From the Roswell conspiracy to mysterious signals from outer space – are we alone in the universe? We take a look at the theories on Alien Day
Humans have been trying to find out whether or not we’re alone in the universe for centuries.
Aboard the Voyager 1 space probe – which has travelled further than any other man-made object – is a golden disc containing information about humans and the cultures of our planet.
It was hoped by NASA engineers in the 70s that it would once day come into contact with intelligent life and educate them about humankind.
As well as sending out potential communications to other worlds, many people have reported evidence of aliens here on Earth.
Recently, the mummified remains of what was believed to be an alien proved to be a small child.
The skeleton measured just six inches in height, and was found 15 years ago in Chile. UFO experts were convinced the mummified skeleton was extraterrestrial in origin, and a documentary suggested it was an alien.
Following five years of research, scientists concluded that the figure, nicknamed Ata, was actually a baby girl.
Even though Ata turned out to be a story of human tragedy rather than of alien visitors, there are plenty of other mysterious sightings that have yet to be explained.
Evidence of aliens on Earth – Roswell, New Mexico
In July 1947 Sheriff Jess Slaughter and Deputy Sheriff Charles Fogus were travelling together to pick up a prisoner when they heard on their police radio reports of a crashed aircraft.
The two men, who were travelling to Roswell, New Mexico, decided to investigate and stumbled across the scene of one of the most famous UFO incidents in history.
While the US military have long claimed the crashed object was merely a weather balloon, conspiracy theorists believe the site was the scene of at least one alien aircraft crash and the recovery of extraterrestrials.
(Image: Irena Scott)
In a new book, UFOs TODAY – 70 Years of Lies, Misinformation and Government Cover-Up, law enforcement officer Fogus reveals he saw a downed flying saucer and military personnel removing a number of alien bodies from the scene.
It is the first time his statement has been published.
In the interview he says he say a flying saucer crashed into the side of a river bed which was “100ft across”.
Describing the scene he said: “When we got there, the land was covered with soldiers. They were hauling a big, a creature.
“The bodies must have been 5 feet tall.
“I saw the legs and feet on some of them. They looked like our feet.
“The skin was a brownish color…. Like they were in the sun too long.
“There were soldiers there….about 3 or 4 hundred of them.
“We seen them haul them (the bodies) out there, out of the canyon up to the trucks….puttin them on the tow trucks so they could haul them.”
The story of the discovery at Roswell has become legend – and remained one of the most compelling conspiracy theories about the existence of alien visitors to Earth.
Evidence of aliens on Mars – trace fossils
Mars (Image: Getty Images)
Thanks to satellite imagery and on-site photography captured by the NASA rovers on the planet’s surface, there have been many claims that aliens once inhabited Mars.
One of the most striking is the idea that fossilised remains of aliens have been preserved on the dusty surface of the red planet.
A series of pictures taken by the space agency’s Curiosity rover have given rise to the idea, after researchers found what looks like fossils among the rocks.
The ’fossils’ seen on Mars (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)
Barry DiGregorio, a research fellow at the University of Buckingham, believes these photos (taken on January 2, 2018) reveal “trace fossils” on the surface of Mars.
“They look remarkably similar to Ordovician trace fossils I have studied and photographed here on Earth,” he said.
“If not trace fossils, what other geological explanations will NASA come up with?”
NASA described the formations as “stick-like figures” with each one “about a quarter-inch long”.
The space agency used the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera on board the Curiosity rover to take the close-up pictures of the patterns.
Trace fossils are the name given to remains of things left behind by creatures such as dead remains, footprints or burrows.
Evidence of aliens in space – the ’Wow’ signal and FSBs
Some of the biggest evidence of alien life comes through signals we intercept originating from distant corners of the galaxy.
Often, these are known as “fast radio bursts” or FSBs for short.
Back in 1977, astronomer Jerry Ehman received such a strong radio signal coming in from the heavens, he wrote the word “wow!” next to his results.
The burst of activity lasted 72 seconds and – although it came from the Sagittarius constellation – it matched no known celestial object.
It’s gone on to become a conspiracy theory favourite as proof of advanced alien life trying to communicate with us.
But now Professor Antonio Paris from the St Petersburg College in Florida believes he’s solved the mystery.
“I have always been fascinated with astronomy, space and – more importantly – whether there is life in the universe,” he told the Sunday Times .
“After 40 years, the Wow signal was a cold case I wanted to reopen.
According to Professor Paris, the signal came from the hydrogen cloud created by two comets as they passed by Earth.
Using celestial records, he found that these two comets were passing by our planet on August 15, 1977 – the day the “Wow!” signal was recorded. Of course, at the time, there was no knowledge that these comets even existed.
Even without the “Wow” signal, scientists have been intercepting strange FSBs for years.
Some have been detected from an object called FRB 121102 and now a new study has found that the object is nearly 100 per cent polarised.
This polarisation suggests that the source of the bursts lies within a strong magnetic field, such as around a massive black hole – and could belong to aliens.
The findings were made by the Breakthrough Listen team at the University of California, Berkley, as well as another team of astronomers from the Netherlands.
What do most people think about aliens?
Nearly half of humans believe that intelligent extra-terrestrial life exists elsewhere in the universe, according to a study that asked 26,000 people across 24 countries.
When they were asked if they believed in the “existence of intelligent alien civilisations in the universe,” 47% of the survey respondents said yes.
However, when those taking the survey were asked if they believed in “some form of life on other planets,” 61% said yes.
Among those who reckon we aren’t alone, 60% said we should try and communicate with aliens – something that is actually being attempted at the non profit Search for extra-terrestrial intelligence (SETI) Institute.
Martijn Lampert, research director at Glocalities , which carried out the survey, commented: “People who believe in the existence of intelligent alien civilizations are not a marginal minority, but constitute a large (47%) and distinct segment of unconventional and anti-authoritarian thinkers with a passion for science, technology, culture, politics and the arts.”
Only a quarter of respondents said they didn’t believe that alien life exists beyond Earth’s borders.
Are aliens real?
Some people have been searching for aliens for years… (Image: 2016 Fox)
We may not have come into contact with them yet, but it seems certain that some form of live exists beyond our planet.
Whether that live is micro bacterial or intelligent in its own right remains to be seen.
What’s for sure is that human beings won’t stop trying to reach out and communicate with any other species that might be listening. The truth is out there.