Aliens? Elon Musk sparks a Twitter frenzy with claim 'there are UFOs'

Elon Musk sparks a Twitter frenzy with claim ‘there are UFOs’ — as US Congress moves to set up a unit to probe alien crafts detected by the military

  • ‘I’m not saying there are UFOs … but there are UFOs’, the SpaceX CEO tweeted
  • This comment came in a thread about the updated Tesla full self-driving system
  • The software could even detect and avoid UFO debris, the entrepreneur said
  • His comments led to assorted reactions, memes and stories of UFO encounters
  • Early this year, US Congress published a report into UFO sightings since 2004
  • Investigators were unable to either prove or rule out extraterrestrial origins 

Is there life, Elon, but not as we know it? This is the question on Twitter’s lips in the wake of a post by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk about the existence of alien spacecraft.

‘I’m not saying there are UFOs … but there are UFOs,’ the entrepreneur tweeted yesterday, provoking a frenzy of responses and memes from his followers.

‘Elon, phone home — Mars!’ one commenter wrote, while others welcomed Mr Musk to #ufotwitter and shared pictures of clouds with allegedly extraterrestrial origins.

Some social media users wanted to know if the SpaceX program had captured its own evidence of alien intelligences — and if they would release ‘the secrets’.

Mr Musk’s comments come in the wake of plans by the US Congress to establish a dedicated governmental office to investigate sightings of UFOs by the military. 

Back in March this year, the Pentagon released a report investigating 144 sightings of ‘unidentified aerial phenomenon’ between 2004 and 2021.

While investigators said that they were convinced that the sightings were indeed of physical objects, they were unable to prove or rule out extraterrestrial origins.

Is there life, Elon, but not as we know it? This is the question on Twitter’s lips in the wake of a post by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk (pictured) about the existence of alien spacecraft

‘I’m not saying there are UFOs … but there are UFOs,’ the entrepreneur tweeted yesterday — as pictured — provoking a frenzy of responses and memes from his followers

Some social media users wanted to know if the SpaceX program had captured its own evidence of alien intelligences — and if they would release ‘the secrets’

‘Elon, phone home — Mars!’ one commenter wrote, while others welcomed Mr Musk to #ufotwitter and shared pictures of clouds with allegedly extraterrestrial origins 

SCIENTIFIC ODDS ON ALIEN CIVILISATIONS 

The Drake Equation

Written in 1961 by Frank Drake, this attempts to estimate the number of living and communicative alien civilisations in the Milky Way galaxy.

It takes into account factors including rate of star creation, number of these with planets, and fraction of planets that develop life. 

The Statistical Drake Equation

This model, developed in 2010 by Italian astronomer Claudio Maccone, is considered mathematically more complex and robust.

It used values for each factor in the Drake equation accepted by many astronomers to predict there are 4,590 alien civilisations.

The Fermi Paradox

The paradox asks why scientists are predicting so many extraterrestrial civilisations, yet humans are yet to find evidence for any others.

Mr Musk’s comment came in response to a thread about the recently-released version ten of Tesla’s full self-driving (FSD) system and its capacity to handle an existing problem — recognising the concrete struts of the Seattle monorail line.

‘FSD 10 predicts height from video pixels directly, without needing to classify groups of pixels into objects,’ Mr Musk wrote, explaining the software upgrade’s success.

‘In principle, even if a UFO crashed on the road right in front of you, it would still avoid the debris,’ he continued — going on to quip that they did exist.

‘I know you are an alien Elon!!’ responded thread creator ‘Gali’ (@Gfilche), who had posted a video of himself driving through the monorail pylons while testing the latest version of the FSD system.

‘Aliens exist, they are hidden in plain sight,’ posted Twitter user Optimus (@TeslaAIBot) in response to Mr Musk’s comment.

‘Don’t take this lightly, humans,’ they added.

‘Yet another person involved in the highest levels of military confirming UFOs,’ tweeted Ethan Orlander. 

He added: ‘Why can’t Pentagon confirm @elonmusk? Genuinely asking.’

‘I have amassed quite a few photos of ETs and UFOs over the past few years, if anyone’s interested,’ proffered @michelecoralynx.

‘At first, everyone was like: iT’s JuSt ThE cLoUdS, but they’re coming in clearer lately!’ she added. 

Yesterday’s tweet was not Mr Musk’s first comment on the potential for the existence of UFOs and extraterrestrial life. 

In March this year, he posted a pair of graphs which he labelled the ‘strongest argument against aliens’.

These illustrated that while cameras have enjoyed an almost exponential increase in resolution since the 19th century, pictures of UFOs remain just as fuzzy as ever. 

And earlier this year, Mr Musk said that while had not personally seen any evidence for the existence of aliens, there could be ‘dead civilisations’ out in space.

In March this year, Mr Musk posted a pair of graphs which he labelled the ‘strongest argument against aliens’. These illustrated that while cameras have enjoyed an almost exponential increase in resolution since the 19th century, pictures of UFOs remain just as fuzzy as ever

Earlier this year, Mr Musk said that while had not personally seen any evidence for the existence of aliens, there could be ‘dead civilisations’ out in space

 ‘Aliens exist, they are hidden in plain sight,’ posted Twitter user Optimus (@TeslaAIBot) in response to Mr Musk’s comment. ‘Don’t take this lightly, humans,’ they added

The US Congress’ plans for a dedicated office in the Office of the Secretary of Defense to investigate UFO sightings comes in the form of a bill to authorize Department of Defense appropriations for the 2022 fiscal year. Pictured: a meme posted after Mr Musk’s tweet

The US Congress’ plans for a dedicated office in the Office of the Secretary of Defense to investigate UFO sightings comes in the form of a bill to authorize appropriations for the Department of Defense for the 2022 fiscal year.

The duties of the new office — which will take over from the Unidentified Aerial — Phenomenon Task Force will include developing standardised procedures to collect and analyse reported of UFOs across the Department of Defense.

Staff will also evaluate ‘links between unidentified aerial phenomena and adversarial foreign governments, other foreign governments, or nonstate actors.’ along with ‘evaluating the threat that such incidents present to the United States.’

WHAT MAKES SOMEONE BELIEVE IN CONSPIRACY THEORIES?

Over the course of three online-based studies, researchers at the University of Kent showed strong links between the belief in conspiracy theories and certain psychological traits.

Narcissism and self-esteem levels have a large impact on a persons belief in conspiracy theories.  

The results showed that people who rated highly on the narcissism scale and who had low self-esteem were more likely to be conspiracy believers.

However, while low self-esteem, narcissism and belief in conspiracies are strongly linked, it is not clear that one – or a combination – causes the other.

But it hints at an interesting new angle to the world of conspiracy and those who reinforce belief. 

There are widely believed to be three main reasons as to why people believe in conspiracy theories. 

  • The desire for understanding and certainty – Seeking explanations for events is a natural human desire.
  • The desire for control and security – Conspiracy theories can give their believers a sense of control and security.
  • The desire to maintain a positive self-image – People who feel socially marginalised are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories and it gives them a sense of worth in the UFO community.

These three things tie in with the previously stated qualities and combine to create an avid conspiracy theorist. 

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