Tag Archives: extraterrestrials

No doubt about it: There’s life out there — somewhere

It can be said of many retired people that we have too much time on our hands and too much time to fill our heads with goofy thoughts.

So, when NASA announced the demise of the Mars rover Opportunity the other day, I was filled with just a touch of sadness, but also with gratitude that the 90-day mission lasted 15 years and that NASA was able to collect mountains of data from the Red Planet.

My wife joked that Opportunity didn’t spot any “little green men” traipsing around the Martian surface..

Then I began thinking as I’ve done my entire life. I believe with every fiber of my being that there is life “out there, somewhere, deep in the void.”

I know what the Bible says about God creating humankind in his image. And I believe those words. I also believe the Great Creator was capable of placing life well beyond little ol’ Earth, an insignificant speck in the vast expanse of space.

I cannot even begin to grasp the size of the universe. I mean, “forever” is, well, a distance that none of us can fathom. I’ll just leave it at that.

Therefore, my limited understanding of statistical probabilities tells me that somewhere out there — way, way beyond anything we’ve ever laid eyes on — there must be a planet orbiting a star that has atmospheric conditions capable of sustaining life.

What does it look like? Beats me. Would that life necessarily be oxygen/nitrogen breathing life? Not necessarily. Does that life necessarily mean it is more advanced than we are? No. It might be mere vegetation. Or some sort of creature we cannot define.

Has this life visited Earth? I don’t believe for one second that we have been seen up close by any extraterrestrials.

Opportunity bit the Martian dust after fulfilling its mission far beyond what scientists had hoped it would accomplish. It didn’t see anything. Just remember: Even a journey of tens of millions of miles into “deep space” hardly constitutes a journey that covers the expanse of our universe.

Look at this way: How many grains of beach sand would it take to fill the oceans? Yep, it’s likely even bigger than that out there!

We are not alone … are we?

I answered one of those online, totally unscientific “polls” that asks if we believe there is extraterrestrial life out there. I said “yes.”

Then I learned that 64 percent of respondents answered the same way. Good. I am not the only one.

Nor are we the only living beings inhabiting the universe. In my view, at least.

I heard the other day that scientists monitoring an orbiting telescope believe they believe they have found evidence of a star way out yonder that has planets orbiting it. I believe they counted possibly eight planets. What they have found, allegedly, is another solar system — similar to ours.

What does it mean?

I haven’t a clue, other than it might affirm what I’ve believed since I was boy, which is that it is a virtual statistical certainty that — given the infinite size of the universe — that there must be some form of life out there that might rival little ol’ Earth’s life forms.

This does not mean any of these beings have called on Earth. I don’t believe in the notion that the government found evidence of ETs landing at Roswell and have covered it up for however long ago it allegedly occurred.

Do I believe the universe contains life other than what was created here on Earth? Sure. Why disbelieve something only because we haven’t seen it for ourselves?

As for whether there is life as “intelligent” as what has evolved on this planet, I am not holding my breath that humankind ever will know with absolute certainty.

It’s a long, long, long way to infinity, folks. Just as it is impossible for us to get there, it’s equally impossible for “them” to get here.

But … they’re out there. I believe it. So should you.

A moonwalk can produce the strangest reactions


I learned something just a few moments ago about a member of one of the world’s most exclusive clubs.

Edgar Mitchell was one of 12 men in the entire world who have walked on the surface of the moon. He died over the weekend at the age of 85.

What I did not know about him was the was born in little ol’ Hereford, Texas, a Panhandle town known more for the “smell of money” that wafts from the cattle feedlots in and around the community.

Mitchell walked on the moon during the Apollo 14 mission commanded by the late Alan Shepard, the first American to fly into space. Shepard’s first flight occurred a decade earlier, in 1961, when he was launched aboard a small rocket, flew into a sub-orbit and then splashed down into the ocean about 15 minutes later. He would command the Apollo mission in 1971 and then, as many of usremember, hit that golf shot that traveled “miles and miles” in the light gravity on the moon’s surface.

Mitchell apparently had a totally different experience on the moon, which to my way of thinking is understandable — even one doesn’t quite understand the experience in and of itself.

He came to Earth and then spoke out over many years about extraterrestrials, and his belief that they have visited our planet. Mitchell had some form of spiritual awakening on the moon.

Think about that for a moment, though.

Where else that has been visited by human beings could produce such an experience?

I don’t believe what Mitchell has preached, that we’ve been visited by beings from outer space. I do, though, believe that one can experience something beyond our ability to comprehend simply by walking on the surface of another celestial body and looking into the sky to see Earth in the sky — 250,000 miles away.

The dozen men who’ve walked on the moon all came back with different experiences and differing points of view. Many of them coped well with the experience. I think, though, of moonwalker No. 2, Buzz Aldrin, who went into serious depression, suffering alcohol abuse.

And if you consider, too, that traveling to the moon — which is no small task to be sure — is just the first hopeful step in humankind’s exploratory evolution, what will be the reactions when we finally travel far more deeply into our solar system?

I’d pay real money to look at the psychological profiles of the individuals who are selected for the first mission, say, to Mars.

If one astronaut can return from a relative hop-and-skip into space believing the things discussed publicly by Edgar Mitchell, well, the next corps of deep-space pioneers will return with some seriously wild tales.