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IN THIS EPISODE: We spend plenty of time watching the stars and listening to radio signals. We hope we can finally find the evidence we are not alone in the Universe. We eagerly await our first official contact with extraterrestrials, but nothing ever happens. Sometimes we learn an odd signal has been picked up in space and we get our hopes up again, only to be told later it was nothing more than a neutron star with a very large magnetic field, throwing off the bursts, or something similar. So, where are the aliens we want to hear from and possibly meet? If we assume that we are not the only intelligent species in the Universe, then they must be out there. There are many theories, but one stands out as particularly disturbing.

TRANSCRIPT of this episode (bottom of blog post): https://weirddarkness.com/archives/6195
“The Arizona Skinwalker” episode: https://weirddarkness.com/archives/category/episodes

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We spend plenty of time watching the stars and listening to radio signals. We hope we can finally find the evidence we are not alone in the Universe. We eagerly await our first official contact with extraterrestrials, but nothing ever happens. Sometimes we learn an odd signal has been picked up in space and we get our hopes up again, only to be told later it was nothing more than a neutron star with a very large magnetic field, throwing off the bursts, or something similar. So, where are the aliens we want to hear from and possibly meet? If we assume that we are not the only intelligent species in the Universe, then they must be out there. There are many theories, but one stands out as particularly disturbing. It’s called “The Dark Forest Theory.”

…I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness.

Welcome, Weirdos – this is Weird Darkness. Here you’ll find stories of the paranormal, supernatural, legends, lore, crime, conspiracy, mysterious, macabre, unsolved and unexplained.

While you’re listening, you might want to check out the Weird Darkness website. At WeirdDarkness.com you can find transcripts of the episodes, paranormal and horror audiobooks I’ve narrated, the Weird Darkness store, the Weirdos fan art gallery, plus you can visit the “Hope In The Darkness” page if you are struggling with depression, anxiety, or thoughts of suicide. And if you listen to the podcast at your place of employment, be sure to check out the “Weird at Work” page and register to win! Every month I randomly choose one business from all of the month’s entries and give that business a shoutout and I also send them a Weird Darkness Weird@Work prize pack! Get the details and register to win on the Weird@Work page at WeirdDarkness.com.

Coming up in this episode of Weird Darkness…

Do aliens exist in forms we simply are unable to conceive? Have we been looking in the wrong place, at the wrong time, in the wrong way for extraterrestrial life? And if they are truly out there… are they watching us? In this episode we’ll look at some reasons why we’ve never seen aliens, why they might be watching us using probes, why they might not be watching us due to something called “The Dark Forest Theory”, and the possibility that aliens might be invisible.

Now.. bolt your doors, lock your windows, turn off your lights, and come with me into the Weird Darkness!

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Our next Weirdo Watch Party is this Saturday, April 25th at 7pm Central Time. These are really becoming popular and more and more Weirdos are joining in for the fun! This time, horror host The Bone Jangler will be presenting the horror flick “The Black Sleep” from 1956, starring Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney, Basil Rathbone, and John Carradine! Four of the biggest names in classic horror cinema all in one film! Join me this coming Saturday, April 25th at EerieLateNight.com. It’s absolutely FREE to watch the movie, we can all watch the movie together online, and hang out with other Weirdo family members in the chat room as we make snarky and snide remarks about the film. Plus, at most Weirdo Watch Parties, the horror host of the evening usually jumps into the chatroom with us! The Weirdo Watch Party gets bigger every time we do it!  It’s fun and at the same time it supports the undead creative horror hosts who still entertain us with old scary movies!  So be sure to set a reminder on your phone, your smart home device, put it on your online calendar, whatever you have to do so you don’t miss it!  Join me and the Weirdo family this Saturday, April 25th at 7pm Central Time – that’s 8pm Eastern, 5pm Pacific, 6pm Mountain at EerieLateNight.com. It’s absolutely free to watch the movie! That’s EerieLateNight.com. And if you’d like to see a trailer for the movie “The Black Sleep” I have it posted on the Weirdo Watch Party page at WeirdDarkness.com!

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So, where are the aliens we want to hear from and possibly meet? If we assume, we are not the only intelligent species in the Universe, then they must be out there.

There are many theories why we haven’t heard from aliens yet. Some scientists say extraterrestrial civilizations may not be interested in contacting us because we are not intelligent enough to deal with alien species. Our lack of sophisticated technology may also be one reason why we cannot detect aliens. Another option is that extraterrestrials may exist in forms we cannot conceive, meaning for example that some aliens may be invisible. We’ll delve a bit more into that concept later in this episode.

An alarming concept, known as the Dark Forest theory may cast some light on our lack of progress finding aliens. The Dark Forest theory originates from a science fiction book written by Liu Cixin. It can easily be applied to interactions between humanity and extraterrestrial life.

