruff Sullivan took a somewhat different approach but reached similar conclusions. According to co-author Adam Frank, “Even if you are pretty pessimistic and think that you’d have to search through 100 billion planets in habitable zones before you found one where a civilization developed, then there have still been a trillion civilizations over cosmic history!” Even if life arises on habitable Earth-like planets only once in 60 billion opportunities, we are still not the first civilization in the Milky Way.

As these and other astronomers have concluded, the existence of advanced alien civilizations in our galaxy is a good bet. Nevertheless, the Milky Way is hundreds of thousands of light years across. Could other civilizations in the Milky Way reach earth with probes or spacecraft? With what might appear to us to be UAP? The answer is, unequivocally, yes… if other civilizations follow technological trajectories similar to those on Earth.

Bear in mind that we’ve only been a space-faring species for under 70 years, less than the lifetime of the average American. My grandfather was born in 1897, nearly seven years before the Wright Brothers launched their first successful flight from atop a sand dune in North Carolina. Yet, he lived to see Neil Armstrong walk on the moon in 1969 and later the launch of the Space Shuttle. Now, some 50 years after the first moonwalk, there is already a plan to send a probe to our nearest stellar neighbor, Alpha Centauri, four light years from earth. Conceived by billionaire Russian physicist Yuri Millner, “Project Starshot” quickly attracted the support of Stephen Hawking, Mark Zuckerburg, Avi Loeb, and others. The plan is to use a massive laser to propel a small sensor package equipped with a light sail to 1/5 the speed of light. Depending on how long it takes for the probe to reach its maximum velocity, 20-30 years will elapse here on Earth before the probe arrives at its destination.

However, due to the time dilation effects of relativity, there would be a reduction in the actual travel time experienced by an interstellar craft and anyone aboard it. More to the point, if a single wealthy individual can send a probe to another star system, what doubt is there that a far older and more advanced alien civilization could send probes across interstellar space? Note that there is no requirement for superluminal travel. In fact, a space-faring civilization expanding through the Milky Way at 20% of the speed of light could theoretically colonize the entire galaxy in as little as 500,000 years, a tiny fraction of the galaxy’s lifetime.

It is also conceivable that more advanced civilizations have achieved faster than light travel by exploiting wormholes, “interdimensional travel,” or by some other means we have not yet conceived. Other civilizations may also have developed the ability to extend biological lifetimes indefinitely. If nothing else, it is easy to imagine uncrewed but highly intelligent probes, perhaps even self-replicating probes, gradually spreading throughout the galaxy. If this seems fanciful, recall that there already are functioning probes operating in interstellar space.

Fermi paradox
Radiotelescopes have long been the tool of preference used by astronomers in the search for evidence of intelligent aliens (Credit: Unsplash).

Although I support the SETI project, it seems far more likely extraterrestrial civilizations would dispatch probes rather than blindly broadcasting radio signals into space. For one thing, any civilization broadcasting openly to space is announcing its location and potentially inviting its own destruction. As they say, “The spouting whale gets the harpoon.” Probes, by contrast, can obtain information stealthily, permitting direct observation without interference or detection. They also eliminate the need for compatible communications technologies and provide the means to collect and examine physical specimens as we ourselves are doing today on Mars. Probes are also likely to be more efficient considering the massive energy required to send signals into space that would be detectable at interstellar distances. It is not surprising that NASA sends probes rather than signals to explore the solar system. So why aren’t we seeing evidence of probes from other civilizations? Or are we?

The Fermi Paradox

Given the overwhelming number of potentially viable habitats in our galaxy, many scientists profess surprise that intelligent alien life has not already been detected. As the nuclear physicist Enrico Fermi once famously observed, conveying this gap between theory and observation, “Where is everybody?” This quip by the renowned physicist is now known as “the Fermi paradox.”

