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tv   Washington Journal Avi Loeb  CSPAN  May 19, 2022 2:47am-3:20am EDT

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interference by the government. ask yourselves this, if they can tell women what they can do with their bodies, what is next? that is the key question today and maybe a topic for when i return to talk to y'all on this program. host:>> washington journal cont. host: the professor of science at harvard and the galileo initiative joins us. he is the author of the first signs of intelligent life beyond earth. good morning. before we get to the historic hearing yesterday on ufos or uap's as they are known now, can you start with your view on extraterrestrial life? do you believe that there is alien life out there? guest: it would be arrogant to
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believe otherwise because we now know that about half of the sun-like stars with planets the size of the earth with the same separation, most of the stars are near the sun, so we send out equipment and space and we have five spacecraft with -- which are exiting the solar system. if you imagine the world of scientists like our einstein, they could live on another planet, years ago, [indiscernible] even with chemical propulsion. whether we live in such reality or not, it is not a philosophical question. we just need to look through her windows and check. we must be open-minded. we tend to be attached to our ego and believe we are the center of the world. we are the pinnacle of creation. we are privileged. but very often, it is a different message. we now know that we are not the
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defenders of the universe. we also know that the earth system is not unique or special. therefore, it is only natural for us to check her neighbors. -- four neighbors. host: and the check for neighbors was the subject of a congressional hearing. the unidentified aerial phenomena on is what we are referring to, what many folk referred to as ufos. i want to give you a flavor of the hearing. this is 45 seconds from the hearing. the u.s. naval intelligence director scott bray spoke about how they are investigated. >> are often limited amounts of high-quality data that hamper firm conclusions for the nature or intent of a uap. i report that if these events are resolved, they will likely fall into one of five explanatory categories. airborne clutter, national -- natural atmospheric phenomenon,
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develop metal programs, foreign adversary systems or an other been that allows for difficult cases and the possibility of surprise and scientific discovery. we stand by those initial results. since the release of this report, the database has now grown to contain approximately 400 reports. the stigma has been reduced. host: this was the first time in more than 50 years that u.s. officials have provided testimony for public consumption about the investigation into the ufos and uap's. why are we having this hearing now. guest: i think we have the technology to detect things beyond any reasonable doubt and much higher quality than in the past. we also of course have the ability to produce objects in the sky that we didn't have before. there is some confusion about that.
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my most important take away is that the government is discussing unidentified objects seriously. we wish to understand that nature. it is, of course, the duty of scientists to assist the government in that quest. we identify the unidentified and removed the term uap from our lexicon. if we want to find out what these are, there are two possible interpretations beyond the technological object. either, they are human made, or they are made by an extraterrestrial civilization. or technological. in the first case, the government wishes to know which technologies are used by other nations, obviously, and in the second case which technologies were developed by extraterrestrial civilizations. obviously, the tool -- two witnesses at the congressional hearing were discussing this as a threat to national security.
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that is a joke description. it has two aspects. one is to protect our military personnel and the second is the security of our nation. from that perspective, obviously, reports by military staff members are of primary importance for the first task. it is based on military training. that is with the second objective. they need to know what the vast majority of these objects are. they must attend to data with a compromise quality that was obtained by instruments like fighter jets. we saw a few blurry videos during the hearing, and they are of no significant quality. however, the task of finding this is quite different it is complementary to that. scientists do not need to explain most of the report.