The plot of the book addresses vital questions of what could happen when a civilization encounters a potentially hostile alien life. In his book, Liu Cixin writes that all lifeforms struggle to stay alive.

According to the Dark Forest theory, the greatest problem for other living species is that the real intentions of another lifeform are unknown. It’s impossible to know if the aliens you encounter can or will destroy you if they have the opportunity to do so. To avoid this and ensure your own survival, the safest option for any species is to annihilate other life forms before they have a chance to do the same.

In his book, Cixin writes: “The universe is a dark forest. Every civilization is an armed hunter stalking through the trees like a ghost, gently pushing aside branches that block the path and trying to tread without sound. Even breathing is done with care. The hunter has to be careful because everywhere in the forest are stealthy hunters like him. If he finds another life—another hunter, angel, or a demon, a delicate infant to tottering old man, a fairy or demigod—there’s only one thing he can do: open fire and eliminate them.”

It’s a gloomy thought really – kill or be killed. Contact with other alien species may be dangerous and result in the annihilation of your own race. So, this could be the reason why aliens deliberately hide and do not respond to our radio signals.

Whether this theory is plausible or not is a matter of opinion. There could be extremely advanced extraterrestrial civilizations out there and they wouldn’t fear us because they know their technological capabilities are superior compared to what humans have achieved so far.

In a seminal paper published in 1964 in the Journal of Soviet Astronomy, Russian astrophysicist Nicolai Kardashev theorized that advanced civilizations must, therefore, be grouped according to three types: Type I, II, and III, which have mastered planetary, stellar and galactic forms of energy, respectively. It seems unlikely that the Dark Forest theory is relevant when discussing highly advanced extraterrestrial civilizations.

On the other hand, there could also be many alien civilizations that are similar to us and they could be frightened and avoid contact fearing us. Looking back at our history, who can blame them. We are still engaged in wars. Why shouldn’t they be attacked too?

Basically, the Dark Forest theory explains that aliens are purposely hiding in the darkness of space for fear of death. This is the reason why we haven’t received a response to our radio signals. Is the Dark Forest theory bizarre or a realistic scenario?

* * * * *

But what if the aliens are here after all. Think about it.  If you were a member of an alien race would you think it’s wise to initiate contact with humans? Could humanity handle contact with extraterrestrials?

According to scientists, extraterrestrials are deliberately waiting for the right moment before they reveal themselves to Earthlings.

In a recent study published by the Astronomical Journal scientists have tried to shed new light on the Fermi paradox and the Aurora Effect by investigating the existence of alien civilizations on other planets.

“We model the settlement of the Galaxy by space-faring civilizations in order to address issues related to the Fermi Paradox. We are motivated to explore the problem in a way that avoids assumptions about the agency (i.e., questions of intent and motivation) of any exo-civilization seeking to settle other planetary systems,” researchers write in their study.

Scientists started by considering the speed of an advancing settlement front to determine if the Galaxy can become inhabited with space-faring civilizations on timescales shorter than its age.

They included the directed settlement of nearby settleable systems through the launching of probes with a finite velocity and range. In addition to this, researchers also considered the effect of stellar motions on the long-term behavior of the settlement front which adds a diffusive component to its advance.

“The results of these models demonstrate that the Milky Way can be readily filled-in with settled stellar systems under conservative assumptions about interstellar spacecraft velocities and launch rates,” scientists said.

The Fermi Paradox, a concept presented by physicist Enrico Fermi regarding the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence has intrigued all researchers searching for alien life. According to the Fermi Paradox due to the number of planets and stars in the galaxy, there should be another world teeming with intelligent extraterrestrial life. If this is true, then Earth should have already been visited or at least contacted by aliens.

However, since humans have not yet come across evidence of intelligent extraterrestrial life, at least not officially, many doubt the existence of alien civilizations at all.

Researchers of the recent study say that it’s possible extraterrestrials are in close vicinity to the Earth, but they’re simply waiting for the time when Earth or the Solar System gets closer to their homeworld before sending out a probe or launching an expedition.

“If long enough is a billion years, well then that’s one solution to the Fermi paradox,” Carroll-Nellenback told Business Insider. “Habitable worlds are so rare that you have to wait longer than any civilization is expected to last before another one comes in range.”

“Every system could be habitable and could be settled, but they wouldn’t visit us because they’re not close enough,” he added.

Most people believe that humans will sooner or later establish open contact with aliens, but it’s possible certain requirements must be met before this meeting can take place. Science fiction authors and some scientists sometimes say humans will be invited to join the Galactic Club, but when this will happen is unknown.

There is also a possibility that advanced extraterrestrial civilizations will not welcome us a new members. So, naturally we might wonder what criteria will be used to determine whether we will be able to enter the Galactic Club or not.

