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UK’s top UFO expert shares one major fallout from finding aliens



What would finding aliens mean for religion? (Picture: Getty)

The discovery of alien life could turbocharge religious division and hatred, the UK’s leading UFO expert has warned.

Nick Pope, who investigated unidentified flying objects (UFOs) for the Ministry of Defence (MoD), warned of the fallout days after it was revealed that the UK government is investigating how it would reveal the discovery of extraterrestrial life to the public.

Speaking to, Mr Pope said the discovery of aliens could also reignite centuries-old tensions between science and religion.

‘The religious implications of finding alien life will be particularly tricky,’ he said. ‘History shows that the relationship between science and religion has always been difficult, and that differences in religious beliefs fuel divisions and hatreds that we see in the world today. 

‘Throwing alien life into this already volatile situation could be explosive. 

‘Some religious scholars have considered the theological implications of extraterrestrial life, but we won’t really know how this will play out until the rubber hits the road.’

Nick Pope investigated UFOs for the Ministry of Defence

One of the most famous clashes between scientists and religious leaders is the indefinite house arrest of Italian philosopher and astronomer Galileo Galilei for suggesting the Earth orbited the Sun, and was not the centre of the universe.

‘Gone are the days when the Church would burn people at the stake for perceived heresies, but tensions remain, and finding extraterrestrials may reignite them,’ said Mr Pope.

Flat-Earthers aside, it is now generally accepted that the planet orbits the Sun. However, the discovery of extraterrestrial life, especially if intelligent, would pose another significant challenge to the notion of a Creator – not least the idea that humans were created in their image. 

Such a finding would not only pose a problem due to the enormity of the revelation, but also how it is communicated. In recent years, public denial of science has grown, accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Covid vaccines have been widely protested despite evidence of their safety (Picture: Getty)

Mr Pope said: ‘Some people in the US intelligence community – which takes the issue of UAP [unidentified anomalous phenomena, formerly UFOs] far more seriously than the UK – have used the phrase “catastrophic disclosure” to describe a sudden revelation of the existence of extraterrestrial life, particularly if the announcement is made by an adversary. 

‘That’s why this DSIT [Department of Science, Innovation and Technology] study is of critical importance, and is an opportunity to prepare people for what may be the biggest revelation of all time.’

Generally, science collaboration continues in the face of war and other conflicts, with the need for progress that benefits humanity put above geopolitics and even war crimes.

But should, for example, Russia or North Korea announce it has proof of alien life, the public may be more sceptical than if the announcement came from Switzerland.

The discovery of intelligent alien life would have worldwide ramifications (Picture: Getty)

Likewise, the impact on various religions, depending on the origin of the claim, may vary, but some are already preparing for the news.

‘The Catholic Church seems to be ahead of the game here, which has prompted some in the UFO community to speculate that they already know some fundamental truth about aliens,’ said Mr Pope. 

‘In 2008 the then-director of the Vatican’s observatory, José Gabriel Funes, said that there was no doctrinal objection to the existence of alien life, essentially because humans can’t put creative limits on God.’

Other religions have been less open regarding their thoughts on the existence of alien life, prompting concerns for if – or when – the discovery is made.

‘Sadly, we see all too frequently the way in which differences in religious beliefs generate hatreds that divide the world, and have led to intolerance, persecution and even war,’ said Mr Pope. 

‘So the question of how the world’s major religions will incorporate the existence of aliens into their doctrine isn’t just some intellectually-stimulating philosophical question. It’s a question where the answer will have critically important, real-world consequences.’

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