The aliens in movies and television shows are rarely friendly to humanity. For every E.T. or ALF, there are dozens of ‘Malicious Extraterrestrial Civilizations,’ or predators, body snatchers, shape-shifters, Klingons, and other space murderers. When purported extraterrestrial encounters occur in real life, the visitors almost never kill (unless you’re a cow), choosing instead to prod and pierce both bodies and brains. However, it would be naive to presume that all alien civilizations are benign; after all, they share a common evolutionary history with us violent humans. That is why current initiatives by NASA and others to send signals to stars that seem to house intelligent life are causing so many space scientists and serious thinkers to express their alarm. What are the chances that these life forms are hostile and are aware of our location? How many Milky Ways are there in our own galaxy? That topic is addressed in this recent study, and the response is “not none.”
The first significant interstellar radio transmissions to possibly habitable worlds nearby might be sent, according to these discoveries, which could serve as the basis for an international discussion.
Alberto Caballero, a PhD candidate in conflict resolution at the University of Vigo in Spain and the author of “Estimating the Prevalence of Malicious Extraterrestrial Civilizations,” is knowledgeable about extraterrestrial communications. He recently identified the star that is most likely to be home to the advanced civilization responsible for the infamous “WOW!” signal from back in 1977. He discovered 2MASS 19281982-2640123 as a result of his hunt for neighboring stars that resemble our Sun and have possibly habitable extraterrestrial planets. Caballero’s quest for malevolent extraterrestrial civilizations in our galaxy did not begin with astronomical data, in contrast to the search for the origin of “WOW!”
The calculation is based on the history of invasions in the world over the past century, the militaries of the participating nations, and the pace of increase in global energy consumption.
After compiling a list of country to country invasions on Earth between 1915 and 2022 and counting 51 in total (Earth has 195 official countries), Caballero made the assumption that intelligent extraterrestrial civilizations will be human-like but have attained level Type-1 on the Kardashev Scale (capable of nearby interstellar travel). This is a small number considering that time period included both World War I and II. He utilized the estimate of Italian astronomer and SETI researcher Claudio Maccone—15,785 potential civilizations—to calculate the total number of exoplanets in the Milky Way that may support a Type-1 civilization. How many of those humanoid Type I extraterrestrials are hostile ETs with the ability to attack Earth, based on humanity’s penchant for invasion?
4.42 civilizations if all of them were like mankind (we aren’t a Type 0 yet), and 0.22 Type-1 civilizations (capable of close interplanetary travel). Because we don’t know whether every civilisation in the galaxy is like us (below Type-0), and because we don’t yet have the technology to visit other civilizations’ planets (we will have that technology once we become a Type-1), I don’t discuss the 4.42 civilizations in my study.
Caballero estimates there are four (actually 4.42) hostile extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way in an interview with Vice, but that doesn’t mean they would attack Earth because that would require them to know we exist, which requires them to receive one of the METI signals NASA and others want to send. Caballero seeks to calculate the likelihood that an intelligent intruder will do as much harm on Earth as the Chicxulub asteroid did to the dinosaurs in order to make such an invasion really wicked. He calculates that we would only need to transmit a total of 18 interstellar communications to various possibly inhabited exoplanets in order to receive that type of reaction. He calculates that a maximum of 18,000 signals sent to various inhabited planets might result in alien contact for less devastating invasions.
Do we have to die?
Caballero adds the factor of energy usage. He points out that while global energy use has increased over the past 50 years, invasion frequency has decreased over same time. If a civilisation is genuinely human-like in this regard, it should need a huge amount of energy consumption to achieve Type I, which should reduce their urge for invasion. Caballero explains it in ways that we can understand.
The probability of invasion by a malicious civilization would be equal to that of Earth colliding with a global-catastrophe asteroid, even if we sent up to 18,000 interstellar messages to various exoplanets.
In other words, we are doomed in any case.