According to David Schwartzman, a biogeochemist at Howard University in Washington D.C, there is a reason not to give up on SETI. Schwartzman thinks aliens are out there, despite the fact that the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) has only found silence. He also outlines what we need to do for planet Earth to be initiated into the Galactic Club.

“Our world will change completely once we enter the Galactic Club. I submit that if we want to enter the Galactic Club, the challenge lies in reconstructing our global political economy. A few minor side benefits should result, like no more war, no more poverty, a future for all of humanity’s children with a substantial proportion of biodiversity intact. We should not expect the Galactic Club to save us from ourselves,” Schwartzman said.

He continues, “Lee J. Rickard and I have put forward a scenario for eventual entrance of Earth into the Galactic Club in our paper published in 1988 (Lee J Rickard is a radio astronomer and I am a biogeochemist). We proposed that at some future time, our terrestrial civilization might achieve sufficient maturity to proceed with a program to detect so-called leakage radiation – the electromagnetic TV, radio and other broadcast signals that are inadvertently sent out into space (military radars are the strongest, a possible universal signature of a late stage primitive civilization),” says Schwartzman.

In his scientific paper, he also writes:

“This proposed program has a critical distinction from virtually all of observational SETI: detecting a targeted beacon from ET requires that they intended to send one.

The absence of evidence it not necessarily evidence of absence, if intention is lacking.

On the other hand, for a relatively short time, primitive civilizations like us leak radio waves to space, unintended signals that we could potentially detect.

The technical requirements for a galaxy-wide search are dictated by the size of the radio telescope, with the detection range proportional to the effective diameter of the telescope.

A large enough radio telescope situated in space could potentially set meaningful upper limits on the rate of emergence of primitive Earth-like civilizations (‘N/L’ in the Drake equation), without ever actually detecting the leakage radiation of even one ET civilization.

But just how big a telescope is required for this project, and at what cost? Our 1988 paper provided such estimates: a dish diameter on the order of 500 kilometers, at a cost of roughly $10 trillion. Perhaps the cost has come down somewhat (but note the estimate was in 1988 dollars). This is surely a project with a vanishingly small chance of implementation in today’s world.

The asteroid belt is estimated to contain over 1 million asteroids with diameters exceeding one kilometer.

I could only conceive of a demilitarized newly mature planetary civilization, call it Earth-United (Finally!), with any intention of implementing such an ambitious project that has no apparent immediate practical benefits.

Then and only then would we successively detect a message from the Galactic Club (GC), presumably faint enough to be only detectable with a huge radio telescope in space.

On the other hand, the GC may be monitoring biotically-inhabited planets by remote Bracewell probes that have programmed instructions.

Such a probe would plausibly be now hiding in the asteroid belt (as Michael Papagiannis once suggested). If the GC exists, there was ample time to set up this surveillance system long ago.

Surveillance probes so situated in planetary systems would send welcoming signals to newly mature civilizations, with the potential for a real conversation with artificial intelligence constructed by the GC, if not reconstructed biological entities.

If this proposed surveillance system is absent, we should expect the GC to use highly advanced telescopes to monitor planetary systems that have prospects for the emergence of intelligent life and technical civilizations. These alien telescopes could use gravitational lenses around stars. Planetary system candidates to the GC could expect to receive continuous beacons, but the signals would be very weak or disguised so that they would only be decipherable by newly mature civilizations that just pass the entrance requirements.

The problem with this scenario is there would be a fairly long communication delay with the GC, because they would be so far away. Nevertheless, reception of a rich message from the GC is possible.

The material and/or energy resources needed for these signals to be recognized must correspond with great probability to a newly ripe mature civilization. Hence, cleverness in itself cannot be the criteria for successful detection and decipherment, otherwise a brilliant scientist on a primitive civilization might jump the GC protocol.

Our world will change completely once we enter the Galactic Club,” he concludes.

So how are extraterrestrials watching us if all of this is true? Perhaps they use probes… but we don’t see them because they are too small for us to see… possibly even microscopic.

Scientists suggest we should not dismiss the possibility extraterrestrial probes are currently exploring the Universe, with a few maybe even in the vicinity of the Earth studying our planet.

There are many advantages using Von Neumann probes when exploring the Universe. A Von Neumann probe is a robot designed to reach distant star systems and create factories that will reproduce copies of themselves by the thousands.

An alien probe could camouflage itself and set up a threshold test of the technology or intelligence of the recipient species, where the test must be met before the species is allowed to communicate with the device.

Scientists have proposed a fleet of extraterrestrial probes might watch our galaxy on a regular basis.

If this is true, then why haven’t we detected these alien devices?

Astrophysicist Zaza Osmanov of Tbilisi State University in Georgia suggests extraterrestrial probes may be so small that we simply cannot spot them.

In his science paper, Osmanov explains highly advanced extraterrestrial civilizations could construct and send self-replicating spacecraft out into the universe to explore in a risk-free way.

