Recent UFO Phenomena, E.T. or…? A Look at Current Faster-Than-Light Travel Prospects

by David Gadbois

Startling footage of physics-defying UFO’s has surfaced since 2017, originating from U.S. Navy aircraft. The earliest video was recorded in 2004, while the latter two were from 2014-2015. The Pentagon itself eventually released official copies of these videos. To this can be added two videos of separate naval ship-based UFO sightings from 2019. What is more, at least the original 2004 incident has been corroborated by both ship-borne radar and the public testimony of pilots involved (David Fravor and Chad Underwood). Likely this is the tip of the iceberg. For example, former naval aviator Ryan Graves claims that UFO’s were witnessed regularly by his squadron.

In fact, the Pentagon will be releasing a report on UFO phenomena that it has documented, possibly quite soon.

It is somewhere between difficult and impossible to dismiss these mounting threads of evidence for the veracity of objective encounters with vehicles that seemingly can perform physically-impossible maneuvers. While many UFO sightings can be plausibly categorized as hoaxes, natural phenomena (e.g. atmospheric phenomena such as ball lightning or, quite often, the planet Venus), camera artifacts, or experimental military aircraft, these incidents defy such explanations. While there are no doubt many secret aircraft in service with impressive and perhaps surprising performance and abilities, there are still reasonable limits to what we can expect of next-generation or even medium-term aerospace technology. It is simply is not realistic from a propulsion or structures perspective for a vehicle (manned or unmanned) to perform near-instantaneous maneuvers involving hundreds or thousands of G’s of acceleration. With no visible means of propulsion, and no sonic boom, to boot.

By process of elimination, this leaves us with either 1. an extraterrestrial hypothesis to explain such phenomena or 2. a supernatural hypothesis. Strictly speaking, an interdimensional hypothesis is also a logical possibility, but see Hugh Ross (in the work cited below) on the problems with this.

I believe that the prospects for practical faster-than-light (FTL) travel are exceedingly poor, given our current understanding of physics as of 2021 (more on this below). And as such this renders the extraterrestrial hypothesis highly unlikely. FTL travel is almost universally-acknowledged as the only realistic method of interstellar (to say nothing of intergalactic) travel, that an extraterrestrial life-form would need to employ to reach Earth.

So what should a Christian make of all of these recent, perplexing, provocative videos and news reports? I believe it furnishes compelling evidence of activities of the supernatural or spiritual realm, and spiritual beings. Physical explanations, we have seen, are not adequate. It is probably the case that Christians (to say nothing of our secular friends) have been too dismissive of UFO phenomena, filing them universally and without discrimination into the categories of the more conventional and mundane explanations mentioned above.

Without a doubt, the definitive work on this subject from a Christian perspective is Lights In the Sky & Little Green Men, written by Hugh Ross (astrophysicist and founder of Reasons to Believe ministry), Kenneth Samples, and Mark Clark, and was published in 2002. While slightly dated, the central thesis and the vast majority of the content holds up rather well. It promotes the supernatural hypothesis, and further that the supernatural beings are, in fact, demons on account of the deception that seems to be involved. (Note: with their nomenclature they label their view as an interdimensional hypothesis, although they differentiate their non-physical/spiritual view from views involving the 10 known physical dimensions).

In chapter 5 Ross provides an excellent overview of the problems with interstellar space travel, mainly touching on sub-light-speed travel and the nearly-insuperable barriers involved there. While he does cover the issue of wormholes (you need to fly into a black hole, in which case every particle of your body/vehicle is utterly destroyed), he otherwise doesn’t broach the issue of the plausibility of FTL travel.

With Albert Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, physicists have known that the speed of light is the universe’s speed limit. This theory has been well-supported by experiments over the last century, and few doubt its veracity. Nonetheless, some have wondered if there is a way “around” this. Not by violating this speed limit, but by “warping” the fabric of space itself, bunching up or stretching space like a knit quilt. This, of course, is the “warp drive” of Star Trek and so much other science fiction.

There were essentially no serious proposals in the world of theoretical physics for such a means of FTL propulsion, until 1994 when Miguel Alcubierre proposed a method that comported with General Relativity. The problem was that it required negative energy. A lot of it. So an interesting theoretical exercise, but otherwise hopeless.

Just this year (2021), there has been two papers that have presented concepts for positive-energy warp travel. One is, in fact, still slower-than-light travel, but at least does not resort to a requirement for negative energy. The other, by Erik Lentz, provides FTL travel but:

“Currently, the amount of energy required for this new type of space propulsion drive is still immense. Lentz explains, “The energy required for this drive travelling at light speed encompassing a spacecraft of 100 meters in radius is on the order of hundreds of times of the mass of the planet Jupiter.”

I certainly don’t have a few hundred Jupiters lying around for such purposes, so this isn’t promising. To be fair, Lentz does go on to say “several energy-saving mechanisms have been proposed in earlier research that can potentially lower the energy required by nearly 60 orders of magnitude.” But at this juncture ALL of the above proposals are so theoretical, we really need something beyond these notional papers to get within the realm of credibility.

To conclude, a few theological takeaways:

1. We have in the recent UFO videos and testimony, compelling evidence of non-physical beings and their remarkable intrusions and activities in our world. And that, at minimum, this demonstrates the reality of supernatural phenomena, and thus a refutation of materialism (i.e. the belief that physical reality is all there is).
2. A strong caution that we should not seek to communicate with or put ourselves into any position to be deceived by these beings. Fundamentally, this isn’t a new problem: many cults and false religions in the history of the world have involved deception from evil spirits.
3. The good news is that many of our secular friends also find the recent UFO evidences to be compelling. As well they should. And there we have an excellent opportunity to witness to them about Christianity. That our worldview can fully account for such supernatural phenomena, especially when contrasted with atheistic/materialist alternatives.

Along with Ross’ book, please spend a few minutes to view the very up-to-date “Goy for Jesus” video here. An excellent overview of the recent phenomena and analysis from a Protestant, Christian perspective.