Ufodimensionsdimensionalityalienstring Theoryphysicsnovapbsspace

Though unidentified flying objects (UFOs) are most often regarded as originating from outer space, what if there’s a more reasonable, scientific answer for our alleged space visitors?

We humans have always seen our world in three spatial dimensions: a line (one-dimensional), a flat plane (two-dimensional), and objects with width, length, and height (three-dimensional). We also have the concept of time as a fourth dimension, albeit time is not spatial but temporal. This discussion recognizes our three spatial dimensions.

But what if a fourth spatial dimension existed, and what would it look like? How would we three-dimensional human beings react to a fourth-dimensional intrusion of our time and space? In their well-researched and thought-provoking book, Alien Encounters, authors Chuck Missler and Mark Eastman explain:

“It has been suggested by some of the most knowledgeable observers that the apparent ability of the UFOs to materialize and dematerialize seems to suggest that they are “hyperdimensional” or from some other domain, able to enter and leave our space-time at will…it may well be that an understanding of spaces beyond the three dimensions with which we are familiar may hold the key to understanding the strange phenomena being observed with UFOs…It is extremely difficult for the average person to visualize a space of more than three dimensions, since that is the only spatial geometry with which we have had any personal experience.”(1)

Missler and Eastman provide a fascinating look at how a fictional flat two-dimensional being would react to a three-dimensional object intruding upon its world. Such would bring much confusion to the two-dimensional being, for all it knows is two dimensions and to consider a third is simply mind-blowing and inconceivable.

Even more unusual and frightening would be the way a complex three-dimensional object (such as a cube or pyramid) would change shape as it drifted through the two-dimensional space. What would the two-dimensional being see? It would only see a two-dimensional form changing shape as it tumbles through the two-dimensional space, because all it knows is two dimensions. Rick Groleau, managing editor of PBS’ NOVA online, adds [in regards to the NOVA program, “The Elegant Universe”]:

“For most of us, or perhaps all of us, it’s impossible to imagine a world consisting of more than three spatial dimensions. Are we correct when we intuit that such a world couldn’t exist? Or is it that our brains are simply incapable of imagining additional dimensionsdimensions that may turn out to be as real as other things we can’t detect? String theorists are betting that extra dimensions do indeed exist; in fact, the equations that describe superstring theory require a universe with no fewer than 10 dimensions. But even physicists who spend all day thinking about extra spatial dimensions have a hard time describing what they might look like or how we apparently feeble-minded humans might approach an understanding of them. That’s always been the case, and perhaps always will be.”(2)

So what if the scientists are correct? What if a fourth spatial dimension does in fact exist, and we three-dimensional beings are simply unable to comprehend any intrusion of our world from fourth-dimensional phenomena? This raises the possibility that our alien visitors aren’t truly from outer space, but from another dimension. Furthermore, it would make perfect sense given the ability of alien spacecraft to materialize, dematerialize, morph, and perform acrobatics that defy all physical laws.

1. Chuck Missler and Mark Eastman, “Alien Encounters: The Secret Behind the UFO Phenomenon,” Coeur d’Alene, Idaho: Koinonia House, 1997, Fifth Printing, 2003. pp. 85-86.
2. Rick Groleau, “Imagining Other Dimensions,” PBS NOVA: “The Elegant Universe,” July 2003.