I get this question from time to time but I’ve gotten it twice from different people in the past couple of days. I think it’s probably because of recent reporting that U.S. Navy pilots have come out saying they saw UFO’s frequently (“daily” according to at least one flier).

Now, none of the pilots in that report said that what they saw were “aliens” or even “aircraft”. Just something they could not identify that seemed to be flying. The DoD cautions that “there could be earthly explanations” but, still, it’s remarkable that professionals who log hundreds of flight hours would report seeing something they can’t identify.

So. About the question “Do I Believe in Aliens”… it’s a two point answer but I really think it should be a two part question

  • QUESTION ONE: Do I Believe in Aliens?

Sure. There are at least 20 sextillion planets in the observable universe a number so large you might as well say they are “infinite”. Out of all those planets the safe bet is that life, in some form, probably developed on some of them. But, is that life some kind super-advanced, space-faring civilization? Or is it some lichen that grows on the bottom of a rock on the moon of some exo-planet? So I can say, without any evidence, that yes, I believe in aliens. But that’s not the question I think most people are asking. What they’re really asking is…

  • QUESTION TWO: Do you think UFOs are of Extra-Terrestrial Origin?

No, I do not. The main reason I don’t is because of the vast distances involved in long range space travel and the laws of physics. The nearest star is over 4 light years away. That’s almost 6 Trillion miles. Of course, mankind isn’t anywhere close to traveling the speed of light so a trip the CLOSEST star (forget about the closest one that might have an earth-like planet) using our current technology would take about 81,000 years.

But let’s assume we’re talking about a civilization far beyond ours. Say, one that had a 100,000 year head start on us. Couldn’t such a civilization be zipping around the galaxy like Han Solo at the helm of the Millennium Falcon? Maybe. But, probably not. As far as we have been able to discover, it is a universal constant that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. Of course, humankind is still only in the very, very early stages of space travel and, possibly, there might be someway around the speed of light. If there is, it goes against everything we think we know about the fundamental principles of the universe. I’m afraid that, for better or worse, the speed of light might be an un-cross-able barrier. Are there aliens? Probably. Is that what these Navy pilots are seeing? Probably not.