April 26th, 2010
11:15 PM ET

Aliens probably no friends of yours, Hawking says

Think you'd like to see aliens make contact with Earth?  Stephen Hawking might get you to think again.

Aliens, the way he sees it, might be traveling the cosmos right now - not for exploration's sake but because they've run out of resources at home.

And if they're flying around looking for resources, guess what their intentions would be if they see Earth?

The British physicist advances his thoughts on aliens in his new Discovery Channel series, "Into the Universe With Stephen Hawking," which began airing Sunday.

In a video clip on Discovery Channel's website, Hawking imagines that aliens might have the technology to harness energy from whatever star they're near. The process, he proposes, could open a wormhole that could let them travel large distances - perhaps to here.

The clip shows spacecraft leaving a wormhole and approaching Earth as ominous music plays.

"Like us, they would probably have evolved from a species used to exploiting whatever it can," a narrator says.

Hawking's warning contrasts with the excitement some are showing about the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Just last week, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) said it was releasing its data to astronomers and researchers all over the world, hoping more people would join the search.

Hawking's series on the Discovery Channel continues this coming Sunday at 9 p.m.  ET.

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Filed under: Space • Technology
soundoff (262 Responses)
  1. fraximus

    I for one, welcome our new energy harvesting overlords.

    April 27, 2010 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  2. SilkyMcNasty

    What a steaming load of pony loaf! Why the farce...?"if there are aliens coming from outer space..."
    They have already been here for years.
    Kindly explain who it is that lives under Dulce deep under ground military base.

    April 27, 2010 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  3. tomb

    Remember Pandora!

    But, surely there are enough resource-rich chunks of rock out there that we wouldn't be worth the trouble. It's not like there's anything special about Earth, except our presence, and we probably wouldn't be very good food for an alien metabolism.

    April 27, 2010 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  4. SilkyMcNasty

    How noble to talk of advanced technology and and advanced agendas, too evolved to make war on us and be hostile.
    What if they simply like the taste of our adreneline and use it like cocaine and only want to harvest us ourselves?
    All the lofty talk about how advanced they are falls by the wayside if they are carniverous and see this planet as a big "chicken" farm.

    April 27, 2010 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  5. Outside the Box

    Ok .. lets think outside the box for a minute.

    Hawking is right and to be honest he is also wrong in my opinion ....

    Yes Aliens must exist, mathematically speaking the odds are in their favor...

    Yes the possibility there is an alien race which could be harmful is just as high as if there were an alien race to be peaceful. That is to say .. its a 50/50 chance pending what part of the Universe they come from and what is going on in their lives.

    So far .. we have not found any intelligent life equal to ours within our solar system. This might be a good thing, making us the Masters of our Solar System. Plus giving us the confidence we will not be visited anytime soon by a human hating alien. BUT

    Since we can confidently say that aliens exist, the possibility of a confrontational or peaceful alien finding us is very likely. This is where I am in conflict with Hawking ... if anything we want to discover Alien Life not be discovered ... For the probability will swing in our favor if we do. Usually if you discover something and deem it peaceful or harmful you have the option to leave it alone util you figure out whether it is or not harmful or peacful and then advise them you have discovered them ...

    BUT if we are the ones being discovered ... a big problem exists in our realm .. Since we know there isn't any intelligent life within our solar system (for now) means the discovering race would have to be of higher intelligence to have acomplished what we at the present moment cannot. Meaning .... if we have been discovered either in the past, present or future .. they are either waiting til we are deemed harmless to make their move or we just plainly havent been discovered or the most fearful ... we have been and are being manipulated for eons by a level of intelligence which we cannot fathom.

    Here is a scary thought,

    What if what we know of all religion is really historical fact of alien life which have not only discovered our planet but actually created it and gave it life and have been returning throughout time periods to make adjustments or should I say make sure things are going as planned. And that our interpretations of these ancient peoples writings are all wrong and due to our inability to accept the mere fact that there could be a mortal god or gods we live in denial only until they return and set things straight again ...

