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Aliens could be "walking among us" on Earth, Harvard researchers suggest

Do aliens walk among us on Earth? Researcher shares cryptoterrestrial hypothesis
Do aliens walk among us on Earth? Researcher shares cryptoterrestrial hypothesis 13:35

CAMBRIDGE - Are we alone in the universe? A recent paper from researchers at Harvard University puts an interesting twist on one of humanity's biggest questions.

The paper, which is not affiliated with the university, addresses a resurgent interest in UFOs, known officially as Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena or UAPs by the government. The United States is tracking more than 650 potential UFOs, a Pentagon official said last year.

Harvard researchers Tim Lomas, Brendan Case and Montana Technological University professor Michael Masters put forward a "cryptoterrestrial hypothesis" for the UFOs, theorizing that there's a "concealed earthly explanation" for the sightings. They argue scientists should seriously consider this possibility, alongside explanations that pilots are actually seeing human-made technology or something from an advanced civilization in another part of space. 

"We've seen these cockpit videos so many times ... but what's inside?" Masters said in an interview with CBS News Boston.

What is the cryptoterrestrial hypothesis?

The trio explains that the cryptoterrestrial hypothesis suggests that the intelligent beings responsible for the UFOs may be "concealed in stealth" on Earth or nearby. That could mean they are underground, on the far side of the moon or "even walking among us" and passing as humans.

"We're not saying this is right, we're not saying that this is absolutely 100% the case, we're saying these are some potentialities, these are some possibilities to help explain the origin of these beings," Masters said.

Masters is a biological anthropologist who said he was asked to help research potential explanations for UFOs. He said "aliens" may actually just be humans from far in the future who have figured out how to time travel. 

Are aliens just humans from the future?

Masters said the beings in reported alien encounters are "ubiquitously described as looking just like us." He argues it's highly unlikely that aliens looking just like humans would be from another planet. It "may simply be that they're us," he said. 

"We may go on to look like them," Masters said, referring to typical depictions of "little green men." "Based on our evolutionary characteristics over the last 6 to 8 million years, we are arguably going to have bigger heads, smaller faces, more advanced technology and a lot of these traits are described in association with these beings."

He speculates that the intelligent beings may have "gone underground until we're ready for contact."

"We must seem extremely primitive to them based on what we see flying around in the skies," Masters said.

"Something that we should all be talking about"

A Pentagon report released this year says there's no evidence that any UAP sighting "represented extraterrestrial technology." And while the researchers acknowledge that their paper is "a speculative thought piece," they say it still deserves serious consideration.

"It is something that we should all be talking about," Masters said. 

He said technology from the future could help humans tackle the big problems they face today, such as climate change.

"What if we all just opened our minds to the fact that there's this thing much bigger than us right now, and what could we learn from it?" he said. 

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