NASA Announces How It Will Report ET Contact
NASA Chief Bill Nelson says looking for extraterrestrial life is part of NASA’s mission, as its top scientists call for a detailed system for classifying ET life.
In a huge departure from the US government’s historical treatment of UFOs and possible ET life, NASA administrator Bill Nelson said in an interview with University of Virginia professor Larry Sabato, “[W]ho am I to say that planet Earth is the only location of a life form that is civilized and organized like ours?”
Meanwhile, top NASA scientists are calling for a scaled system for reporting any evidence of extraterrestrial life modeled after NASA’s progressive scale of Technological Readiness Level already in use for new spaceflight equipment.
Instead of the binary “life or no life” way of looking at off-planet discoveries, these scientists are suggesting a more nuanced way of reporting what they find. Cheryl Costa, retired journalist, UFO statistician, and author of the UFO Sightings Desk Reference, thinks it’s about time.
“I think it’s long overdue, they’ve been talking about this stuff for years. They know that there have been unidentified things in our skies since biblical times,” Costa said. “The fact that they’re finally owning up to the idea of classifying alien life. Their scale is going to have to run the range of organic molecules all the way up to sentient beings, so it needs to be a pretty big scale, and it’s nice to start seeing bonified scientists looking at this issue and saying ‘OK, we need to do this.'”
And what about NASA Administrator Bill Nelson’s comments?
“I think it’s refreshing that the NASA chief came out and said ‘Yeah, maybe’ on the UFOs and off-world life. I think they still know more than they’re telling us. I’m happy NASA is coming out with this stuff, I think they’re trying to feed it to us a little spoonful at a time. They don’t want to scare the populace,” Costa said.
This seems to be a big change from the past when, during the Cold War, the government ran a concerted effort to discredit anyone who spoke out about UFOs, what was the mood like in the country back then?
“Let’s go back to the Cold War, post-WWII, yeah we had foo fighters, I’ve interviewed former vets flying B-17s and things who said ‘Yeah, we saw those things and we thought it was the other side,’ then after the war, they found out the other side thought it was us,” Costa said. “The more common aspect of UFOs being reported in the last two generations started with us setting off three nukes back in 1945. Within two years we suddenly had them on scale, what they called the “massive wave of 1947,” and that was a big deal. Then what happened a few years before the Roswell incident? In 1938 on Halloween Eve, Orson Welles scared the snot out of the country.”
“So here we are in 1947, we’ve got this wave of UFOs going on, think about those guys, barely 10 years before talk of aliens scared the heck out of everybody. So, there was this whole idea that maybe the American public isn’t ready for this.”
“I think we will have to, we’ve got so much going on with our environment. And two things the ETs who have talked to people on the ground have said “Take care of your planet,” that’s been a continuing thing, and the other driving thing is they’re very concerned that we have a proliferation of nuclear weapons. And our whole present-day sighting is driven by the fact that we set off three nukes back in 1945 and the aliens have been very touchy about that. They don’t want us off this rock with our current politics and all that,” Costa said.
And there is hope with the latest developments at NASA and existing departments within the agency we may see evidence of off-planet life.
“There’s a whole division in NASA that looked at the idea of what some of these exoplanets had for gravity and atmosphere. They’ve gone out and postulated what kinds of life might survive in those environments, and it was very creative how they looked at it, and a very possible thing because life always seems to find a way,” Costa said.
When Will We Advance to a Type 1 Civilization on the Kardashev Scale?
What is the Kardashev Civilization Scale?
The Kardashev Civilization scale is a hypothetical scale by which civilizations advance technologically, measured by the methods and quantities of energy they are able to harvest. Currently, we fall somewhere between a Type 0 and Type 1 Civilization on the scale.
What is a Type 0 Civilization?
A Type 0 civilization is one that has yet to harness all of the energy output of its planet. This type of civilization is still in the process of utilizing unsustainable energy sources like fossil fuels.
What is a Type 1 Civilization?
A Type 1 Civilization on the Kardashev scale can harness and store all of the energy from its home planet. We haven’t quite achieved this level yet, but it is believed we will probably reach it soon. Many consider humans to be somewhere around .07 or .08 on the scale.
Nikolai Kardashev’s Theory
We like to believe our society is technologically advanced, we’ve mastered our environment and we’re progressing forward exponentially. And while Moore’s Law is holding up with the rate at which computing power has advanced, we barely rank on the Kardashev scale.
And yes, this scale is hypothetical, but it is plausible if we are to consider how we might inevitably ascend to the next level. That’s why Nikolai Kardashev devised his eponymous scale, ranking civilizations primarily on the ways in which they harness energy. And from there it goes on to assume a number of other intriguing possibilities.
Kardashev is a Russian astrophysicist, who developed this thought experiment in 1964. And though we haven’t quite reached the first level on his scale, we are a relatively new civilization by his standards. The amount of time required to reach his successive stages often requires millions and sometimes even billions of years. If a civilization can survive long enough to ascend one level without self-destructing, its chances dramatically improve in continuing to further levels.