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Have We Already Been Invaded By Aliens?

VO: Ashley Bowman WRITTEN BY: Craig Butler
Humanity has been searching for alien life for decades. But, what if the aliens are already here? We look to the skies and out into space, hunting for UFOs, Extraterrestrial beings and other-worldly lifeforms... But aliens might walk among us, without us even realising. It's a conspiracy theory that has captured the imagination, but what if it were true? Would the world be a different place? Or would we all just carry on, powerless to our alien overlords?

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Have We Already Been Invaded by Aliens?

It’d be a near-impossible task to keep outer space aliens from visiting Earth if they ever set their minds to it. And according to Enrico Fermi – a Nobel Prize winning nuclear physicist, creator of the nuclear reactor, and the so-called architect of the atomic bomb – considering the immense number of stars and planets “out there,” aliens should have reached Earth by now. So, the question’s pretty simple: Have we already been invaded by aliens?

Of course, many people (maybe most people) would say “no”, full stop, because there are no aliens. This argument says that Earth is the only planet that harbours life – period. Which might not be so terrible. After all, humanity is territorial enough with only each other, before throwing other planets and other-worldly cultures into the mix.

This train of thought rests largely on the Rare Earth hypothesis - the idea that life emerged on our planet in the way that it did only because all of the right pieces were in the right place at the right time. The Earth was located an appropriate distance away from a sun that was itself not too big or not too small, and our orbit was regular enough that we had basically consistent temperatures. Also, any huge objects that crashed into us weren’t enough to totally pulverize us. And there’s an abundance of water here, which is kind of essential. So, it could simply be that no other planet has been as life-lucky as we have.

Other alien naysayers also suggest that if there were life out there somewhere, then we should have communicated with it by now, somehow. After all, we’ve been searching for quite a long time – decades if you consider physical space exploration, millennia if we’re including ancient cavemen yelling up at the moon. In many ways it's a fair argument, but it leaves an endlessly vast universe with only us in it. From a law of averages point of view, it doesn’t add up. As for the reasons why we haven’t found life in outer space yet, maybe we simply lack the technology, or there are communicative differences between us and them. Whatever the cause, could we simply be confused? Could aliens have already invaded us, and we simply don’t know it? There is evidence to say they have.

For starters, look at any of the many ancient mysteries that defy explanation. From the giant statues on Easter Island, to the puzzling and freaky assemblages at Stonehenge. The great pyramids, too, are quite the enigma, as are the Nazca lines in Peru. These are drawings formed by lines in the Earth that are so huge that their true shapes can only be ascertained from a high-in-the-sky vantage point. Not only are they difficult to explain as products of ancient technology, but looking at these things, you’d be forgiven for wondering if some aliens didn’t just drop by Earth in the old days for some extra-terrestrial doodling.

And, if they dropped by way back when, then maybe it's possible they've regularly returned through the years. It’d explain the truly impressive (and ever-growing) number of Unidentified Flying Object sightings, at least. Since 1905, when they started officially recording UFO sightings in the US, there have been about 105,000 reports of strange, soaring….somethings. But, really, UFO claims were made long before the early 1900s. As far back as 1440 BC, “fiery discs” were said to have levitated around ancient Egypt.

With so many people having claimed to see weird flying thingies, it stands to reason that not all of them were tricks of the eye, hallucinations, or someone’s spaced-out bid for attention. Certainly, the U.S. government has taken it seriously in the past, having authorized an entire program from 2007 to 2012 – the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program – to look into the situation. And, of course, there’s the world-famous Roswell UFO incident, with many believing that aliens crashed there in 1947. Officials at the time reckoned it was only a weather balloon; decades later they changed their story to a nuclear test surveillance balloon… but the conspiracy theorists out there just don’t buy it, and insist that Roswell is actually a hotbed of alien activity.

Even a seemingly unlikely source – the Bible – provides support for the existence of aliens, at least according to some interpretations. Genesis refers to the Nephilim residing on Earth, and some translate Nephilim as “The Fallen” – as in they ‘fell from outer space’. Others have interpreted the tale of Elijah being taken to heaven in a chariot of fire as referring to an alien abduction. And could the “wheel in the sky” that Ezekiel claims to see in fact be an alien spacecraft?

