Did E.T. finally phone home?
December 1st, 2010
11:29 AM ET

Did E.T. finally phone home?

The truth is out there.

NASA is planning to hold a news conference Thursday "to discuss an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life."

The Web is abuzz with speculation about what that cryptic phrase might mean.

"Our guess is that this astrobiological discovery will have something to do with water, evolutionary biology, and aquatic bacteria," the Geek Tech bloggers at PCWorld say.

Gaming and fantasy site Kotaku thinks it could mean life-friendly conditions - or even living organisms - have been found on Saturn's moon Rhea.

"There's only one thing this could mean: NASA has aliens. Now let's just hope they're the friendly, ET-kind of visitors, and not the warlike Klingon types," Stephen Losey wrote (tongue-in-cheek) on FederalTimes.com.

Blogger Jason Kottke analyzed the lineup of scientists slated to appear at the press conference and came up with his own conclusion:

"If I had to guess at what NASA is going to reveal on Thursday, I'd say that they've discovered arsenic on Titan and maybe even detected chemical evidence of bacteria utilizing it for photosynthesis (by following the elements). Or something like that."

Leave it to Discover.com's level-headed Phil Plait to throw a wet space blanket on the hype over the possible discover of extraterrestrial life:

"It seems really unlikely; I don't think they would announce it in this way," he writes. "It would've been under tighter wraps, for one thing. It's more likely they've found a new way life can exist and that evidence for these conditions exists on other worlds. But without more info, I won't speculate any farther than that."

Hmfph. Party pooper.

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Filed under: Science • Space
soundoff (444 Responses)
  1. shay

    I always knew there was a more intelligent life form out there!!! Besides us heheehee

    December 1, 2010 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Patch

      Of course, some have to wonder whether or not there is intelligent life on this planet, let alone any other.

      December 1, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • rs

      You consider us humans intelligent?!? Its all a dellusion....

      December 1, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Red Shuttle ... http://x.co/Ka0w

      frankly, we have waited to know the aliens secrets from Wikileaks, not from NASA... 🙂 ... http://x.co/Ko3b

      December 1, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kalyan

      You call us intelligent life forms?

      December 1, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cal

      Lack of intelligence, you mean as is evidenced by people who cannot spell?

      December 1, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • dsfsfsdf

      This could be the happiest day of my life.

      December 1, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      I think Calvin & Hobbes said it best...

      December 1, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sahen

      This is going to be revolutionary.

      December 1, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gokturk

      we should send a probe to myanus

      December 1, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chettahe

      I guess as humans we perceive intelligence from our perspective point of view and our cultural background.
      What we consider human intelligence can guide us through the nuclear age and assure the survival of human species for another thousand years?

      December 1, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ateo1979

    About time we found intelligent life.....considering finding it on Earth has produced nothing.....even if it is primitive forms of bacteria.

    December 1, 2010 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  3. Chris

    Its inevitable. Life is common.

    December 1, 2010 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Bubba

      Chris, we don't know that for sure. It seems likely that life will be everywhere, but maybe not. The whole universe might be sterile with us as the only exceptions.

      December 1, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Enrico

      Common on earth, sure. Not a single bit of evidence so far that it exists elsewhere.

      December 2, 2010 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
    • 1creator

      we have one common creator, the God almighty.

      December 3, 2010 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Cindy

    If we find life, what then? Shall we communicate? Shall we start a new colony? Shall we leave them be!

    December 1, 2010 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • rs

      find out what resources they have, decide we want them, wipe them out.

      Its what we've always done.

      December 1, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bobby G

      @rs Indeed.

      December 1, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • kite005

      They must be assimilated.

      December 1, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • pdw

      Resistance is futile.

      December 1, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vlad

      Considering all past history, we humans will start with a war and end with a war.

      December 1, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Phil

    NASA's about to send up the last space shuttle with nothing in the pipeline to replace it. There is no planned trip back to the Moon, no mission to Mars.

    They have to do something to justify their budget.

    December 1, 2010 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • mecatfish

      Phil, X-37B.....Its already up there.

      December 1, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      The Air Force flys the X-37, not NASA.

      December 1, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon Voisey

      You do realize that a large portion of NASA's budget goes towards astronomical research and unmanned probes. It's not like the only thing they do is launch people into space.

      December 1, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • George

      Didn't you hear. NASA's main mission now is to raise Muslim self esteem.

      December 1, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Squidly

    With all that extra money, we should have the unemployed people make peace banners and send Cheetos to North Korea. Maybe they would join the rest of the world.

