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Late in June of 1947 a pilot named Kenneth Arnold was flying his private plane from a business trip over the Cascade Mountains of Washington State when a flash of light to his left caught his attention. Upon looking out his cockpit window, he noticed 7 - 9 shiny objects that seemed to skip across the skies at incredible speeds. He compared the movements of these objects similar to saucers being skipped across water. Upon landing Mr. Arnold told his story to several newspapers and from that incident the term “flying saucer” was born. From this seemingly innocent incident over 50 years ago came man's greatest question... “Are we alone in the universe?”

Since that fateful day, many other people have made claims of seeing strange objects in the sky. Some people have even gone as far as claiming to have been abducted by alien creatures or even taken aboard their spacecraft. Some of these claims have been explained away as naturally occurring phenomenon, while others are still classified as unexplained occurrences. These so called unexplained occurrences have both mystified and frustrated many people over the years. While skeptics point to many, many reasons to explain away such claims, the true believers are still adamant in their assertion that we have been and are still being visited on a regular basis by intelligent life from other planets and parts of the universe.

In 1947 on a ranch in Roswell, New Mexico, a local rancher claimed to have stumbled upon debris from a crashed flying saucer. The local Air Force base was notified and a press release created a world wide sensation. Local residents claimed to have been witness to the retrieval of the crashed spacecraft, and some went as far as saying they witnessed alien bodies. Stories soon surfaced that the debris collected and the alien bodies were transported and are now being kept at a military site now known as AREA 51. Soon after the newspapers released their stories, the USAF reversed their original story and now stated that what was found on the ranch was the remains of an Air Force weather balloon. As recent as the 1990’s, the USAF has once again changed their story. Since then, the Roswell incident has fueled speculation of a government cover-up, a conspiracy on the part of the military and proof that extraterrestrial life does exist. Many books have been written on this subject along with a few movies, one of which claims to be an actual alien autopsy film. Whether or not the Roswell incident is proof is still being debated to this day by both sides of the UFO issue.

In the 1980’s NASA started what is known as SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). This is a program that has been sending out strong radio waves into space in the hopes of intelligent life in space either acknowledging these signals, or quite possibly answering these “space calls”. Along with the transmissions of radio waves, SETI also scans the vast regions of space trying to locate radio signals. Since its inception, the program has yet to make contact, or receive any signals from space. Some feel it a waste of money, while others point to the ever expanding vastness of our universe, and stress patience in this case is of the utmost importance.

With the launch of the Hubbell space telescope into orbit, it has become apparent that there are billions, if not trillions of systems in the universe that quite possibly have life. The images sent back to scientists by Hubbell have been spectacular to say the least. Some photos have shown actual starts being formed, while others show stars dying or burning out. Black holes have been studied, along with other space oddities. With the huge number of stars, planets and solar systems outside our own, it is hard to believe that we are the only intelligent life form in our universe. Science is now of the belief that it is not a question of whether or not life does exist, but rather when we will discover it.

Whether or not life outside of our planet will be discovered in our lifetime is hard to say, but there is a possibility. With all the scientific advances that have been made in the last 100 years alone, it strains the imagination what we as a race are capable of doing and achieving. It is certainly an exciting notion to discover and interact with intelligent alien life, and one that I welcome.