Uplifting the Voices of Princeton Day School

The Spokesman

Uplifting the Voices of Princeton Day School

The Spokesman

Uplifting the Voices of Princeton Day School

The Spokesman

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Are Aliens Real? Discerning Hoaxes From Fact

Kayla Zhang
(Artwork/Kayla Zhang ’24)

Farmers’ recounts of otherworldly crop circles forming overnight and men recounting their alien abductions—since the mid-twentieth century, stories of extraterrestrial beings visiting Earth have filled media headlines and popular imagination. This alien craze has not lessened over the decades. As seen this past summer, alleged alien corpses found in Peru and whistle-blowers’ claims of a government coverup in a Congressional hearing have sparked debate over whether or not aliens are real.

In early September, Mexican lawmakers heard testimony from journalist and UFO enthusiast Jaime Maussan, where he presented mummified “alien bodies” found in Peru in 2017. While under oath, Maussan declared that these artifacts provided evidence of the existence of extraterrestrial life. Massan’s claim, which sparked a significant outcry from scientists around the globe, occurred only two months after the U.S. congressional hearing concerning aliens.

In July, three military veterans—Executive Director of Americans for Safe Aerospace Ryan Graves, retired Air Force Major David Grusch, and retired Navy Commander David Fravor—spoke out during the House’s Oversight and Accountability subcommittee hearing on UFOs. In their claims, the men stated that the U.S. government has hidden a multi-decade operation whose mission is to reverse engineer recovered UFOs. Furthermore, the men said that “non-human” biological matter had been found in the pilot seats of these mysterious vessels.

With the frequent appearances of these alien stories in the media, it has become increasingly difficult for the public to discern fact from fiction. So, are aliens and these claims factual? Yes and no.

Our observable universe is estimated to be 93 billion light-years in diameter, containing ~2 trillion galaxies. Due to its incomprehensible size, the existence of aliens is not only a fact but most likely a statistical certainty. The odds of zero planets except our own bearing life is nearly zero due to the sheer number of possible planets. Moreover, the reason NASA and other space exploration companies have not identified any life-containing worlds can also be blamed on our universe’s size. A planet very similar to Earth may exist but could be out of the reach of our modern-day equipment.

However, though aliens may exist, this does not provide any basis for these recent media stories to be accurate. Many scientific researchers have disputed Maussan’s discovery, stating that Maussan and his associates have made similar claims about other mummified specimens. Still, all have turned out to be the remains of humans. The three military veterans’ claims rely purely on eyewitness accounts and lack any physical evidence. Therefore, these stories are likely fiction, though on varying levels, as a large number of facts have yet to be discovered.

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