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even if only one object is affecting the technology, or is among the many objects that are human made, it would represent the most consequential discovery in human history. it would have huge significance for future, and it would resemble the first visit to kindergarten when you realize there is a smarter kid on the block. in order to figure this out, scientists must have access to the highest quality data, such as high-resolution images with objects, showing the waiver made on an exoplanet. why? or a maneuver at the fraction of a speed of light that we cannot produce without technology. or a set of buttons that demonstrate a technological specification like the iphone 100. scientists are not concerned
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with just assets, national assets or military assets. extraterrestrial equipment might not it here to national borders. in the same way that a biker navigates down the sidewalk doesn't care which of the possible pavement breaks is occupied by a small colony of ants. >> you are with us until the bond of the hour. about 20 mormons. call in with your questions. the phone lines are split. regionally, this morning. (202) 748-8000 for eastern or central time zones. (202) 748-8001 four mountain or pacific time zones. the professor is offering his thoughts about the hearing over upa's, the first and have a century. he also posts at if you want to read those online as well, or you can call into --
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call in and ask. you are the head of the gaal leo initiative. -- galileo initiative. guest: a year ago, when the director of national intelligence deliver the report to congress, a few billionaires came to my home and offered me $2 million, and to me, it was very unusual because i served for nine years at harvard. i was the longest-serving chair. i am familiar with fundraising, and it takes a lot of time and you very often don't get anything. we were not doing just any fundraising. people said here is the money. go with no strings attached. i decided to establish a project after processing nasa as to whether they might be interested. i didn't get a reply. so, i established in july of
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2021, and by now, we had 100 scientists, and as we speak, the first system is being assembled on the roof of the harvard observatory. once it starts operating, with a dissection within the company, we would be able to make copies of it, and it is really cemented in a geographic location. it is monitoring the sky in the visible band in the infrared band, in the radio band. it is recording audio from the sky, and all of this data would be fed to computer systems that reuse a state-of-the-art artificial intelligence and mid-teen -- machine learning algorithm that we see. it is a fishing expedition. we don't assume in advance what we would find, and even if we only find the objects. so be it. it is the duty of scientists to
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clear up the phone. otherwise, the public is left to speculate, and the government is really not a scientific organization. fundamentally, you don't -- you can't ask military people or politicians to figure out the nature of these physical objects. host: we don't get to chat about ufos very often. as expected, plenty of calls free. nelson is in florida. you are on with the professor. caller: good morning. morning, professor. thank you for taking my call. i have to admit that i find this conversation humorous. the government of the united states has a lot of problems to deal with. open borders, crime, and the list goes on and on. here they are. were trying to determine whether or not there a little green
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martians flying around the skies of the world. there is no indication, there have never been any little green martians that have been captured falling out of the sky and fallen into the middle of the street. your statement that you are not the center all of the universe is a little humorous, so with all due respect, you cannot pinpoint where the center of the universe is. caller: i will stop you there and get the professor and opportunity to weigh in. what do you think? guest: from the point of view of the government, it is not humorous at all. there are objects in the sky that are endangering the safety of military personnel. the question is whether these objects were used by other nations. we need to figure it out. that is part of our national security or intelligence agencies. we have a duty to figure out the nature of these objects. it is not unusual at all.
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we have to figure it out. it doesn't have to be human made, and so be it. it is not whether these nations are being developed we didn't know about. if it is natural, again, so be it. we will understand a new phenomenon. that is not humorous. it is a serious matter because it will reveal something to us. as long as the data is reliable, as long as it is not just functioning with a distinction. with respect to whether we should worry about what goes on to be on the earth, i would like to remind the caller that the reason we are right now in the united states of america is because america is where we discovered this. they were discovered as a result of expiration. as a result of open-minded this in a new world. for us to claim that all we care about is what we find on this
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rock that was formed around the sun is very narrowminded because we now know that the sign of the observable universe is 10 times bigger than the size of this rock. it is the highest priority of figuring out what is going on on this rock. i would say, we are missing the big show out there. astronomers have been trying to figure out what is going on far away. and i should tell you that after a century of trying to figure out what most of the universe is made of, we still don't know. ? matter -- there is six times more matter we don't know than the matter we are made of, just to show you how ignorant you are. sitting at home and saying we have no neighbors, you know, is not the right to approach -- right approach. we should search for them. it is natural to operate as a
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result of curiosity. that is how children operate, and if we want to subscribe to the type of intelligence, then we better be curious about our environment and use evidence to guide us. for centuries ago, just to finish the point, for centuries ago, most people were convinced that the sun moved around the earth. it was obvious. it moved in the sky. how dare you say anything different? we are the center of the world. galileo was put on house arrest because of otherwise printed today, he would be canceled on social media. but if you were to ask geographers if the earth was the center of the space mission to mars, they would never get to their destination because they felt mars moves around the earth. host: tucson arizona, you are on. >> good morning. thank you for taking my call.
