Tag Archives: alien life

Next frontier for Cheeks Kilpatrick: Panel exploring existence of alien life

Next frontier for Cheeks Kilpatrick: Panel exploring existence of alien life

By Marisa Schultz

Washington — A group hoping to prove alien contact with Earth has tapped former U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick to help convince the federal government to acknowledge the existence of extraterrestrials.

The Detroit Democrat and mother to former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick will help preside over 30 hours of congressional-style hearings April 29 to May 3 at Washington’s National Press Club. She did not respond to calls for comment.

Dubbed the Citizen Hearing on Disclosure, the public panel pledges to expose evidence of “extraterrestrial vehicles” and a government effort to deny sightings of such craft commonly called UFOs.

Stephen Bassett, executive director of the Bethesda, Md.-based Paradigm Research Group that is hosting the hearings, said he sought former members of Congress to interview dozens of witnesses in a style that harkens back to their work peppering witnesses in congressional hearings.

“I had invitations out to about 50 former members who I thought were likely candidates to participate, and Congresswoman Kilpatrick was the first one to respond,” Bassett said.

Kilpatrick became a U.S. representative in 1997 but lost her seat to Hansen Clarke after a 2010 primary challenge.

Kilpatrick will be joined by five other former members of Congress for the hearings. Each will be paid about $20,000 and their expenses will be covered, Bassett said.

Joining Kilpatrick on the bipartisan panel are ex-Sen. Mike Gravel of Alaska (Democrat and more recently Libertarian), as well as former Reps. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., Darlene Hooley, D-Ore., Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., and Merrill Cook, R-Utah.

The chosen panel members weren’t required to believe in aliens or a government cover-up, but pledged to keep an open mind.

“I made it clear to them that I am unlikely to be persuaded,” Utah’s Cook told the Salt Lake Tribune. “Extraterrestrial life? I can buy into that as a possibility, but to this day I have not heard or read or seen anything that makes me believe that anyone has encountered one on Earth.”

The Paradigm Research Group disagrees. “We’ve been tracking these (extraterrestrial) crafts for decades,” Bassett said. The evidence is “overwhelming — beyond any reasonable doubt there’s an extraterrestrial presence (and) almost certainly from another planet,” he said.

The five days of testimony are to be filmed and included in a documentary.

Bassett started the Paradigm Research Group, a lobbying organization, in 1996 urging the government to reveal evidence of extraterrestrials engaging the human race.

The organization collected enough signatures from fellow alien believers on a White House citizen petition Web page in 2011 to generate an official response.

“The U.S. government has no evidence that any life exists outside our planet, or that an extraterrestrial presence has contacted or engaged any member of the human race,” Phil Larson, from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, wrote in response to the petition. “In addition, there is no credible information to suggest that any evidence is being hidden from the public’s eye.”

The Wall Street Journal devoted part of a 2011 article on the White House’s “We the People” petition project to Paradigm Research Group.

Bassett said he hopes the hearings will generate enough attention for the government to change its mind.

“There is a government policy of denial,” Bassett said. “And once that policy ends, we are going to learn the truth about this phenomenon pretty quickly.”

[email protected]

(202) 662-8736

Twitter: @marisa_schultz
SOURCE

Will the Aliens Be Nice? Don’t Count On It


Will the Aliens Be Nice? Don’t Bet On It

By GARY GUTTING

The probability that there is intelligent life somewhere other than earth increases as we discover more and more solar systems that seem capable of sustaining life. The thought that there might be extraterrestrial intelligences (ETI) somewhere out there excites us and has led to organized efforts to contact any such beings. We have sent space probes with data about us, and we transmit signals with a structured content (like symbols expressing mathematical formulae) to what we hope will be an intergalactic audience. The search for extraterrestrial intelligence project (SETI) is obviously based on the assumption that the possible benefits of contact with ETI outweigh the possible harms. But do they?

A recent study by researchers at Penn State and NASA provides a useful outline of the various ways that encounters with ETI could be beneficial, neutral or harmful to us. The study faces up to the most chilling possibilities: ETI might “eat us, enslave us, attack us,” inadvertently infect us with horrible diseases or just decide to eliminate us for the greater good of the universe. (Regarding this last point, the report is especially concerned that ETI might be at least metaphorically green and see us a threat to the universe’s ecology.)

