Do you think it would be cool if aliens were real?

I’m not going to say that aliens are real because there doesn’t really seem to be any definite proof, but wouldn’t it be cool if they were?

I’m not a very sciencey person. In fact, there’s a lot I don’t understand about the universe, but I’ve always felt my atheism was rooted in common sense. The existence of gods just doesn’t make sense to me. It’s just too unbelievable and therefore, isn’t real. 

But with that being said, for some reason, I can’t discount the possibility of aliens. For me, god doesn’t make sense, but aliens do. We can’t possibly be the only intelligent life out there, can we? Does anyone else feel this way? I know there’s no proof of aliens, but it feels probable in my mind. It just makes sense to me. Why is that?

I like watching UFO and alien documentaries. I used to only watch them when I was under the influence, but I haven’t done any alcohol or weed since the relapse of my mental illness last summer. For the past couple of months, my mental illness has been kept at bay, so I guess sober is the way to go. The documentaries aren’t nearly as fun, but they still make me think and question things. 

Is there a government cover-up? To me, that’s totally believable. 

Does anyone else watch these shows? Am I the only atheist out there who thinks there’s a small possibility we might not be alone? 

And wouldn’t it be cool if aliens were real? Can you even imagine? I just feel like there’s this whole gigantic universe we know nothing about. There’s just so much to learn, and in a way, we are so small and insignificant. It’s exciting and terrifying at the same time. 

I guess really the root question of this post is if it’s okay to believe in things if they’re probable but there’s no concrete evidence. Do you ever feel that way? Is there something you believe is probable but don’t have proof? 

Or does this just fall into the category of “unexplained”? We don’t know the answer now but it might come with time. You just have to accept that some things are unexplained. 

Please tell me I’m not alone…or knock some sense into me. 


  1. cates says

    This is an opinion piece, so don’t ask me to back it up with *facts* or *data*.
    I’ll also restrict it to carbon based life. (others might be out there but I think we would have difficulty recognizing it; and it recognizing us).
    Life elsewhere in the universe?: Almost a certainty. Hard to see what would prevent it. Relatively close to us? Sure, maybe really close.
    Intelligent life?: Probably, it’s a BIG universe. Relatively close to us? Unlikely, could be a rare thing. Might not be a long term survival strategy.
    Visiting us?: No, just no.

  2. says

    I am not watching any shows (except occasional Sci-Fi movie) but I do think aliens would be cool. However, there almost certainly is no government cover-up since as far as I am capable of understanding the science, the existence of aliens is feasible, possible, and maybe even probable, but interstellar travel is none of those things. So if there are aliens out there, they almost certainly are not here.

    If they came here somehow though, I expect they would be, well, alien. Any communication with them would be even more difficult than with whales or elephants. It is even possible they would look and behave in a way we could not make any sense of it at all.

    There may be some evolutionary universals though. Eyes and binocular vision evolved independently in several lineages, thus aliens might have those too. Ditto for the sense of smell and hearing – it seems that for these senses two sensors a bit apart somewhere in the vicinity of the head is evolutionarily advantageous. Ditto for locomotion with the use of legs and/or wings on dry land and fins/flippers in water, that evolved independently in several lineages too. Mouth, guts, and anuses, and possibly even front-back bilateral symmetry evolved on earth more than once so they are a possibility too.

    But tall pointy-eared humans wit blue blood or little green men with huge bulging eyes? Probably not. And it definitively would not be possible to have children with them.

  3. Pierce R. Butler says

    That they’re out there seems highly probable; that they’re here seems highly improbable.

  4. flex says

    There are quite a few questions in that short post…

    How does someone answer such a sincere question about a belief acknowledged to be held without evidence?

    Does intelligent life exist somewhere else in the universe? Almost certainly. Even if the probabilities are small, the universe is vast. It is likely that the conditions which allowed intelligent life to develop on our planet are replicated countless times across the universe. There are probably intelligent alien life forms looking up at the the stars surrounding their own solar system, and wondering about the same question you just asked.

    Have there been visits of intelligent aliens to our planet, currently or sometime in the past? Highly unlikely, and there is no evidence to suggest that this has happened. My reasons for saying this are based on what I know about physics and what I know about claims of alien visits.