Using hydrogen atoms from interstellar dust to power themselves, these probes could already be floating around, but we may not have spotted them because we’re looking for larger evidence of alien life.

“The conventional approach to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence implies the search for artificial radio signals, or interstellar beacons targeted at the Earth,” Osmanov explained.

However, extraterrestrial probes could be built on nanoscale making it very difficult, but not impossible to detect these tiny crafts.

As NyPost reports, “they could easily self-replicate into a swarm numbering trillions of billions.

This swarm of probes would give off some light as they hoovered up photons along their journey.

And Osmanov says that they might look just like a comet a few miles across, appearing as infrared light.

“All the…results indicate that if one detects a strange object with extremely high values of luminosity increment, that might be a good sign to place the object in the list of extraterrestrial Von-Neumann probe candidates,” he wrote.

“We have considered the scenario when the Type-II civilization needs to ‘invade’ the interstellar clouds by means of the self-reproducing robots.

“And it has been shown that this process will inevitably lead to observational consequences.”

However, they would likely only be visible if they remained as a swarm – and would almost certainly be too small to spot if traveling on their own.

As we’ll discuss more in detail in a few minutes, “physicist Paul Davies of the University of Adelaide has even raised the possibility of a Von Neumann probe resting on our own moon, left over from a previous visitation in our system aeons ago.

In a paper, scientists Arwen Nicholson and Duncan Forgan take the idea a step further by exploring three different scenarios of probe behavior: using standard powered flight, using gravitational slingshot techniques around stars, and hop scotching star-by-star to get the maximum speed boost under slingshot trajectories.

“Interstellar probes can carry out slingshot maneuvers around the stars they visit, gaining a boost in velocity by extracting energy from the star’s motion around the Galactic Centre.

These maneuvers carry little to no extra energy cost, and in previous work it has been shown that a single Voyager-like probe exploring the galaxy does so 100 times faster when carrying out these slingshots than when navigating purely by powered flight. We expand on these results by repeating the experiment with self-replicating probes.

The probes explore a box of stars representative of the local Solar neighborhood, to investigate how self-replication affects exploration timescales when compared with a single non-replicating probe, “the team writes in their paper.

“From the scaling of the probes’ performance with star number, we conclude that a fleet of self-replicating probes can indeed explore the galaxy in a sufficiently short time to warrant the existence of the Fermi Paradox,” the researchers say.

* * * * *

A fleet of self-replicating probes – is that what extraterrestrials are possibly using to spy on us? Could they be so small, possibly microscopic, enough to keep an eye on us while we are unable to see them? And speaking of not seeing them – what’s the theory about invisible aliens? These theories and more when Weird Darkness returns.

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This week, April 22 thru April 24, everything in the Weird Darkness store is on sale. And even better, all profits from merchandise sales for this month will be donated to a charity helping those most in need due to the Coronavirus. So in that spirit, I’ve added some crazy and cool designs to the Weird Darkness store with themes like social distancing, quarantine birthdays, healthcare workers, 2020 graduates, and a lot more. My personal favorites are the parody shirts – one is a riff on Close Encounters of the Third Kind, another is themed like Batman The Animated Series, plus a design specifically for Weirdo family members – I call it “Social Distancing Bigfoot”. Again, all money I receive for merchandise sales this month, April 2020, is going to a Covid-19 charity – and if you’re in the Weird Darkness Weirdos Facebook group you can even help me choose which charity that will be! You can make a purchase in the store anytime, but if you want to save a little money and still help out those in need at the same time, be sure to shop this Wednesday thru Friday, April 22nd thru Friday, April 24th! T-shirts starting at just 13-bucks, and everything in the store up to 35% off! Visit the STORE page at WeirdDarkness.com to check it out!

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If there is a large fleet of extraterrestrial probes watching our galaxy, the Milky Way, would we even be able to detect them?

What reasons could a highly advanced alien civilization have to place probes in orbit around our solar system and across the whole galaxy?

In science fiction, the search for inhabitable worlds has been immortalized on TV by heroic captains boldly commanding a lone star ship, or as the murderous Borg, a Type III civilization which absorbs lower Type II civilization (such as the Federation). However, the most mathematically efficient method to explore space is far less glamorous: to send fleets of “Von Neumann probes” throughout the galaxy (named after John Von Neumann, who established the mathematical laws of self-replicating systems).

A Von Neumann probe is a robot designed to reach distant star systems and create factories which will reproduce copies themselves by the thousands.

A dead moon rather than a planet makes the ideal destination for Von Neumann probes, since they can easily land and take off from these moons, and also because these moons have no erosion.

These probes would live off the land, using naturally occurring deposits of iron, nickel, etc. to create the raw ingredients to build a robot factory. They would create thousands of copies of themselves, which would then scatter and search for other star systems.

