If you want a definitive answer on the question of whether aliens have visited Earth, would you ask a politician, an astronaut, a philosopher, your neighbor who claims he’s an abductee or a NASA scientist? If you picked that last one but you don’t know any NASA scientists, we bring you Silvano P. Colombano, a computer scientist at NASA Ames Research Center in California who says he believes they’ve already been here … we just didn’t recognize them.
"I simply want to point out the fact that the intelligence we might find and that might choose to find us (if it hasn’t already) might not be at all be produced by carbon based organisms like us."
In a new paper entitled “New Assumptions to Guide Seti Research,” Professor Colombano posits that extraterrestrials may not fit our conventional wisdom … or even our unconventional wisdom. Beyond being composed of something other than carbon, he proposes that beings who have the ability to travel long distances to get here may have lifespans far longer than ours, so that the ones who left their planet many light years away are the same ones who landed here. Not only that, the idea that they’re about our size (so we can put the benevolent ones on our bikes and punch out the evil ones) may not hold either.
"Our typical life-spans would no longer be a limitation (although even these could be dealt with multi-generational missions or suspended animation), and the size of the 'explorer' might be that of an extremely tiny super-intelligent entity."
Is Colombano just thinking outside of the space box or does he know something about aliens that we don’t? It sounds more like he knows there’s something there and he wants both the scientific community and the general public to work together to get beyond our current assumptions so that we can see them.
“In the very large amount of “noise” in UFO reporting there may be “signals” however small, that indicate some phenomena that cannot be explained or denied. If we adopt a new set of assumptions about what forms of higher intelligence and technology we might find, some of those phenomena might fit specific hypotheses, and we could start some serious enquiry.”
Getting beyond the “noise” – that sounds like what many in the ufology field have been calling for lately. To accomplish this, Colombano believes the scientific community must accept the possibility of interstellar travel and the public must look beyond the “hoaxes, mistaken perceptions or even psychotic events in UFO phenomena.” Psychotic events? Does he have a certain rock star in mind?
While Colombano’s field is SETI, he recommends that his fellow scientists consider “speculative physics” that “stretch possibilities as to the nature of space-time and energy.” He also wants sociologists to speculate on new societies and how they might communicate with us … not to mention how we might communicate with them.
That all sounds great and it’s highly unusual to be coming from a NASA scientist, but in order to keep from getting lumped into pseudoscience or “psychotic events,” we need a catchy slogan that everyone can latch onto and put on a T-shirt to wear at “talk to the aliens” rallies. Colombano has the perfect candidate:
“Find the signal in the noise.”
As Sally sang in "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," that's my new philosophy. Scientists, ufologists and people looking for alien life forms on Earth ... the rest is up to you.