Editor's take: Some conspiracy theorists believe we are on the brink of a major disclosure event – that is, admission by the US government or perhaps others that we are not alone in the universe. Others, like SpaceX founder Elon Musk, aren’t yet convinced based on the limited evidence on the table thus far.

In a recent exchange on Twitter, Musk said he has seen no evidence of an advanced civilization visiting Earth, adding that “fuzzy pictures that are worse than a 7/11 security cam frame grab don’t count.”

Musk brings up a valid point. Much of the world’s population now carry smartphones equipped with cameras, so shouldn’t there be an uptick in sighting videos? Then again, if a civilization has invented a craft that can fly here from another planet, they've probably figured out how to make it stealth, too.

Earlier this year, the Department of Defense publicly released video footage captured years ago by the Navy of “aerial phenomenon” which remains “unidentified.” In any other year, such a release might have been huge news, but with Covid-19 and everything else going on, it was more or less glossed over.

Renowned government whistleblower Edward Snowden told Joe Rogan in a podcast late last year that, even with his ridiculous access to restricted networks belonging to the CIA, the NSA and the military, he was unable to find any evidence pointing to aliens.

Just because there is no evidence doesn’t mean these people don’t suspect something is going on. Snowden in his admission said “there probably are [aliens].” Musk has even suggested the possibility of an arguably more bizarre reality – that we exist simply as a simulation being conducted by an advanced civilization.

“The odds that we are in base reality is one in billions,” Musk told tech journalist Joshua Topolsky.

Astronomers have also studied millions of stars for signs of alien life and have come up empty. SETI@home, a project that used distributed computing to help analyze data from radio telescopes, was shut down earlier this year after having been in operation since 1999.

Perhaps the most compelling account in support of alien life comes from Bob Lazar, a scientist that claims to have worked on reverse engineering the propulsion system from an alien spacecraft (one of nine) at a top secret base near Area 51 called S4. Lazar first came forward with his claims back in 1989 but resurfaced last year in an appearance on Rogan’s podcast.

Masthead credit: Aphelleon