Hiding in Plain Sight? The Argument for Invisible Alien
BY DOUG BONDERUD
Where is everybody? In a universe of at least 100 billion galaxies, why hasn't anyone stopped by?
The answer depends on who you ask. Some favor the notion of time and distance — extraterrestrial life may not know we're out here, or may be similarly limited to their local solar system by the finite speed of light. Others make more dire predictions for the fate of advanced life in the universe: Catastrophic events such as war, disease or stellar bad luck that effectively eliminate evolving life once it reaches a certain threshold.
But what if the truth lies closer to home? What if invisible aliens exist among us, already here but unseen by human eyes? Astrobiologist Samantha Rolfe of the University of Hertfordshire took this idea and ran with it, exploring the possibility of a "shadow biosphere" capable of supporting alien life on Earth — just not life as we know it.
What We Do in the Shadows
Phosphorus represents a key biochemical building block for RNA and DNA formation in earthbound life. All organisms — plant and animal — require a source of phosphorous to survive, despite its relative scarcity. As noted by Matthew Pasek of the University of South Florida, "phosphorous is the least abundant element cosmically relative to its presence in biology."
The shadow biosphere theory postulates that other forms of life may exist alongside known organisms but operate in ways we don't recognize as life. Consider the Mono Lake microorganisms, which use arsenic rather than phosphorus to generate essential energy — while their arsenic adaptation stems from very specific environmental conditions, it's also possible that larger-scale shadow biospheres have existed throughout Earth's history. According to Astrobiology Magazine, Earth could have had several "cradles of life" over its 4 billion year history; some may have collapsed as environmental conditions changed while others might have been overrun by our phosphorus-loving progenitors.
It's also possible that meteorite impacts — or covert alien landings — introduced life into our ecosystem that required a novel energy source, and shadow biospheres have been humming along undetected and undisturbed for centuries or even millennia.
What does this mean for our theory of invisible aliens? The good news is that a proof-of-concept shadow biosphere already exists in arsenic-using organisms. The bad news? While shadow-biological microbes might be alien to us they're probably not from a galaxy far, far away.
The Uncanny (Silicon) Valley
While energy creation is one way to approach the search for life, it's also worth taking a look at our biggest chemical contributor: carbon. All life on Earth is carbon-based, since carbon makes it easy to create the strong double and triple bonds needed for cell walls, and is also soluble in water — another essential life-encouraging compound — when converted to carbon dioxide.
But what if carbon isn't all it's cracked up to be? Rolfe considers the possibility of an alternative biochemistry based on silicon. As she points out, silicon is widely available on Earth's surface and — just like carbon — has four electrons to create bonds with other atoms. There are challenges: Silicon is heavier, has a tough time creating strong bonds and isn't water-soluble. Still, scientists have demonstrated that it's possible to create bacterial proteins that bond with silicon, effectively creating tiny, silicon-based life.
The chances of silicon-based visitors, however, remains slim here on Earth. Still, there's speculation that intrasolar moons or exosolar planets could have a chemical makeup that favors silicon life over its carbon companion. Here, climbing out of the terrestrial-focused valley of common life classification means thinking outside the biological box to prioritize the collective action of potential aliens rather than their chemical composition.
Interstellar Rest Stop
What if our invisible aliens aren't living among us in shadow biospheres or using different building blocks? What if they've already visited — and aren't coming back? What if they're not aliens at all?
As noted by Business Insider, it's possible that interstellar travelers visited Earth billions of years ago when their own star system was closer to ours. Maybe they watched the first organic molecules form, or walked among the dinosaurs. Perhaps they accidentally nudged an asteroid toward Earth on their way out of town? Other experts like Harvard's Avi Loeb wonder if strange interstellar objects like 'Oumuaumua — the first known interstellar object to pass through our solar system, detected in late 2017 — were of alien origin and sent to Earth deliberately.
Go deeper into we're-not-alone-out-here speculation and you'll find theories like the one from Michael Masters of Montana Technological University in Butte. He notes that while the collective evidence for unidentified flying objects (UFOs) continues to grow, details on actual extraterrestrials are almost entirely absent. He posits that the seeming existence of advanced technology without alien operators could suggest a future in which humanity discovers time travel, humans regularly visit the past and occasionally make the mistake of letting their advanced craft get noticed. Since they're physically and visually human, any crash-landings or future-people infiltrations would go unnoticed. In effect, they're temporal visitors; aliens by eons rather than elements.
We Are Not Alone
Are we the only house in the galactic neighborhood? Maybe not. Although shadow biospheres and invisible aliens aren't the probable solutions to our carbon-based isolation, they're critical steps in changing the way we view life, the universe and everything. Broader perspectives and bigger thoughts make it more likely that we'll recognize the telltale signs of life — even if it's not what we're expecting.
During the spacewalk, a small silver object seemingly manifests out of nowhere off in the distance and is joined by another orb-like anomaly moments later.
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Argentine journalist Calaverita Mateos, claimed that they were taken in the town of El Escorial and subsequently "sent to me by a resident of the plateau, who asks to protect his identity." When pressed on if he could provide the images in their "original format" for analysis, Mateos indicated that "I'll do my best, but I'm not authorized" and went on to explain that the witness was a "field worker" who "does not want to have anything to do with exposing himself so much."
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One of my favorite scenes of all time. "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe... Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion... I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain..." Blade Runner - Final scene, ＂Tears in Rain＂ Monologue
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Gray Aliens Filmed By KGB
The best example of real aliens on camera, in my opinion, is Gray Alien Filmed by the KGB.
A number of diplomatic visits have been scheduled to discuss issues of mutual interest since the initial contact in 1942.
These meetings will be held in secret, in accordance with the 23/04 treaty, with only a few special agents accompanying the visitors and only high-ranking officers being met.
According to document 072 / E, there was an incident involving 3 subjects at the meeting in 1961 as a result of the military base officers breaking the agreement when a hidden filming device was found upon their arrival without their consent.
According to the 23/04 treaty, the meetings must be confidential, and filming or photography would not be allowed. The proof would be these videos that were made without their consent!
After the incident, the treaty was revised…
Cosmonauts conducting a spacewalk at the ISS may have had something of an interstellar audience as footage of the event features a peculiar moment wherein two silvery UFOs eerily appear out the darkness of space. The very weird scene occurred last Wednesday as Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin were reportedly dispatched to attach some debris shields to the space station as well as perform a test of an enormous robotic arm that had been created for the ISS by the European Space Agency. The somewhat high-profile extravehicular activity of the cosmonauts was streamed online by NASA as it unfolded, which is when some attentive viewers caught sight of the unusual objects.
Highlighted in the video above, during the spacewalk, a small silver object seemingly manifests out of nowhere off in the distance and is joined by another orb-like anomaly moments later. The pair of puzzling UFOs subsequently vanish from view a few seconds later. As one might imagine, some online observers have suggested that the oddities were alien in nature, since they remain in place rather than move through space as one would expect from a satellite.