Scientists believe they may have found a star that is surrounded by alien megastructures. The Kepler Space Telescope searches the skies in a quest for other habitable planets in the universe. By measuring the amount of light emitted by a star over time, researchers are able to detect the presence of an orbiting planet. Because there is so much data, Kepler relies upon Planet Hunters program where volunteers sift through gathered data. The Planet Hunters discovered a star that scientists say appears to be shrouded in matter, the way a newly born star is surrounded by debris. But this star is not young. Though skeptical himself, astronomer Jason Wright explained in an interview with The Independent, that this is exactly what one would expect to see from an advanced alien civilization.
The search for extraterrestrial life has captivated public interest for decades. After the Roswell UFO Incident of the late 1940s, society has been inundated with ideas about the existence of alien life as well as alien intervention throughout the history of Earth. On their program Ancient Aliens, The History Channel has suggested that the Great Pyramids of Egypt may have in fact been alien power plants. Beginning in the 1960's cattle were being mysteriously mutilated in the U.S. as part of what some believe to be experiments performed by aliens. Then, our gray visitors began gently imprinting alien symbols in corn fields around the world. Some people still consider crop circles to be a mystery.
Our gray visitors began gently imprinting alien symbols in corn fields around the world.
Fact or fiction, human beings are desperate to understand their place in the universe. Proof of the existence of an advanced alien civilization would obliterate our understanding of reality, with both grave and promising implications. Mark Pilkington is a UFO researcher, writer and publisher. His book and documentary film Mirage Men is an investigation into the truth behind UFO culture of the 20th Century. It addresses how the U.S. government intentionally obfuscated the truth about their own technological advancements by feeding into the ufologist subculture after the Cold War. Pilkington became fascinated with UFO lore and the idea of ET visitation as a teenager. "This continued through my twenties as the world experienced a huge surge of UFOria in the lead up to the new millennium."
He began to investigate local UFO sightings around Norwich, England. Pilkington met with people who witnessed or experienced "anomalous phenomena", and wrote for the Ufology magazines Magonia and Fortean Times. "We all long for tangible evidence of intelligent and advanced non human technological civilizations beyond our Earth," he explains. "The idea gives us hope for own own salvation from ecological and technological burnout- in that someone else might be able to save us from ourselves, or that a technologically advanced civilization beyond Earth demonstrates that we might be able to save ourselves from ourselves."
But most of the claims and culture around UFOs and alien existence is speculative, and not grounded in scientfic fact. Believers in extraterrestrial life aren't merely egging themselves on. Pilkington explains that the U.S. Government has had a long history of intentionally obfuscating the truth behind alien existence. "Since at least the start of the Cold War, military and intelligence organisations in the US and elsewhere have, on occasion, exploited and encouraged beliefs in extraterrestrial visitations and technology as part of their psychological warfare, propaganda and security operations." He says that UFOs were the Cold War era's 'Weapons of Mass Deception.' One example depicted in Pilkington's film, Mirage Men, reveals how the government encouraged UFO narratives in the Southwestern United States to obscure the fact they were conducting "test flights of advanced aerial platforms such as unmanned drones, or the Stealth program back in the early '80s. I should stress that UFOs are just one of many areas of superstition, folklore and belief to be exploited in this way, and that such practices are documented right back to classical times."
Pilkington doesn't believe that the alien megastructures Kepler may have discovered are part of a government agenda. As to whether or not the government is now or has ever covered up the existence of alien life-"Several of the world's governments and militaries have actively engaged in astronomical searches for ET life, most famously SETI, and have also actively, and often secretly, investigated UFO sightings, for national security reasons. That said, I don't think personally that any world government is covering up evidence of ET visitation to our planet. There is a small industry based around the opposite conclusion, but I would say that if evidence for ET interactions is to be found, I don't think the UFO lore is the place to be looking for it."
I don't think you'll find many astronomers, astrobiologists or astrophysicists who don't believe that there is intelligent life somewhere out there in the universe.
Kepler's Alien Megastructures are different from the UFO lore of the 20th Century, but they exist on the same continuum of extraterrestrial phenomenon on Earth. Humanity is hungry for information about intelligent life forms other than our own. The further technologically advanced our species becomes, the closer we get to understanding our place in the universe. Alien existence may be still be shrouded in obscurity in the new millennium, but eventually the truth will out. "I don't think you'll find many astronomers, astrobiologists or astrophysicists who don't believe that there is intelligent life somewhere out there in the universe," Pilkington says. "Recent, ongoing, discoveries on our near neighbor Mars only reinforce the fact that the conditions for life beyond Earth exist around us. As to whether that life has taken the form of a technologically advanced civilisation, that's a whole different can of worms and one that many people smarter than me have spent lifetimes considering."
The UFO believers comprise a small but rich population across our planet. Their fascination borders obsession and often defies rational thought, though the United States government is partially to blame for their history of deception within the UFO subculture. As documented in Pilkington's film, government officials have fed alien fanatics fantastic stories about extraterrestrial life in order to drive them insane, distracting the American public from government warfare technology. Pilkington says that it is possible aliens have visited earth, but that he can't see any reason to believe they've had an impact on our development. "My suspicion is that smart ETs, would keep a very low profile and would certainly stay well clear of UFO researchers!"
If Kepler has indeed discovered megastructures belonging to an advanced civilization, let us welcome them as our sister species. As Pilkington says, the story of UFOs and the search for alien life is a human tradition. "It is one of America's most successful, and influential, cultural exports, and I'm sure it will continue to reappear In new variations, evolving to suit the needs of each new generation until perhaps we do finally meet our cosmic neighbours. Let's hope they like disco."