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Shostak dismisses claims of alien visitation


Posted on Monday, 26 May, 2014 | Comment icon 140 comments

The Very Large Array (VLA) in New Mexico. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 John Fowler
SETI astronomer Seth Shostak doesn't believe that we have ever been visited by extraterrestrials.
Despite passionately pursuing the hunt for extraterrestrial intelligence in the universe, SETI's Seth Shostak is not convinced by the thousands of UFO sightings, alien abduction accounts and other reports that seemingly indicate that we may not be alone.

During this week's House Science and Technology Committee hearing, Shostak and fellow SETI scientist Dan Werthimer were asked for their views on the TV series 'Ancient Aliens' and whether they believed that extraterrestrials had already visited the Earth.

"The public is fascinated with the idea that we may be being visited now, or may have been visited in the past, the so-called UFO phenomenon," said Shostak. "I personally donít share the conviction that we are being visited. I donít think that that would be something that all the governments of the world had managed to obfuscate - to keep secret. I donít believe that."

"UFOs have nothing to do with extraterrestrials," Werthimer added. "I think some of these sightings are real phenomena. We get a lot of calls when the space station goes over, although some people embellish and they say it has windows and things."

"When Jules Verne wrote about flying saucers, everybody started seeing flying saucers. Before that people saw angels. When people watch movies then we get a lot of reports that are tied to whatís in the movies."

Source: Discovery News | Comments (140)

Tags: SETI, Seth Shostak, Extraterrestrial

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #131 Posted by psyche101 on 29 June, 2014, 6:18
P when skeptics say it's old sci fi B movies from back in the day giving people bad dreams of abduction of grey aliens That could be a possibility. But there's newer movies with different looking aliens out that like I mentioned where I've never heard any reports of abduction by these types. I have cable tv and I hardly ever see old B sci fi movies but often I see the Predator and Alien in reruns with Arnold, Danny Glover and Sigourney. Just last week Predator vs Alien was on the tube. And yet no reports of abduction by these alien types and these movies were in theaters in the 80's. As for th... [More]
Comment icon #132 Posted by toast on 29 June, 2014, 9:13
Yet he believes advanced alien civilizations would use radio to communicate across interstellar distances. Sounds like a case of selective gullibility. This is no gullibility at all. Radio waves are a section of the electromagnetic spectrum and it is likely that even a hypothetical alien civilization more advanced than us and using a more effective way for interstellar communication would use the radio spectrum for communication attempts, knowing that civilizations those "still" use radio waves are not that advanced but still have reached a status where a communication on this way is possible.... [More]
Comment icon #133 Posted by sinewave on 29 June, 2014, 16:49
Then in that case I await reports of abductions from Predator-Alien types. The green / gray big eyed alien is FAR more prevalent in pop culture than the other two. What is is your point?
Comment icon #134 Posted by sinewave on 29 June, 2014, 16:54
P when skeptics say it's old sci fi B movies from back in the day giving people bad dreams of abduction of grey aliens That could be a possibility. But there's newer movies with different looking aliens out that like I mentioned where I've never heard any reports of abduction by these types. I have cable tv and I hardly ever see old B sci fi movies but often I see the Predator and Alien in reruns with Arnold, Danny Glover and Sigourney. Just last week Predator vs Alien was on the tube. And yet no reports of abduction by these alien types and these movies were in theaters in the 80's. As for th... [More]
Comment icon #135 Posted by klambo on 29 June, 2014, 18:33
P when skeptics say it's old sci fi B movies from back in the day giving people bad dreams of abduction of grey aliens That could be a possibility. But there's newer movies with different looking aliens out that like I mentioned where I've never heard any reports of abduction by these types. I have cable tv and I hardly ever see old B sci fi movies but often I see the Predator and Alien You keep asking why you have never heard of abduction reports of Ets that look like "Predator" and "Alien"................surely one possibilty is that anyone reporting being abducted by "Predator" looking ET i... [More]
Comment icon #136 Posted by scowl on 29 June, 2014, 20:01
Compare the simple geometry of a "Grey" compared to the elaborate alien monsters in movies like Alien and Predator. The features of a Grey are a lot easier to remember when you're having a dream. It's no wonder that our default image of an alien has become so simplified and they all look nearly the same. I caught up on the last three years of cases at UFO Info and abduction reports are almost entirely bedroom invasions these days.
Comment icon #137 Posted by Hawkin on 30 June, 2014, 4:18
You keep asking why you have never heard of abduction reports of Ets that look like "Predator" and "Alien"................surely one possibilty is that anyone reporting being abducted by "Predator" looking ET is that everyone would know that they are merely recreating what they saw in the movie and even serious self proclaimed UFOgists would not merit the case any attention. You may ask............and I've got a feeling you will .................then how come the old B movie scif aliens weren't similarly dismissed when they first were reported, well you have to factor in the fact that we live ... [More]
Comment icon #138 Posted by Astra00 on 30 June, 2014, 11:14
Don't be mad just because someone doesn't share your point of view. Life is like a box of chocolates. You don't know what you're going to get.-Forrest Gump
Comment icon #139 Posted by klambo on 30 June, 2014, 19:51
Don't be mad just because someone doesn't share your point of view. Life is like a box of chocolates. You don't know what you're going to get.-Forrest Gump Hey Hawkin I wasn't mad, but If I gave off that impression I apologise. It wasn't so much that you didn't "share" my point of view...........it's more the fact that you haven't addressed it in your reply. but repeated the same question again. Kinda like if you asked me how I damaged my rear tail light on my car, and I said because I accidentally backed into a low brick wall............then five minutes later you ask " How is it that you got... [More]
Comment icon #140 Posted by Sweetpumper on 28 August, 2014, 17:40
Iím Seth Shostak, and I direct the search for extraterrestrials at the SETI Institute in California. Weíre trying to find evidence of intelligent life in space: aliens at least as clever as we are. AMA!


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