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ETpro's avatar

UFO believers, how do you think ET gets here?

Asked by ETpro (34550points) September 22nd, 2010

The reason I ask is that once we come to grips with the vastness of our Universe or even the Milky Way Galaxy we sit in, we get a real appreciation for just how daunting the task connecting with extraterrestrial intelligence is going to be. For those who haven’t thought about it. here is an idea of the scale ET would have to deal with.

The nearest star to Earth, Proxima Centauri is about 4.24 light years, or 24,7 trillion miles away. If we were to go there in the fastest spaceship we can envision actually building with today’s technology, the round trip would take a mere 20,000 years! But there is no evidence that any habitable planets orbit Proxima Centauri. Alpha Centauri, a binary star system consisting of Alpha Centauri A and B, is just a bit further at 4.37 light years from Earth.

Moving out from there, most of the bright stars we can see in the night sky with the naked eye are stars close to us (astronomically speaking) in the same arm of the Milky Way Galaxy we are in. Our galaxy itself is about 100,000 light years (5.88×10^17 miles) in diameter and rotates about its center once every several hundred million years.

Given the incredible distances that any intelligent life would have to travel to pay us a visit, and the fact that while wormholes are theoretically possible, none have ever been found and if they do exist, entering one would probably collapse it, how do you think space aliens get to earth? Or do you dismiss the whole idea as silly superstition?

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34 Answers

iamthemob's avatar

Dark matter.

(prove me wrong ;-))

CMaz's avatar

“how do you think ET gets here?”


erichw1504's avatar

The same way the guys on my avatar do.

erichw1504's avatar

@ChazMaz He’ll appear in your mailbox if you rent through Netflix!

ucme's avatar

I’m sort of a ufo agnostic really. Does he perhaps “phone home” for a warp speed kick ass mother ship?

poisonedantidote's avatar

I do not believe that aliens have visited us, or that they are out there (however i do suspect they are out there)

Having said that, if you travel close to the speed of light you will experience time dilation. meaning you could potentially travel anywhere in the galaxy in a much shorter amount of time. for people who stay behind, centuries would pass, but those on the ship would only age by a few years. at 99.9999% the speed of light, you could get to alpha centauri in a matter of months.

If i remember correctly, for every 7 years you travel at 99.9999% the speed of light, 500 years will pass for those outside the ship.

If you then add warp drive to the equation, you can see how traveling to deep space would not be so hard.

Why would an advanced alien species travel a couple of years just to visit us mere humans? well, why would humans travel a couple of years to mars just to look for microbes? dont underestimate what a life form would do to find another life form outside of home.

ETpro's avatar

@iamthemob It’s got to be Dark Matter ships powered by Dark Energy. :-)

@ucme My thinking exactly.

@poisonedantidote Good point. We are already considering how to visit alien worlds in search of simple life. Why wouldn’t an advanced life form from some distant world be equally curious about what’s out there.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

How aliens could visit Earth and how we could find another inhabited planet are really two different questions. Maybe aliens, if they exist, will someday land here and share their knowledge on how to do so. Or maybe some scientific genius on Earth will figure out how to bend time.

I wish more children would read A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. It might inspire some to use their scientific minds to come up with a way to visit other planets.

YoBob's avatar

I think most UFOs are much more likely to be holding military test pilots than ETs. A UFO is simply an unidentified flying object. It does not mean that it is full of little green (grey) men.

However, if ETs have/do visit this planet I suspect they use features of the universe that we do not yet understand. Personally, I believe that the folding of space time holds some pretty good possibilities.

Aster's avatar

None of our rules of physics apply to other universes. We have zero concept of how “they” operate. I hope universe was the right word. I can rarely think of what I mean to say.

ragingloli's avatar

Some sort of warp drive, or artificial wormholes.
And those are just the ways that we know are possible.

erichw1504's avatar

Aliens are smart
They have ships greater than ours
Flying at light speeds

I combined the Haiku question with this one..

ETpro's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Interesting thought. If aliens do drop in and they are friendly, they could advance our understanding of physics and cosmology by eons.

@YoBob Isn’t it mind bending getting your mind around bent space-time?

@Aster We have zero concept of whether alternate universes even exist, much less how they work.

@ragingloli We don’t really know that wormholes exist, or if they do, that they would remain stable if a spaceship entered one. As to warp drive, I don’t think we have any practical plan of how to actually build a device that could warp space-time at the flick of a switch. Maybe someday, but it would seem to me that curving space-time enough to permit interstellar travel would require creating a gravitational well greater than that of the black hole at the center of our galaxy. I can’t conceive of how that could be done, or how humans or machinery in proximity to it could survive its effects if it were done.