I perceive a paradox as well, although it is a paradox of a different sort. I call it the “UAP paradox.” What strikes me as paradoxical is that at the same time Enrico Fermi was asking, “Where is everybody?” UAP were flying around Los Alamos like moths around a candle. More broadly: Why are so few scientists willing to consider UAP as potential alien probes when there is such extensive evidence of mysterious craft in our skies demonstrating capabilities otherwise found only in science fiction?

Let’s begin by looking at Dr. Fermi himself. In 1944, Dr. Fermi joined the Manhattan Project full-time and moved to Los Alamos, New Mexico. He worked at Los Alamos for the remainder of the war and remained an active researcher at Los Alamos during the summer months for many years thereafter. Indeed, his famous comment, “Where is everybody?” was made to a group of fellow physicists at Los Alamos in the summer of 1950. Now consider the following quote from a memo sent by the Director of Security at Los Alamos National Labs to Brigadier General Joseph Carroll, the commander of the USAF Office of Special Investigations in May 1950, just a few months before Dr. Fermi’s posed his famous question, “Where is everybody?”:

“The frequency of unexplained aerial phenomenon in the New Mexico area is such that an organized plan of reporting these observations should be undertaken….the observers of these phenomenon include scientists, Special Agents of the Office of Special Investigation, USAF and airline pilots, military pilots, Los Alamos security inspectors, military personnel and many other persons of various occupations whose reliability is not questioned … the phenomenon has continuously occurred during the last 18 months and is continuing to occur..in the vicinity of sensitive installations.”

This memo in May of 1950 also comes on the heels of one of the most extraordinary UAP events in American history, when in March of 1950, dozens of residents of nearby Farmington, New Mexico, reported hundreds of silver metallic disks flying in formation over their town in broad daylight. In other words, hundreds of UAP were being observed by all manner of personnel in the vicinity of Los Alamos at precisely the time Dr. Fermi was professing bafflement over a perceived absence of alien life. The UAP evidence included numerous reports by trained observers, pilots, scientists, and security personnel, as well as photographs and even radar tracks and theodolite measurements.

Does it not seem ironic that recurring visits by greenish fireballs and supersonic silver disks were prompting major security concerns for Los Alamos Labs at the same time Dr. Fermi was asking, “Where is everybody?”

This vignette regarding Dr. Fermi is a perfect illustration of the strangely blinkered views of the scientific community, the press, and mainstream America as a whole. Even with the Defense Department officially acknowledging the existence of hundreds of UAP incidents, few journalists, scientists, or citizens seem interested in what may soon become the greatest discovery in human history. The evidence is not yet definitive, at least not the information in the public domain, but the extraterrestrial hypothesis seems the only explanation fully consistent with a large and rapidly growing body of compelling data. Moreover, some UAP seem to be an ideal match for the alien probes that theory predicts.

Theory and Observation

As the focal point for U.S. nuclear weapons design and development, the motive for scrutiny of Los Alamos is obvious. Imagine that NASA probes someday encounter an inhabited exoplanet. The first order of business will unquestionably be to assess what threats or dangers exist. If ever there was to be a honeypot used to lure alien probes, I can’t imagine anything more likely to succeed than atmospheric explosions of nuclear weapons. As noted above, UAP activity was persistent and compelling near Los Alamos and other nuclear weapons facilities, with recurring overflights and intrusive entries into highly sensitive restricted airspace. Thanks to the efforts of author Robert Hastings; the outspokenness and persistence of nuclear weapons veterans like Robert Salas; and the work of researchers who have painstakingly leveraged the Freedom of Information Act (e.g. Brad Sparks; Paul Dean), this pattern of UAP activity at U.S. nuclear installations is well-documented despite the refusal of the U.S. Air Force to forthrightly acknowledge these incidents or cooperate with public or even Congressional requests for information.

If alien craft or probes are monitoring earth, we should expect them to be radically different from anything we possess, baffling in both appearance and capability. In the immortal words of Arthur C. Clarke, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” To my mind, UAP data again fit the ET probe hypothesis. The most common UAP observed in the Los Alamos area in Dr. Fermi’s day were green fireballs and supersonic silver disks capable of fantastic acceleration and maneuverability despite the lack of any discernible means of propulsion. The cumulative weight of credible reports from Blue Book and other sources provides highly persuasive evidence for the existence of radical craft superior to anything created by man.

