Feature stories, news review, opinion & commentary on Alien Life

Decoding the Cosmos: Key Terminology for the Aspiring UFOlogist

Alien Alien Abduction Alien Life Astrobiology Biosignatures Conspiracy Theories Drake Equation Encounter Extraterrestrial Fermi Paradox Interstellar Kardashev Scale Microbial Life Panspermia SETI UFOs UFO Sightings Extraterrestrial Life

Starting a journey into extraterrestrial life and UFO phenomena? Familiarize yourself with key terms. Extraterrestrial Life refers to life beyond Earth, and UFO (Unidentified Flying Object) to unexplained objects in the sky. The term UAP (Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena) avoids UFO stigma. Alien Abduction is a claimed kidnapping by aliens, and SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) seeks radio signals from alien civilizations. Biosignatures provide scientific evidence of life, while the Drake Equation estimates communicative alien civilizations. The Fermi Paradox addresses the contradiction between the lack of alien life evidence and high probability estimates. The Kardashev Scale measures civilization's technological advancement, and Panspermia posits life spread via space dust. Terms such as Microbial Life, Crop Circles, and the Roswell Incident, amongst others, expand on the diversity and complexity of extraterrestrial phenomena.

Here are 51 terms to review:

  • Extraterrestrial Life: Life that exists outside Earth
  • UFO (Unidentified Flying Object): An object seen in the sky that cannot be identified
  • UAP (Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena): A term used by some organizations instead of \"UFO\" to avoid the stigma and preconceived notions associated with the term UFO.
  • Alien Abduction: A scenario in which individuals claim to be kidnapped by extraterrestrial beings
  • SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence): A project aimed at detecting radio signals from extraterrestrial civilizations
  • Biosignatures: Certain substances or phenomena that provide scientific evidence of past or present life
  • Drake Equation: A formula used to estimate the number of active, communicative extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy
  • Fermi Paradox: The contradiction between the lack of evidence for, and estimates of the high probability of, extraterrestrial life
  • Kardashev Scale: A method of measuring a civilization's level of technological advancement, based on the amount of energy it is able to use
  • Panspermia: The hypothesis that life exists throughout the Universe, distributed by space dust, meteoroids, asteroids, comets, etc
  • Microbial Life: Life forms that are microscopic, such as bacteria, archaea, and certain types of fungi and protozoa
  • Crop Circles: Patterns created by flattening a field of crops, often associated with UFO sightings
  • Roswell Incident: A famous incident in 1947 involving the crash of an alleged UFO near Roswell, New Mexico
  • Ancient Astronauts: A pseudoscientific hypothesis that suggests that aliens have visited Earth in ancient times and influenced human culture
  • Area 51: A highly classified remote detachment of Edwards Air Force Base, within the Nevada Test and Training Range in the United States; associated with UFO conspiracy theories
  • Close Encounters: Interactions between a human and an entity that has originated outside of Earth
  • Lights in the Sky: Common description of UFO sightings involving unexplained lights
  • Grey Aliens: Descriptions of alleged extraterrestrial beings, characterized by their grey skin and large eyes
  • Radio Signals: A type of signal used in communication; SETI scientists often look for these as potential signs of extraterrestrial life
  • Astrobiology: The study of the origin, evolution, and distribution of life in the universe
  • Little Green Men: A stereotypical depiction of extraterrestrials as small humanoid beings with green skin
  • Abduction Phenomenology: The study of the nature and experience of alleged alien abductions
  • UFOlogy: The array of subject matter and activities associated with the investigation of unidentified flying objects
  • Project Blue Book: A series of systematic studies of unidentified flying objects conducted by the United States Air Force
  • Men in Black: Mysterious figures alleged to visit individuals after UFO encounters, often described as wearing black suits
  • Flying Saucer: A descriptive term for a supposed type of flying craft having a disc or saucer-shaped body, commonly used generically to refer to an anomalous flying object
  • First Contact: The first meeting between humans and extraterrestrial life, or sentient aliens
  • MUFON (Mutual UFO Network): An American non-profit organization that investigates cases of reported UFO sightings
  • Xenobiology: A subfield of biology that studies the hypothetical biology of extraterrestrial life
  • War of the Worlds: A novel by H. G. Wells about an invasion by extraterrestrials; its radio adaptation reportedly caused widespread panic when listeners thought it was a news broadcast
  • Betty and Barney Hill Abduction: One of the most famous reported alien abduction cases
  • Disclosure: The act or process of revealing or making public previously classified or unknown information about UFOs or extraterrestrial beings
  • Spacecraft: A vehicle designed for travel or operation in outer space
  • Extraterrestrial Hypothesis: The hypothesis that some unidentified flying objects (UFOs) are best explained as being extraterrestrial life or non-human aliens from other planets occupying physical spacecraft visiting Earth
  • Travis Walton UFO Incident: A well-known alleged alien abduction case from 1975
  • Exoplanet: A planet located outside the solar system
  • Star Map: A map showing the positions of the stars and galaxies; often used in discussions about interstellar navigation and the Drake Equation
  • The Wow! Signal: A strong narrowband radio signal received on August 15, 1977, by Ohio State University's Big Ear radio telescope; the nature of its source remains unexplained
  • The Phoenix Lights: A series of widely sighted unidentified flying objects observed in the skies over the U.S. states of Arizona, Nevada, and the Mexican state of Sonora on March 13, 1997
  • Dyson Sphere: A hypothetical megastructure that completely encompasses a star and captures most or all of its power output; it's part of the Kardashev Scale discussion
  • Physical Evidence: Any tangible object that can connect an offender to a crime scene; in UFO discourse, it often refers to physical artifacts purportedly left by extraterrestrials
  • Hyperspace: A theoretical concept in physics, often used in science fiction, to explain the possibility of faster-than-light travel
  • Contactee: A person who claims to have been contacted by extraterrestrials
  • The Kelly-Hopkinsville encounter: An alleged close encounter with extraterrestrial beings in 1955 near Kelly and Hopkinsville in Christian County, Kentucky
  • Alien Implant: A physical object allegedly implanted by aliens into humans' bodies during abductions