Few people in recent history have had more books written about them that Winston Churchill, most notably for his time as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. Today, we look to TikTok viewer totals as a sign of popularity … and Sir Winston recently tallied up a sizable number for a clip taken from yet another harbinger of modern popularity – the Joe Rogan Show. The clip is actually of Harvard professor and noted extraterrestrial life and spaceship theorist Avi Loeb, who proposes in the clip that Churchill was also a believer in extraterrestrial life and, if the money spent on World War II had instead been invested in the search for it, humanity and aliens would have met by now. What did Churchill have to say about ETs and is Loeb right?
"Winston Churchill in 1939, wrote an essay about the fact that there could be life around on other planets, around other stars and we should search for it. Now, he didn't have a chance to publish it because he became Prime Minister and then had to fight the Second World War against the Nazi regime."
Loeb is referring to an article discovered in the US National Churchill Museum in Fulton, Missouri, where in 2016 an 11-page article by Churchill titled “Are We Alone in the Universe?” was discovered. Astrophysicist Mario Livio reviewed the letter in 2017 in the journal Nature, where Livio notes that Churchill was passionate about science and technology and was the first prime minister to employ a science adviser. In the essay, Churchill predicts the discovery of planets around other suns and humans traveling soon to the Moon, Mars and Venus, but notes that trips to other solar systems will be long and difficult. But that should not stop us because:
“… with hundreds of thousands of nebulae, each containing thousands of millions of suns, the odds are enormous that there must be immense numbers which possess planets whose circumstances would not render life impossible.”
Churchill wanted to have “scientists in the world but not a world of scientists” and saw science as “the servant and not the master of man.” Sadly, World War II directed Churchill’s scientific interest to warfare, where he supported the development of radar and a nuclear program, met regularly with scientists and told his generals to fight with “slide rules” as well as weapons. (If you’re not familiar with a slide rule, ask your grandpa.)
“So much money was wasted in that war. If that money was allocated to the search for extraterrestrial life, the way that Churchill envisioned it before the war we might have, we might have known the answer by now. And what I'm saying is this is just an example for how non-intelligent we are. We are not working together towards a better future. We're fighting each other."
While most would agree with Loeb that searching for extraterrestrial life is a better use of our time than fighting wars, did Churchill really agree with him? In 2010, The BBC and other media sources revealed that the unnamed grandson of the British military aide to Churchill wrote to the Ministry of Defence in 1999 about a meeting his grandfather allegedly participated in with Prime Minister Churchill and then US General Dwight Eisenhower during the war about an object seen by an RAF reconnaissance crew which "appeared to hover noiselessly relative to the aircraft" and then “very suddenly disappeared, leaving no trace of its earlier presence." Documents were finally released in 2010 confirming the meeting, and a decision by Churchill to keep the reported encounter between a UFO or foo fighter and RAF bombers secret for at least 50 years to prevent "mass panic." Nick Pope, the former UFO investigator for the Defence Ministry, said at the time that any other documents on that UFO sighting were destroyed along with most others from the war.
The unanswered question is why did Churchill cover up this UFO sighting rather than work together with Eisenhower to reveal it to the world? If the answer is because it was wartime, Churchill and Eisenhower both had plenty of opportunities after the war when they were both again in positions of power to reveal the encounter – or at least to have scientists review it. Instead, it remained covered up … and well beyond the “50 years” Churchill allegedly ordered.
Avi Loeb is right that the money spent on World War II would have been better spent on the search for extraterrestrial life … ALL Money spent on war could have been spent better elsewhere. But what does he think about Churchill’s decision to keep UFOs deeply classified in the post-war era? We may never know what Churchill was thinking … unless there are more documents yet to be discovered.