Ridley Scott, the creator of the Alien film franchise and director of its latest installment, Alien: Covenant, has joined a vaunted list of prominent voices who believe that an encounter with an advanced extraterrestrial civilization would likely spell the end of humanity or, at the very least, be the end of the world as we know it. In a recent interview, Scott said that not only does he have no doubt that aliens exist but that our best line of defense against “superior beings” would be to not confront them. Otherwise, humans would be “taken out” in a matter of seconds.
In an interview with Agence France Presse in the ramp-up to the release of his new movie, Alien: Covenant, on May 19, Ridley Scott said that he believed in the likelihood that more advanced beings existed in the universe. And in being on a developmental scale levels above humans, challenging them would be an exercise in futility.
“I believe in superior beings,” he said. “I think it is certainly likely. An expert I was talking to at NASA said to me, ‘Have you ever looked in the sky at night? You mean to tell me we are it?’ That’s ridiculous.”
He continued: “The experts have now put a number on it, having assessed what is out there. They say that there are between 100 and 200 entities that could be having a similar evolution to us right now.” He then added jokingly, “So when you see a big thing in the sky, run for it.”
But why should humans be cautious around aliens? “Because they are a lot smarter than we are,” Scott asserted, “and if you are stupid enough to challenge them you will be taken out in three seconds.”
Ridley Scott’s view of conquering and/or destructive aliens is certainly not unique. In fact, he joins such luminaries as theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, who issued a warning in 2010 that transmitting messages to the stars (for example, the METI, or Messaging ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence, International project), effectively signaling to the universe Earth’s presence, might not be wise and could get the attention of advanced alien beings who might not have humanity’s best interest in mind.
Hawking first broached the subject in his Discovery Channel series Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking, where he said that expecting kind and welcoming aliens might be somewhat naive.
“Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads,” he suggested, “looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they could reach. If so, it makes sense for them to exploit each new planet for material to build more spaceships so they could move on. Who knows what the limits would be?”
Hawking reiterated his concerns about first contact with technological superior aliens in the 2016 CuriosityStream documentary Stephen Hawking’s Favorite Places, where he pointed out, according to a separate Space report) that Earth might one day receive some form of communication from an exoplanet like Gliese 832c, a potentially habitable world.
“But we should be wary of answering back,” Hawking cautioned. “Meeting an advanced civilization could be like Native Americans encountering Columbus. That didn’t turn out so well.”
Alien: Covenant, the sixth movie in the popular science fiction film franchise, is scheduled for a May 19 release. The latest installment continues the story begun in the 1979 hit Alien, a series that follows humanity’s encounter with intelligent space-faring life forms that, for whatever reason, prove hostile and seem to view humans as inconvenient, adversarial, and, at times, hosts for their developing young.
[Featured Image by Lynne Sladky/AP Images]