    Let’s take the claims first. There are quite a few people arguing that there is evidence for alien visitations, but that evidence allows of more than one explanation and this is a good place to invoke Ockham’s razor, “do not multiply causes.” There are known causes for less familiar events like cattle mutilations or abductions, so without compelling reasons to assume aliens are involved we should accept the known causes as far more likely. UFOs are simply that, I suspect everyone has seen something from a distance which cannot be identified. If we can approach those objects we find they are identifiable, a plane, a kite, a tower, a ship, even a mirage. The fact that some objects are never identified doesn’t make them aliens, or even unknowable, this only shows that not enough information was available to identify it.

    As for the claims of ancient astronauts guiding our civilization, I’d caution people to be aware of cultural biases in those claims. Two cultural biases spring to mind immediately. First, there is an underlying assumption that the culture being helped by aliens was “less-advanced”, i.e. didn’t have the technology to create the thing (temple/pyramid/artifact), or that the people in that culture were not intelligent enough to come up with the idea. Second, notice that all the cultures who are claimed to have been helped by aliens are non-western European. This is a masked white supremacy argument. The local people must have had help from an advanced technology because western European science and technology would find it difficult. The problem solving capacity of human beings hasn’t changed in thousands of years, long before recorded history. All the examples of supposed alien artifacts date from within that time span. Many, like the crystal skulls, are known to be modern fakes. Egyptians built the pyramids without help from aliens. The Mayan’s built their temples without help from aliens. It is well within possibility that someone playing with metals and acids came up with a battery thousands of years before Volta. Human beings, all over the world, are pretty smart. Suggesting that the artifacts they left behind are not the products of their knowledge and labor is to slander their abilities.

    But to the physics side of the question. Two fundamental objections arise. The first is what is generally discussed; there is no known method by which interstellar travel can occur within a reasonable timespan. All the talk about warp drives, worm-holes, space-bending, tesseracts, etc., are all theoretical at best and plot devices at worst. That doesn’t mean that these FTL drives can’t occur, only that nothing in our current understanding of how the universe works tells us that these must be possible. One detail which I haven’t seen brought up often is that very probably a requirement that if such FTL drives are possible that they might well require more energy to operate than can be practically generated. More energy than the sun emits. The sun distorts space-time by a known amount, and it’s small compared to the needs of an FTL drive. Maybe there is a trick somewhere, but if FTL is possible theoretically we may never have an energy source which can test it.

    The second objection is that there is probably nothing to inform any possible star-faring alien race that we exist. At best, assuming there is no interstellar attenuation of radio waves, there is an expanding bubble of radio waves roughly 100 light years across from our radio/television transmissions. There are about 800 stars within that bubble. Are any of them likely to have developed intelligent life? Not really. If, by chance, there is intelligent life, then we have to ask if they can detect our transmissions? Even less likely. Assuming there is no interstellar attenuation, the power of the transmission decreases with the inverse square law. We are talking about power levels which are not differentiable from background noise. And there is some discussion which suggests that there is attenuation of radio waves in interstellar space. If our radio/television signals are undetectable after 20 light years (or even less), we may have close neighbors (on a galactic scale), who don’t even know we exist. I know we are attempting to detect exactly this type of evidence ourselves, but our best detectors may not be sensitive enough to find anything. But if the odds are low, the value of success could be high, or destroy us. Finally, these hypothetical aliens would have to have come up with some system for FTL travel before they visit.

    While I can be pretty certain that there are other intelligent creatures in the universe, with similar desires and dreams, looking up at their sky and wondering who is out there, we will never meet them. But I do take some solace that they exist, because the universe, the product of fixed, uncaring laws, is a marvelous thing. I feel that I can share that feeling of wonder with billions of other sapient creatures, scattered among the stars, even without ever meeting them.

    There’s just so much to learn, and in a way, we are so small and insignificant. It’s exciting and terrifying at the same time.


