How Winston Churchill’s Views on Aliens Were Revealed in Lost Letter
by Callum Hoare May 1, 2019 (express.co.uk )
• Sir Winston Churchill was a hero politician and army officer who led the UK to victory in World War II as Prime Minister. What many do not know, is Churchill was also fascinated by the possibility of extraterrestrial life.
• At the beginning of WWII in 1939, Churchill wrote a science document which he updated in the 1950’s. One of the sections asked the question: “Are we alone in the Universe?” wherein he reasoned like a scientist about the likelihood of life on other planets capable of sustaining advanced life.
• Churchill defined ‘life’ as “the ability to breed and multiply”, noting the importance of water to sustain life. In considering the likelihood that other stars could host planets, Churchill concluded that a large fraction of these distant worlds “will be the right size to keep on their surface water and possibly an atmosphere of some sort”. And some worlds would be “at the proper distance from their parent sun to maintain a suitable temperature”. Churchill is describing what scientists now describe as the “habitable” or “Goldilocks” zone – the narrow region around a star where it is neither too hot nor too cold for life.
• “I for one, am not so immensely impressed by the success we are making of our civilization here that I am prepared to think we are the only spot in this immense universe which contains living, thinking creatures, or that we are the highest type of mental and physical development which has ever appeared in the vast compass of space and time,” wrote Churchill.
• Churchill’s essay predicts great opportunities for exploration of the Solar System. “One day, possibly even in the not very distant future, it may be possible to travel to the Moon, or even to Venus and Mars,” Churchill wrote.
• [Editor’s Note] British intelligence records released in 2010 showed that the prime minister also ordered that a reported UFO sighting by the Royal Air Force during World War II be kept secret in order to avoid “mass panic.”
Sir Winston Churchill, the embodiment of the British bulldog spirit, was a hero politician and army officer who led the UK to victory in World War 2. The wartime leader, who was Prime Minister from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955, played a vital role in defending liberal democracy from the spread of fascism adopted by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany and the Axis Powers. However, what many do not know, is Churchill was also fascinated by the possibility of extraterrestrial life.
In 1939, just after World War 2 broke out, the Nobel Prize winner put pen to paper to create an 11-page science document.
It wasn’t until the Fifties that Churchill returned to the document, though, and the updated version was never published.
Churchill passed away on January 24, 1965, and the papers were forgotten about until they reemerged in 2017 at the National Churchill Museum in Fulton, Missouri, by director Timothy Riley.
He noted how one part questioned: “Are we alone in the Universe?”
In this, the wartime leader reasoned like a scientist about the likelihood of life on other planets capable of sustaining advanced life.
The former Prime Minister builds on the Copernican Principle – the idea that human life on Earth should not be unique given the vastness of the Universe.
He went on to define life as “the ability to breed and multiply”, noting the importance of water to sustain life, adding: “All living things of the type we know require it.”
More than 50 years before the discovery of exoplanets, he considered the likelihood that other stars would host planets, concluding that a large fraction of these distant worlds “will be the right size to keep on their surface water and possibly an atmosphere of some sort”.
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