Ufos: The Proof is Out There, Channel 5, Film Editors Chris Scurfield and Gary Crystal, Director of post production Ed Begona, produced and directed by Mark Raddice.


A screenshot from USS Princeton released by US defence department, April 2020. Stare at the tic-tack long enough and the object will move.

 “Senior officials briefed on the intelligence conceded that the very ambiguity of the findings meant the government could not definitively rule out theories that the phenomena observed by military pilots might be alien spacecraft”, the New York Times reported.

I’m nearly sixty. Our solar system is almost five billion years old. Like me, it’s a middle-aged star. What I know about the world is approximately five billion earth years’ old divided by sixty. I cheated at maths. So I never got around to solving the Fermi paradox or the relatively simple Drake equation.

  • R = 1 yr−1 (1 star formed per year, on the average over the life of the galaxy; this was regarded as conservative)
  • fp = 0.2 to 0.5 (one fifth to one half of all stars formed will have planets)
  • ne = 1 to 5 (stars with planets will have between 1 and 5 planets capable of developing life)
  • fl = 1 (100% of these planets will develop life)
  • fi = 1 (100% of which will develop intelligent life)
  • fc = 0.1 to 0.2 (10–20% of which will be able to communicate)
  • L = 1000 to 100,000,000 communicative civilizations (which will last somewhere between 1000 and 100,000,000 years)

 Factor in the discovery of almost 20 new planets beyond our solar system. Leave it all to machine intelligence and what we get is the paperclip apocalypse predicted by Nick Bostron. There are worse ways to die than by paperclip.

What we do know is space exploration has never been so buoyant. Every billionaire wants his piece of Mars with Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, Jeff Bezo’s New Shepherd, and Elon Musk, SpaceX, duelling above where taxes are paid. NASA’s space web telescope was successfully launched on Christmas 2021. China’s building a space station on the moon. Even Brexit Britain is getting in on the act. The UK Space Agency tendering for satellite launch pads. The world above our head will be full of space junk to fill our head with even more junk via our phones, or whatever is the next big thing. Mission Impossible is to switch off, and there’ll be even more photos and videos of UFOs to consider.  

The problem with these ventures is they rely on fossil fuels. Ironically, Operation Paperclip took many of the Nazi scientists using slave labour to bomb Europe to America and their basic model powered us to the stars. The tick-tack models caught on radar where able to fly (outfly) the best military hardware (80 to 100 times the speed of Concorde) at gravity-forces that would have scrambled biological entities and able to enter the water without breaking up. Sonar picked them up travelling underwater at speeds that blew modern submarines away. An aberration, perhaps.

But if we travelled to the nearest planet, five-light years away, it would take 70 000 years (give or take a few years).  We have picked up planets where light seems to have been harvested. I don’t know what that means either. But I try to sound like I do. That’s the direction of travel with Ufos. Once we thought the Atlantic was uncrossable. We look for fragments of cellular life on Mars. Who knows what we’ll find? Not me. I used to have an open mind, but I closed that book long ago.   

Aliens: The Big Think BBC 4 10pm and BBCiPlayer

aliens the big think.jpg


‘If ET is not out there, the earth is some sort of miracle.’ This isn’t a Uri Geller soundbite but a quote from  Senior Astronomer for the SETI Institute and former Director of Center for SETI Research, Seth Shostak. Here we have Professor Martin Rees, former astronomer royal, looking at the evidence for alien life on other planets, but we don’t mean primordial slime, we mean intelligent life, but not as we know it captain, startreking across the universe. The numbers don’t add up.  Two Billions of stars in the galaxy similar to our sun (the number keeps growing as our apparatus becomes more sophisticated) but some of them two or three billion years older than our sun, the Fermi paradox suggests the high probability of circling planets with intelligent life, but with little or no hard evidence of it yet. Perhaps not only in the wrong places, but in the wrong way. Poets and physicists help you to see things anew.

To think about aliens is to think about our place in the universe. The Big Bang or the Bounce. The Goldilock zone (fresh air theory).  From single cell organisms, phagocytes and primitive life on our planet. The past walks with us. Every organic creature in our planet is made out of stardust. Out of this structure intelligent life was formed. Stephen Hawkins aphorism, ‘I believe intelligent life is quite common in the universe. Less so on earth…’ holds true.

With the moron’s moron leader of the most powerful and technocratic nation on earth a case in point. Communication with aliens and morons is the key. Everything is very very in the moron’s world multiplied by good or bad.  The stupidest thing the moron’s moron did, or did not do, was sign the Paris accord on global warming which will trigger very, very, very bad things, with tens of millions dying. What this programme shows quite clearly is that burning fossil fuels is to live in the past. The future is green and harnessing the power of the stars. That’s what physicists are looking at, fluctuations in energy, which may or may not show that something, possibly robotic, possibly an advanced civilisation may have been doing that. Certainly Dr Ander Sandsberg was able to show that spikes in planet KIC 8462852  radiation couldn’t be accounted for. One hypothesis was something massive and non-cylindrical had passed in front of it. Aliens?

Intelligent life on our planet will be artificial intelligence with non-organic parts. That’s the same kind of mixing and matching as Fermi. But it’s happening now. Sometimes we don’t see what’s in front of our eyes. Any good alien knows that. But it’s the bad aliens we’ve got to worry about. The cuckoos breeding in our nest.  I’m more worried about slime Trump ending intelligent life on this planet, but I’ve never claimed to be intelligent. Is there intelligent life out there. Yes, I think there is. Vast distances between planets makes communication difficult. And technology tends to destroy its creator. The rise and fall of a planet technologically in a few thousand years is infinitesimally small in terms of the universe. Compare this with the growth of our planets technology which has given us the capability to look at other planets with any detail in the last 20 or 30 years. Not only is life on earth a miracle. Our technology is a minnow. If other technologies find us they will have the capacity to swallow us up. Stephen Hawkins used the analogy of white men meeting native American Indians or perhaps aboriginals. But that’s just a guess. Nobody knows. Not even Stephen Hawkins. No evidence means very very very small results have very very very big implications, like global warming.