Similar to a virus colonizing a body many times its size, eventually there would be a sphere of trillions of Von Neumann probes expanding in all directions, increasing at a fraction of the speed of light. In this fashion, even a galaxy 100,000 light years across may be completely analyzed within, say, a half million years.

If a Von Neumann probe only finds evidence of primitive life (such as an unstable, savage Type 0 civilization) they might simply lie dormant on the moon, silently waiting for the Type 0 civilization to evolve into a stable Type I civilization.
After waiting quietly for several millennia, they may be activated when the emerging Type I civilization is advanced enough to set up a lunar colony.

Physicist Paul Davies of the University of Adelaide has even raised the possibility of a Von Neumann probe resting on our own moon, left over from a previous visitation in our system thousand or even millions of years ago.

If probes might have visited our solar system, we have been too optimistic regarding our ability to detect the probes. The scientists suggests that objections to the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence based on the Fermi Paradox are invalid, as they are based on unsupported assumptions that ETI or their artifacts are not currently present in our Solar System.

Humanity’s ignorance to potential evidence of ETI, and any objects sent by aliens not intended to be found, will not be found.

An alien probe could camouflages itself and set up a threshold test of the technology or intelligence of the recipient species, where the test must be met before the species is allowed to communicate with the device.

Evidence in the form of ‘spent’ or destroyed probes is less likely, as any civilization attempting interstellar exploration are presumably skilled engineers, and would send probes with the ability to self-repair due to the large travel distances and times required for such a task, giving the probes a very long life-span.

Then there is the intriguing question why extraterrestrials would like to place probes in various locations of the galaxy. If exploration probes are continuously traveling at maximum speed and constantly dispersing radially across the galaxy, predators would have a hard time catching their prey. Light travel delay times would squelch communication. This means that all probes would know exactly where every other probe has been and is heading. Each probe could leave behind an omnidirectional beacon that emits a signal showing the star has been visited. Or probes could deposit a “captain’s log” for other probes to readout.

In other words, such extraterrestrial probes would lurk in potentially habitable planetary systems, to wait for signs of intelligent life in order to collect data.

At the end, the data collected by the entire fleet could be placed into a giant galactic archive. It would be a resource for all interstellar civilizations that are smart enough to find it, enter the correct password, and download survey data on many billions of star systems.

* * * * *

Some theories can be very controversial and this one is. A scientist claims invisible aliens share our biosphere. He suggests these extraterrestrials also monitor our planet’s climate changes.

Dr. Young-hae Chi, an instructor in Korea at Oxford’s Oriental Institute thinks human civilization may be coming to an end.

In 2012, while giving a lecture titled ‘Alien Abduction and the Environmental Crisis’  Dr. Young-hae Chi went public saying he is convinced we are not alone and extraterrestrials are much closer than most think.

Despite lots of criticism, Dr. Young-hae Chi has not changed his views. He continued to elaborate on his theory and published a book in Korean. The title can be translated to  ‘Alien Visitations and the End of Humanity’.

In 2018, Dr. Young-hae Chi approached The Oxford Union to propose a debate on the subject, but the proposal was not accepted.

According to Dr. Young-hae Chi’s theory, extraterrestrials want to colonize our planet. To achieve their goal, they interbred with humans and produce a new hybrid species.

As Oxford Student reports, “Second-generation ‘hybrids’ are, according to Jacobs, walking unobserved among us.

Dr. Chi argued that “it is not only scientists and theologians but also non-human species who appear to be greatly concerned about the survivability of the human species”.

He pointed out that the timing of aliens’ appearance coincides with the earth facing major problems, climate change, and nuclear weapons in particular.

He concludes that “it may be more or less assumed that the hybrid project is a response to this impending demise of human civilization”.

He went on to argue that if we act now on climate change, “not only can we save ourselves, but also prove aliens wrong in their judgment of our moral capacity”.

Dr. Young-hae Chi thinks there are four types of aliens “small; tall and bold;  aliens with scales and snake eyes; and finally, insect-like aliens. The latter of these seems to be the highest in the hierarchy, he said and gives orders to the lower ranks.

Whilst he states that cases of alien abductions are diverse, he notes that “what is common is that they are all conducting some kind of biological experiment, including the production of a hybrid.”

Explaining his theory of a comprehensive bio-system, Dr. Chi stated, “If they are far, they shouldn’t be concerned about us. I don’t think they are from far away, they are just next to us, we can’t see them. We can use an analogy of fish which can think and perceive things only in the way they can and humans also perceive only in the way we can, so our perception of the world is limited by our organs.”

According to Dr. Chi’s theory, the fact that aliens and humans share the same biosphere means that climate change bears a negative impact on them, thus accounting for their increased interference in human affairs.

Dr. Chi went on to outline his three hypotheses as to why aliens may want to produce hybrids with humans.

He stated, “One possibility is that they find our DNA valuable for the preservation of the stock. Secondly, to create species that can survive in future climate conditions…Thirdly, some abductees report that these hybrids are of very high intelligence, so are they producing these hybrids as a problem-solver, a future leader?”