The report draws no conclusions about the wisdom of pursuing SETI, though it does urge the need to develop quantitative measures of possible harms and benefits. Its final sentence seems content with the idea that we will “continue the search for extraterrestrials into the future.” Especially after reading the report, I am not so content.

What is likely to happen if we make contact with ETI? Given the size of astronomical distances and assuming the speed of light as the maximum possible velocity, the most likely outcome is not real contact but merely an exchange of messages, perhaps at very long intervals. Little chance of harm there.

But there is still non-zero probability of real contact. Since we have no way of predicting with any certainty the outcome of such contact, it might seem that we have no reason to assume a bad rather than a good result. From this we might conclude that there is no objection to pursuing SETI, if only to satisfy our curiosity.

But we do know this: for the foreseeable future, contact with ETI would have to result from their coming here, which would in all likelihood mean that they far surpassed us technologically. They would be able to enslave us, hunt us as prey, torture us as objects of scientific experiments, or even exterminate us and leave no trace of our civilization. They would, in other words, be able to treat us as we treat animals — or as our technologically more advanced societies have often treated less advanced ones.

This suggests an argument against SETI that is the reverse of Pascal’s famous wager argument for believing in God. Pascal’s idea was that even a small probability of bringing about an enormous good (without risking unacceptable evil) was good reason for acting. This is a reasonable principle: even a small prospect of enormous good can swamp the prospect of more probable but much lesser goods. Pascal’s argument runs into trouble not because of this principle but because of worries about, for example, which God we ought to believe in. (There is also, as William James pointed out, the disconcerting possibility that God might be particularly ill-disposed to people who believe in him through the calculating reasoning of the wager argument.)

The swamping principle also applies to a small possibility of an enormous evil, which can provide a good reason for not acting. This would seem to be the case with ETI. Since there’s at least a small (and perhaps a not so small) probability that they will bring us catastrophic evil, why should we risk such an outcome?

One reason might be that ETI could instead bring us enormous benefits: they might even lead us to a paradise of peace, wisdom and joy. But there is no reason to think that such a paradise is more probable than a hell of slavery or extermination. And enormous gains are not worth the equal risk of horrendous loss. Who would take a bet that promised, at equal odds, either a lifetime of unalloyed happiness or a lifetime of utter misery? Better to stick with the likelihood of a normal human life, mixed with joy and sorrow.

Another possible reason is that ETI might in fact save us from horrors equal to the worst they might inflict on us. If the probability of their saving us were equal to or greater than of their destroying us, then the bet of making contact might well be worth it. Here the most plausible suggestion is that, without intervention from powerful and good ETI, we are likely to destroy ourselves through nuclear war. But there is a failure of imagination in thinking that nuclear annihilation is as bad as the worse that ETI might do to us. They might, for example, give us each thousands of years of excruciatingly painful existence as their slaves. This might not even be due to moral perversity; they might be so beyond us that they were incapable of recognizing us as objects of moral concern.

We cannot know what might happen to us from contact with ETI. But we do know that there may well be unthinkably horrible outcomes that are not likely to be offset by potential benefits. We should not take the SETI bet.

SOURCE

NASA Scientist Claims Evidence of Alien Life on Meteorite

By Garrett Tenney

Custom Search

A photograph taken through a scanning electron microscope of a CI1 meteorite (right) is similar in size and overall structure to the giant bacterium Titanospirillum velox (left), an organism found here on planet Earth, a NASA scientist said.

We are not alone in the universe — and alien life forms may have a lot more in common with life on Earth than we had previously thought.

That’s the stunning conclusion one NASA scientist has come to, releasing his groundbreaking revelations in a new study in the March edition of the Journal of Cosmology.

