Carl Sagan’s 1962 Paper & NASA 2014 Study Considers Ancient Alien Theory

Carl Sagan was probably the first believer in the ancient alien theory. He was funded by NASA to carry a research and write a scholarly article that discusses the possibility that extraterrestrials have visited Earth in the past, interstellar travel, and more. The paper, which is currently housed at the Library of Congress, was written in 1962. However, NASA and the had their hands in suppressing this paper.

Professor  is not only known for his extraordinary claims on extraterrestrial hypothesis but also for his courage to speak on topics that other scientists generally tend to avoid. He has taken a whole scientific community’s criticism to stay strong on his controversial statements. The enigma whether we are alone in the universe or there are intelligent beings out there has awakened Loeb to think out of the box.

Previously, this question was well discussed and researched by astrophysicist Carl Sagan, one of the popular names in the scientific community. He was branded as a hard-nosed skeptic of UFOs and ETs, early examples of his work demonstrate that at one point, he seriously considered the existence of advanced alien civilizations, their ability to travel between stars, and even the possibility of ancient astronauts visiting Earth and influencing our history and development.

His research paper entitled discussed alien life, interstellar travel, and ancient alien contact, which is very uncommon for those days.

“We assume that there exists in the Galaxy a loosely integrated community of diverse civilizations, cooperating in the exploration and sampling of astronomical objects and their inhabitants. If each such advanced civilization launches one interstellar vehicle per year, the mean time interval between samplings of an average star would be 105 years, that between samplings of a planetary system with intelligent life would be 104 years, and that between sampling of another advanced civilization would be 103 years.

It follows that there is the statistical likelihood that Earth was visited by an advanced extraterrestrial civilization at least once during historical times. There are serious difficulties in demonstrating such a contact by ancient writings and iconography alone. Nevertheless, there are legends which might profitably be studied in this context. Bases or other artifacts of interstellar spacefaring civilizations might also exist elsewhere in the solar system. The conclusions of the present paper are clearly provisional.”

While this might really sound pointless to somebody, this is what the legendary astrophysicist suggests in one of his papers. Among other things, Sagan explained that humankind must figure out a way to live in the future with high technology and avoid nuclear war. According to Sagan’s paper, there should currently be a million advanced civilizations in the Milky Way.

Carl Sagan ancient alien theory
Carl Sagan. Photo credit NASA

In the , Sagan offers mathematical formulae to support his speculation about interstellar travel, as well as historical references and sources that support the “Ancient Astronaut” Theory, which asserts that advanced extraterrestrial civilizations have visited humankind for thousands of years.

Ancient Alien Theorist originated in the 1950s, long before  wrote his book Chariots of the Gods. Sagan opposed this book but did not deny the fact that alien civilizations might have visited the planet Earth. As a scientist, he proposed that the idea of the E.T. visit mentioned in the book was not theory-driven. The Drake and Fermi equations was the first step in a theory. If aliens exist, and interstellar travel is possible, then at some time in the past we should have been visited by aliens. It is worth looking for historical evidence of encounters.

The paper written by Sagan points to a number of peculiarities that makes more sense from the viewpoint of his theory. And for that, Sagan was ridiculed by peers and friends. He was blocked from Harvard and other opportunities worthy of someone of his intellectual capabilities. There was evidence that NASA, spurred by the Pentagon, needed to reign Sagan in.

Donald L. Zygutis, a scholar with 40 years of analyzing the life’s work of Carl Sagan wrote the book  in which he laid out a compelling case that points to a cover-up by the Pentagon and NASA, who may have buried Sagan’ paper soon after it was written.

Why would NASA and the Pentagon care? The academics have this fundamental rule, interstellar travel is impossible. Anyone who goes against the commandments of the establishment will be burned at the stake. John E Mack, Psychiatrist, awarded the Nobel Peace prize, and a professor of tenure at Harvard wrote a book, “Abductions: Human Encounters with Aliens.” The resulting backlash against him was out of proportion to true scholarly.

Surprisingly, in 2014, NASA published a book entitled which considers extraterrestrial interference in human history. It notes the possibility that some rock art depictions on Earth may be of alien origin. It was edited by Douglas Vakoch, Director of the Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence (SETI).

Douglas Vakoch, for his part, refers to the difficulties that may arise as a result of the first contact with an extraterrestrial civilization.

“If a radio signal is detected in a modern SETI experiment, we could well know that another intelligence exists, but not know what they are saying. Any rapid, information-rich fluctuations encoded in the radio signals might be smoothed out while collecting weak signals over extended periods of time, increasing the chances of detecting these signals, but losing the content they bear in the process.

Even if we detect a civilization circling one of our nearest stellar neighbors, its signals will have traversed trillions of miles, reaching Earth after traveling for years.”

“To move beyond the mere detection of such intelligence, and to have any realistic chance of comprehending it, we can gain much from the lessons learned by researchers facing similar challenges on Earth. Like archaeologists who reconstruct temporally distant civilizations from fragmentary evidence, SETI researchers will be expected to reconstruct distant civilizations separated from us by vast expanses of space as well as time. And like anthropologists, who attempt to understand other cultures despite differences in language and social customs, as we attempt to decode and interpret extraterrestrial messages, we will be required to comprehend the mindset of a species that is radically Other.”

On page 272, Vakoch writes about the desirability of establishing symbolic/linguistic communication with ETI. It is helpful to review some parallels from human existence that pose problems for us today. One of these is “rock art,” which consists of patterns or shapes cut into rock thousands of years ago.

Such ancient stone carvings can be found in many countries, and the example (as shown above) is from Doddington Moor, Northumbria, England. We can say little, if anything, about what these patterns signify, why they were cut into rocks, or who created them. For all intents and purposes, they might have been made by aliens. Unless we find a readable exegesis of them produced at the time they were made, we will never be able to say with certainty what the patterns mean.

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