    December 1, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Aubrie

    It doesn't matter what they say. Either way there will be legions of believers and non-believers. While some find it exciting others find it unsettling. So everyone will take it the way they see fit and what is comfortable for them.

    December 1, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      It isn't about how anybody takes it. It's about the truth. Whether anyone is unsettled by it because it sticks the final knife in the heart of whatever delusional religious beliefs that may hold, that's beside the point.

      December 1, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Simple Darwin Logic

      Exactly, the Creation Museum will need to add a new wing.

      December 1, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dennis

      Nowhere does the bible say we are alone in the universe... Matthew 24 "And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other." Doesn't sound like the bible supports earth only life.... Just sayin, that if there is life elsewhere it doesn't seem to conflict.

      December 1, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. shay

    I want to go to a new planet maybe we won't screw this one up as bad ok i know we will but for a while it will be nice

    December 1, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. kuuipo

    Please don't mess with other life forms because all we will do is start a war with them & try to take whatever they won't give us!

    December 1, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. STLBroker

    Chris- If life is so common, why have we found NONE as of yet? According to our scientific findings to date, life is very uncommon and unique. My guess is that whatever NASA has found will only further support how uncommon, special and unique life is. Especially intelligent life.

    December 1, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shamrock6

      Because we've searched the equivalent of a billionth of a grain of sand on the largest beach imaginable and have found that the observable universe supports an abundance of life...that is why it is common. Not only that we have found that life exists in the most inhospitable places imaginable. Life is OVERLY common and the universe is TEEMING with it.

      December 1, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      umm . . .cause we haven't even left our doorstep yet?

      December 1, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • mark

      because the universe is really big.

      December 1, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jack Meoff

    They will prove Jesus Christ was a space alien who was gay.

    December 1, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • trey

      sounds like a stargate episode plotline

      December 1, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ray

      I agree with space alien, not to sure about the gay part.

      December 1, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Chris

    Now who said anything about intelligent life? At most it's a possibility of bacteria

    December 1, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Cieje Valentine

    GREAT! I've always hated this planet and was glad I was just visiting. Maybe they'll let me hitch a ride. I just need my Douglas Adams library, and I'm set!

    December 1, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peter

      Dont forget your towel.

      December 1, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. David

    This article holds much more logic than the Republican Trickle Down economy.

    December 1, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. STLBroker

    Chris- I agree. They didn't say anything about intelligent life which supports my point. Life is uncommon, intelligent life even more so.

    December 1, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shamrock6

      There is overwhelming evidence that intelligent life has been coming here for centuries yet everyone ignores it. Ask our government if there is intelligent life out there. There is a huge difference between what they say and reality. Listen to some of our greatest minds on the subject. Astronauts, pilots, members of the government, military and law enforcement all have testified about what they have seen and experienced.

      December 1, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dohn Joe

      You say you believe that life has been coming here for centuries. I'm not saying it's impossible, but I do think it is improbable. Let's just examine exactly what that means; The closest start to our solar system is Proxima Centauri, which is 4.2 lightyears away. If there is life near here, it would take at the very least 4.2 years to get here if they could somehow travel at the speed of light. To think that they would come here to do a flyby and a few abductions and just head back does not seem very likely. I imagine if we could travel that far we would plan on sticking around for a while.

      December 1, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Starchild

      Because of the huge distances between star systems and the time it takes to travel between them at sub light speed, the only way we could be visited is by beings who have developed faster than light travel. This is theoretically possible by folding space (through a black hole for example) but only if you are, a type 3 civiilisation (able to harness the energies of an entire galaxy). The chances that a type 3 civilisation has had time to form and the that they would have any interest in us (a type 0 civilisation!) are slim to none.

      December 1, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheTruth

      @Dohn Joe Who said that they left to go home? Maybe they have always been here, or have the ability to travel between dimensions. The possibilities are really endless. You say it's improbable, but what's more improbable, that millions of people over the course of thousands of years have been either lying or delusional or, maybe you're the one that's delusional?

      December 1, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheTruth

      @Starchild Why would you say they wouldn't be interested in us? We have scientist on this planet that are interested in less primitive life. I would Imagine that would be all the more interesting for them. To see how this primitive species turns out, over the course of time. Especially at the rate we are advancing. Within 100 years go from horse and carriage to space rockets and nukes. Common, is that really your rationalization?

      December 1, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Enrico

      @Sham, "Astronauts, pilots, members of the government, military and law enforcement all have testified about what they have seen and experienced." There are losers and crazies in every profession, and you don't have to be particularly smart in any of the professions listed. In fact, one needs to be a little below the curve for the last three.

      December 2, 2010 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
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