  5. Katydid says

    I believe there *could* be life “out there” somewhere in the huge universe (I’m agnostic on the subject)…but would we recognize it as life? Also, just because there may be life, doesn’t mean it’s sentient. Have you seen Contact with Jodie Foster (or read the book by Carl Sagan)? Minor spoiler: Jodie Foster’s character has an experience that could be her meeting an alien life form that explains to her that there are gates built by sentients very ancient and unknown, and that Earth’s population is very simple and has to grow up before they can meet the rest of the universe’s life. Or, maybe the whole thing is just her brain misfiring on the launch pad.

    Also, people report UFOs in places where there’s tech R&D going on. People are seeing new/secret tech and misinterpreting what they see, IMO.

    But it’s a lot of fun to think about.

  6. robert79 says

    I think it would make sense to split your question into various sub-questions:
    1. Does alien life exist
    2. Does intelligent alien life exist
    And for both questions above:
    3. Does it exist now, or may it have existed in some time in the past?
    4. Did/does it exist close enough that we may ever find evidence of it?
    And finally:
    5. If intelligent life does exist now, will human or alien technology ever develop far enough that we will be able to meaningfully interact with each other?

    All the UFO documentaries ask the last question, but ignore the fact that the first four are prerequisites for this to happen.

    As for questions 1. and 2., I’d say “probably yes”, the universe is a large place. Life on Earth evolved naturally, and things that happen naturally tend to naturally happen in more than one place… they may be extremely rare though! We only have one example, and, by definition, we’re living in that one example! So we can’t conclude anything from that. Life may be a 1 in 1000000 galaxies type of event (which would still imply several life-planets in the visible universe, just at such vast distances we’d never notice each other.)

    As for question 2., the Earth has existed for about 5 billion years, life on earth has existed for about a billion years (I’m sure a biologist will correct me on the exact numbers) while intelligent life has only been around for about 100000 years. If you were to take a look at Earth at some random moment in time, the odds you’d find life are about 20%, and the odds you find intelligent life are about 0.02%. Most planets are not like Earth, so I expect that if we were to randomly visit some planet (if we ever can) the odds we find intelligent life are even lower.

    Question 3 relates to question 2. Species don’t tend to last extremely long compared to the age of the universe. Life *may* have existed on Mars a billion years ago. Life on a nearby star may have existed a million years ago. That’s no guarantee it exists today (the pessimist in me might look at humans today and even conclude intelligent life tends to self-destruct quickly, but that’s another assumption, and I wouldn’t want to assume all alien life is like us.)

    Question 4 : Not enough data, but I doubt it considering all the hurdles described above and the distances (in both space and time) involved.

    Question 5 : Not enough data, but I *SERIOUSLY* doubt it, considering all the hurdles described above, and the fact that the speed of light is agonisingly slow for this kind of stuff. We’d need to be seriously wrong/ignorant about a lot of physics! If life were likely enough so that two intelligent species evolved at roughly the same time in the same galaxy, it would be a radio “Hi!”, followed by a “Hi back!” about 10000+ years later.

    The only question we *may* be close to answering is whether there was life on Mars sometime in the past, the rest is just speculation/science-fiction.

    The only question remaining is whether it would be cool. Proof of alien life, intelligent or not, would certainly be cool!

  7. John Morales says

    Good comments so far about aliens. I endorse them.

    “I guess really the root question of this post is if it’s okay to believe in things if they’re probable but there’s no concrete evidence. Do you ever feel that way? Is there something you believe is probable but don’t have proof?”

    There’s no need to believe things are actual (real) if there’s no concrete evidence for that; believing they are probable is sufficient. The more warranted the belief, the greater the probability.

    There are many things that I believe are probable but about which I have no certainty; that’s perfectly normal; for example, I believe it is highly probable that I don’t have cancer.

    What would be silly would be to believe something is only probable when one has proof it’s real, or to not believe something is real when one has proof it is real.
    In other words, the only time it makes sense to believe something is probable is when one has no proof that it is real. 🙂

  8. file thirteen says

    “Probably” and “possibly” etc. are way overused because they are so ill defined. But people continue to use them even if a chance is near impossible or virtually certain, if there is even a possibility otherwise. Not wanting to hedge like that myself, I’m (ymmv, in fact ymwv) going to assign the words that I’ll use probability ranges so that I don’t have to qualify when I want to be definitive. Got that? All strapped in? Let’s go.

    less than 0.01% = No
    more, but less than 1% = Very Unlikely
    more, but less that 10% = Possibly
    more, but less than 90% = Maybe
    more, but less than 99% = Probably
    more, but less than 99.99% = Almost Certain
    more than that = Yes

    So let’s do a question and answer session now.

