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Time and distance rule out alien visits
6:41pm Monday 16th September 2013 in News
IT is with some humour that I have read the recent letters on UFOs in the Echo.
As a lad I spent many an hour reading publications such as the Fortean Times, and I was fascinated with the NASA space missions.
Are aliens visiting? Highly unlikely.
The sheer energy needed to travel even to the nearest star (Proxima Centauri at 4.2 light years distance) would be problematic to say the least.
Living in interstellar space would also expose a living being to high radiation, lack of gravity (bad for the bones and strength), and most likely multiple generations due to the hundreds of years it might take.
A craft like Voyager 1 at its current speed away from our solar system would take 74,000 years to get there.
What are people seeing, then? My own belief would be many things: a meteor shower (can even produce light, and jets of carbon dioxide and water as it is heated in our atmosphere, forcing it back out into space); Chinese lanterns – the paper balloons many set off at parties – several affected in the same wind current can appear to fly in formation; normal aircraft such as aeroplanes and helicopters, even man-made satellites; and yes even the moon, which is often mistaken for alien craft (there are some hilarious, and in some ways tragic, phone recordings to the police relating to this).
If we ever do get to a first contact stage I think it would be a far bigger event. That is if they are even interested in us.
D J Cook, Southampton.
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