I am also aware of cases of individuals who have reportedly suffered burns or radiation damage from encounters with UAP. Some of these cases have occurred in the U.S., others in Brazil and the Solomon Islands. This is compelling because the U.S. and its allies do not manufacture aircraft that produce nuclear radiation.

During the Sign, Grudge, and Blue Book eras, some senior military personnel examining UAP data considered the ET hypothesis a viable explanation for UAP, but few mainstream scientists were willing to make this connection. A prominent exception was Herman Oberth, one of the fathers of modern rocketry who served as a mentor to Wernher von Braun, who wrote a lengthy analysis concluding:

“It is my thesis that flying saucers are real and that they are space ships from another solar system. There is no doubt in my mind that these objects are interplanetary craft of some sort. I and my colleagues are confident that they do not originate in our solar system.”

Dr. Oberth was likely influenced by exposure to UAP incidents while working for the U.S. government. The frequency of military UAP encounters also explains the keen interest in UAP evinced by many high-ranking retired military officers of that era. For example, the leaders of the most active public UAP research group in the 1950’s and 60s, the National Investigating Committee for Airborne Phenomenon (NICAP) included former CIA Director Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter; Admiral Delmar Fahrney, director of the Navy’s guided missile programs; USMC aviator Major Donald Keyhoe; and Rear Admiral H.B Knowles among others. My UAP activism also stems from exposure to military UAP reporting.

Unfortunately, the UAP stigma persists among many, perhaps most scientists to this day. Worse, some scientists have been spreading misinformation about UAP. For example, I’ve been astonished to see prominent SETI researchers asking in public forums, “If UAP are real how come commercial airline pilots never see them?” How could these SETI scientists be so grossly mistaken when a simple Google query is all it takes to find credible data regarding thousands of commercial airline pilot sightings of UAP?

Similarly, an astronomer from the University of Arizona published an article in 2020 making the preposterous claim that UAP sightings  “..stop at the Canadian and Mexican borders.” Again, if the author or his editors had spent 5 minutes looking online they’d have quickly learned that Canada and Mexico are rife with UAP sightings, photos, videos, and even military reports.

I’ve had the opportunity to interview numerous military personnel who encountered unidentified aircraft that defy our present understanding of aeronautics and engineering. This includes a retired NORAD watch officer, USAF Col. James Cobb, who observed the radar track of a high-flying UAP that proceeded from the arctic down the entire U.S. East coast.  NORAD’s best efforts to intercept the object failed due to the UAP’s speed and altitude. I’ve also been privy to substantial government UAP information that has reinforced my views regarding the anomalous nature of the phenomenon. However, I find the unclassified and open source data sufficiently compelling, indeed so cumulatively overwhelming, that I remain surprised there is not much greater academic and press interest in the UAP issue. Those already familiar with the Nimitz case may wish to skip the next section, but for those who are not, this well-documented case will help to explain why the U.S. government is now treating UAP as a serious national security issue.

The Nimitz Case

I can discuss the Nimitz case with some authority because I’ve interviewed most of the Navy personnel involved from both the Nimitz and the USS Princeton. I’ve also studied the official DoD reporting on the incident and an extensive analysis prepared by the Scientific Coalition for UAP Studies.

In November 2004, the USS Princeton, equipped with the world’s most capable naval radar, tracked dozens of UAP performing seemingly impossible maneuvers while it was conducting training operations off the coast of Southern California. The speeds, range, altitudes, and acceleration of these objects defied logic and experience. In some cases, the objects descended from at least 80,000 feet, possibly even orbital altitudes, according to reports from some crew members working in the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) cell aboard the ship. The baffled Princeton crew reset and recalibrated their Aegis radar, yet the bizarre activity continued. Finally, after several days, two F-18s were directed to intercept one of these objects. Conditions were ideal, with clear sunny skies.

