Astronomers, authors, UFO buffs and others both in and out of the scientific community have tried to answer this question for a long time. It’s the question that keeps the human race looking up at the sky and wondering if there are other beings watching this planet. There are many thoeries and lots of conjecture, but no undeniable evidence exists one way or another. Given the unimaginable size of the cosmos, it would be presumptuous to believe there are no other planets out there that could support intelligent life.
There are a few possibilities; first, there are other civilizations outside this solar system more advanced than we are. Second, there are extraterrestrials who live elsewhere in the galaxy but they are behind us technologically. Third, aliens exist and they have technology that is similar to ours. Fourth, we haven’t made contact with extraterrestrials because there aren’t any. Finally, aliens may be out there, but they are so far away that the chance of us contacting them, or them contacting us, is exceedingly remote.
It’s worthwhile to mention the unexplained disappearance of Travis Walton, an Arizona logger who disappeared for five days in 1975. He claimed to have been taken by aliens, and his companions who witnessed a large UFO in the sky just prior to his abduction all swore that what they saw was real and not a hallucination. The residents of Snowflake, Walton’s hometown, thought he had been murdered. To everyone’s amazement he reappeared and his story is one of the most famous in UFO abduction history.
Two other people who allegedly made contact with aliens were Betty and Barney Hill, who spotted a UFO in the sky over New Hampshire in 1961. Their experience was quite different from Travis Walton. Instead of being held on an alien craft for several days, the Hills claimed to have been shown a map of the star system where the aliens came from, the Zeta Reticuli system. This system is 40 light years away from Earth. They were examined by a psychiatrist who concluded that they were not being deceitful about the details of their abduction.
It’s hard to decide whether these stories are true or not, but they are compelling. Some believe that aliens are up there but have not decided to contact us. To them we would certainly appear destructive, and perhaps an inferior form of life. We are just beginning to explore our solar system. We’ve sent the Voyager probes and have scanned the surface of Mars but we haven’t physically left our little corner of the galaxy, because we are still a long way from producing the technology required. In a galactic sense, we are infants.
Imagine you are a member of an alien race with the means to travel faster than light. How would you look at humans, with all of the wars and environmental destruction that’s taking place? SETI (The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) continues to send out radio transmissions to the stars, and we are still waiting for a response. Is anybody out there listening? Perhaps, but it might be a while before we hear anything.