- Culture & Travel
Let’s Discuss Aliens: Do They Exist?
A still from E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) [Courtesy: Pinterest]
76 years,1,70,000 Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) sightings—and counting. The National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC), established in 1947, continues to record thousands each year in the US alone. Just recently, UFO enthusiast Jaime Maussan presented the fossilised remains of non-human entities at the Mexican congressional hearing, sparking global curiosity—and condemnation. A ‘hoax’, as many claim it to be, NASA deemed the findings inconclusive, while astrophysicists demanded transparency.
Neutrino astronomy has also witnessed a major breakthrough, with observatories detecting the evidence of neutrinos from outside the solar system—ushering in a new era of astroparticle physics. These compelling discoveries shed light on the possibility of life beyond Earth.
However, despite whistleblower claims on UFO sightings, NASA astrobiologists have dispelled concerns about habitable environments beyond Earth. Shifting focus from sensationalism to science, NASA declared that it requires novel techniques and advanced satellite systems to study unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP).
But the question is: do you believe in aliens? While intelligent life beyond Earth is yet to be discovered, who’s to say it’s just a figment of our imagination? To quote American astronomer Carl Sagan, “The universe is a pretty big place. If it’s just us, seems like an awful waste of space.”
The Word. Magazine asks five contributors to tell us if they believe in the existence of extraterrestrial life and the potential cultural impact of alien contact.
Fashion Stylist and Brand Consultant
“I am what they call a ‘Trekkie’—a die-hard fan of the iconic Star Trek franchise, for the uninitiated—and, hence, I can’t envisage a Universe without cool, sexy aliens. Growing up, I spent many a night awake, peeping from under the covers, wondering whether the dancing lights outside were flying saucers. I also worshipped the alter of Lady Gaga, who nearly convinced me that aliens live amongst us—of course, better dressed than shabby Earthlings.
However, over the years, my perception of aliens has changed. From envisioning bright green, funny beings popularised in early ’90s shows, today, I imagine them to be uber-stylish and brooding—think [Maison] Margiela meets Rick Owens. Just imagine the colossal impact of alien cultural exchange on fashion, music, science, and ahem, sex. How could we possibly deny ourselves all the fantasy and curiosity? Our mundane existence craves a sprinkle of wonder, imagination, and alien intervention. Perhaps, they could rescue our dying planet, or better yet, take us to their psychedelic world, where the possibilities of intergalactic travel and style are endless. I’m aching to discover a parallel dimension not plagued by a human’s inherent melancholy.”
Designer and Founder, Chola
“The vastness of the Universe and the sheer number of potentially habitable planets makes it a plausible theory. While I haven’t had any personal encounters with aliens, I have always been intrigued by UFO sightings and accounts of unexplained phenomena. I recall watching the sci-fi film E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial  as a child—and oh, how it sparked my curiosity. I was captivated by aliens; the idea that intelligent life from a parallel world existed was thrilling, albeit unsettling. Over time, I have grown to appreciate the scientific pursuit of understanding our place in the cosmos.
Today, if an alien were to knock on my door, I’d hope for an open channel of communication; for a chance to learn about their culture and vast knowledge, and to share a bit of my own. The cultural impact of extraterrestrial contact would be profound. It would unite humanity in a shared realisation of our place in the Universe. It may also challenge deep-rooted belief systems, and spark a renaissance of scientific exploration and philosophical contemplation. Giving credence to extraterrestrial life is an exercise in open-mindedness. It acknowledges the enormity of the Universe—and our relatively small place within it. It encourages us to explore and embrace the possibility that we are not alone.”
Co-Founder, Sqube Brand Relations
“Given the immensity of the Universe, it’s statistically impossible for life to not exist on other planets. The probability that the Earth is the sole planet harbouring ecosystems—among an estimated two trillion others—is slim.
As the film E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial  hit screens, my belief in aliens revived. These intelligent entities were perceived as advanced beings, similar to us in many respects. And while that prospect still exists, I wonder whether extraterrestrial life is, perhaps, far more simplistic—much like the erstwhile inhabitants of the Earth. Are aliens, indeed, rational beings? Are they friendly? Are they curious about our planet, as we are about theirs? A tête-à-tête over dinner and drinks sounds good. There’d be an awful lot to learn and teach, spanning fields of technology, medicine, and biophysics; a win-win for both.”
Chef and Founder, Miam Patisserie
“It is safe to say that I was a science nerd back in school, and have contemplated the presence of extraterrestrial life ever since. The human genome has always captivated me, and I believe that if conditions on other planets are optimum, life, in full splendour, can exist. My father is a pilot, and he often recounts instances of eerie, flashing lights in pitch darkness—the thought is both rousing and unnerving.
Aliens used to frighten me…perhaps, they still do. If you were to investigate their cinematic representation, they are seldom portrayed as the ‘good guys’. Nevertheless, if aliens were to show up at my doorstep, I would invite them in for a meal [laughs]. The possibilities are endless, or all could be over with a bang. Believing or not believing in extraterrestrial life is subjective; if we are presented with solid evidence, general perceptions could change.”
“A parallel universe exists—where extraterrestrial life and we can coexist. When you view the Universe as a form of energy, you experience the presence of myriad vibrations. I, too, feel protected by the supernatural energies lingering in my midst. While I can’t speak confidently about the existence of aliens, these positive vibrations will herald the betterment of humanity, furthering knowledge exchange and cultural growth. As for me, it’s about perceiving the energies of higher powers and coexisting in harmony.”