What about aliens?

So in my last post, I talked about my husband and I watching BuzzFeed Unsolved: Supernatural on Prime video, and I asked what you guys thought about ghosts. However, this show also features UFOs and aliens.

How do you feel about aliens? How about UFOs?

I feel aliens are way more probable than ghosts, and I think with time, we will have more answers. 

As far as UFOs go, I think there’s a fair amount of evidence. However, I think UFOs could be a bunch of different things and not necessarily be associated with aliens.

I hope you don’t think I’m crazy, but I definitely think UFOs and aliens make more sense than any of the other supernatural topics investigated on the show.

What do you think?


  1. StonedRanger says

    They are called UFO’s for a reason. They are unidentified. Before we start worrying about aliens, lets try and figure out what the ufo’s are and then we can worry about where they come from. At this point, Im way more worried about the cheeto in the white house than I am about ‘aliens’.

  2. robert79 says

    The universe is large enough that, sure, we’re probably not alone. Intelligent (are we really?) life might be rare enough though that said aliens might be several galaxies over and finding them, let alone talking to them will be an impossible task.

    For the same reason, UFOs are a big nope… infinitesimally more likely then ghosts, but still nope…

  3. Katydid says

    I’m open to the possibility that there is life (maybe not advanced, “intelligent life”) on planets other than Earth, and that as yet we have not found it. Has any of it found us? I’m leaning toward “no”. So many UFO sightings seem to occur around military bases, particularly ones where they conduct flight tests.

    Have you read the Carl Sagan book Contact? Or seen the movie with Jodie Foster that came out in the mid-1990s? The main idea of that book is that if there is intelligent life (the book doesn’t make it clear one way or the other), then it’s very, very different from us and perhaps so different that it’s nearly impossible to communicate.

    I have a brother-in-law who believes aliens built the pyramids, because pyramid design (that is, stacking smaller things on top of larger things) was too difficult for humans to comprehend.

  4. lochaber says

    Once again, I feel this xkcd comic applies:

    Anyways, I think without some unimagined breakthrough in technology, interstellar travel is so difficult as to be functionally impossible. Space is big, and hostile… It’s so big, that we use the “lightyear” to measure distances.

    Maybe something like a giant ice-shielded generational ship might be theoretically possible, but it would take all of civilization working together for decades, if not centuries, to build, and there would be no point unless you had a known hospitable destination. I really don’t think aliens are zipping around in personal vehicles to confuse humans and steal their livestock.

    I believe P.Z. had a blog entry some time back, about how if there was a planet with life on it, there is a very good chance Earth life would be completely incompatible with it, and we’d die of anaphylactic shock the moment we took in a lungful of their atmosphere. And likely vice-versa.

  5. sonofrojblake says

    Genuinely one of the few upsides of having Trump as president is that the question of aliens is definitively settled. There are none. No ships in Area 51,no autopsies, no bodies, no signals.

    If there were, we’d all have heard about it a single-digit humber of days after the orange fuckwit was inaugurated. Since we haven’t, we can safely conclude alien contact is not a thing.

    Aliens are definitely out there – that’s just maths. “Out there”, though, includes “even the nearest too far away for us to ever know”, and this seems to be the case.

  6. sonofrojblake says

    Oh, and UFOs obviously exist. I’ve seen some. I wish I knew what I’d seen, but I’m comfortable assuming it’s simply a natural phenomenon I’m not familiar with or didn’t recognise, or an odd collection of perfectly normal aircraft. Either works as an explanation.

    • says

      I’ve never seen a UFO, but I’ve heard one. I suspect it was someone playing around with a flying drone, but who knows.

  7. mikekaye says

    I dismiss the paranormal in general and ghosts in particular. I include theistic intervention in the physical world as a subset of the paranormal.

    Some UFOs are pranks or deliberate frauds. I remember reading about a prank with 5 or 6 weather balloons each carrying a lit road flare. Released at a regular interval they ‘flew in formation’ and sped off one at a time at fantastic speeds. If I were doing that, I would rubber band a stick of dynamite to each flare. The use of hydrogen in the balloons would add a pyrotechnic benefit to the dynamite.

    I agree with our Heathen Mommy from Holy Toledo that aliens are more likely than ghosts. But could mankind be trusted with faster-than-light transport? That must be why all those aliens do little more than touch and go.