When asked whether he holds a pessimistic view of the future, Dr. Chi expressed concern that there is a lack of political will to prevent climate change even if we have the necessary technology. He said, “Judging from the way the ETs are acting they have a better view of our future, perhaps it is pointing to a pessimistic future”.

“So, they come not for the sake of us, but for the sake of them, their survival, (but their survival is actually our survival as well) the survival of the entire biosphere. That is where I progressed in developing my theory and I’m still looking for more evidence to support my view,” Dr. Young-hae Chi said.

Do aliens exist in forms we cannot conceive, as several scientists pointed out? Have we been looking in the wrong place, at the wrong time, in the wrong way?, asked Dr. Paul Davies from Arizona State University.

Xenology is a most fascinating subject as it deals with all aspects of extraterrestrial life. We would all like to know what they look like, what they think, how they behave, and so on. However, in order to answer those questions we must first find those extraterrestrial civilizations.

As the quest for extraterrestrial life continues, scientists keep debating what methods should be used. According to Dr. Paul Davies, the approach currently being undertaken by SETI researchers is too narrow, assuming aliens communicate the same way we do here on Earth.

There are an estimated 250 billion stars in the Milky Way alone, and over 70 sextillion (that’s the number seven with twenty-two zeroes behind it) in the visible universe, and many of them are surrounded by multiple planets. The shear size of the known universe is staggeringly and inconceivably vast.

The odds of there being only one single planet that evolved life among all that unfathomable vastness seems so incredible, that it is all but completely irrational to believe. But then “where are they?” asked physicist Enrico Fermi while having lunch with his colleagues in 1950.

Fermi questioned, if there are other advanced extraterrestrial civilizations, then why is there no evidence of such, like spacecraft or probes floating around the Milky Way. His question became famously known as the Fermi Paradox.
The paradox is the contradiction between the high estimates of the probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations and yet the lack of evidence for, or contact with, any such civilizations.

Given the extreme age of the universe, and its vast number of stars, if planets like Earth are at all typical, then there should be many advanced extraterrestrial civilizations out there, and at least a few in our own Milky Way.

Another closely related question is the Great Silence, which poses the question: Even if space travel is too difficult, if life is out there, why don’t we at least detect some sign of civilization like radio transmissions?

Milan Cirkovic of the Astronomical Observatory in Belgrade, points out that the median age of terrestrial planets in the Milky Way is about 1.8 gigayears (one billion years) greater than the age of the Earth and the Solar System, which means that the median age of technological civilizations should be greater than the age of human civilization by the same amount.

The vastness of this interval indicates that one or more processes must suppress observability of extraterrestrial communities. Since at this point, there is no direct and/or widely apparent evidence that extraterrestrial life exists, it likely means one of the following:

We are (A) the first intelligent beings ever to become capable of making our presence known, and leaving our planet. At this point, there are no other life forms out there as advanced as us. Or perhaps extraterrestrial life does exists, but for some reason extraterrestrial life is so very rare and so very far away we’ll never make contact anyway-making extraterrestrial life nonexistent in a practical sense at least.
Or is it (B) that many advanced civilizations have existed before us, but without exception, they have for some unknown reason, existed and/or expanded in such a way that they are completely undetectable by our instruments.

Or is it (C) There have been others, but they have all run into some sort of “cosmic roadblock” that eventually destroys them, or at least prevents their expansion beyond a small area.

One reason why we might not be able to detect aliens is because they are invisible to our technology. We are looking for something that resembles us, but extraterrestrial life can be beyond human comprehension.

“They could be staring us in the face and we just don’t recognize them. The problem is that we’re looking for something very much like us, assuming that they at least have something like the same mathematics and technology,” said Lord Martin Rees, president of the Royal Society and astronomer to the Queen.

“I suspect there could be life and intelligence out there in forms we can’t conceive. Just as a chimpanzee can’t understand quantum theory, it could be there as aspects of reality that are beyond the capacity of our brains.”

They could very well be just around the corner, but we cannot see them because they are simply not life as we know it, at least not yet. Maybe we don’t really know what to look for yet and that is why they are invisible to us.

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Up next, one partner at NASA says aliens are already among us, right here on Earth. And according to some experts in the field, we Earthlings might be watching the aliens on their own planets as well. Plus, we’ll step into the Chamber of Comments!

