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Calling Bullshit on SETI, Unseen Interstellar Drive-Bys, or Professionally Blurry UFOs

It’s appropriate that Oumuamua, the first “starship” sent to our system by some alien race, arrives in the form of a turd. It’s an important “holy relic” for the large cult of humans that seem to believe that intelligent life abounds in the universe and regularly sends various pie plates and cigars and turds to the Earth or through the Solar System; flying objects that never seem to identify themselves via satellite radio and HD television.

Avi Loeb, the chair of Harvard’s astronomy department, co-wrote a paper (with a Harvard postdoctoral fellow, Shmuel Bialy) that examined ‘Oumuamua’s “peculiar acceleration” and suggested that the object “may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth’s vicinity by an alien civilization.” Loeb has long been interested in the search for extraterrestrial life, and he recently made further headlines by suggesting that we might communicate with the civilization that sent the probe. “If these beings are peaceful, we could learn a lot from them,” he told Der Spiegel. About the Mysterious Interstellar Object ‘Oumuamua 

Oh blah, blah, blah…

Photographs of Oumuamua and thousands of other objects either do not exist, witness the “artist’s concept above,” or somehow dodge the automatic focal point in photo after photo. Take them all and all and add in this  latest masturbatory fantasy and I’d have to say, “Close but no cigar.” You can go right on believing that there have to be (Dammint, there just have to be..) billions and billions of planets with intelligent life in the universe, but until you find proof of planet number two there is still only one that we know — or at least suspect — has intelligent life. That would be this one.

Anthony Brode’s still got the best UFO explanation to mollify both sides in this silly story:

I accept the existence of saucers,
I concede there’s a case
To be made for believing that something’s achieving
the conquest of space;

I find it completely convincing
Whenever I hear
That creatures from Venus were recently seen
As a spaceship drew near:

And yet there’s a problem remaining
That baffles me still.
I’m not disagreeing that some super being
Can wander at will

From one universe to another-
But if it be thus why on earth (so to speak)
Should he bother to seek
Any contact with us?”

— Anthony Brode

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • leelu January 24, 2019, 9:32 AM

    I can honestly say I’ve see a ufo. I was on a weekender with two other guys, up at Big Bear, CA. We were sitting out by the pool on Saturday night (in perfectly legal states of mind for three teens), and we saw what looked like aircraft lights out in the distance. I have no idea how out far, or how high. Thing was, they hovered there for about 1/2 hour, then sped off to my right. So, 1) it was unidentified (we had no idea what it might have been) , 2) it was flying, 3) it was an object of some kind. Hence, a ufo. Now, given that we were on the south face of the hills that seperate L.A. et.al. from the Mojave Desert, and the attendant development air bases there, could it have been some kind of test vehicle? Could be. But I have no proof to offer of any kind about its provenance.
    And, yeah, I’m of the mind that, given the vastness of the universe, and the billions and billions of stars, we are probably not the only ‘intelligent’ life form. But, again, I have no proof, or even a good arguement, other than the odds seem to favor it.

  • Fletcher Christian January 24, 2019, 10:56 AM

    “The probability of success is difficult to estimate; but if we never search the chance of success is zero.”

    SETI can be carried out at trivial cost using radio telescopes either not currently in use, or by processing the signals coming in during other radio astronomy work. And the benefit of success would be enormous. Even if it proves impossible to translate the signal, the very presence of a signal would have very profound implications indeed.

  • JiminAlaska January 24, 2019, 11:10 AM

    Why yes it’s quite possible, even probable that there is intelligent life out there somewhere in the universe.

    It even possible, thought not necessarily probable (I read the news today, oh boy), that some day intelligent life might develop here on earth.

  • Eskyman January 24, 2019, 11:28 AM

    When I was a boy, noted scientists mapped the “canals of Mars,” and many authors published books featuring the possible inhabitants of Mars and Venus (“Half-Breeds on Venus” by Issac Asimov was a favorite of mine, as was “Red Planet” by Heinlein.)

    Alas, science has moved on since those days and we now know that Mars has no canals, nor are there Tweenies on Venus, and we have yet to find life anywhere but on our own green planet. We even have intelligent life on Earth, if one doesn’t consider the goings-on of Washington DC.

    At least we now have space-ships landing on their tails, as was intended by God and Robert A. Heinlein!

  • Sam L. January 24, 2019, 11:48 AM

    I’m with Eskyman on this: “At least we now have space-ships landing on their tails, as was intended by God and Robert A. Heinlein!” Rah, rah, RAH!
    I’ve never seen a UFO, or anything claimed to have been a UFO, but years ago when I was at SMU, some students came into the cafeteria at lunch time claiming to have seen one.

  • Lance de Boyle January 24, 2019, 4:30 PM

    ” various pie plates and cigars and turds…”

    Oh, thanks, Gerard! I busted (or burst) out laughing while having sex with (or was it merely in the same general vicinity?) as Lucretia de Boyle. Yes, I was on Am. D. at the time. She was doing her nails.

  • Stan Smith January 24, 2019, 11:46 PM

    If the universe is indeed infinite, there are infinite possibilities. You wonder why they haven’t contacted us? Do we try to contact ants? No, but we study them as curiosities….

  • Daniel Lumis January 25, 2019, 11:47 AM

    If aliens landed they would consider us cavemen.
    Some politician would panic and start a war with them.
    What they would do then would make what Cortés did to the Aztecs seem like a child’s tea party.

  • DrTedNelson January 25, 2019, 3:24 PM

    “Ack ack ack!” — Mars Attacks

  • Fletcher Christian January 25, 2019, 5:50 PM

    Mr. Lumis:

    I agree, to some extent, but it is far worse than that.

    Given the timescales involved in astronomy and some other reasonable numbers, the likely gap in terms of development time between us and any sapient ETs is about a million years. “Apes or angels, but never men.” Can you imagine what the powers of whatever calls itself humanity in a million years’ time will be? I certainly can’t. Why should aliens be different?

    Annoy them enough, and they will squash us like a bug. It would be like what happens to an anthill if its occupants get into your honey once too often.

  • CC January 26, 2019, 6:01 AM

    Never made much sense to me to be pouring money into space when we have 4/5ths of the planet virtually unexplored.

  • Snakepit Kansas January 26, 2019, 6:30 AM

    If aliens came here, why would we expect them to be peaceful? They’d kill us all, just for the Government cheese.

  • Vince January 29, 2019, 9:46 AM

    We’d learn a lot from them if they aren’t peaceful as well. However, we may not have much time to ponder the lessons.