Let’s say for the moment that it’s beyond doubt, though… that aliens have already landed on Earth and are here still; How did they get here? Based on current knowledge, the closest planet that could conceivably be habitable is about 12 light years away. So, if someone were to travel at the speed of light, it’d take 12 years to get from there to here.

But humans certainly can’t travel at the speed of light. Even travelling at the speed of something super-speedy like the New Horizons probe, it would take almost 20,000 years to travel just one measly little light year away. And the human body simply isn’t meant to travel at that speed; with recent studies suggesting that even a comparatively simple jaunt to Mars could likely kill or significantly damage us. So if aliens are here, they must have a transportation method that enables them to move at obscene speeds. And they themselves must be able to withstand the ravages of space travel. Essentially, their tech and their bodies are way, way more advanced than anything we can even imagine.

Of course, they didn’t necessarily use a spaceship. Maybe they came here via a fax machine – of sorts. With a now-admittedly old-fashioned fax, information is taken from one piece of paper, transmitted across wires, and replicated on a new piece of paper. Perhaps some alien civilizations have developed a way to adapt that mode of transmission into viable transportation – ala that staple of all sci-fi stories, teleportation.

Under this theory, an alien being’s consciousness would be removed from its body and transmitted across space into a new receptacle here on Earth. Perhaps that receptacle was an empty vessel of some kind. Or perhaps it was the body of an already-existing human being. The latter would certainly explain why aliens could have invaded us and avoided detection. If the new receptacle was still alive, there’d presumably be some sort of personality change in that person... If the receptacle was dead, it’s at least one explanation for the various folk tales about zombies, vampires and other believed-to-be-dead humans coming back to life. But, by now we’re deep, deep into crazy conspiracy territory – right?

So, let’s dial it back a bit. Thinking slightly more logically, maybe aliens got here by a much more prosaic way – like hitching a ride on a meteor. Earth has been struck by countless hunks of careening space rock in its past, large and small, and over billions of years. Perhaps some (or even only one) of those carried passengers that survived the impact and put down roots here. In this case, it’s more likely that the life passed on was not so much human and instead more microbial. Of course, the assumption that aliens should be humanoid is viewed by most speculators as completely flawed, anyway. Travelling through space on a slab of rock means that whatever life was hanging on would’ve had to have been able to survive extreme cold – but also extreme heat upon entering the Earth’s atmosphere. Microbes are much better at that sort of thing.

The ‘what would they look like?’ issue does raise arguably the most important point of all: perhaps aliens haven’t been spotted as an invading force because we can’t actually recognize them as life. We don’t typically think of even Earthly microbes when discussing intelligent life, but perhaps some alien microbes would qualify. Or maybe they take on other forms that don’t fit our frame of reference, like a ray of light or a liquid.

Another intriguing possibility (and pretty popular theory amongst advocates) is that an alien race could have some form of disguise mechanism. Like some sort of super-charged chameleon, they might change colour or somehow arrange themselves to blend into a background. Or maybe aliens have already mastered the awesome trick of invisibility. It’s ultimately just a matter of bending light around an object after all, and if an advanced being can figure out how to travel light years to get here, bending light probably isn’t so hard.

Then there’s the well-pedalled suggestion that aliens have seamlessly blended in because they’re so incredibly similar to us, and we simply can’t tell the difference. Which would mean all of those 1950's science fiction movies were right after all. Or maybe the real reason we don’t know that aliens have invaded is because we’re the aliens. There are some who believe that our ancestors travelled here eons ago from a previously doomed planet. Or else, we started off as microbes thrown from a meteor onto this world and evolved into the walking, talking life forms found here today.

If aliens have already invaded the Earth, it inexorably leads to another important question. What kind of effect have they had? Has civilization grown exactly as it would have without them? Or have aliens actually helped us to develop language, implement scientific principles, understand how to treat illnesses, and generally live our lives? Or have they instead encouraged warfare, kept us divided, and urged us toward destruction? It’s a matter of personal perspective. Whatever effect they might have had, maybe we’re better off not knowing.

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