With July 2 being World UFO Day, it is a good time for society to address the unsettling and refreshing fact we may not be alone. I believe we need to face the possibility that some of the strange flying objects that outperform the best aircraft in our inventory and defy explanation may indeed be visitors from afar – and there’s plenty of evidence to support UFO sightings.
The Fermi paradox
The nuclear physicist Enrico Fermi was famous for posing thought provoking questions. In 1950, at Los Alamos National Laboratory after discussing UFOs over lunch, Fermi asked, “Where is everybody?” He estimated there were about 300 billion stars in the galaxy, many of them billions of years older than the sun, with a large percentage of them likely to host habitable planets. Even if intelligent life developed on a very small percentage of these planets, then there should be a number of intelligent civilisations in the galaxy. Depending on the assumptions, one should expect anywhere from tens to tens of thousands of civilisations.
With the rocket-based technologies that we have developed for space travel, it would take between 5 and 50 million years for a civilisation like ours to colonise our Milky Way galaxy. Since this should have happened several times already in the history of our galaxy, one should wonder where is the evidence of these civilisations? This discrepancy between the expectation that there should be evidence of alien civilisations or visitations and the presumption that no visitations have been observed has been dubbed the Fermi Paradox.
Carl Sagan correctly summarised the situation by saying that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” The problem is that there has been no single well-documented UFO encounter that would alone qualify as the smoking gun. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that many governments around the world have covered up and classified information about such encounters. But there are enough scraps of evidence that suggest that the problem needs to be open to scientific study.