A Message from Mars

I am often asked if the Bible says anything about life on other planets (the short answer is “No”). Still, a question I have always wondered about is, “If intelligent aliens exist, why on earth would they want to communicate with us?”

The first report of “flying saucers” came in 1947 from Kenneth Arnold. He reported seeing “a string of nine, shiny unidentified flying objects flying past Mount Rainier at speeds that Arnold estimated at a minimum of 1,200 miles an hour (1,932 km/hr). This was the first post-War sighting in the United States that garnered nationwide news coverage and is credited with being the first of the modern era of UFO sightings, including numerous reported sightings over the next two to three weeks. Arnold’s description of the objects also led to the press quickly coining the terms flying saucer and flying disc as popular descriptive terms for UFOs.” [1]

However, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence preceded that UFO craze.

By the early part of the twentieth century, it was widely believed that planets in our solar system – most particularly, Mars and Venus – were in all likelihood inhabited by extraterrestrial civilizations. In 1901, inventor Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) announced that he had encountered odd electrical disturbances in his lab, “with such a clear suggestion of number and order” that he believed they could only be considered signals from Mars. “The feeling is constantly growing on me,” he explained, “that I had been the first to hear the greeting of one planet to another. A purpose was behind these electrical signals.” Years later, radio inventor Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937) claimed to have had a similar experience, convinced that in 1919 he too had intercepted messages from Mars. … While the notion of Martian radio signals was greeted by some engineers and scientists at the time to be little more than wild speculation, others believed the possibility was worth serious study.[2]

American astronomer David Peck Todd argued that if there were Martians, they would probably try to radio earth when the two planets were closest to each other. That date was August 21, 1924. But, if the Martians did try to radio us, would we hear them? Thus “National Radio Silence Day” was born. Owners were asked to keep their radios silent for five minutes every hour so we could listen. The U.S. Naval Observatory carried a radio receiver three miles high in a dirigible. Todd and a navy admiral led the effort supported by an army cryptographer tasked with translating any signals they received.[3]

They didn’t hear anything; however, since the 1960s, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) has continued to listen for voices from beyond our planet. Perhaps they just aren’t tuned to the correct wavelength:

In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe (Hebrews 1:1 – 2).

  [1] Downloaded from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_Arnold_UFO_sighting April 5, 2021

[2] Downloaded from https://www.reddit.com/r/todayilearned/ April 5, 2021

[3] Downloaded from https://ufopast.com/2016/12/28/martian-signals-and-the-national-radio-silence-day-of-1924/ April 5, 2021

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