@erichw1504 Outstanding. Thanks. :-)

ragingloli's avatar

Both warping of space and wormholes (the latter of which is a variant of the first) are a mathematical conclusion of Relativity, so we know they are within the realm of physical possibility.
Concluding that because we can currently not devise a technological implementation, that other technologically more advanced species could not devise one either, is quite an arrogant position, because it requires the assumption that we are the smartest beings out there.
Other civilisations could be not only hundreds, but thousands, or even millions of years ahead of us in terms of technological development.

iamthemob's avatar


Are they both mathematical conclusions or are they possibilities allowed for in a relativistic universe?

iamthemob's avatar


In reality, I think it is most likely that if we were to be visited by a race that is targeting sentient life (i.e., sending contacts to places they know or can reasonably suspect have intelligent life) we might not see them before our “time ran out.” But if we’re dealing with what we know to be possible, then we should just assume that they would be traveling by standard propulsion. If that’s the case, the resources necessary to maintain life are just beyond comprehension. We would most likely, therefore, not see life so much as automated vessels, maybe with individual “robot” inhabitants.

ragingloli's avatar

I suppose that wormholes are allowed by Relativity.
However, the warping of spacetime is required by Relativity, and it has been experimentally verified by observing that gravitational lensing effect.

iamthemob's avatar


That’s what I was thinking too…warping seems to be a requirement for the description of the effect of mass on spacetime fabric. I just wasn’t sure if wormholes were allowed or required as well. Thanks!

ETpro's avatar

@ragingloli Yes, wormholes are a possibility of relativity, but none have ever been observed to exist. Likewise white holes. Warping of space can definitely be done. Our sun does it. The question on that being a practical means of transportation is how do you actually control it. What sort of machine can our wildest imagination conceive that could produce a mass many times that of the sun, more like a massive black hole at the center of a galaxy, and not self destruct in the process?

Jabe73's avatar

@ETpro Yes I understand the physical reasons travel may seem incomprehensible to us because we are limited to what our current technical knowledge is (being here on earth in the 21st century). There may be alien civilizations where they are several thousands (or even millions) of years ahead of us in technical knowledge. Personally looking at this from our current knowledge of physics then yes, interstellar travel seems very unlikely (at least to us at our current point in time).

You are right about wormholes not being observed so far. From what I’ve read about the estimated “shape” of the universe it seems to be curved but flat, so I guess in that sense that’s how a wormhole would create a shortcut directly through the other side of the universe (because of the curve or folding back on itself). According to the Theory of Relativity even if you could break the light barrier you would start to travel back in time so that seems an unlikely method of travel. Perhaps the most feasible way would seem to be through interdimensional travel. I don’t know much about multidimensions however so I can’t go too much further with this but then again this is being limited by our current knowledge at this point in time.

ETpro's avatar

@Jabe73 If I ever meet a fellow ET, I will be sure to ask how they got here. I can only hope I will have some clue what their explanation means.

ragingloli's avatar

I am sure, if you run it through the universal translator, all that will come out is “Bend over, ape!”

ETpro's avatar

@ragingloli Ha! If ET flew all the way here just to get a piece of me, pickings must be awfully poor back in the home world.

ragingloli's avatar

Nah. Even on earth there are many people who prefer animals over humans.

ETpro's avatar

@ragingloli I guess. Fortunately, they don’t tend to hang out at the depths we chambered nautiluses frequent, though. I sure haven’t been getting any offers lately. :-)

Jabe73's avatar

@ETpro Personally I do not think we would be able to comprehend what their answers would be to begin with (considering our primitive lifestyles and intelligence at this point in time to begin with).

rbrtwj's avatar

I think there is some chance traveling long distance. Some type of warp drive engine could be possible to be built.

ETpro's avatar

@rbrtwj Welcome to fluther, and thinks for the link. I hope you are right, and that they figure out to do it while I am still around to see the news clips of what they find out there.

@Jabe73 I don’t know. I expect if they are that advanced they should be smart enough to bridge the communication gap. A subject that is too complex is not well understood by its professors.

Jabe73's avatar

@ETpro Those dratted Ebens had a very hard time learning our language and communicating with the military officials who captured the few that survived the alleged UFO crashsite at Roswell. They apparentely gave the U.S military a yellow book (whatever that was) and we apparentely couldn’t understand it. I’m not saying I believe all of this to be true but just a speculation here.

ETpro's avatar

@Jabe73 ETpro promised not to discuss that.

JustmeAman's avatar

Here we are in our very small section of a vast Universe trying to limit all beings with our limitations. That doesn’t work and is so human to do so. They do exist and yes they have come here and do regularly and have been sighted many times. There are many experiences with abduction and they do communicate with a few here. Beings have given us a small portion of our technology for a pact between them and us though that has been broken and now there is no pact with them. There are more than 1 species here and they are waiting and watching for our change. This Earth is about to evolve and they have a huge vested reason for being here.

ETpro's avatar

@JustmeAman I’m not saying that’s false, but you know all this how?

JustmeAman's avatar

There is a big reason that we are developing huge advances in Technology right now.
@ETpro From my own personal life experiences. There is no pun intended and things will become clear to all.

ETpro's avatar

@JustmeAman Well I certainly hope you are right, because I would truly love to have things become clear to me before my brief time in this body expires.

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