Tic Tac
Artist’s rendering of the “Tic Tac” observed in November 2004 by personnel with the USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (Image Credit: Micah Hanks)

When they arrived at the intercept location the pilots observed a white vehicle nearly 50 feet long with no wings, control surfaces, exhaust, or visible means of propulsion. All four naval aviators observed the craft react to their presence and perform seemingly impossible maneuvers, moving in ways that defy our understanding of physics. As the lead jet approached the strange white craft, it turned toward the fighter while hovering, then moments later circled upward and away from the F-18 before accelerating to hypersonic speeds and disappearing over the horizon. It seems the craft must have been using some form of relativistic, anti-gravity propulsion system because there was no sonic boom or evidence of extreme heat. Further, the estimated g forces would otherwise have obliterated the craft.

Incredibly, the strange object flew precisely to the latitude and longitude the aviators had agreed to use for their training operations that day. Low on fuel, Cmdr. Dave Fravor and Lt. Cmdr. Alex Dietrich returned to the Nimitz. However, another F-18 was launched to search for the object. This F-18 did not get as close, but it was able to acquire infrared imagery of the so-called “Tic Tac” before the UAP shot away again at hypersonic speeds. What the aviators observed they say was unlike anything they were familiar with. Quoting pilot Chad Underwood who took the famous “FLIR” video I provided to the New York Times in 2017:

“It was just behaving in ways that aren’t physically normal. That’s what caught my eye. Because, aircraft, whether they’re manned or unmanned, still have to obey the laws of physics. They have to have some source of lift, some source of propulsion. The Tic Tac was not doing that. It was going from like 50,000 feet to, you know, a hundred feet in like seconds, which is not possible.”

He goes on to say:

“…normally, you would see engines emitting a heat plume. This object was not doing that. The video shows a source of heat, but the normal signatures of an exhaust plume were not there. There was no sign of propulsion. You could not see the thing that the ATFLIR pod should pick up 100 percent of the time.”

The U.S. government acknowledges this was not an experimental US aircraft, and as the recent DoD report to Congress explains, there is also no indication that the craft belonged to Russia, China or any other country. Cmdr. Dave Fravor, the highest ranking officer in the air that day and the pilot who got closest to the object, believes the “Tic Tac” was “not from this world.” Because it was so bizarre and its capabilities so vastly superior to any aircraft known to man, Fravor’s conclusion seems perfectly logical. There is nothing we know in the inventory of any nation on earth that comes close to the appearance or performance of the “Tic Tac”.

In addition to the pilots and radar operators involved, I’ve discussed this case with cleared Congressional staff, high-level Pentagon officials, and senior engineers from the Lockheed Martin Skunkworks and the Boeing Phantom Works. I’ve yet to encounter a plausible conventional explanation. Moreover, all concerned agree that extreme advances in physics and engineering would be required before America could even attempt to build a craft like the Tic Tac. Admittedly, this is not yet conclusive proof of alien life, but what else can it be if it was not manufactured by the U.S., China, or Russia?

Other Cases

If the Nimitz case was a singular incident, we might somehow discount it; but there have been many hundreds if not thousands of comparable incidents since at least WWII. DoD presently acknowledges 400 military UAP incidents since 2004, but that number excludes anomalies in space; many thousands of NORAD reports; undersea anomalies, and information that remains concealed by classification guidelines and non-disclosure agreements. A high percentage of the reported DoD cases–over half–involve multiple sensor data. Further, we know that in most cases, military personnel have been afraid to report sightings and contacts, so the actual number of DoD encounters is far higher than the 400 cases recently reported to Congress.

