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Why Haven't Aliens Made Contact With Humans So Far?

Updated on December 19, 2016
Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 is a science buff with 11 years of experience writing about of psychology and related-topics.

It seems we are being visited by extraterrestrial aliens quite often. According to some, they are being picked up and being used as, well, 'guinea pigs.' I use the term "extraterrestrial aliens" because it seems to me that we use the word "aliens" to mean a lot of things these days. Anyway, back to the point, so where are these so-called ETs? If we are indeed being visited, why haven't we found any concrete evidence of such visitations thus far? To my skeptical brain, the conventional image of the "extraterrestrial alien" doesn't quite make sense. They look so much like us. What is the possibility of a species that evolved perhaps light years away, ending up looking so much like us? Does intelligent life have to look humanoid?

Back to the point though, why haven't we met ET? After all, we've been looking for them for some time now - I mean actively. We've been sending out messages via our spacecrafts about our location, looking for any signs of them through radio telescopes and what have you and still no success.

The physicist, Enrico Fermi, once asked why we haven’t seen any sign of advanced extraterrestrial life – if indeed the probability of such life existing in our Milky Way (and one can argue in the wider Universe) is so high according to calculations. The probabilities arrived at by Frank Drake would have us believe that there should exist countless numbers of advanced extraterrestrial civilizations in the Universe and at least some in the Milky Way itself. Yet, we have not known of any no matter how hard we’ve looked for them! This apparent contradiction is known as the Fermi paradox. The lack of evidence or lack of contact with extraterrestrials is therefore an important question to reflect upon. There have been many reasons put forth for this lack of contact with any extraterrestrial advanced civilization. Let us review some of them.

Popular depiction of aliens as little green men!!
Popular depiction of aliens as little green men!! | Source

Possible Reasons Why We Haven't Met Aliens Yet

Life Doesn't Last All That Long:

One possible explanation could be that intelligent life tends to limit itself or destroy itself rather too quickly to be discovered and made contact with. If we look at ourselves as an example, haven’t we faced the threat of extermination during the Cold War through a possible nuclear holocaust? Even today, some may argue that we may possibly destroy our planet and with it, our future survival as a species, through our actions. It would be quite likely then that most intelligent civilizations that have arisen around the Universe has not lasted long enough to advance to being a spacefaring species, having self-destructed.

We Just Don't Matter To Them:

Another possible explanation is that any extraterrestrial aliens out there just aren’t interested in as backward a species as we are. After all, how much have we achieved technologically? Most of our technological advances have come in the last 100 years or so, and one may argue that it will be many hundreds of years later that we may achieve the kind of technological advances that may enable us to become a spacefaring species and hence be possibly worthy of joining the "United Nations of the Universe." Perhaps, they may have something like that – a "United Planets of the Universe" possibly - to which admission is granted to only those who’ve achieved spacefaring technology. Maybe there is a rule forbidding any advanced civilizations from making contact with “primitive” civilizations like ours - for fear of influencing our way of life at present or our evolution as a species, either biologically or technologically. It could very well be the case why we haven’t made contact with any extraterrestrial aliens.

The Fear Factor:

Perhaps, any intelligent aliens out there don’t wish to contact us on purpose. They may have the same fear that some of us have on Earth - which is that it might be too dangerous to make contact with other alien civilizations. They may perhaps fear the possibility of contamination through any biological or technological infections – like viruses, etc. They may feel that there is nothing for them to gain through contacting us and rather, much to lose by doing so.

We Just Aren't Using the Right Means To Contact Them:

One can also argue that there may be intelligent ETs out there, but we just don’t know how to contact them. For example, we are primarily using radio signals as a means of trying to communicate and make contact with ET, but what are the chances that they use radio signals as a means of communication? Should all civilizations have developed radio technology as a means of communication? Even if they have, they aren’t likely to have used radio technology for any extended period of time, having outgrown it, and switched to more advanced communication means. Hence the detectable window would be quite small and we’ve only just started looking for radio signals relatively recently, so what are the chances? Quite slim, I’d say!! They may be using communications technology far advanced and beyond our comprehension – perhaps using secure communication channels in space! We can’t yet say we understand all the principles of physics, or that we have developed all technology there is or could be, so we can’t even begin to assume that a lack of radio signal equates to a lack of advanced intelligent life out there.

They've Evolved Far Too Much To Be Available For Contact:

Another interesting explanation could be that any intelligent ETs out there have advanced to a much higher form, devoid of any physical existence, perhaps in a virtual environment. If that were to be the case, then I don’t think they’d think much of what happens in the physical material Universe. In such a situation - of what significance would we be to them? I don’t think much.

They Are Nothing Like Us - Far Too Alien - To Think Like We Do:

It could also be that any intelligent ET out there is so vastly different from us that they just can’t communicate with us. As humans, we assume that ET would look somewhat like us, as in having a humanoid appearance, and that they would share things fundamental to us like music, mathematics, our communications technology. However, could it not be possible that ET may have a whole different set of their own fundamentals by which they live? Can we assume to know everything there is – all the laws of physics there might be? I’d think not. For us humans, curiosity is a fundamental trait. We are inherently a curious species. Is it necessary that other advanced alien civilizations should share that trait? Perhaps, most other advanced alien civilizations aren’t curious – they may not be actively seeking out other worlds like us. Maybe that’s why we haven’t met any ETs thus far.

