We still have no clue what explains a series of Navy pilot encounters with U̳F̳O̳s that appeared to span the sky at hypersonic speeds and defied the rules of physics, despite the P̳e̳n̳t̳a̳g̳o̳n̳’s best efforts.
And, if the latest speculations are to be believed, the government’s planned report will not provide us with any more answers than we already have.
The hypothesis that the sighting was caused by e̳x̳t̳r̳a̳t̳e̳r̳r̳e̳s̳t̳r̳i̳a̳l̳s rather than US adversaries such as C̳h̳i̳n̳a̳ or Russia, as some former military officials have indicated, has acquired popular acceptance, though it is unlikely.
As physicist and former Nature editor Mark Buchanan writes in a new essay for The Washington Post, this may be a positive thing.
“Chances are, though, that we should all be grateful that we don’t yet have any evidence of contact with a̳l̳i̳e̳n̳ c̳i̳v̳i̳l̳i̳z̳a̳t̳i̳o̳n̳s̳,” he argued. “Attempting to communicate with e̳x̳t̳r̳a̳t̳e̳r̳r̳e̳s̳t̳r̳i̳a̳l̳s, if they do exist, could be extremely dangerous for us.”
“We need to figure out whether it’s wise — or safe — and how to handle such attempts in an organized manner,” he added.
Going forward, according to Buchanan’s analysis, we need to be careful.
“The search for a̳l̳i̳e̳n̳s has reached a stage of technological sophistication and associated risk that it needs strict regulation at national and international level,” he wrote.
One single person could end up taking “actions affecting the future of the entire planet” with “access to powerful transmitting technology.” That means the fate of humanity “shouldn’t be left to a handful of radio astronomers.”
Because our solar system is so young, other c̳i̳v̳i̳l̳i̳z̳a̳t̳i̳o̳n̳s̳ might be millions of years ahead of us, according to Buchanan. And what occurs when a technologically sophisticated culture encounters a less technologically advanced culture? History has taught us what happens.
Given the potential dangers of establishing first contact, it may be “wiser to just wait,” the physicist stated, saying that we must jointly determine how to handle this discussion and come up with “reasonable regulation.”
“It should happen now. Or soon,” he concluded. “Before it’s too late.”