At this point, it is tempting to discuss similar military encounters in other countries, including France, Brazil, Britain, Belgium, Canada, and Russia; or mass sighting cases in the U.S., Australia, Zimbabwe, or Italy; or the sensational press accounts of the flyover on successive weekends of the U.S. Capitol in July 1952. According to its Director, the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) alone has received over 200,000 UAP reports since its founding in 1969. There are also thousands of UAP videos and photographs, despite the mathematically remote prospects of photographing high-flying or fast-flying UAP. As physicist Brad Sparks explains on page 382 of The UFO Encyclopedia, due to the limitations of smartphone cameras and the need for the target to be very close and slow, we should not expect even a single clear UAP photo from billions of smartphones over a 5 year period. Nevertheless, there are many photos and videos (such as the FLIR and Gimbal videos) that defy simple conventional explanations. The government has also collected a considerable amount of authentic video and radar data in the short time since they resumed officially studying the UAP issue in 2020. What then explains the unwillingness of most scientists and academics to consider UAP as potential examples of the abundant extraterrestrial intelligence that theory predicts?

Reasons that mainstream scientists fail to connect UAP and Extraterrestrial life

1. Lack of Information

As we have seen above, there is still a widespread gap in academia regarding basic facts about UAP. How many astronomers realize there have been hundreds of thousands of UAP sightings worldwide, including thousands of reports by commercial airline pilots, military pilots, and radar operators? How many are aware of the hundreds of unsolved Project Blue Book cases or the recent “Preliminary Report” on UAP provided to Congress by the Intelligence Community? How many have read any of the books on UAP written by fellow scientists, including astronomer Dr. Allen Hynek, information scientist Dr. Jacques Vallee, or nuclear physicist Stanton Friedman?

Fortunately, as my experience with the Congressional oversight committees demonstrates, when people get credible UAP information, they generally respond to the data and modify their views. Congress’ sudden interest is simply due to the fact that prior to 2017, Congress lacked access to credible UAP information.

Nothing has had a greater impact on government officials than the testimony of military aviators and other trained personnel. To hear Cmdr. Dave Fravor and his colleagues tell their tale in person is powerful and compelling.  Unfortunately, scientists and academics generally do not have the benefit of these perspectives.

Thankfully, Congress is requiring DoD to continue providing unclassified public reports on the latest UAP data each year. This will undoubtedly help to raise public and scientific interest and awareness.

2. Science vs. National Security

There is a fundamental difference in evidentiary standards between the national security community and scientists and academics. Scientists strive to formulate hypotheses that can be tested and disproven; they then publish their results so others can independently replicate their findings. This time-honored approach, combined with free markets and freedom of speech and association, underpins our prosperity and incredible advances in health and living standards. This disciplined approach generally works well in a laboratory or observatory, but the national security community does not always have the luxury of working with inert materials or controlled environments. In fact, the organizations and individuals national security analysts study are often diligently working to confuse and deceive us. Policymakers also do not always have the luxury of deferring conclusions or action until conclusive data is available. These disparate standards and circumstances sometimes lead to contrasting reactions to the same information.

For example, in the Nimitz case, the testimony of the pilots and radar operators and the Aegis and IR data is about as good as it gets from a military perspective. For national security officials to discount such compelling information would be tantamount to the radar operator in Hawaii on Dec. 7th, 1941, ignoring the approaching Japanese aircraft that appeared on his screen. Yet, many scientists cavalierly dismiss military reporting because it does not include data they can independently evaluate and confirm. I appreciate this difference in perspectives, but I would appeal to scientists considering the UAP issue to bear in mind we are in entirely uncharted waters. Notably, if the ET hypothesis is correct, this represents the first time in history we have attempted to analyze manifestations of a more intelligent and technologically advanced species. Normal standards and practices do not suffice. If we observe a UAP event and then fail to replicate it subsequently, is that consistent or inconsistent with the ET hypothesis? Are they monitoring and reacting to our monitoring them? Are they able to interfere with or deceive our instruments? Are they able to interfere with or modify our perceptions? If the observed behavior of UAP contradicts our understanding of physics, is that evidence the data is flawed or evidence of a more highly advanced civilization? If there is a dearth of clear photos, is that because of stealthy concealment, lack of actual UAP, or due to an energetic field generated by relativistic UAP propulsion systems that interfere with the reflection of photons to the camera?

