A couple of mathematicians at the University of Edinburgh believe that it is not only a possibility that alien probes and/or spacecraft have visited the Earth but that they may have done so in our distant past. Earth now has an interstellar emissary in Voyager 1, so why couldn't an extraterrestrial race have produced something similar, something that could be headed our way or may have already visited our planet?
The Epoch Times reported July 28 that professors Arwen Nicholson and Duncan Forgana at the University of Edinburgh had tackled the idea of intelligent alien beings that not only had spacefaring technology but also may have developed said technology millennia, even millions of years ago. And they did so using Voyager 1, which NASA announced had entered interstellar space within the past year, as a model.
Voyager 1, which blasted off from Earth in September 1977, is headed toward the star AC+79 3888 and will get there in about 40,000 years. The two mathematicians wondered: What if aliens had launched a probe at our Sun 40,000 years ago. It could be arriving any minute, given that its speed was relatively the same as Voyager 1's. Nicholson and Forgana also wondered: What if the aliens had a one million year head start on the human race?
They professors published their article in the International Journal of Astrobiology last year, according to the Times. They explained techniques that could dramatically cut down the time that it would take to voyage between the stars in an inter- or intragalactic trip. The two noted that it is not only possible that aliens could reach our solar system with such space-faring technology, but also posited that, if the aliens had reached the space-faring point in their evolution in the distant past, the alien probes may have even done so a very long time ago.
And it could be ongoing. Or, there could be multiple alien cultures sending probes at the same time or different times in the past and in the future.
And you thought all those episodes of "Ancient Aliens" were just a bit on the fanciful side... Turns out, maybe not so much.
Just think: Many of those UFO stories that couldn't be explained away by science, actual observable and measurable phenomena, and other means could actually have been sightings of alien spacecraft come to take scientific readings and collect data. Or they could have arrived as an advance scouting mission or a mapping mission.
Of course, some of the probes might be so technologically advanced, they might be undetectable. That is, the probes could be among us and we might never know...
Still, exploring the stars may not be an exclusive venture of the human race.
The two professors also looked at just how long it might take to explore the galaxy. Using the idea of self-replicating technology first proposed by mathematician/physicist John Von Neumann in the 1940s, Nicholson and Forgana proposed spacecraft that would head out into the void, reach its planet of destination, then use the resources there to fashion another probe. The offspring probe would then launch off toward another star, while the parent explored or continued the mission it was programmed to conduct.
By their calculations, with the alien probes traveling at below light-speed (186,000 miles per second), the probes could span the Milky Way within 10 million years. In fact, the mathematicians used one-tenth light-speed (18.600 miles per second) for their calculations. In comparison, Voyager 1 is traveling at approximately 11 miles per second, according to Stephen Webb's If The Universe Is Teeming with Aliens... Where Is Everybody? The NASA spacecraft is the fastest known vehicle on record.
It all adds up to a strong probability -- just ask Nicholson and Forgana.