Dr. Richard B. Hoover, an astrobiologist with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, has traveled to remote areas in Antarctica, Siberia, and Alaska, amongst others, for over ten years now, collecting and studying meteorites. He gave FoxNews.com early access to the out-of-this-world research, published late Friday evening in the March edition of the Journal of Cosmology. In it, Hoover describes the latest findings in his study of an extremely rare class of meteorites, called CI1 carbonaceous chondrites — only nine such meteorites are known to exist on Earth.

Though it may be hard to swallow, Hoover is convinced that his findings reveal fossil evidence of bacterial life within such meteorites, the remains of living organisms from their parent bodies — comets, moons and other astral bodies. By extension, the findings suggest we are not alone in the universe, he said.

“I interpret it as indicating that life is more broadly distributed than restricted strictly to the planet earth,” Hoover told FoxNews.com. “This field of study has just barely been touched — because quite frankly, a great many scientist would say that this is impossible.”

Related Links
Hunting for Earth-like Alien Planets: Q & A with Astronomer Geoff Marcy
Vatican Seeks Signs of Alien Life
Are Aliens Among Us? Sort of, NASA Says
NASA to Unveil Details of Quest for Alien Life

In what he calls “a very simple process,” Dr. Hoover fractured the meteorite stones under a sterile environment before examining the freshly broken surface with the standard tools of the scientist: a scanning-electron microscope and a field emission electron-scanning microscope, which allowed him to search the stone’s surface for evidence of fossilized remains.

He found the fossilized remains of micro-organisms not so different from ordinary ones found underfoot — here on earth, that is.

“The exciting thing is that they are in many cases recognizable and can be associated very closely with the generic species here on earth,” Hoover told FoxNews.com. But not all of them. “There are some that are just very strange and don’t look like anything that I’ve been able to identify, and I’ve shown them to many other experts that have also come up stumped.”

Other scientists tell FoxNews.com the implications of this research are shocking, describing the findings variously as profound, very important and extraordinary. But Dr. David Marais, an astrobiologist with NASA’s AMES Research Center, says he’s very cautious about jumping onto the bandwagon.

These kinds of claims have been made before, he noted — and found to be false.

“It’s an extraordinary claim, and thus I’ll need extraordinary evidence,” Marais said.

Knowing that the study will be controversial, the journal invited members of the scientific community to analyze the results and to write critical commentaries ahead of time. Though none are online yet, those comments will be posted alongside the article, said Dr. Rudy Schild, a scientist with the Harvard-Smithsonian’s Center for Astrophysics and the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Cosmology.

“Given the controversial nature of his discovery, we have invited 100 experts and have issued a general invitation to over 5,000 scientists from the scientific community to review the paper and to offer their critical analysis,” Schild wrote in an editor’s note along with the article. “No other paper in the history of science has undergone such a thorough vetting, and never before in the history of science has the scientific community been given the opportunity to critically analyze an important research paper before it is published, he wrote.”

Dr. Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the SETI Institute, said there is a lot of hesitancy to believe such proclamations. If true, the implications would be far-reaching throughout the fields of science and astronomy, the suggestions and possibilities stunning.

“Maybe life was seeded on earth — it developed on comets for example, and just landed here when these things were hitting the very early Earth,” Shostak speculated. “It would suggest, well, life didn’t really begin on the Earth, it began as the solar system was forming.”

Hesitancy to believe new claims is something common and necessary to the field of science, Hoover said.

“A lot of times it takes a long time before scientists start changing their mind as to what is valid and what is not. I’m sure there will be many many scientists that will be very skeptical and that’s OK.”

Until Hoover’s research can be independently verified, Marais said, the findings should be considered “a potential signature of life.” Scientists, he said, will now take the research to the next level of scrutiny, which includes an independent confirmation of the results by another lab, before the findings can be classified “a confirmed signature of life.”

Hoover says he isn’t worried about the process and is open to any other explanations.

“If someone can explain how it is possible to have a biological remain that has no nitrogen, or nitrogen below the detect ability limits that I have, in a time period as short as 150 years, then I would be very interested in hearing that.”

“I’ve talked with many scientists about this and no one has been able to explain,” he said.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/03/05/exclusive-nasa-scientists-claims-evidence-alien-life-meteorite/#ixzz1FsNRo81N