SETI director Jill Tartar has told that she believes extraterrestrials could be present in our solar system. Her comments were made in a discussion about Fermi's Paradox, which states that, if there are extraterrestrials in the galaxy, then they must have colonized it. But there is no evidence of their presence here, therefore the implication is that they don't exist. Tartar says, "I would claim that we don't know that. We've so poorly explored even the local neighborhood of our solar system that there could well be probes, artifacts, even large, slow ships within our solar system that we wouldn't have detected yet. It's possible that there could be, in fact, within our solar system some evidence of an extraterrestrial technology. They may be here." Ms. Tartar also said that, she doesn't believe that they're "abducting Aunt Sally," but then makes the surprising comment that there have been attempts to find ships that might be on long-term station in our solar system at points of minimal gravity, using both reflected light and radar observation. There are many places that large ships could be located that would be very difficult for us to detect, such as in the asteroid belt or the rings of Saturn. They could be virtually indistinguishable from local objects if hidden in such places. Tartar's comments reflect an increasing openness among astronomers to the idea that an extraterrestrial presence in our solar system isn't impossible. This is because the assumptions in Drake's Equation, which basically says that extraterrestrial life would be extremely rare, are being called into question by the large number of planets that are being discovered orbiting other stars. Thanks to Spacecom. -

Editor's Note: Enrico Firmi was at Los Alamos where UFOs were being sighted almost daily, when he is said to have asked the question in the late 1940s, "Where are they? His reasoning was that if technically advanced extraterrestrial civilizations are prevalent, some of them ought to migrate to other star systems colonizing new planets as they go. In a million years they could colonize an entire galaxy.

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