    If anything be glad we are living during a time where the probability is high we wont be alive to find out if we will be discovered .. or have been .. and worst they return ... 😉

    April 27, 2010 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  6. Kalen

    I disagree. If we imagine the most efficient engine (which would undoubtedly be necessary for interstellar travel), it would be a matter-antimatter annihilation reactor. Such a machine would convert at least 99% of the mass-energy of its fuel into usable energy.

    Given that these, exceedingly hypothetical, aliens have such an engine, it is unlikely that they would be targeting Earth for its natural resources. The good thing about matter-antimatter fuel is that it can be, theoretically, created anywhere, on any planet, hospitable or not.

    Of course we can't know that matter-antimatter engines are in the hands of our galactic neighbors; however, when we begin to examine the astronomical (pun intended) energy requirements needed for interstellar travel, it seems as though such an engine would have to exist.

    Statistical probability dictates that, given the extreme age of the galaxy, that these aliens would probably have a million to billion year lead on us evolutionarily and technologically. If they were able to survive for such a long time as an intelligent species (humanbs have only existed in such a capacity for less than 100,000 years) they would have had to curb their warlike and aggressional tendencies in order to avert their own self destruction. It then follows that these aliens are likley not hostile.

    Of additional note are the natural resources we utlilize. I would hope that after more than a million years of technological development and evolution that these aliens would have moved beyond the requirement for fossuil fuels. Perhaps they use hydrogen in a similar capacity (not everything can use matter-antimatter). Well, the good thing about hydrogen is that it is 99% more abundant than any other element in the Universe, making our planet's supply seem inconsequential to more titanic stores on the Jovian planets.

    It just doesn't make sense for any ET life to be hostile

    April 27, 2010 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  7. Darlene Buckingham

    If the aliens are coming after our resources they are going to have slim pickings. Out of the hundreds of millions of planets in the Universe they are coming after us. We would nuke them. I am sure that the aliens if they are smart enough to travel in space they are smart enough to do research before they come here. The life forms in charge of this Planet would nuke first ask questions later. This is very apparent. I don't think we have to worry about aliens coming here for what we have. What we have right now isin't worth taking. What we have is a beautiful planet to live on and this is what we have not figured out. When we decide to honour our beautiful planet and live in harmony we will then get visitors. Why would aliens come here when the only outcome at this time would be nuclear war.. Our leaders would not welcome visitors that would help us and are wise. That would cut into their action. It is articles like this that prove how stupid and dangerous we humans really are. Intelligent beings know the universal law that they cannot interfere – it has to be choice. In other words we humans would have to be at the point where we have chosen peace and wisdom before visitors would come in peace. If they come now we will nuke them. What do you think intelligent beings would choose? That's right. Stay away , watch and see what we are doing. What do you think that intelligent beings would see when looking at our Planet? Do you think anyone with intelligence would come here now. I have chosen peace and am waiting for others to chose peace. Then we can share with other life forms and move forward. What an exciting day that will be! CHOOSE PEACE NOW!!!!!!

    April 27, 2010 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  8. iroi

    I'm all for the star trek theory. man is still too unintelligent to be considered for contact wif the rest of the universe. Wait till humans can reach light speed, then they will talk.

    April 27, 2010 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  9. frankwright

    We need not fear the aliens, unless of course one of them claims to have gone off into the desert and received prophecies that we all must accept at pain of death, like you know who...

    April 27, 2010 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  10. Alamongordo.com

    Hey Darrelle, they wait for us to multiply, the more people, the more food 😉

    April 27, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  11. RAJ KUMAR

    AlienS, IS IT FICTION OR FACT

    April 27, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  12. esreddy

    I agree that they would be violent, because look at us. We are worse than most animals on this planet. If we find a planet with life, eventually we'll find a way to bomb it.

    April 27, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  13. fraximus

    Yes, but if we bomb their world, it will not doubt be with just cause since we have already logically deduced that they are coming to steal our resources and turn us into food. In fact I think we can find some photos of their Weapons of Mass Consumption.

    April 27, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  14. d.cleveland

    so they are allot like us.....travel around...steal resources from less advanced society and destroy there way of life.....I imagine that is how the natives felt about columbus

    April 27, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  15. kofi

    i think stephen hawkins may be right to some extent. aliens if they really exist can only be demonic beings and demons are always hostile to humans.

    April 27, 2010 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
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