    Is there life elsewhere (not in our solar system) in the universe? Yes.
    Is there intelligent life elsewhere in the universe? Yes.
    Will humans ever encounter extraterrestrial life (not including life that originated on our planet)? No.

    The next best thing to alien life is right here on our planet though.

    Intelligent alien life? Tricky. Octopus or parrot, or doesn’t it count if it doesn’t have opposable thumbs? Your best bet may be to take a spaceship towards something 200,000 light years away. Accelerating consistently at 1 Earth g, you will get halfway and reach close to the speed of light in about 22 years on your spaceship ( and then you can spend the next 22 years decelerating again. Then turn around and head for home. Rinse and repeat and you get back to Earth in about 88 years, by which time 400,000 years has passed here. Since Homo sapiens has been around 300,000 or so, then barring some calamity there is likely to be something around that has evolved from it, probably even still intelligent.

    Going to cost you a lot of energy to do that though. You really don’t want to know how much. On that note, apologies in advance to anyone who fact-checks my figures…

  9. Katydid says

    To back up what Flex said about ancient astronauts and biased thinking: I have a BIL who believes in all of that (doesn’t everyone have someone like this in their lives?). The last time we spoke, he was adamant that there was absolutely no way humans could have conceived of pyramids, so therefore, it was PROOF YES PROOF that aliens from outer space visited Earth and built the pyramids in Egypt and Mexico.

    Think about this: what is a pyramid? Simply a stack from biggest to smallest. A stack of things atop other things. Crows can do this, so how insulting to think that (non-white) humans are too stupid to figure it out?

  10. chigau (違う) says

    Katydid #9
    Has BIL ever built *anything*?
    a spice rack?
    a bird feeder?
    *anything* from IKEA?

  11. Katydid says

    @10, chigau: ready to laugh? BIL spent 20 years in the US military as an engineer. He’s retired now, but at his own home he built his own snow plow and attached it to an old pickup truck, he built a greenhouse IN THE SHAPE OF A PYRAMID (he’s white so obviously he has that knowledge) that his family uses to extend the growing season where he lives, and he built a deck off the back of his house. Among other stuff I’m sure he’s done but can’t remember now. I’ve seen his work and it’s impeccable. Yet he holds the conspiracy theories he does.

    @ Ashes; don’t get me wrong, I will watch stuff about aliens all day. ET? Close Encounters of the Third Kind? Star Wars/Trek? Dark Skies? Alien Nation? The Last Starfighter? Bring forth the popcorn! But I think if an extra-terrestrial intelligence did make contact, it wouldn’t even be as understandable as the aliens in Arrival. But, Calvin once said to Hobbes in the comic strip Calvin & Hobbes: “Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.”

    • says

      Well, yeah, HE can build pyramids, ‘cuz he was trained by the most advanced army ever! The heathen savages of Egypt didn’t have that advantage, did they?

  12. OverlappingMagisteria says

    Aliens are intelligent enough to build interstellar space ships, but when it comes to architecture, they’re limited to a big pile of rocks.

  13. says

    Is there a government cover-up? To me, that’s totally believable.

    I don’t think that’s believable at all. Even if only one human government knew about another starfaring species, there would be people in that government from many different parties, factions, interest-groups, beliefs, etc.; and no one coalition has ever held uncontested control of any government in any significant period of time. So the idea that all of those parties, factions, interest-groups, etc. would unanimously agree, for SEVERAL DECADES, to keep such monumentally important information secret, is utterly absurd. Sooner or later — most likely a lot sooner — someone would decide it’s in their bet interest to blow the big secret and capitalize on it. Want to increase the defense budget, drive innovation and create lots more jobs? Talk about the “alien threat!” Want to improve public education? Show what great new knowledge the aliens have to offer, and stress all the catching-up we have to do! And if you represent a large number of people who just aren’t getting anything good from human government, you can point to the aliens to show how much better they can do for us.

