A scientist at the forefront of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence claims that highly advanced alien civilizations may have tried to communicate with Earth but that we lack the intelligence needed to decode the messages.
Dr. Nathalie Cabrol, who heads the Carl Sagan Institute for the Study of Life in the Universe at the SETI Institute in California, said humanity has a very limited view of the universe and we may neither have the IQ nor the tech to decipher intergalactic messages that may have been sent to us, The Daily Mail reported.
"If there is a civilization out there that is only 1,000 years older than we are, who knows what type of technology, or what type of process, they’ve put into communicating with others," Dr. Cabrol said.
Only a hundred years ago a wireless meant a radio, now it means to have connectivity without being hard-wired.
For the past few decades, the pursuit of extraterrestrial messages has been limited to analyzing radio and optical bursts of energy, but highly advanced alien civilizations may have surpassed those means of communication.
Interestingly, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden offered an answer to the Fermi Paradox-- which queries if there's billions of advanced civilizations, why can't we find them? Advanced civilizations may encrypt their messages to one another, Snowden told Neil deGrasse Tyson.
"When you look at encrypted communications, if they are properly encrypted, there is no real way to tell that they are encrypted. You can’t distinguish a properly encrypted communication… from random noise," Snowden said. As civilization progresses, in order to keep secrets safe, encrypted messages become tantamount to a society's survival.
"So if you have an alien civilization trying to listen for other civilizations, or our civilization trying to listen for aliens, there's only one small period in the development of their society where all of their communications will be sent via the most primitive and most unprotected means."
And that's radio.
Earlier this year, in January, a group of Australian astronomers at the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne claim they captured the world's first live Fast Radio Burst, a kind of unexplained cosmic phenomena, in real time, which originated from 5.5 billion light years away.
The brief fast radio burst (FRB) was detected by the Parkes radio telescope in New South Wales, Australia. Ironically, the astronomers had captured a previous burst but discovered it only by sorting through reams of archived data.
Team member Dr. Emily Petroff said, "Because we were able to catch the act, as opposed to existing data sets, we were able to reveal that the radiation produced by FRB (fast radio burst) was more than 20% circularly polarized and this suggests there were strong magnetic fields near the source."
The Swinburne team believes the source of the FRB event may have been catastrophic in nature.
Dr. Cabrol thinks that's where we should be looking for evidence of alien life forms– planetary doomsday scenarios that may leave evidence of radiation and other apocalyptic residue.
"We have to rely a bit on our imagination right now," Dr. Cabrol admitted. "And not being afraid to develop new research avenues as well."
The quest continues….