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Future astronomer royal Martin Ryle: If it really IS space aliens, don’t tell anyone …

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In a world where, after all these years, the White House is still accused of hiding space aliens, in “What might they want?” (London Review of Books, November 17, 2011) Jenny Diski reviews The Myth and Mystery of UFOs by Thomas Bullard, from which we learn:

In 1967, astronomers in Cambridge listening to deep space with their new radio telescope heard signals pulsing at precise and regular intervals. One possible explanation they came up with was that they had tapped into an invitation to say hello sent out by intelligent beings from another galaxy. Martin Ryle, the future astronomer royal, was in charge of the group. His response was unambiguous: if they had really found extra-terrestrials they should immediately dismantle the new telescope and not tell a soul about the signals, on the grounds that they wouldn’t be able to resist replying and alerting the possibly hostile aliens to our existence in this cosy, uninvaded corner of the universe. In fact, they had discovered pulsars. Stephen Hawking agrees: ‘If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans.’

Some of us see the White House’s accusers as a tabloid version of the elite “Statistics show They’ve gotta be out there!” Sadly astrobiology really is still a discipline without a subject.

It would be so much better if the White House were hiding space aliens, perhaps, in the unfathomable bureaucracy below – some place where their peculiarities had never been much noticed in the general confusion.

Scandal of a day, to be sure, but endless research possibilities for the future. Alas, …

3 Replies to “Future astronomer royal Martin Ryle: If it really IS space aliens, don’t tell anyone …

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Of related interest, Being extremely skeptical of UFO claims, I was fairly surprised by this Ezekiel ‘UFO passage’ in the Bible:

    UFOs in the Bible: Ezekiel’s Wheel, 593 BC
    Excerpt: Of all the UFO accounts in the Bible, the one mentioned most often is Ezekiel’s Wheel. One of the passages reads: “This was the appearance and structure of the wheels: They sparkled like chrysolite, and all four looked alike. Each appeared to be made like a wheel intersecting a wheel.” (Ezekiel 1:16)
    http://www.ufoevidence.org/cases/case493.htm

  2. 2
    ScottAndrews2 says:

    BA77,

    I was fairly surprised by this Ezekiel ‘UFO passage’ in the Bible

    Having read it, what is the “U” part?

  3. 3
    Petrushka says:

    If there are real alien space ships, governments will not be able to hide them. Unless they want to be hidden.

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