But Haven't We Been Visited:

Do I hear some of you say, “Oh, but we have been visited by ET and we’ve already made contact.” Well, that’s speculation of course. There is no hard evidence of that, but there may be truth to the fact that some Governments may know of visitations by ETs and may possibly have captured alien spacecraft or aliens themselves, but choose not to reveal it in the name of “national security.” There is also the real possibility that, if not now, that we have been visited by ET in the past and many of our myths and legends that talk of supernatural beings or great individuals, guiding us as leaders, religious or otherwise, may well have been visiting aliens that lived amongst us for a while and perhaps helped shape some of our philosophies or technological advances.

They've Been Here All Along & We Haven't Noticed:

Lastly, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that intelligent ETs are already amongst us, but that they haven’t revealed themselves yet. Perhaps, they have the ability to cloak themselves or transform themselves to appear as humans. Why might they be doing this? Your guess would be as good as mine, if at all that were to be a fact. I can only speculate that they may want to observe the Earth from within than from outside, for whatever reasons they may have! Perhaps, for research on us as a species and our world - either with good intentions or bad.

Personally, I find this theory far-fetched. It is much more likely that we haven't been visited by aliens for the other reasons mentioned above. Either aliens exist and are not interested in us, as much as we seem to be in them, or we just don't know how to look for them. I don't see what potential benefits they'd have in wanting to reveal themselves to us on their own? They certainly aren't going to gain much in terms of technology, knowledge, being a far more advanced species. The only thing they may find useful are our resources and that won't be good news for us. As Stephen Hawking, the famous British physicist, says, communicating with aliens may be a risky proposition. Perhaps, we shouldn't be looking so hard for them.

UFO Sightings Alien Encounters

© 2011 Shil1978


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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Because humans are a violent race, if a person saw an alien, your would approach it with caution, if it did something that we think would threatened it, we would probably just shoot it.

    • Shil1978 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Thank you, jantamaya, for stopping by and commenting. Glad you agree with my take on the subject :)

    • jantamaya profile image

      Maria Janta-Cooper 

      8 years ago from UK

      Dear Shil, very interesting written and comprehensive article; composed with great phantasy and abundant on various concepts. I like your ideas about reasons why we haven’t seen any aliens yet. :-) I must also agree with you in many points, aliens could be so much different from us externally and internally... I also respect your and Stephen Hawking’s thought addressed in the last sentence of your hub.

    • Lilleyth profile image

      Suzanne Sheffield 

      8 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

      Just because we can't see them doesn't mean they aren't here...

    • Shil1978 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Ha! ha!, 'parentsreview,' - yes, when you consider the vast distances involved and the very short time that we have been looking for them, then it isn't a surprise we haven't found them!! Thanks again for stopping by and commenting!!

    • parentsreview profile image


      9 years ago from Lansdowne, PA

      I have a hard enough time making contact with my neighbors, let alone an entirely different species that may inhabit some planet in this great expanse of a universe. It's really not that surprising that we haven't made contact with aliens, yet...

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Shil 1978,

      I've been following your hubs with interest over the last week or so.

      I have covered all the points you've raised above in detail in my own hub, except that I've referred to time warp travel rather than wormholes.

      I have acknowledged that travel by advanced aliens is possible, but there is also a chance that it is not technologically possible, in which case we may never make physical contact with any alien beings, and the only way we may ever hear from them is by picking up signals that are hundreds or even thousands of years old.

    • Shil1978 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, David. I agree! However, I wonder whether the 'vastness' of the universe cannot be overcome? Couldn't technologically advanced aliens use wormholes to bypass spacetime? If they can do that, then the 'vastness' would no longer be an issue.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I've just done a Hub of my own on this; First of all, I don't believe that we have ever been visited in any way by alien beings; but I do firmly believe that there is intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. I think the main reason why we haven't been visited yet is the sheer vastness of the universe, but there are other possible factors; our location in the galaxy, the distance to the nearest technological civilisations, (and consequent received and reply times for signals)etc.

    • Paladin_ profile image


      9 years ago from Michigan, USA

      I would like to reinforce Anton's point, and even propose adding it as another reason we most likely haven't been visited by another civilization from somewhere out there in space.

      I suspect most people who believe we've been visited by space aliens have no real grasp of the jaw-dropping immensity of space. I've found an old scale representation of the size of our own solar system that I believe helps a bit in the comprehension:

      Imagine the Earth is 1-inch in diameter, a little smaller than your average ping pong ball. At this scale, the Sun would be 9 feet in diameter, and the Earth would be 970 feet away. Jupiter would be nearly a mile away from the Sun, and Pluto 7 miles away. The entire solar system would encompass a 14-mile diameter -- this with the Earth only an inch across!

      Maintaining this scale, this 14 miles would be only a fraction of the distance to the nearest solar system!

