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Could UFOs be alien robot space probes?

Mathematicians from Edinburgh University have conducted a study demonstrating the possibility that an advanced extraterrestrial civilization could use self-replicating probes to study the galaxy. Their findings show that their theoretical alien probes could have already arrived.

The mathematicians, Duncan Forgan and Arwen Nicholson, had their paper on the analysis of how probes could travel through space published in the Journal of Astrobiology. They studied the possibility that alien races used the gravity of stars to “slingshot” the probes in order to gain speed. This is a technique we already use for probes, such as the Voyager.

The Voyager 1 space probe was launched in 1977 and is just reaching the edge of our solar system. However, Forgan and Nicholson believe that older civilizations could have launched similar probes that are already here. They also speculate that alien probes could use a method of self-replication. They might collect dust and gas to build new versions of themselves during their long trips.

The researchers say, “We can conclude that that a fleet of self-replicating probes can indeed explore the Galaxy in a sufficiently short time.. orders of magnitude less than the age of the Earth.”

Voyager Space Probe. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The question is, if they are here, why haven’t we seen them? Referring to speculation on this topic from NASA space expert Robert Freitas in 1983, Forgan suggests that the probes may be designed to hide themselves. Forgan explained to Yahoo! News, “The probe camouflages itself so as to set up a threshold test of the technology or intelligence of the recipient species, where the test must be met before the species is allowed to communicate with the device.”

According to Yahoo! News, Jacob Haqq-Misra of the Rock Ethics Institute suggested in a paper in 2011 that perhaps the remains of extraterrestrial technology sent out to probe the galaxy remains buried here or on a nearby planet, awaiting discovery. He wrote, “Extraterrestrial artifacts may exist in the solar system without our knowledge simply because we have not yet searched sufficiently.”

Haqq-Misra argues, “Searches to date of the solar system are sufficiently incomplete that we cannot rule out the possibility that nonterrestrial artifacts are present and may even be observing us.”

Forgan disagrees, he says, “Evidence in the form of ‘spent’ or destroyed probes is less likely, as any civilisation attempting interstellar exploration are presumably skilled engineers, and would send probes with the ability to self-repair due to the large travel distances and times required for such a task, giving the probes a very long life-span.”

Voyager Features
Voyager 1 Technical Features. (Credit: NASA/JPL)

Dr. Anders Sandberg, of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University has another answer as to why we have not seen any of these probes yet. He thinks intelligent civilizations destroy themselves before reaching the technological ability to send the probes.

Sandberg says, “If advanced societies wipe themselves out, or decide to not go exploring, they need to converge to this outcome with extremely high probability, since it only takes one that escapes this fate to fill the universe.”

Of course there is something else to consider. Last month the Mutual UFO Network received over 600 UFO sighting reports in the United States. Even if 95% of them are misidentifications, that leaves 30 unknowns in just one month. Perhaps Forgan and Nicholson should consider that some of these unidentified objects may be the probes they are looking for.

Alejandro Rojas

Alejandro Rojas is a radio host for Open Minds Radio, editor and contributing writer for Open Minds magazine as well as OpenMinds.tv. For several years Alejandro was the official spokesperson for the Mutual UFO Network as the Director of Public Education. As a UFO/Paranormal researcher and journalist, Alejandro has spent many hours in the field investigating phenomena up close and personal. Alejandro has been interviewed by media organizations around the world, including the largest cable and network news agencies with several appearances on Coast to Coast AM.

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  1. Given the vast distances involved and the extremely lengthy duration of travel then it does seem much more likely that any visiting craft does not contain a biological pilot or visitor.

    Any craft is likely to be travelling at a small fraction of the speed of light, and maintaining life in just too complicated.

    Wormholes, warp-drive, folding space, and/or inter-dimensional travel could all change the maths on that, but they’re all science fiction concepts at present around here.

    It’s likely that ET does not need to phone home – they probably never left.

  2. Let’s go outside the box a little more because we are babies in term of the age of our civilization. We are not even born yet as humanity (as we are not united yet and we may abort ourselves in a final nuclear war). The current paradigm in science is that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. Given the status of our knowledge, which is even not able to understand the essential forces of the universe, I would personally not be bound by that paradigm when imagining what intelligent beings thousands and even millions of years in advance on us could do. I imagine that intelligent life propagates into the universe from solar systems to solar systems and this follow any law of life propagation: it is exponential. It would take only 2 millions of years to populate each solar system in the universe we can see around us. So this is why the universe would be full of life and that we would have interstellar parents that would be observing us. Because of the math, it is more probable that the Earth has been seeded than we appeared by chance on it. It would explain religions (“Let’s make man in our own image”) as they would have let those messages to our ancestors in order to let traces of their masterpiece. It would explain the UFO phenomenon as the creators would make themselves gradually known to us in order to prepare us to an eventual official encounter. It is time to prepare ourselves for this… Get out of the box guys!

  3. religion a human weekness manipulation . the earth is has not been seeded , evolution is a hard pill to swallow even today nine tenths of our population worship stupidity .the galaxy just by the numbers must be exuding life as a fish walking on land the need to survive brings on an evolutionary leap and so out into the great void , a final intelligence test .ALL YOU THINKERS ARE TRAPPED IN YOUR OWN PARADOX.. If ten thousand top scientists all worked together we may have an answer for interstellar travel .WHAT IF TEN BILLION SUPER INTELLIGENT OFFWORLD BEINGS WORKED AT IT . the ultimate truth most people have no place for only the super smart see intelligence grows from the need to survive but when that very strong need has been surpassed then there is a massive amount of collective intelligence ready to take that leap THE MILKY WAY .. to our planet a sunday drive once in a while they give us a wave WE TO THEM ARE THE SMARTEST APES BUT STILL APES ..FROM OUR NEED TO SURVIVE CAME OUR IMMAGINATION OUR ABILITY TO INVENT HENCE THE BIRTH OF RELIGION A CREATOR , THE BLACKEST HOLE AN UNTRUTH .. GET OUT OF THE BALLOON ITS ABOUT TO POP .WE WILL BE VISITED ..BUT WE CREATED OUR SELVES AS THEY DID ..

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