On Wednesday, February 13, 2019, the Embassy of Australia hosted a talk on UFO’s entitled, “UFO’s, What’s the Government Covered Up?” The talk was given by the Australian, all-female team of the “Science Vs” podcast and affiliated with the concurrent conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) which was being held in DC the same week.
The Science Vs podcast website, https://www.gimletmedia.com/science-vs, describes them as “your team of friendly fact checkers that blow up your firmly held opinions and replace them with science.” As leading female Australians in science communication, the talk was to celebrate women in science for the International Day of Women and Girls in Science which was on 11 February 2019.
The opening remarks were made by Ms. Nicole Forrester of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, CSIRO. Ms. Forrester explained that the geographical location of Australia makes it a unique location for space science. Because of Australia’s unique position in the southern hemisphere, it’s able to cover one third of the sky at any given time. The US and Australia have a shared fifty-year history of science and space exploration partnership and Australia hosts one of three tracking stations for NASA.
The UFO portion of the talk started by asking two fundamental questions: “Are we alone?” and “Have we already been visited?”
There was a big emphasis on SETI which started with the story of Jill Tarter, a pilot, co-founder of SETI, and the inspiration for Jodi Foster’s character in the movie “Contact.” Tarter has an infamous story about flying at night when she spotted a brilliant, bright object in the night sky. She recounts how perplexed she was and how confusing the experience felt. That was until she realized that what she was seeing was a reflection of the moon. The talk then went into the history of the infamous SETI “Wow” signal which apparently turned out to be a signal from one of our own probes.
To answer the next question, “could aliens have already visited,” AATIP was briefly mentioned along with going through the history of the Roswell Crash. It was concluded that Roswell was declared a weather balloon. Considering all of the nuclear testing that was going on at the time in the area, it would make sense to this author that there would have been devices of some sort in the atmosphere monitoring the radiation levels. However, it was then mentioned that “ninety percent of UFO’s are identified. Could the other ten percent be ET?”
The talk ended with a brief discussion on wormholes and Einstein’s theory of Relativity.
I asked multiple representatives from the Australian Embassy if their government had an official position on the existence or non-existence of extra-terrestrial life. The answer I got was that they have no official position. However, I was told by Ms. Forrester that, “The infrastructure is set up and that they are open to the discoveries of science.” It does appear that scientists and governments from around the world are willing to invest the money and do the science and they are waiting to see where that data leads.
In some of my discussions with other attendees, most of whom were attending as part of the AAAS conference with extensive credentials in science and mathematics, most expressed a belief that it would be nearly impossible to think that we are alone in the universe. A great metaphor was used during the talk to demonstrate just how little we know; if the universe was compared to the Earth’s oceans, we would have only explored one eight-ounce glass of water.