Two commercial pilots flying over the Arizona desert claim they saw an unidentified flying object over them, according to a radio broadcast released by the Federal Aviation Administration. It’s not clear whether the object spotted by the pilots was a UFO, but an FAA spokesperson suggested the object wasn’t necessarily something out of this world.

In the exchange between a Learjet and American Airlines pilot, and the regional air traffic controller in Albuquerque.

“Was anybody, uh, above us that passed us like 30 seconds ago?” the Learjet pilot said.

“Negative,” the air traffic controller replied.

“Okay,” the pilot said. “Something did.”

“A UFO!” someone quickly responded.

“Yeah,” the pilot replied.

There was also a second sighting of the mysterious object detailed in the recording of their exchange.

Whether this is real or a hoax, one thing is for certain, The Milky Way Galaxy is a massive place. It has well over a hundred billion stars and plenty of planets in orbit around them, it makes sense that somewhere out there in the vast cosmos, there must be evidence of some other intelligent life. The real question is whether or not we’d ever get to meet them.

Let’s hope that this intelligent life is nothing like this:

But surely, in such a large space it is mathematically unlikely that humanity is alone, right?

So, there is an equation to calculate the amount of intelligent civilizations in the galaxy. For an engineering student, this is basic math. To me, this is like wizardry: fascinating, but I cannot understand it for the life of me.

This speculation comes from the Drake Equation.

No, not that Drake. The equation factors in the number of habitable planets in the galaxy, the fraction of these that will go on to develop lifeforms, and the fraction of those lifeforms that will develop sentience.

There’s also the Fermi Paradox. To put it simply, the Fermi Paradox posits one question: if intelligent life in the galaxy is mathematically likely, then where are all the aliens?

With our best possible estimates taking these factors into account, it seems that intelligent alien life might be present in as many as a hundred million star systems throughout the Milky Way. But given the distance between them, communication between them would take thousands of years.

In other words, without some ridiculous new technological development, you can kiss the chance to meet an alien goodbye.

Both the Drake Equation and the Fermi Paradox have one major flaw. They both fail to take into account how sh*t we are.


Akhil was raised by movies, television, and the internet. A never-ending source of absolutely useless information. He would tell you more, but he was distracted by something shiny