I grew up in rural NWPA, surrounded in forest. I took an early interest in cryprozoology and sharks and have read many books on various crypto subjects such as Bigfoot and Megalodon over the years. I am not a professional writer or a journalist, but I do the best I can. I have a quirky, obscurely dry and sometimes sarcastic sense of humor than can get me in trouble. Some love me and some hate me, but I am who I am.

With the discoveries of allegedly habitable planets being discovered at record pace we are now in a quandary.

If there are so many planets around that can support life, then why haven’t we met ET yet? While some say we have and others claim to have seen their spacecrafts, we still have nothing that would stand up in a court of law.

Of course this brings about lots of conspiracy theory about government suppression of alien visitation and calls abductees out of the woodwork but lets look at the question in a different way.

Are we alone? Mathematician Thomas Hair says it’s a good possibility that there are a minimal number of intelligent/sentient lifeforms out there.

Hair announced his findings at the Mathematical Association of America recently and concludes that ET would have found us by now if in fact he exists.

The story as reported to Discovery News:

Mathematically speaking, ET would have found us by now — if he exists — so we’re being consciously avoided for some reason, a new study concludes.

“We’re either alone, or they’re out there and leave us alone,” mathematician Thomas Hair, with Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, told Discovery News.

Hair, who presented his research at the Mathematical Association of America in Boston earlier this month, based his approximation of what he considered to be extremely conservative estimates for how long it would take a society to muster up the resources and technological know-how to leave its home world and travel to another star. Even at the relatively sedate pace of 1 percent of light-speed, the aliens would arrive at their nearest neighbor star in about 500 years.

Light travels at about 186,000 miles per second.

Figure another 500 years to build new ships, set out again, and so on and so on, and the calculations show that civilizations starting out from the oldest stars in our galaxy would have had epochs of time to reach us by now. So where are they?

“They’ve either passed us by, or they stay around their home star systems and contemplate their navels,” Hair said.

There could be several reasons why we’re not listed in intergalactic Yelp. Perhaps most important is that we don’t have anything aliens need.

“Any ancient civilization is probably not biological. They don’t need a place like Earth. They don’t need to come here and steal our water. There’s plenty of it out in the outer solar system where the gravity is not so great and they can just take all they want,” Hair said.

Or perhaps modern-day extraterrestrials are following routes laid out long ago, all of which bypass Earth, he added.

Whatever the reason we’re being ignored, there is no chance ET, if he exists, does not know we are here, Hair said, pointing to telescopes, such as NASA’s Kepler observatory, which can detect planets around other stars.

If humans living on a planet that is roughly 5 billion years old have technology like Kepler, an alien civilization with another 10 million years of experience under its belt would have advanced much further, Hair maintains.

“I’m sure they’d be able to detect if this planet had life on it. Just the CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) in our atmosphere would give us away,” he said.

CFCs are compounds typically found in refrigerants and aerosol products that release chlorine atoms when exposed to ultraviolet light and erode Earth’s ozone layer.

University of Minnesota physicist Woods Halley, who just published a book about the prospects of extraterrestrial life, says we don’t know enough about how life got started on Earth to be able to recognize alien life, even if it were staring us in the face.

“I think there are three options,” Halley told Discovery News. “Life is rare, which I think has a reasonable probability of being correct. Life is weird — every time you run into it, it’s extremely different from the last time you saw it. Life is dull, meaning you will find something that looks a lot like life on Earth and our problems (in detecting life) are technical.

“I’ve come to the view that they’re all possible, but the preponderance of evidence most likely fits the first — we are rare,” Halley said.

So, is it just us, or are our alien friends just not trusting enough? Maybe we’re the most intelligent life form and the other guys are waiting for us to show up? It’s a lot to ponder.

Thanks to Discovery.com for this interesting story.

Associated Content:

Top 10 most likely places to find life.

  • markus wallett

    Surely everyone can guess why there’s not been a “mass” contact? Aliens don’t exist in the manipulated public perception otherwise known as western civilisation. Denial+quarantine make for a potent mix.

  • Sorry, but this isn’t a new development. It’s just an update of the Fermi Paradox.