Although I recognize the UAP information available to the public does not constitute proof of alien life, I also believe we must acknowledge this as a genuine possibility and move rapidly to determine as best we can the identity, motives, and capabilities of the anomalies being observed underwater and in the atmosphere and space. The national security implications are far too grave, and the potential scientific rewards too great.

3. Stigma

The lack of basic knowledge regarding UAP has been seriously compounded by the contemptuous and demeaning attitude historically displayed by the U.S. government (and most academic scientists) toward the UAP topic. This derisive attitude was primarily due to the recommendations of the CIA’s Robertson Panel in 1953. At the time, due to fears the UAP issue might be exploited by the USSR, the Air Force was advised to discredit the topic. The Air Force used Project Blue Book and the Condon report to distort the data and convey the impression that if only more detailed data were available conventional explanations could be found for all UAP cases. Yet, the Blue Book data clearly shows the opposite: The more witnesses and the better the data, the less likely the USAF was able to find a conventional explanation for UAP incidents. Nevertheless, the government, Dr. Condon, and others succeeded in conveying the message that there was no credible reason to believe UAP demonstrated superior technology or posed a threat to national security. We now know both conclusions were simplistic and premature.

4. The Social Nature of Information

Psychological research reveals that most people value fitting in with their peers more than faithful adherence to facts or the analysis of data. Humans are social creatures, getting along amicably often trumps facts, logic, or data.

In his account of Project Blue Book, Dr. Allan Hynek points out that when confidentially polled, many astronomers reported interest in the UAP issue; however, while in committee, they almost always disparaged the topic for fear of being ridiculed or challenged by their peers. This same fear has, until very recently, also prevented most military and government personnel from reporting UAP encounters or expressing interest in the topic.

5. Cognitive Dissonance

It doesn’t help that the implications of the extraterrestrial hypothesis are deeply disturbing for most people, challenging core beliefs and causing considerable anxiety and uncertainty in the process. For some, the prospect is simply terrifying. Psychologists call such interference with normal mental processing “cognitive dissonance.” It is not surprising to find that process at work with regard to UAP. The concept of alien craft and alien beings is fine in fiction, but it is an extremely challenging concept to process or integrate into our daily lives.

Reasons for optimism

Fortunately, we have reached a turning point. We now have a top-down DoD effort, embraced at the highest levels. This is unprecedented, a fundamentally different situation than either the Congressionally mandated Advanced Aerospace Weapons Systems Applications Program (AAWSAP), an unclassified contractor study; or AAWSAP’s successor, the small but scrappy Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) led by Luis Elizondo. The public isn’t generally aware of the incredible capabilitiesDoD operates, but the most extensive and capable sensor apparatus yet devised by man is now being used to help identify UAP and determine their capabilities and intent. This changes everything. DoD’s technical capabilities are so precise and extensive that I expect major progress, likely even conclusive results, within the next few years if progress continues.

Moreover, there are historic whistleblower provisions in the pending Intelligence and DoD Authorization bills in Congress. These provisions enjoy broad bipartisan and bicameral support and will almost certainly be enacted by year’s end. Once enacted, they will enable Congress to learn the truth of long-standing allegations that the U.S. government is in possession of recovered alien technology. Concurrently, pending legislation will require a General Accounting Office review of classified information pertaining to UAP dating back to the end of WWII. I am already aware of a number of individuals who claim they will testify to the existence of recovered alien technology or are considering doing so.

Already, we can see a few positive glimmers resulting from public interest in UAP. It is encouraging to see that a handful of private citizens in America can still bring about changes in policy when they have facts and data on their side. It is a relief to see the U.S. Congress is still capable of meaningful bipartisan collaboration. It is also encouraging to see that empirical data can still win the day in U.S.Congress despite the increasing public rejection of scientific data and principles.