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Being cooped up inside during the plague of 2020 can have you climbing up the walls – but don’t lose your sense of humor. In fact, I’m here to help make sure you don’t. Weird Darkness is an official sponsor for the Laugh or Die Comedy Fest – and it’s online! Two dozen hilarious comedy films you can watch whenever you want through the rest of the month – because the festival is online and YOU click the play button! You can pay to see each movie separately, which would cost you over $160… OR… you can take advantage of the fact that you are a Weirdo family member and get to see all of the films for just TEN BUCKS! We all need a few laughs, and this is a cheap way to do it! We’ve set up a special link on the Weird Darkness website for just my Weirdo family to use. Visit WeirdDarkness.com and click on “Laugh or Die” to gain entry! It will automatically take all of the rest of the price off and you can get an all access pass for just ten bucks! I’ve already been sending you chills, now how about a few laughs! Again, click on “Laugh or Die” at WeirdDarkness.com to go immediately to the secret page that gets you full-access to all of the films in the festival for just ten bucks, and that pass is good for the rest of the month!

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Are we looking for extraterrestrials in the wrong places? Could this be the reason why we haven’t found signs of any alien life yet? Is it possible we are searching for something that is right under our nose?

According to a NASA partner, aliens do exist and they are already living on Earth right now. It’s a highly controversial statement that make many surprised, but could it really be true?

Robert Bigelow, an entrepreneur who is working closely with NASA on future space missions is convinced that we are not alone, and aliens walk among us.

During an episode of the show 60 MinutesBigelow started to talk about his belief in aliens. He said he is convinced that UFOs have come to Earth and extraterrestrials have an “existing presence” here.

“I’m absolutely convinced [that aliens exist],” he told reporter Lara Logan. “That’s all there is to it.”

Asked by Ms Logan whether he also thought that UFOs had come to Earth, he said he did.

“There has been and is an existing presence, an ET presence,” Bigelow said. “And I spent millions and millions and millions – I probably spent more as an individual than anybody else in the United States has ever spent on this subject.”

Bigelow was asked if it’s not dangerous to go around and make such claims about alien presences on Earth. He then said that he doesn’t care what people think because it wouldn’t “change the reality of what I know”.

Robert Bigelow runs a company named Bigelow Aerospace. He and his team are currently developing an expendable craft for humans that can inflate and might provide the space habitats of the future.

Bigelow’s craft have already been tested out in journeys to the International Space Station.

Bigelow’s co-operation with NASA hasn’t changed his personal views. He said that the hugely expensive work his company and Nasa are doing won’t be required to meet them – he said that people “don’t have to go anywhere”, because the aliens are “right under people’s noses”.

As our astronomers search for signs of extraterrestrial life in the Universe, a new study shows there could be aliens on at least 9 planets beyond our Solar System watching the human race right now.

Scientists are not saying they have discovered any advanced extraterrestrial civilization, but they do state that our planet and all its inhabitants may be observed by aliens who possess the right technology.

Astronomers scientists from Queen’s University Belfast and the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany have identified parts of the distant sky from where various planets in our Solar System could be seen to pass in front of the Sun – so-called ‘transit zones’. Based on their data they concluded that extraterrestrials have a better chance to observe rocky planets including Earth than the gas and ice giants Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune that are further from the Sun.

In the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society astronomers write that nine, if not more exoplanets are ideally placed to observe transits of Earth.

”Larger planets would naturally block out more light as they pass in front of their star”, commented lead author Robert Wells, a PhD student at Queen’s University Belfast. ” However, the more important factor is actually how close the planet is to its parent star – since the terrestrial planets are much closer to the Sun than the gas giants, they’ll be more likely to be seen in transit.”

To look for worlds where civilizations would have the best chance of spotting our Solar System, the astronomers looked for parts of the sky from which more than one planet could be seen crossing the face of the Sun. They found that three planets at most could be observed from anywhere outside of the Solar System, and that not all combinations of three planets are possible.

Katja Poppenhaeger, a co-author of the study, adds,”We estimate that a randomly positioned observer would have roughly a 1 in 40 chance of observing at least one planet. The probability of detecting at least two planets would be about ten times lower, and to detect three would be a further ten times smaller than this.”

Of the thousands of known exoplanets, the team identified sixty-eight worlds where observers would see one or more of the planets in our Solar System transit the Sun. Nine of these planets are ideally placed to observe transits of Earth, although none of the worlds are deemed to be habitable.

In addition, the team estimate that there should be approximately ten (currently undiscovered) worlds which are favorably located to detect the Earth and are capable of sustaining life as we know it. To date however, no habitable planets have been discovered from which a civilization could detect the Earth with our current level of technology.

The ironic thing is that while we’re theorizing which planets might be watching us – we are, in fact, watching them. So who exactly is the extraterrestrial?

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Here in the Chamber of Comments I answer your emails, comments, podcast reviews, tweets, letters I get in the mail, and more. You can find all of my contact information, postal address, and social media links on the CONTACT page at WeirdDarkness.com. While you’re there, join the Facebook Group, “Weird Darkness Weirdos” and hang out with me and the rest of our Weirdo family! Or drop me an email anytime at: darren@weirddarkness.com.

