Some astronomers are pushing back on humanity's preoccupation to communicate with extraterrestrial life, warning that contact could result in "the end of all life on earth".
In a recent Washington Post op-ed, physicist Mark Buchanan mentions the various videos that have emerged of US Navy aircraft encountering "unidentified aerial phenomena".
It also comes amid intense fascination behind UFOs fuelled by the imminent release of the Pentagon's eagerly-anticipated report into the subject.
"Chances are, we should all be grateful that we don't yet have any evidence of contact with alien civilisations," Mark wrote.
"Attempting to communicate with extraterrestrials, if they do exist, could be extremely dangerous for us."
Mark made the comparison between a possible alien encounter and Christopher Columbus' arrival in North America, where an older civilisation may be vulnerable to the more technologically advanced Europeans.
Joe Gertz, a Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence astronomer, shares the scientist's sentiments, stating that alien contact could result in "the reckless endangerment of all mankind".
Due to the young age of our galaxy, Buchanan believes it highly likely that we are primitive in comparison to the inhabitants of galaxies millions of years older than us, if they exist at all.
The reverse viewpoint exists among astronomers who believe that extraterrestrial contact would benefit humanity by making use of the resources of other life forms to improve conditions on Earth.
American astrobiologist Douglas Vakoch, who is president of Messaging Extraterrestrial International (METI), not only believes in contacting aliens, but is actively attempting to do so.
Vakoch runs a non-profit research organisation that is devoted to transmitting intentional signals to make contact with alien civilisations.
He writes that by not contacting our extraterrestrial neighbours we risk "missing guidance that could enhance our own civilisation’s sustainability".
It comes after Daily Star exclusively revealed that a mysterious sign has popped up in a woods.
The sign claims there have been three “alien abductions” in the area and also urges the local council to investigate.
Dozens of UFO sightings have been reported in the area in recent years and websites have been created so that members of the public can log extraterrestrial spots.
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