      Given the gargantuan distances between stars and solar systems, it's quite possible that someone from another world discovered one of our radio signals years ago, and their reply is taking years to reach us, even at the speed of light.

      However, given the limitations imposed by relativity on travel through space, it's quite likely we'll never be visited, even by those who are aware of our presence. We're just too far away.

    • Shil1978 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      I haven't read it, 'iscribble.' There may well be some truth to the governmental cover-up theory!!

    • i scribble profile image

      i scribble 

      9 years ago

      This is an intriguing subject and article. Have you read The Day After Roswell? As fantastic as the claims of the book are, it's still out there making money more than ten years after publication. How could the author name so many names of generals and even presidents allegedly involved in the cover up without being sued into silence if there were nothing to it?

    • Shil1978 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Larry, yes that's an exciting prospect! Could there be anything more exciting than to know that we are not alone. However, what are the chances that we may meet another intelligent life form? Guess we will have to just wait and see...Thank you, Larry, for stopping by and sharing your perspective, insightful as always :)

      Jethro, that is quite right and can be one of the reasons we haven't met ET. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your view on this very interesting subject!!

      Kadmiels, some would argue as you do, that the evidence of visitation by aliens is "all around." Then, there are others who beg to disagree. The only way we'd all agree is if we saw ET with our own eyes - may be we would in our lifetimes!!

    • Shil1978 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Ian, very kind of you to say all those lovely things. Thank you for stopping by and for your appreciation - you know how much I look forward to hearing from you, so thanks again :)

    • Jethro1 profile image


      9 years ago from Canberra

      I recently read an article about why we may not have encountered ET which made a lot of sense. So the theorey goes that given our short time as a species on this planet and an even shorter time in the universe as a whole, chances are species evovling at the same time give or take a 10 million years (which is a miniscule period of time in the universes life) it is more than likely they have been and gone and we are none the wiser. Based on this theorey as Anton of the north put it even travelling at light speed our closet stellar neighbour is at least 8 light years from us. Another possibilty is that we were seeded from somewhere else and those that seeded us have long since gone.

    • maven101 profile image

      Larry Conners 

      9 years ago from Northern Arizona

      Hi Shil...Very interesting and intelligent Hub with a very provocative question...Considering space/time relationships, I would posit that the time humans have been on earth would be but a fraction of a millisecond in the vastness of space and time...the odds of another race of intelligent creatures developing space travel and entering our same time dimension is incalculable...Parallel development defies the vastness of space and time...

      Do I think intelligent life exists out there somewhere..? But of course...There is a mathematical calculation put forth by Carl Sagan in his book " The Cosmos ", that assures us that life does indeed exist on many planets of Earth's exciting is that !!...Larry

    • Kadmiels profile image


      9 years ago from Florida

      of course we have been visited the edvidence is all around it just weather you accept it as fact or not

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 

      9 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Shil, I have marked it UP and INTERESTING, and I would have pressed the ELEGANT button if it had been there to press.

      Great hub, well written, articulate, and almost an exact replica of what I think. Lovely clear and easily understood reasoning.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Realizing just how vast the universe is is part of the issue.

      If light speed is indeed the speed cap, and presuming there is no other 'intelligent' life in the solar system, the minimum return travel time is more than 8 years and change. That's just driving there and back. Other candidate stars are much further. Any alien coming to earth would have to be long enough 'lived' to have very little in common with us short lives. Kind of like us visiting a petri dish in a way that would be noticeable to the bacteria.

      Even if there is lots of intelligent life out there, what are the odds that it is:

      close enough to get here and return

      wants to get here

      could survive here if it did

      is even aware that we are here

      needs anything from us that it can't get closer to home

      Also, Hawkings said it well, if government was covering up contact with aliens, it would be the first government project in history that was so successful. . .


    • Shil1978 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      @ Gaizy, I am not sure aliens can be our future selves. Once again, we seem to want to believe that aliens are and should be humanoids. What if they look more like octopuses with a big brain and tentacles? Possible? We can't imagine that, can we? But, its possible!! Life may have evolved in ways much stranger in other worlds, than we can possibly comprehend now!!

      The paradox you mention may explain things to an extent as regards time travel in our own world, as to why we don't see our ancestors or future descendants come visit us. Thank you for stopping by, Gaizy, and for sharing your perspective on this subject - a very interesting subject at that!!

      @ Attikos, I wouldn't have imagined there could be a poetic response to this subject, but you've demonstrated quite emphatically that there can be :) Thank you for stopping by and sharing your very interesting take on this subject!!

    • Attikos profile image


      9 years ago from East Cackalacky

      They're not there, they don't care,

      we lack the right concessionaire.

      Our deodorant don't work,

      we've got the wrong perk,

      the leader of the Earth is an outright jerk.

      Who knows? Who cares?

      Aliens are boring anywheres.

    • Gaizy profile image


      9 years ago from Denbigh, North Wales, UK

      One reason could be that the "Aliens" are our future selves who have found a way to visit their past. They can not interact with us for fear of creating a paradox (you know, that thing about going back into the past and killing your grandfather, which means that you couldn't have been born), so all they are allowed to do is observe from the sidelines :)


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