(YouTube comment from Jen Wren): Hey I’m not sure if you get time to read the comments since your podcasts are becoming more and more popular??! Darren your narration is brilliant and some of the stories are really scary,,my favourite 1’s. Pls keep them coming. I’ve also given you a five-star review on Apple podcasts because it was after reading the reviews that made me realise your podcast would be good.. I’ve used reading reviews on others to get the idea if somethings gonna be good or not as folk usually write what they really think!! Again,,keep up the great work,, The head weirdo or (Papa Weirdo) #LoveAndLight from your weirdo cousin (family member) from Edinburgh, Scotland.. #WeirdDarknessRules

REPLY: Well, Jen – not only do I make time to read comments – I occasionally reply to them as well, like what I’m doing right now!  Thank you for the extremely flattering words!  It’s great to see I’ve got some Weirdo family in Scotland!  With my red hair and Irish roots, it wouldn’t surprise me if I LITERALLY had some family there in Scotland!  I’ll have to do one of the DNA tests someday to find out.  Heck – you and I might be literal cousins!

(Review by JoJo Bakka): This is my favourite podcast and I have been listening a long time! Darren has a great voice but the best thing about this podcast is the passion behind it. It shows. The quality of the true stories and the creepy pastas keep me listening and often re-listening. Darren produces a huge amount of material too, so you never get bored.

REPLY: Thank you, JoJo. That’s quite the compliment! The fact that you feel the show is good enough to listen to episodes more than just once is a thrilling thing for me to hear. I appreciate you saying that!

Email from Michele Wendell: Last night I listened as usual to your podcast. I was appalled at what people said to your veteran writer. From a civilian who cares for our freedoms THANK YOU for keeping me and my family safe and free. I cannot serve due to illness, but I truly appreciate those who do. Respect for our veterans should be and is separate from whether we agree with how our government acts. And don’t let anyone tell you that you aren’t important enough to have depression and therefore get help. People get help for broken bones, cancer, and other ailments, so should anyone who is dealing with depression. I’ve suffered with it all my life, and the hardest thing for me to do was to understand that it takes strength to get help.  And Darren THANK YOU for saying that people who subscribe to those horrid thoughts toward our heroes should unsubscribe. Many people are more concerned about members than principles. I wasn’t a paid member before, but I will be now.  Finally, I’m spiritual but do not adhere to a particular religion (though I come from a Judo-Christian background).  For people who don’t “like” your biblical quotes, I kindly ask that they remember you can glean insight and hope from a variety of places: religious texts, Hollywood, former Presidents, historical figures and regular people. Listen wisdom…you never know when or from where it will come.

REPLY: Thank you, Michele – I appreciate you underlining what I said in yesterday’s episode to that veteran listener.  I like your attitude regarding wisdom, and I agree.  While I do end each episode with a verse or two from the Bible, because that is my faith, the final thought after that verse can come from anywhere.  I’ve quoted Buddha, Oprah, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Dale Carnegie, Tony Robbins, and hundreds more. I’m even quoting the Dalai Lama at the end of this episode.  Wisdom can be found anywhere if you just allow yourself to listen and learn. For those who didn’t hear the email from yesterday’s episode, I have a link to it in the show notes. The episode is titled “The Arizona Skinwalker”.

I’ll answer more of your emails, comments, and more next time! Again, you can find all of my social media and contact information on the CONTACT page at WeirdDarkness.com.

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If you made it this far, welcome to the Weirdo Family. If you like the podcast, please tell your friends/family about it however you can and get them to become Weirdos too! And I’d greatly appreciate you leaving a review in the podcast app you listen from, that helps the podcast get noticed!

Want to receive the commercial-free version of Weird Darkness every day? For just $5 per month you can become a patron at WeirdDarkness.com! As a patron you get commercial-free episodes of Weird Darkness every day, bonus audio, and chapters of audiobooks as I narrate them – even before the authors and publishers do! But more than that – as a patron you are also helping to reach people who are desperately hurting with depression and anxiety. You get the benefits of being a patron, and you also benefit others who are hurting at the same time. Become a patron at WeirdDarkness.com.

If you’d like a transcript of this episode, there’s a link in the show notes.

Do you have a dark tale to tell of your own? Fact or fiction, click on “Tell Your Story” at WeirdDarkness.com and I might use it in a future episode.

All stories in Weird Darkness are purported to be true and you can find source links or links to the authors in the show notes.

Content for this episode was written by Cynthia McKanzie for MessageToEagle.com.

Weird Darkness theme by Alibi Music.

WeirdDarkness™ – is a registered trademark. Copyright ©Weird Darkness 2020.

NOW THAT WE’RE COMING OUT OF THE DARK, I’LL LEAVE YOU WITH A LITTLE LIGHT: Proverbs 19:11 = A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.

AND A FINAL THOUGHT: From the Dalai Lama – “When you talk, you are repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.”

I’m Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me in the Weird Darkness.


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