[ExI] NASA begins official study of UFO

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Mon Jun 13 02:16:58 UTC 2022

On Sat, Jun 11, 2022 at 1:18 PM Stuart LaForge via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> So the burning question of the decade is how to reconcile UAP with the
> Fermi Paradox?

### Fraud, minor government bureaucrats faking data to get better funding,
weirdo UFO believers infiltrating intelligence agencies, biased analysis of
wonky datasets and all the other ways people manage to pull the wool over
each other's eyes is IMO still the best explanation for UFOs.

The alien alternative is just too mind-boggling to accept without
unequivocal, and I mean, really hit-you-over-the-head kind of evidence. I
will believe in persistent, widespread technologically advanced alien
presence on Earth only when I get to see flying saucers landing in mine and
everyone else's backyards with bug-eye aliens coming out and offering free
anal probing.

I know Robin is willing to take the UFO evidence at face value and he
constructs complex theories to fit it but the problem is the sheer
strangeness of what it takes to reconcile the absence of visible
cosmological alien presence with the persistent presence of aliens who just
barely make themselves known, always at the limit of our sensory or sensor
detection capability. It would take bizarre coincidences and strange social
arrangements to create this situation.

Let's think backward from the hypothesis that UFOs are alien spacecraft. If
so, then either they use physics that completely invalidates our
assumptions about the world, or else they fit into known physical
constraints. In the former case there is not much analysis to be done,
since we are dealing with, practically speaking, magic, and everything is
possible. Let's leave this possibility aside. In the other case I'll
introduce some questions, some hypotheticals, some premises and try to
derive some (very speculative) conclusions.

If alien spacecraft operate within limits of known physics, then why don't
we hear insane sonic booms from large objects moving at mach-multiple
speeds? Why don't we see huge shockwaves and trails of superheated plasma?

OK, let's say we explain this away somehow. Let's introduce some additional
assumptions: Alien civilizations are either spreading widely in space
without centralized control (i.e. Robin's grabby aliens) or else they have
no spread or a very limited spread or they have surreptitious spread
(non-grabby aliens and hidden aliens). In the former case we should see
them, unless they are very, very far away, or unless they appeared only
relatively recently and have done much spreading yet. The absence of
visible waves of alien expansion thus leaves the following hypotheticals:

1. Grabby aliens are very rare in space and relatively recent.
2. Ancient aliens are all non-grabby and the social quality of being
non-grabby persists over cosmologically huge spans of time.

If hypothetical 1 obtains, then an alien visitation showing up is very
unlikely. A rare and recent alien won't have the time to send a directed
expedition to visit us unless they just by chance happened to have
developed in our stellar neighborhood, which is unlikely if aliens are rare
in space.

If hypothetical 2 obtains, then ancient aliens could have used advanced
telescopes to detect Earth's biosphere literally billions of years ago and
would have the time to send a directed expedition to visit us before we
managed to become a grabby alien civilization ourselves. If UFOs are alien,
then hypothetical 2 would have to be true.

I would like to introduce another premise here: Grabbiness is the default
setting for aliens with interstellar flight. The ability and willingness to
fill available ecological niches is strongly selected for in evolution,
starting with the simplest replicators in the RNA world, through bacteria
and viruses all the way to humans. There is no reason to expect that this
would change at the stage of development that we are facing right now, the
transition from planet-bound to spacefaring life. Our spacefaring
descendants a few hundred years from now should have a tendency to colonize
neighboring stellar systems, unless something really strange happens to
their motivations between now and the year 2200. For grabbiness *not* to be
the default, this strange something would also need to reliably happen to
the majority of other aliens facing the same transition.

The above premise does not exclude hypothetical 2 - but it makes it less

So yes, (a) if the earliest alien civilization developed much earlier than
us, (b) if it had a rigid commitment not to spread widely in space, (c) if
that commitment is stable of hundreds of millions or even billions of
years, and (d) if the aliens are also committed to preventing other aliens
(such as us) from spreading in space, then yes, the first-born aliens could
have sent expeditions to every promising biosphere in their light cone, and
could have prevented waves of wide spatial expansion from originating
anywhere in the visible space. That would explain the absence of visible
waves of alien expansion and the presence of alien spacecraft on Earth.
Failure of even one of the conditions a-d listed above would invalidate
this explanation.

So if UFOs are alien, then we can make the conclusions a-d, that they are
from an incredibly ancient civilization, potentially hundreds of millions
or billions of years older than us and the UFOs definitely intend to stop
us from becoming grabby. In addition, (e) the civilization that sent them
had the option to show up on Earth millions or hundreds of millions of
years ago (this is an important issue).

There are many ways of preventing a primitive up-and-coming civilization
from becoming grabby and in all cases you would need a sentient entity or
group of entities whose goal system would remain stable over cosmological
periods of time (condition "c" above). Let's list the grabbiness-preventing

3. You could intervene to present any intelligent species from developing
in the first place

4. If the intelligent species is already there you could kill them.

5. If the intelligent species is there but you are unwilling to kill them
you could establish direct, visible control over them and forbid grabbiness
on pain of various punishments.

6. If the intelligent species is there and you are unwilling to kill them
you could establish surreptitious control over the social life of the
species and redirect them away from grabbiness by various clandestine

>From our existence and conclusion (e) we can rule out hypotheticals 3 and
4. From the absence of visible alien overlords and from condition (e) we
rule out hypothetical 5.

The only hypothetical that remains is 6 - we can conclude that if UFOs are
alien, then they are spacecraft from an incredibly ancient non-grabby
civilization that have been here on Earth for a long time, are unwilling to
kill us, are unwilling to assume overt control over us and intend to
prevent us from becoming grabby.

But now the US Gov't tells us they can see those weird blips on sensors. A
civilization hundreds of millions of years older than us, that keeps a
commitment to being non-grabby for hundreds of millions of years and is
capable of preventing all other civilizations from becoming grabby (as
evidenced by absence of visible waves of expansion), is a hugely competent
civilization. They don't get sloppy and show up on camera by accident. They
do have the technological means of staying undetectable. If they are
detected, we can conclude it is because they want to be detected.

So we end up with this strange conclusion - if UFOs are indeed alien, then
they are spacecraft from an incredibly ancient non-grabby civilization that
have been here on Earth for a long time, are unwilling to kill us, are
unwilling to assume overt control over us and intentionally show themselves
as part of their plan to prevent us from becoming grabby. AFAIK this is
just about the same conclusion that Robin arrived at - and it is indeed
very strange. How is showing blips on sensors going to stop us from trying
to colonize the stellar neighborhood? Do the aliens intend to soon show us
that the neighborhood is already taken as they produce the property deeds
to all stellar real estate? Will they say we need to stay home, or face
eviction and prosecution for trespassing? Will they disclose that the
universe is filled by a vast civilization that is actually quite grabby but
hidden? Why hidden?

Lots of science-fiction stories explore the hidden alien scenario. I think
none of them make much sense but to explain why I think so would make this
post too long. To go back to the beginning - rather than posit hidden
anti-grabby ancient alien sensory blips it is much more reasonable to think
that the blips are just the way people spin tall tales out of nothing real.
And in practical terms - if the sensor blips *are* alien, we can't really
hope to figure it out on our own, since the aliens would be ancient,
immensely competent and they would only be seen as they would want to be

So, the right attitude towards the UFO story is to treat it as a mixture of
hoax, hype, faith and gov't clusterfuck, and to believe in aliens only
after you get your anal probing.

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