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i am a believer, but i've been doing the math, and i would like some bit to go on, with the nearest star or place that could support life, with so many light years away. it would take a thousand years. >> it would take more than that. the nearest star is four light-years away. alpha centauri. most stars in our own galaxy, the milky way galaxy, they are tens of thousands of light years away. just to give an example, with the types of rockets we have used so far, it would take 50,000 years to reach the nearest star. that is the time that has elapsed is the first humans left africa. so it is a long journey.
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however, the good news is it is much shorter than the lifetime of the sun, the lifetime of stars in the age of the universe. most stars formed billions of years before the sun. there was plenty of time for rockets to reach us from the edge of the milky way galaxy with the standard propulsion scheme that we currently use. the senders may not be around, but such equipment, technological equipment, could be eponymous. it should be operated by official intelligence because the travel time is so long that you can't have equipment waiting for guidance from the senders. so the senders may not be around. they may have died. both civilizations that existed may not be around anymore, but with archaeology, you may find relics they left behind. in this case, it could be intelligence relics that are eponymous.
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they are pursuing some goal that the center had. i should say, the reason that i started working on these about five years ago is because the very first to objects that we discovered over the past decade from outside the solar system were very weird. the first recorded one was in 2017. i wrote a book about it. extraterrestrial. it didn't look like any comet or asteroid that we had seen before. it was very anomalous. it pushed away from the sun by some mysterious force. it didn't have a commentary. and then, the second object was actually discovered in 2014 by the government censors. it was a meteor that landed near papa new guinea. based on the fireball created, we can say, it was made of material stronger than iron. in the coming months, we are
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planning to go just poop the ocean floor for the fragments that were left from that first interstellar meteor. i would say, the first object that we witnessed, from outside of the solar system, it didn't look like the objects that we are commonly seeing within our solar system. it is like having a guest, and realizing that the guest that you have is at home. they don't look like the family members. that is intriguing. i'm not saying it is necessarily artificial in origin. one of these objects or both, but i think, let's say it's intriguing, and the government, it is interested in figuring out the nature of these objects in the sky. let's just find as much evidence as possible about them. host: time for a couple more calls. susan in fort myers florida, good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. i am an avid believer in ufos.
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that is what i'm going to continue to call them. first of all, i think it is human arrogance and politics to think that we understand the universe. i don't have a -- but you can't even imagine what infinity is. personally, i am not afraid of extraterrestrials. it is -- if they can achieve what they do, they can put us down in a heartbeat. in fact, i am 70 nine years old, by the way, and i used it to hate religious class, and if i wanted to get out of it, all i had to do was tell the nun that we are microbes in someone else's toilets old -- toilet bowl. i was thrown out of class. i have a girlfriend who saw extraterrestrial -- a cigar shaped object. it was two times in her
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lifetime, and she grew up in michigan. the question i have is, what is going on on our planet with all of our lolling -- lousy politics and hatred and more. they are presenting those and watching us. guest: i want to emphasize that the subject can be the subject of a scientific method. we can try and figure out the nature of such objects by connecting better data. that's what we should do. modern science is able to observe and identify that. we should be guided by evidence, rather than that. a lot of people have emotion and arguments, why we should do this or that? my point is, we should be
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agnostic. we should get as much data as possible. exploring the unknown is a spiritual quest. you cannot argue against it because we haven't found anything so far. i should say that if we find another sophisticated object, we could learn from that. it is not a bad thing to realize that there is a smarter kid on the block. we can inform technologies that would take millions of years to develop. but, at first, we should be humble, and it is sufficiently advanced in a scientific culture, and it could be a possibility for religious texts for guys. that is why if we have an issue discussing it, it is the technology gap that is very big.
