When discussion began flowing freely concerning a point the eminent Dr. Stephen Hawking raised in a Discovery Channel documentary presentation I was anything but surprised by the statement that drew such scrutiny.
Years ago in Southern California I worked on a writing project with an astronomer and college professor. When I posed the question to him about the existence of other civilizations in the universe his answer dovetailed with what Hawking with his astronomy background related the other day in his Discovery Channel interview.
The issue involved calculating the number of possibilities in the universe for sustaining life. A London Times article of April 25 revealed, "Hawking's logic on aliens is, for him, unusually simple. The universe, he points out, has 100 billion galaxies, each containing hundreds of millions of stars. In such a big place, Earth is unlikely to be the only planet where life has evolved."
That conclusion having been reached, Hawking moved onto the topic of whether Planet Earth spokespersons should seek to interact with entities from worlds beyond. The watchword from Hawking was trepidation.
To quote further from the London Times article, Hawking concluded that trying to make contact with alien races was a "little too risky." He added, "If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn't turn out very well for Native Americans."
The Hawking conclusion is reminiscent of a masterwork from one of Britain's most eminent authors, H.G. Wells, and his penning of "War of the Worlds."
Such a graphic science fiction work was latent with such enormous special effects possibilities that it was no surprise when Hollywood produced a film version of Wells' epic that achieved box office success.
Beginning with Hawking's comments, it is insightful to segue to a figure who achieved great controversy with a series of interviews that led to questioning his professional status.
Dr. John Mack, Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard University, was beseeched by Bud Hopkins and other researchers in the field of extraterrestrial investigation to work with subjects with accounts of encounters with beings from other civilizations.
Initially Mack was dubious about undertaking such an effort. Eventually he did and was astounded by the results of the hypnosis sessions.
What he found remarkable was the number of similarities. The subjects were tranquilized, then taken onto spacecrafts. They were subjected to experiments and ultimately released.
The creatures, as Hawking indicated, differed in appearance from earthlings. The shock value was counteracted by the tranquilizing process.
Dr. Mack's investigations of the subjects revealed them to lack the kind of disturbed psychiatric makeup that would diminish or destroy credence. Also, he pointed out that, despite having no contact with other group members, there were amazing consistencies of the experiences described.
Such a time bomb erupted within the psychiatric community that certain doubters sought to remove Dr. Mack from his position on the assumption that he had behaved in an irresponsible manner. Fortunately his supporters, including Alan Dershowitz, came to his defense and the effort failed.
Based on investigative evidence there are indications that certain inhabitants of Planet Earth have had contact with aliens from distant civilizations.
Such inquiries should be greeted with an open mind. Regrettably there is such acute fear of the unknown that many people debunk any such accounts. They seek to avoid confronting such a possibility.