Looking for aliens in all the wrong places

From The Globe and Mail

In the television series V, flying saucers bring advanced “Visitors” to 29 cities of Earth. They cure disease and recruit teenagers to be ambassadors of cross-species peace. The Visitors soothe their new hosts with blandishments, but are secretly infiltrating Earth’s population and a few wily humans learn their secret: The aliens are lizard-like beneath their perfect human faces, concealing nefarious plans.

This scenario is not implausible, according to the world’s leading astrophysicist, Stephen Hawking. “Advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonize whatever planet they could reach,” he proposes in a new documentary series launched on the Discovery Channel this week, kicking off a firestorm of media attention. Think of humans as the bewildered natives on the shore, Dr. Hawking added, and the alien as a tech-savvy Christopher Columbus – who got the best side of that story?

Trying to communicate with them, Dr. Hawking concludes, “is a little too risky.”

Unless they are already here. In April, , a survey of 22,000 people in 22 different countries reported that one in five respondents said they agreed either “strongly or somewhat” that extraterrestrials are already living in their communities, disguised as human beings. That works out to a lot of people presumably with humanoid aliens as neighbours – especially in China and India, where the number of people agreeing with that statement came in at an astonishing 42 and 43 per cent respectively. Canadians were more skeptical at 16 per cent: Which was less than the Americans at 24 per cent, but bigger believers than western European countries such as Denmark, at 8 per cent.

From The Globe and Mail


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