    Don’t you just love it when ‘unknown’ becomes someone’s pet wild-assed ‘theory’. It could be proof of aliens, time travel, ancient gods from another dimension, a prelude to the rapture of the saints, or the New World Order getting ready to control us all.

    The Phoenix Lights – Beyond Top Secret – Expanded and Updated
    This event is proof that there is an extraterrestrial presence on Earth.
    Not my thing but available to rent from Amazon

  8. says

    Excuse me for the long reply:

    First thought: Why do people assume the Earth isn’t the first planet with life of any kind? I don’t just mean intelligence or the possiblity of life arising, I mean in terms of time. We may be the inhabited first planet, and it’s other planets that will be listening to us long after we’re gone. “There are enough stars, enough planets and enough time for life to appear elsewhere!” is not proof of life on other planets. It would be nice if there were, but it’s not wrong to assume we’re alone.

    Second thought: The radio age (since Marconi) is 123 years old. There are only eleven known extra-solar planets that scientists think are habitable which are close enough to hear us and travel here at the speed of light. The earliest intelligent life elsewhere could have heard us and headed here was 95 years ago, but only *IF* they discovered us and can travel at the speed of light. Which also presumes they would want to make the effort to travel here.

    Third thought: The universe is 13 billion years old, the sun is 4.5 billion, life on Earth is 3.5 billion, humans less than 500,000 years, organized settlements 10,000 years, and the industrial age is 200 years. How can we assume that life elsewhere will occur at exactly the right time needed for them to discover our planet and decide to travel here? If intelligent life did appear elsewhere, it’s just as likely they have already ceased to exist and their radio transmissions stopped long ago or (back to first thought) they’ll hear us after we’re gone. They may have knocked and phoned long ago, we weren’t around to answer the door or the call, and we’ll never know if they did.

  9. John Morales says

    By the principle of mediocrity, it’s highly likely that life exists elsewhere.

    (Being an old fart, I recall when exoplanets were only hypothetical)

    By the current understanding of physics, it’s highly highly highly unlikely that such life has come to Earth.

    (Yes, our knowledge is incomplete, but cf. Asimov’s relativity of wrong)

  10. publicola says

    No ghosts. No spaceships. No empirical evidence. One alien. (Unfortunately, he’s in the White House).

  11. says

    As I’ve gotten older I’ve found the idea that any UFOs are alien spacecraft less and less credible. A civilisation that could reach Earth from another star would most likely have the technology to observe us without us knowing it. So it seems highly unlikely that they’d engage in activities equivalent to someone teasing their pet cat with a laser pointer.

  12. ashes says

    You guys have made some really good points — definitely some information I didn’t know. I think I need to do more research and reconsider my position on this topic.

  13. Owlmirror says

    BuzzFeed Unsolved: Supernatural on Prime video, [. . .] However, this show also features UFOs and aliens.

    Just thinking about the terminology, calling aliens “supernatural” seems wrong, to me. The definition of “supernatural” that makes most sense to me is “something that is irreducibly mindlike; something does not have a physical body made of atoms, but still perceives, thinks, desires, and acts with purpose based on its thoughts and desires”. So gods, ghosts, spirits, souls, demons, angels, and so on, being partially or completely made of something that is like a mind, would be supernatural.

    But things that are presumably not irreducibly mindlike, if they existed, are things like aliens (which presumably evolved someplace else and came here), anything like Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, or other cryptids, and so on. The overall term for that sort of thing would be “paranormal”: outside of normal science; fundamentally weird or fringe. But if cryptids or extraterrestrials were found to be somehow real, they would not in and of themselves imply that substance dualism supernaturalism is true.

    Technically, I think that all supernatural things are paranormal, but not all paranormal things are supernatural. There’s probably some slop and fuzziness and overlap with the definitions as well. Some theists have claimed that aliens are actually demons! Well, demons pretending to be aliens would be supernatural, I guess.

  14. blf says

    I myself use Isaac Asimov’s rules (paraphrased, and in no particular order): (1) Until an alien crew & craft presents itself publicly and allows reasonable inspection, there are no such things nor any evidence for such things; and (2)  “UFO” is a technical term for phenomena with many known & plausible causes, “flying saucers” is the term for claimed extraterrestrial spacecraft (regardless of alleged shape).

    Corollary: Neither fuzzy photographs nor abduction stories are evidence of anything except an understandable desire for flying saucers to be real.

    (And of course a critical Axiom: Occam’s razor.)

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