Are Aliens Living Among Us? Probably Not, but That Won't Stop Researchers From Wasting Time Looking.

AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko

There are aliens, and there are aliens. Some come from other countries, and some, reportedly, come from outer space.

Aliens have been a science-fiction mainstay for a long time, starting with Edgar Rice Burroughs' "Barsoom" books on (which I shamelessly love and re-read once a year or so), to the great sci-fi writers of the '50s and '60s, from Heinlein to Blish to Bradbury. It moved into big and small screens with works like "The Day the Earth Stood Still," "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," the immortal original "Star Trek" series, and some other series of films and television shows that also begin with "Star" but is no longer worth watching since Disney made a complete dog's breakfast of the whole thing. But all of those are fiction. They are accepted as fiction. There is no evidence that intelligent aliens exist, or that they have ever visited Earth.

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Or is there?

Now some researchers (and I use the word advisedly) at Havard and Montana Technological University have joined efforts to produce an odd report claiming that aliens may already be living among us.

Color me skeptical.

Researchers at Harvard University and Montana Technological University speculated that an unidentified, technologically advanced population could be living among humans secretly on Earth.

In a new paper, the team hypothesized that sightings of UFOs (or UAP, unidentified anomalous phenomena) "may reflect activities of intelligent beings concealed in stealth here on Earth (e.g., underground), and/or its near environs (e.g., the Moon), and/or even 'walking among us' (e.g., passing as humans)."

The researchers admitted that their research was "likely to be regarded skeptically by most scientists," but urged the scientific community to consider their claim "in a spirit of epistemic humility and openness."

The research here is likely to be regarded skeptically by anyone with enough IQ points to pound sand, but let's have a look; they present three scenarios, and as a biologist and sci-fi author myself, I have some thoughts.

First: 

The researchers said that they believe that "remnant forms," which are an ancient, highly advanced human civilization, are walking among humans on earth.

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OK, an ancient, highly advanced human civilization. From when? From where? Humans have been around in recognizable form for about 300,000 years, tops. So where were these civilizations? We have found remnants of some pretty amazing ancient civilizations, from Indonesia to Peru, but nothing that one would call "highly advanced." Where were they when the rest of humanity was floundering along through the Dark Ages? The Black Death? Are they like Marvel's mythical Wakanda, hiding somewhere in a jungle redoubt without care while all around them, their neighbors are suffering from war, starvation, and disease?

Second: 

The research also shared the possible existence of a non-human underground civilization that may be "descendants of unknown, intelligent dinosaurs."

There's a spark of truth here, as there are descendants of dinosaurs all around us today. We all see them, most of us, every day; they are not unknown, though, and they are smart but not "intelligent" in the manner of humans. We call them birds. But there is no evidence of any underground civilization, unless Edgar Rice Burroughs' "Pellucidar" series was inspired by some hidden journey the man himself undertook without telling anyone.

Third and finally:

Third there could be hidden occupants, likened to earthbound angels or fairies, on Earth that have traveled to Earth.

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Logically, if they are on Earth, and they are aliens, then they necessarily would have had to have traveled to Earth. From where? Ay, that's the rub. And fairies? I will forgo any jokes around this being Pride Month, but again, I ask, where is the evidence? If they are hidden, then why? And how do these researchers even know of the possibility of their existence?


See Related: Does the CIA Really Have a Secret Office Retrieving Crashed UFOs? No. They Don't. 

Harvard Professor Claims UFOs Could Travel to Earth Via 'Alternate Dimensions'


It's unclear why the Board of Regents of these schools allowed any university resources to be spent on this flapdoodle. Being a sci-fan fan and writer myself, I'd be fascinated to meet an actual alien race, especially in the unlikely event that they were physically and culturally similar enough to us to make any degree of social contact possible - an unlikely proposition but again, a staple of science fiction, and a trope I have employed myself.

With that said, it's hard to see this report as anything but the vaporous emissions of a group of academics who really appear to have too much time on their hands.

Then again, I may be wrong. Recently, a snippet of film involving an NYPD officer and what appears to be a federal agent from some unknown office revealed that there may be some evidence after all.

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