Harvard Astronomer Avi Loeb joins Whitley to discuss his theory that Oumuamua, the first interstellar object to be detected moving through our solar system, could have been an extraterrestrial spacecraft. When the longest-serving chair of the Department of Astronomy at Harvard declared that he thought there was reason to believe that the object was an alien artifact, the “never aliens” contingent of the scientific community reacted with shock and skepticism. However, Dr. Loeb has made a convincing case, which he lays out in this interview and in his new book, Extraterrestrial: the First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth.

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This is the first in a series about fast-developing new modalities of ET discovery and contact.

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20 Comments

  1. Really enjoyed this interview. Avi’s open mind is so needed in science and his influence on his students is invaluable for our continuing search for answers of existence. Whitley always asks the best questions. Thank you for this unique show.

  2. Whitley, you mentioned a couple of times about your suspicion of the physical impossibility of, what was it?… easy jumping across the Universe, at close to light speed, or faster than light travel, perhaps? If so, is that not the kind of thinking that Avi Loeb is railing against?

    1. I was also surprised by this. Faster than light travel is very possible, we just do not have the science or technology yet. Our science and understanding of the Universe is extremely young and immature.

      1. Author

        I think that light speed is an extraordinarily important barrier, and for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that an object’s mass increases exponentially as it reaches toward that speed, as does the relative mass of anything it might impact. So the idea of spaceships that travel at anything close to light speed through the physical universe is quite improbable.

        That doesn’t mean that I don’t think that it’s possible to get around in the universe. Having been out of my body many times, I can certainly attest to the fact that one can indeed move at something close to the speed of light. As to how such travel might result in re-entry into the physical world, I go through one possible method in my novel the Grays.

        If there are beings moving around in the physical state, I think that something like a VonNeumann machine must be involved. I discuss this in the interview with Steve Lazarus that will be posted on the 19th, as he addresses it in his book.

        The idea that a physically useful wormhole could be created between two different parts of the same universe seems impossible, for the simple reason that it would obviously take more energy than exists in that universe to bend it. However, I DO think that travel BETWEEN universes is quite possible, and indeed, the physics of wormholes between parallel universes is very different and far less energy intensive, and I think that it’s done routinely.

        I wanted to keep to Dr. Loeb’s subject in my interview with him, so I didn’t want to speculate very far into areas that he doesn’t discuss in his book.

        My takeaway from the book and interview is that he has opened up a possible new line of scientific inquiry into the discovery of non-Earth intelligence: the search for debris left behind in our solar system.

        1. If an antigravity field could be projected around a ship, would that not nullify its momentum, to allow massive acceleration up to close to light speeds?

          Never say never.

          Give me a few hundred years in a well equipped shed and I’ll crack it 😉 …as Avi says…don’t listen to ‘experts’…

          https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lOq7OVpbQq4

          1. Sherbet, I always like to say, ‘give me enough time and money, I will solve any problem’. Haha

        2. Special Relativity is like looking in a fun house mirror, it is what is observed here for the observer, not the reality of the observed. Gravity is much faster than light, as light is of sound. Using a rocket engine ejecting mass, the energy required approaches infinity, but we are not seeing such primitive propulsion used. Soon perhaps humanity will be ready to learn more, but we have a great number of more pressing problems which are being ignored.

        3. Rupert Shedrake had a Ted Talk – The science delusion – which was banned by an unknown group of controllers, but it backfired and sent the video viral:
          * The ignorant powers in control did not do science and refute anything, but sought to maintain the illusion by force.
          * Rupert provides evidence that ‘c’ the speed of light is not a constant.
          * Rupert provides evidence that Big G is not a constant.
          * How can something that is not a constant be a
          limitation?
          * None of Einsteins papers would be published in today’s pseudo science religion of philosophical materialism (perhaps there are other places in the world where true inquiry is supported?).

          I am not a professional scientist, but I do commune with nature and I have absolutely no doubt that there is not such thing as a constant. The whole idea of a constant is Euclidean, Victorian delusion. I am also sure if science would take this one step forward, a whole new paradigm of what is possible would emerge.

  3. Interesting interview. I would have liked to have heard his take on the Tic-Tac video which the Navy confirmed was a UAP. It could have been an ET Ship, an AI probe, or something more exotic like a luminous living creature; but it was highly unlikely it was of human origin AND it was intelligently controlled and knew when it was under observation.

  4. Author

    I would have loved to have gotten to Tic-Tac but his time was limited and as there’s nothing about this subject in his book, I didn’t have time to go beyond what he did write about. Wish I had!

    1. Understood, it was a great interview. He is obviously a very intelligent person and also brave to step out of the box.

  5. I’ve been following the ‘Oumuamua’ story ever since its discovery and find that I am still on the fence about it…Since day one, the media has been running the same ‘artist rendering ‘ of the object as nothing more than a big rock, tumbling end-over-end in space. When I finally saw a real photo taken of Oumuamua as nothing more than a pinpoint of light, I became more intrigued because I realized how much the public was being duped about the object and what it really could be. If it is some kind of alien technology for exploring the Universe, we know it’s a very old, ancient technology, and that in and of itself raises a lot of questions and speculation.