    Seriously, where’s the incentive or reason for any government to cover up anything like this?

    • John Morales says

      [can’t resist]

      “The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.”
      ― H.P. Lovecraft

      Or, in more modern terms,

  14. Katydid says

    Hmmm…I’m with Raging Bee. Gov’t coverup? It would certainly be classified. But Trump has been selling off all the gov’t’s classified documents…I’m pretty sure if there was anything like aliens in that paperwork, that information would have been public knowledge long ago.

  15. StevoR says

    Depends. Depends what they aliens like and how their interactions with us are.

    Statistically, I think its almost inevitable that other sentient and even technological species have evolved somewhere else given the sheer numbers of stars and planets albeit most of thef ive thousand plus exoplanets so far have issues rendering them unlikely to be habitable for life as we know it and it’s looking increasingly likely the most common star type – red dwarf stars – are very hostile to life due to their frequent large flares which may strip worlds near enough to them to be habitable of their atmospheres. But w edon’t really know yet and even if only sun-like G type main sequence yellow dwarf stars can host habitable worlds then that’s still an, um, astronomical number of possible habitable planets where life might evolve into Extraterrestrial Intelligences.. (ETIs.)

    Looking at Carl Sagan’s Cosmic Calendar :

    and reflecting over how long it has taken life to develop our technlogy level – and the damage we’ve already done to our ecology in the process – it seems to me that micribial and non-technologically advanced life may be common but technologically “advanced” ETIs are likely very few and far apart. For two-thirds of life on Earth our planets most advanced creatures were microbes, roughly speaking and humanity has only been around for 2 million years and of that 2 million only had rockets and the internet for the last century.

    Currently we just have insufficient evidence to say and its well worth continuing to look and to speculate and try and find out.The Fermi Paradox after all is a question not a case.

    I do watch UFO shows sometimes & admit I’ll even watch paranormal and cryptozoological ones too out of curiosity and intrest in seeing the evidnece, the arguments and the alternative rational options – also when i have a settled cat & sometimes dog too / instead on my lap and nothing better on the telly to watch.

    I don’t find the idea of a govt cover up credible because I think any such secret would quickly leak and be exposed. I don’t buy into Conspiracy theories and I don’t see the motivation for it. Note how quickly the A-bomb tech spread toteh Soviets as well as the allies. Note the lak of more advanced alien tech and the history we know for current development of tech. So yeah.

    Anyway, yeah, it might be cool or it might end up very badly for us and we really don’t know and I suspect life is common but ETI’s aren’t and flying saucer type conspiracy theories have too many issues and too little evidence to be plausible but am open to being convinced by a good enough arguments with good enough extraordinary evidence otherwise.

  16. sonofrojblake says

    @Raging Bee, 13:

    the idea that all of those parties, factions, interest-groups, etc. would unanimously agree, for SEVERAL DECADES, to keep such monumentally important information secret, is utterly absurd

    Indeed, it would be, if we didn’t have a real-world example of precisely that happening. There are many, many reasons not to believe conspiracy theories, but with respect, “people can’t keep a secret” is emphatically, provably, NOT one of them.

    I have a friend whose parents worked at Bletchley Park. They didn’t meet there – they met in the 1950s, fell in love, got married and had children. They found out they’d been at Bletchley Park at the same time in 1979. Probably in excess of ten thousand people kept that secret for decades. I went there about 20 years ago. The tour guide said they’d had something of a time setting up the place and researching it. Time and again they’d be given the contact details of people who’d worked there on the code-breaking, and they’d go to visit them and say “we’re setting up a museum all about the code-breaking in the war and we’d like you to tell us about your experiences there”, and every single time the interviewee would regretfully explain that they must have been given some wrong information because they had in fact worked in an ordnance factory or logistics or stores or something else. It was only when it kept on happening that they realised they were just getting stonewalled by people who had kept the secret since the ’40s and weren’t about to start blabbing now. They did eventually get to a point where people were convinced that it was, finally, OK to talk about it – but whenever I hear someone dismiss a conspiracy theory on the basis that people can’t keep a secret, Bletchley Park springs to mind as the living demonstration they’re just wrong.

