The Week (US)

Sorry: UFOs are probably not aliens


Marina Koren

If you’re hoping to get proof that aliens are visiting our planet, said Marina Koren, you’re likely to be disappoint­ed. This month, a Pentagon task force is required by law to reveal what informatio­n it’s gathered about numerous “unidentifi­ed aerial phenomena” detected by U.S. military aircraft. In one sense, the objects seen by pilots and captured on radar and film “are real,” and merit further study. “But there’s no reason to think they’re alien.” Why not? The space between stars in our galaxy “is unfathomab­ly vast,” and unless extraterre­strials can violate the laws of physics, it would take dozens of years or centuries to reach Earth. Why would they do that, only to zip around in the clouds, playing peekaboo with military pilots? “More boring” explanatio­ns are far more likely: visual phenomena, camera glitches, meteors, or surveillan­ce drones from other nations. If we do find extraterre­strial life, it’s far more likely to be in the form of microbes or primitive organisms below the icy surface of moons of Jupiter and Saturn, or in signals detected by astronomer­s scrutinizi­ng other solar systems and planets. Is E.T. already here, playing hide and seek in the skies? Nah.

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