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Opinion

Make-Believe Martians

Extraterrestrials Do Not Exist

Since the beginning of time, the idea of life outside of Earth has captivated the American audience. Through movies like “E.T.,” “The Martian,” and “Star Wars,” extraterrestrials have become immortalized in pop culture, creating a heightened buzz around the possibility of visitors from space. Although an interesting concept to consider in the world of science fiction novels and blockbuster films, the claim that intelligent life exists outside of Earth remains unfounded.

Throughout the years, many have claimed sightings of Unidentified Flying Objects, or UFOs. The only requirement for an object to be classified as a UFO is to be “a mysterious object seen in the sky.” By this criteria, it is easy to concede that UFOs do in fact exist – but they are very likely not aliens from outer space. Often, they are simply flying objects whose identification has eluded the viewer for the time being. If, one day, extraterrestrial intelligence were discovered, it would require extraordinary and extremely reliable evidence. In the meantime, it is not unreasonable to be skeptical of the shaky videos, blurry photos and unreliable anecdotes that are said to “prove” the existence of aliens. In fact, many so called UFOs are later identified using scientific evidence to be lightning sprites, missile tests, cloud formations, or even weather balloons.

Furthermore, there have been multiple government investigations into the possibility of alien life – all of which have resulted in unsubstantial or nonexistent results. Some famous operations include “Project Blue Book” which was closed after 20 years, concluding that “the unidentified sightings reported and investigated were not advanced technology or extraterrestrial vehicles,” as well as the failed SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) program that aimed to connect with an intelligent radio system after decades of research. Some may argue that information about space is being withheld by the government, but this too, is highly unrealistic. A decades-long cover-up seems highly implausible when considering the amount of information that has been widely leaked by the media of “secret” government operations. In fact, the idea that the government was hiding alien life in a mysterious Nevada location called Area 51 was overwhelmingly debunked when CIA files declassified the area as a military testing site that was hidden in order to keep secrets from the Soviets.

In the end, although the idea that intelligent life exists is attractive to the imaginative mind, it is a premise that cannot be confirmed. Although there is always the slightest chance that alien life does exist, the fact that no one has come forth with even a small shred of evidence, makes it highly unlikely that humans will have the ability to come into contact with or see any intelligent life for years to come.

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