    As to the questions in the OP:
    They are real, and yes, it’s cool.
    We’re not the only intelligent life in the universe. Yes, I feel that way. It makes sense to you because you have an intellectual, if not instinctive, grasp of the vastness of the universe (it’s not possible to grasp even the size of the galaxy instinctively. Even the true scale of the solar system is beyond real human comprehension, I think).
    There is no government cover-up, because there’s nothing to cover up. Or, put another way – there IS a government cover-up, but what’s being covered up is things like spy-plane/stealth drone development, hypersonic missile technology and similar. Nothing to do with aliens, because they’re out there – they’re not here.
    I don’t watch the conspiracy shows, because they’re are sub-standard fiction. I recently realised that now I’m a parent not only have I barely got time to watch just the good stuff – I’ve barely got time to keep up with the trailers for good stuff. Why waste your limited time on earth watching bad fiction?
    I believe a lot of things that are probable but for which proof is hard to come by. I believe Prince Harry looks just like his father, and that that is why he looks nothing like King Charles (unlike William, who’s a dead ringer). Does it matter that I believe that? /shrug/ Who cares?
    You do indeed have to accept that some things are unexplained. What you don’t have to do is go thinking that the actual explanation is something other than banal.

    Example: I have a UFO experience. On a bright, sunny day, I looked up at the sky from the porch of my home in Shrewsbury, and saw in the sky four white objects. They had no distinguishable shape – just points of bright white light. They formed two equilateral triangles, and were not moving. If I closed one eye and stretched out my arm and held up my thumb, I could cover all four with my thumbnail. As I watched, three of them began to dim. I pointed them out to my mother and stepfather, who both also saw them. After a minute or two, a cloud covered them. I’ve never seen anything like that before or since. It was unclear if it was four objects in formation, four object physically connected by a structure I could not see, or a single object with four bright lights on it that was otherwise invisible. I would like to know what it was. What it was NOT was any aircraft I’ve ever seen before or since, or an Iridium flare, or a sundog, or any other explanation I’ve come across. It was also not an alien spacecraft or formation thereof – I’m very comfortable discounting that out of hand as a possible explanation, even in the absence of any satisfactory alternative.

    The vastness of the universe makes it inevitable that intelligent aliens are out there somewhere. The exact same thing means the likelihood they’re anywhere near us – as in within literally a million light years – is so small you can write it off. Which is perhaps disappointing, but hey, it’s disappointing that cancer’s a thing.

    I’ll finish with a quote from Douglas Adams: ‘Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?’

  17. StevoR says

    @6.robert79 says : “The only question we *may* be close to answering is whether there was life on Mars sometime in the past, the rest is just speculation/science-fiction.”

    Not just Mars but also Io, Europa, Enceladus & some other ice moons plus maybe the clouds of venus..

  18. StevoR says

    Er, okay, NOT Io – at least NOT for life as we know it! Meant Ganymede but thinking of the big four Jovian moons I started with the closest.. & least likely for life :

    Pluto possibly? Even suggestions for Ceres? See :

    “The outer solar system is probably replete with moons that could have liquid water oceans on them, and a subset could have geothermal and water-rock interactions on the bottom,” says Chris German, an oceanographer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, who is co-leading a NASA-funded initiative called Network for Ocean Worlds (NOW). Why do those characteristics matter? “Everywhere that has those on our planet gets colonized by microbial life,” German says.

    Life could flourish in half-frozen slush on Europa and Enceladus, within the subsurface saltwater ocean of Ganymede, underneath the methane and ethane rivers of Titan, and maybe in brines in the deepest craters of the dwarf planets Ceres and Pluto. The icy shells of the ocean worlds may even contain pores filled with liquid water—and perhaps microbes, says Mike Malaska, an astrobiologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.,dwarf%20planets%20Ceres%20and%20Pluto.