    I think it is also important that we realize that maybe some space-faring civilizations aren’t necessarily looking for beings such as ourselves. The sheer diversity of life on our planet is mind-boggling. Many years ago, I thought that our planet wasn’t anything special, and that the Universe was full of planets like ours, bursting with all kinds of life-forms. Now, I am not so sure, and maybe some civilizations are more interested in Earth’s large diversity of life—not just us.

    In the movie, ‘E.T., The Extraterrestrial’, E.T. became Elliot’s friend, but not because he was looking for a friend or even in search of intelligent life. E.T was basically a botanist, and his people were exploring a forest and getting samples of other life—and avoiding the ‘intelligent’ species that we call human beings. E.T. soon became anxious to just get home.

    Like so many things, we first see space as a place to be explored and learn more about, followed by exploitation. We also seek others in order to not feel alone in the vast expanses of our Universe. We also know that our planet cannot go on forever, and that we must evolve into something more than what we are and spread ourselves, and other forms of Earth-life, elsewhere. Oumuamua gives hope that others have been on the same journey as us.

  6. I’ve been following the ‘Oumuamua’ story ever since its discovery and find that I am still on the fence about it…Since day one, the media has been running the same ‘artist rendering ‘ of the object as nothing more than a big rock, tumbling end-over-end in space. When I finally saw a real photo taken of Oumuamua as nothing more than a pinpoint of light, I became more intrigued because I realized how much the public was being duped about the object and what it really could be. If it is some kind of alien technology for exploring the Universe, we know it’s a very old, ancient technology, and that in and of itself raises a lot of questions and speculation.

    I think it is also important that we realize that maybe some space-faring civilizations aren’t necessarily looking for beings such as ourselves. The sheer diversity of life on our planet is mind-boggling. Many years ago, I thought that our planet wasn’t anything special, and that the Universe was full of planets like ours, bursting with all kinds of life-forms. Now, I am not so sure, and maybe some civilizations are more interested in Earth’s large diversity of life—not just us.

    In the movie, ‘E.T., The Extraterrestrial’, E.T. became Elliot’s friend, but not because he was looking for a friend or even in search of intelligent life. E.T was basically a botanist, and his people were exploring a forest and getting samples of other life—and avoiding the ‘intelligent’ species that we call human beings. E.T. soon became anxious to just get home.

    Like so many things, we first see space as a place to be explored and learn more about, followed by exploitation. We also seek others in order to not feel alone in the vast expanses of our Universe. We also know that our planet cannot go on forever, and that we must evolve into something more than what we are. Oumuamua gives hope that we are not doing something entirely new, and that others were blazing trails long, long ago.

    Wow.

  7. I recently read his book and really appreciate his bravery and open-mindedness in approaching this subject. He is a true scientist, calling out the high priests of science and academe who are actively trying to suppress whatever doesn’t reaffirm their dogma.

    However, several conclusions/observations/theses he presents here reveal his lack of familiarity with the abduction syndrome and witness testimony, as well as burgeoning understanding of quantum mechanics as it relates to the dilemma of space travel, i.e., the ability to fold space/time and jump between dimensions, instead of nuts and bolts ships traveling the 3-D distance of space. But that does not ultimately take away from the power and validity of this book. I hope it reaches a wide audience.

  8. Author

    I wondered what he thought about things like Tic-Tac, the abduction syndrome and so forth, but I didn’t ask him for two reasons. First, there’s nothing about those subjects in his book. Second, he is facing enough blowback as it is without going on the record about other controversial topics.

    1. Very true! And I haven’t listened to the podcast yet (I plan to tonight – can’t wait!), nor was expecting the subject of abductions to be brought up and elaborated on. That’s absolutely a subject he’s not professing to know or write about. I just observed that angle of it while reading; some of his theories or explanations might be answered or informed by the separate but intertwined area of witness testimony. It would be fascinating to merge his book with this other angle in some form.

      1. Also, I recently read Ingo Swann’s book Penetration, in which he details the scientific evidence, including from NASA, of an atmosphere on the moon. There is apparently a wealth of evidence to support this.

  9. Thank you for this great interview. It was around the 40-minute mark that I started hearing some brief garbled noises on this Dreamland recording (the high quality MP3 version that I was listening to). Those noises happened about the time that Whitley and Dr. Loeb were talking about the near-Earth habitable zone in our solar system, and lasted around 30 seconds in total duration.

    I haven’t bought Extraterrestrial yet (his book) but I plan to. It’s great to hear that it’s on publishers’ bestseller lists already. I look forward to future papers and journal articles that will be published by Dr. Loeb and his students, which will evidently include their group’s refinements on the search for extraterrestrial life, space archaeology, and more.

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