Author calls alien life ‘scientifically reasonable’

By Kelli Long

Jeff Bennett saw an unidentified flying object once, but he is not convinced that aliens were on board.

Bennett shared his views of life in the universe with a packed room in the Chemistry-Physics Building last night during a speech based on his book “Beyond UFOs: The search for Extraterrestrial Life and Its Astonishing Implications for Our Future.”

Bennett’s research of the universe has led him to investigate the possibilities of life on other planets. This investigation has made him almost certain that life exists outside of Earth.

“There are a lot of possible homes for life,” Bennett said. “That’s why it seems scientifically reasonable that there is life on other planets.”

But Bennett is still looking for the answers to where this life is and why it has not tried to contact humans.

The author of numerous texts, ranging from college textbooks to children’s books, Bennett believes that alien life may be possible, but that other intelligent life forms are so far advanced they would not likely let humans know they existed. Technologically speaking, Bennett said he would expect them to be nearly 50,000 years ahead of Earth’s civilizations.

Bennett only talked about conclusions he has drawn from his research and avoided speculation, said physics junior Allan Straub.

“He avoided any sort of jumping to conclusions and stuck to the facts,” Straub said. “That is the way science is done. If we actually want to learn, we can’t jump to conclusions.”

Leeann York, an astronomy professor at UK, encouraged her class to attend the speech, which was hosted by the Society of Physics Students, because she talks about man’s search for life outside the planet in her class.

“I hope that my students gained an appreciation for how much we can learn about other places without actually going there and also how little we actually know,” York said.

To Bennett, the real question that needs to be answered is not whether intelligent life exists on other planets, but, “Will we prove that there is intelligent life on Earth?”