  • @markus wallett


  • Henry

    Discovery and contact are two very different things. They may well have dicovered us and not made contact. It is also a spectacularly huge galaxy and there is a lot of area to search.

  • RJ

    Of course there’s intelligent life out there in the cosmos, The fact that none of it has decided to officially contact us is proof of not only that fact, but also their excellent tastes in species.

    They probably view us the way we in the Western World view a place like Somalia. Namely: “An F’ed up nut-house, populated by gun-toting, loony warlords constantly at each other’s throats who can’t get their acts together, and best to stay as far away from them as possible.”

  • haywoodzarathustra

    Certain groups of people entertain the belief that some governments have secret info on beings from elsewhere. Let’s pretend these beings really exist. Why the hell would they need to make deals with terrestrial governments? What could politicians offer a species that has mastered, for all intents and purposes, the secrets of the universe? Governments can’t keep these sorts of secrets if the so-called beings want to reveal themselves.

    I think some gubments might have proof that these things actually exist, but they don’t know the who, how, from where, or what. More likely most of it is a foil to hide secret government projects, such as Air Force and Navy black ops. You would also probably find some psyops groups enjoying the hell out of this and stretching it for all it was worth in the area of mind control, re: Paul Bennewitz.

  • The Oshmar

    Here is a question to that mathematician, how long will it take to inspect every grain of sand on the planet? Because there are a lot more planets in our universe then we got grains of sand.

    They haven’t made contact yet so they cannot exist? He means to say they can’t stop at other planets and spend time learning about that planets secrets for X years, hell if another life form that can explore the depths of space exists who says several can’t? and who says that they wouldn’t have met each other and either had positive of negative reactions to each other (war/peace), I’m fairly sure if there was an interplanetary war going on, that might slow them down a little.

    Who is to say the most advanced life forms in the universe didn’t already make contact with another less advanced species and like here on earth wiped them out by mistake (disease and to quickly advancing technology) and learnt by that mistake not to interfere with lesser advance worlds?

    I would like to see him calculate all that and THEN say how long it would take.

  • noneya

    @the oshmar – That’s what I was thinking too.

  • BizarreMind

    The idea that life simply does not exist because they haven’t contacted us is a stupid thought. If your mom doesn’t call you does that mean she doesn’t exist? Life will happen when the correct ingredients are present. We just happen to have them and we exist now. So it would be monumentally ignorant to think that we and only we are the only sentient beings. Why is it the more “smart” people get the more closed minded.

  • John Galt

    Mr. Oshmar, your response, while quite emotional, is a qualitative one and does not stand up to the sheer force of the raw numbers involved. As offered by Mr. Pruitt, the Fermi Paradox addresses those numbers. Mr. Enrico Fermi was famous as a physicist for being able to take initial sets of data and make initial predictions that were remarkably correct. Also, the Drake equation does almost the same calculation. Grains of sand aside, mathematics is a pure form of thought; and should be universally recognizable (hence the Arecibo Message, the Golden Records on Voyager 1 and 2).
    “They haven’t made contact yet so they cannot exist?” interesting comment, sir, especially when he said nothing of the sort. At least, that’s what i understand in my reading of the article, and if you could point out where it is that Mr. Hair says exactly that, I would be much obliged and correct my self publicly.
    Finally, this is a tough subject and it rouses strong emotions in seekers of truth everywhere. But I would recommend sticking to the scientific method, the laws of physics, Occam’s Razor and repeatable results before blurting out an emotive response, “because it feels right.” if you do, that’s fine; but I will call you on it (if I catch it). Again, Mr. Hair says nothing about them contacting us to be a measure of effectiveness and standard of proof. He merely asks, “where are they?”; a question that is valid, based on our calculations and discoveries of habitable planets orbiting stars on the main sequence. Stephen Hawking also posed the same thought experiment to his students about time travel: if discovered in the far future, where are all the tourists of the future? It is because we have no visitors from the future that I believe that were are a way from time travel.

  • John Galt

    @ markus wallet
    Sir, what in the bloody HELL are you babbling about??? You’re sentence fits a symptom very pronounced in schizophrenia, called “word salad.” Damned if that’s not what you just wrote…sheesh…