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it might even look like magic to us, what we see, because just imagine coming to new york city, and seeing gadgets out there. a cave dweller would go home to speak with their family or make it a myth. they would never be able to reverse engineer these gadgets and not like a cave dweller's operate is a technological gap that is huge in the other civilization might look to us with approximations to what we do in the past. so my point is, some people feel threatened by this, but some people have an issue with having a smarter kid on the block, and i say, let's be modest. let's just explore the world like a kid does without options -- without prejudice.
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just based on evidence, let's try to get the best evidence we have with the best interpretation that we can present. >> we have more calls, and as you mentioned, the galileo project, your work, has its own twitter handle and galileo project one. if viewers want to follow along and see that work they discuss. this is dave and new york. morning. >> good morning. the statement that you made about expiration and how europeans came to america, but that didn't turn out so good. now for the inhabitants. it was a differential from europeans when they came to the native americans. i would just like to say that when you speak about the universe and how fast it is, with significant technological advancement of any kind, alien race, that would be so extreme,
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and you should be careful what you wish for. but also, you should be technologically advanced writ i don't think they would be hiding. i think of the obvious, and another they would be fearful of anything like that. >> right. what we call ordinary are things that we are used to seeing, like birds. but once you dig deeper into ordinary things, only in 1903, humans were able to fly with the first flight of the wright brothers. so, even ordinary things like birds are very difficult for us to replicate. it took a long time before we could be like birds naturally. it is a cycle of convention, what we call ordinary nick story. everything we see with our naked eye, we already saw. in order to see other things,
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you have to develop instrumentation. it goes without saying that if we want to find that, we have to invest billions of dollars in accelerator and particle collider that we produce. you can't just walk down the street at no cost. anything beyond what we are already familiar with requires effort. we can't just sit home and say we don't see anything, therefore doesn't exist. we need to investigate. obviously, we find new things. i agree with you that the expedition to america did not lead to good fortune, as for the population, and here, we are allowed to judge the outcome, whether we are right or not. it is whether we are responsible and figuring out the reality we live in. if you just imagine what the reality is, if you live in the
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metaverse, if you live in this literal reality, you'd be happy. it would flatter your ego. he would not be threatened, and you would be happy, but you would not probably relate to the actual reality that surrounds you. it would never reach mars because they get the wrong idea. my point is that we learn about the human body and we develop those vaccines. we found knowledge of the virus that is attacking her body. in much the same way, we need to know about the neighborhood that we live in. it is a matter of being responsible and adapting to whatever reality surrounds us. we can believe in whatever we want, and there is no such discussion about this in the possibility that there is something outside of her homes, but it is a self-fulfilling
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prophecy, just like the ostrich approach of not looking and thinking that reality changes, that is not the case. reality is whatever it is, if we want to adapt to it, long-term future, to be responsible and react to the reality as it comes, then we need to know as much as possible about reality, and that includes checking what we are now objects are doing, what their natures. and of course the first priority is national security, and that job will not matter if the subject surreal. we to figure what they are, but even more important, what does it mean? we currently don't have an organization that represents that. we haven't decided how to behave under circumstances where we find a stranger in our backyard. >> following along on twitter with this conversation.
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folks are typing in. this is what a grandma writes on twitter. politics has become so poisonous and it merited. how about more science like this guy? he is so refreshing, and thanks for the segment. our time is running short, but i want to get this in on washington. we have been waiting for a while. what is your question for the professor? caller: what i was wondering -- i know he is an astrophysicist, but what about the millions of years before humans became involved or technologically what we think is superior. what if there is another civilization 2 million years before us? what if we are seeing, basically, the fairytale. and that, sacked for -- and
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that, except for their technology, could be up to one million, and who knows? they are ahead of us. guest: that is an interesting possibility. imagine them existing a million years ago, or a billion years ago. geological activity would have mixed. we would be on the surface of the earth. you won't find anything on the surface necessarily, but we haven't found any evidence of a previous civilization on earth. one thing to keep us modest is that recorded human history is only 10,000 years old. we don't know exactly what happened before them. it is only one million. let's be modest. we just arrived at the end. how dare we think that this is about us. we are not the main actors. let's try and find other actors and asked them what the play is
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about. host: he is the professor of science at harvard astronomy, and the author of a book called extraterrestrial, verse lines of
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