Since time immemorial, humankind has debated the possibility that life could exist outside of our own planet. As our knowledge has improved through technological developments so has curiosity deepened about the cosmos. Extraterrestrial literally means life not originating on Earth. Keeping an open mind on what form that life may take we must accept that any creature or plant that breathes constitutes life, however intelligent it may be.
The phenomenon of unidentified flying objects has been at the core of suspicion that ‘we are not alone’. Much fantasizing in movies and best selling novels have depicted the nature of alien lifeforms. We may dismiss the theatrics of the blockbusters, but it’s hard to ignore the countless numbers of sightings by intelligent people including fighter pilots, which the authorities hasten to debunk. Other cases have involved people who under hypnosis have relived experiences aboard alien space craft. Many have sketched images from memory which have corroborated the vision of others at different times and in different places. While devilish crop circles and strange markings on the sides of mountains have been explained away by scientists and archaeologists, some riddles have been harder to solve.
The Bermuda Triangle and its mysterious disappearances of ships has held the imagination of believers for decades. Some of these have been explained away by current movements and submerged ravines which have combined to carry ships hundreds of kilometres from their last known location. It struggles nevertheless to apply the same principle to aeroplanes which have disappeared without trace.
Aside of the probability or improbability of visitors from another world it would be naive to believe that another planet similar to Earth and capable of supporting life, regardless of its stage in the evolutionary process, does not exist somewhere in the universe. In the meantime, all we have is anecdotal evidence, photographs, suppositions and unsubstantiated sightings which for reasons only known to national securities, have been ridiculed or effectively silenced.
SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) is a scientific program which links a network of millions of home computers in the ultimate search for a signal from outer space which could one day lead to contact with extraterrestrial life. There is just too much momentum across the globe and too many weighted arguments for the question of the possibility of alien life to be cast aside any longer. The answer is out there and we will find it, hopefully in my lifetime.