    Admittedly finding life albeit most likely microbial on those is maybe not quite so “close” to being answered but NASA is seriously considering missions to some of these among others including specifically the Enceladus Orbilander discussed here :

    As well as the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer, (JUICE) mentioned in the Sci Am artilce linked above here,

  19. file thirteen says

    There may be life in the Venusian acid clouds, and it may once have had more. Venus, the planet so similar to ours that it’s sometimes called “Earth’s twin”. However runaway global warming created an environment there too hostile for anything non-microscopic. Venus’s water was split back into hydrogen and oxygen, and the hydrogen was lost to space. The temperature on the ground is now high enough to melt lead. However there is evidence of phosphine in the Venusian clouds, a compound only known to be produced by living organisms on Earth.

    Can’t say we weren’t warned.

  20. says

    They found out they’d been at Bletchley Park at the same time in 1979. Probably in excess of ten thousand people kept that secret for decades.

    They may have kept operational secrets, but the existence of Bletchley Park was more generally known to far more people for most of that time. Also, just because some people are still bound not to discuss their parts of a secret operation, doesn’t mean no one else knows about the operation — as the fact of tour guides trying to research the matter pretty clearly shows in your case.

  21. sonofrojblake says

    @23: Ah, I see you didn’t understand. Let me try again. It’s actually quite funny that you think it’s clever to point out that people knew Bletchley Park existed.

    The existence of a place wasn’t the secret. What went on there was. I suspect even you can understand the difference between those things, yes?

    For instance, everyone knows, and basically anyone who cared to has always known, that there’s a USAF base at Groom Lake in Nevada. That’s not really secret. But between 1981 and 1988 there were F-117s flying in and out of there, and that WAS secret. You comprehend the distinction between the existence of the place and the activities carried out there?

    Also, you have misunderstood the timelines – my fault, I wasn’t specific enough. Again, I’ll have another go. Pay attention.

    The work that mattered at Bletchley Park went on in the 1940s. The people who did that work – thousands of them – didn’t talk about it. Not in the ’40s, not in the ’50s, and not in the ’60s. And then, in the 1970s, the work was declassified. There was, at that point, nothing LEGALLY stopping people from talking about it, to each other and anyone else. And yet many of them still maintained the secrecy, perhaps out of habit or patriotism, who can tell? And researchers aware of the declassified information visited many of these people in the 1990s, and found them STILL keeping the secret, even though they were no longer legally required to, decades after it had been declassified.

    This is why, when you use “people can’t keep a secret” as a justification for rejecting a conspiracy theory, you look like a moron.


  22. says

    Wow, sonof, in your desperate haste to talk down to me, you seem to have missed my point, which was that “classified” does not mean “totally unknown.” In the case of Bletchley Park, for example, it was known that code-breaking had taken place long before any operational details were declassified — at least because the code-breaking had got significant results that became apparent, at least to the UK and German military, long before the 1970s. And I’m willing to bet that the decision to declassify all that was taken, not because secrecy was deemed no longer necessary, but because it was deemed no longer possible. And I’m sure the same is true of the F-117s at Groom lake — as you admitted when you emphasized the past tense in all-caps. All of which reinforces the common understanding that people in general really can’t keep a secret.

    Furthermore, most of the “alien coverup” conspiracy theories I’ve heard claim that that particular secret — the existence of a whole other sentient starfaring species, which is far bigger than a code-breaking op or a new fighter-jet — has been kept for several decades longer, by a wider network of agencies, than either of our other two examples here.

    And you still haven’t answered a very crucial question, which I’ll repeat here: where’s the incentive or reason for any government to cover up anything like this? We know there were plenty of incentives to keep secrets like Bletchley Park, at least for a few years. Where’s the incentive to keep the existence of aliens secret for even half that long, let alone for, what, eighty-odd years now and counting?

  23. says

    PS: You know who else knew about Bletchley Park long before anything was declassified? The KGB. Every country has spies, and that’s what spies do: uncover other countries’ secrets. And that’s what would have happened, long ago, to any government secrets about the existence of another starfaring species.

  24. sonofrojblake says

    I suspect even you can understand the difference between those things, yes?

    I see my suspicions were wrong.

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