During an interview with The Guardian, Helen Sharman, the first Briton to travel to space 28 years ago, revealed her belief in aliens. She began the piece by touching on her childhood, her lifelong habit of looking past gender to define herself, and how it felt to look at Earth from space for the first time.
From there, Sharman touched on the topic of extraterrestrial life.
“Aliens exist, there’s no two ways about it,” she said. “There are so many billions of stars out there in the universe that there must be all sorts of different forms of life.”
Sherman suggested that possible alien life might be biologically diverse and not necessarily similar to humans. She even suggested that they may have a composition that humans have yet to learn how to detect.
“Will they be like you and me, made up of carbon and nitrogen? Maybe not. It’s possible they’re here right now and we simply can’t see them.”
Per Newsweek, Sharman was one of four candidates selected to head to space out of 19,000 applicants. Following Sharman’s selection, she went through 18 months of training before boarding the Soyuz TM-12 for its 1991 mission and spending eight days above the Earth.
“There’s no greater beauty than looking at the Earth from up high – and I’ll never forget the first time I saw it,” she said of her experience in space. “After take-off we left the atmosphere and suddenly light streamed in through the window. We were over the Pacific Ocean. The gloriously deep blue seas took my breath away.”
Sharman spent the majority of her mission on the space station Mir, where she conducted cultural activities and experiments. Upon her return to Earth, she worked as an educator and ambassador for sciences before releasing her 1993 autobiography, Seize The Moment.
Although Sharman did not see evidence of extraterrestrial life on her travels, her belief aligns with the general scientific consensus – that statistical probability suggests alien life exists somewhere in the universe. Researchers reportedly know that there are more than 4,000 planets outside of Earth’s solar system, which lies in the Milky Way galaxy. In this galaxy, there are estimated to be between 100 and 400 billion stars, leaving plenty of possibilities for the existence of aliens.
It’s a belief not too far-fetched for the average American, either. A September Gallup poll of 1,522 U.S. adults revealed that approximately one-third of Americans believe that UFOs are visiting Earth. Not only that, three-quarters of the survey’s respondents said they believe that aliens exist on other planets. Notably, these same respondents did not think that extraterrestrial spacecraft were visiting our planet.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson recently appeared on History Channel’s Ancient Aliens and dropped a bombshell for believers in aliens. The 50-year-old Fox News commentator said that a source told him the United States government has “physical evidence” that extraterrestrial spacecraft have made their way to Earth — though it’s unclear whether the purported evidence suggests the landings were intentional or accidental.