Prospects and Opportunities

Between the U.S. government’s technical collection efforts directed at UAP and the amnesty provisions and document review soon to be enacted, the prospects of finding answers to the UAP mystery are real and rapidly growing. What if we find conclusive evidence that some UAP are manifestations of alien technology?

If UAP have hostile intentions, we’d likely already know after so many decades (possibly even thousands of years) of UAP activity. In the unlikely event some UAP intervention is planned, then the sooner we acknowledge the reality of UAP the better. There are steps we might take to enhance our deterrence capabilities.

Although some UAP activity is concerning, especially continued violations of restricted airspace, it seems more likely that the pattern we’ve been experiencing for decades, perhaps centuries, will continue indefinitely – namely, furtive, intermittent sightings of strange craft that have an unknown interest in our planet. If this passive pattern continues after “disclosure,” then the discovery that we are not alone might actually work to the great advantage of our species.

Let’s briefly imagine the impact of an authoritative announcement from the U.S. government, or a group of world leaders, that some UAP are of extraterrestrial origin. This discovery would undoubtedly be the most transformative in human history. If the current, furtive pattern of UAP activity remains unchanged, then one impact might be to divert Russia, China, and the U.S. away from increasingly dangerous confrontation toward collaborative scientific and military activities instead.

It is difficult to exaggerate the need for unprecedented international collaboration at this juncture in history. It should by now be clear to all that the existential challenges facing our species cannot be solved unilaterally. In addition to the urgent need to reduce the rapidly growing prospects of war between nuclear powers, unprecedented collaboration is also required to manage global warming, the uncontrolled rise of artificial intelligence and biological engineering, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. It may seem far-fetched, but the discovery that we are not alone could be our best hope for radically re-framing the views of the major world powers and humanity itself. In sum, the most likely scenario – no change in their conduct but major changes in ours – may also prove to be the most optimistic. As Ronald Reagan once said, addressing the UN General Assembly in 1987:

“Cannot swords be turned to plowshares? Can we and all nations not live in peace? In our obsession with antagonisms of the moment, we often forget how much unites all the members of humanity. Perhaps we need some outside, universal threat to make us recognize this common bond. I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world. And yet, I ask you, is not an alien force already among us? What could be more alien to the universal aspirations of our peoples than war and the threat of war?”


Our collective journey from the center of creation to a random location in a cold, dark, infinite and unfeeling universe seems bleak. However, discovering we share the earth and the unending vastness of space with other intelligent civilizations could provide the impetus for thrilling new voyages of exploration and discovery.

What could be more profound, exciting, or transformational than the discovery of biological or even silicon beings who appear magical due to their mastery of science and technology? Contact could potentially advance our understanding of the laws of nature, placing some of these god-like powers within Mankind’s reach as well. The knowledge that we are being monitored by one or more mysterious civilizations could potentially reframe international security paradigms in a manner that supplants rivalries with new alliances. If nothing else, proof we are not alone in the cosmos might renew access to wonders and mysteries that fled before the onslaught of secularism and science. As Arthur C. Clarke once observed:

“Across the seas of space lie the raw materials of the imagination. Strangeness, wonder, mystery and magic – these things which not long ago appeared lost forever will soon return to the world.”

For me, the question, “where is everybody” is better directed at humanity – the mainstream scientists and journalists ignoring UAP data rather than the aliens who may actually have been here quietly watching us all along. If nothing else, we can at least all agree that the truth about UAP is increasingly within reach. I hope more mainstream scientists, journalists, and government officials will set the UAP stigma aside and, as objectively as possible, consider the growing body of UAP evidence and its potential implications.

Update 9/2/22: The inclusion of a reference to the Pentagon’s AATIP program, led by Luis Elizondo, was added by the author alongside existing references to its predecessor, the DIA’s AAWSAP program. 

Christopher Mellon spent nearly 20 years in the U.S. Intelligence Community, including serving as the Minority Staff Director of the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. In his free time, Mellon works to raise awareness regarding the UAP issue and its implications for national security.