One of the most common misconceptions on the topic of UFOs is that it might be too far-fetched to believe UFOs are piloted by Non-Human Intelligence (NHI). I will try to convince you it might not just be a possible explanation, but a probable one. To challenge this, let’s delve into the Fermi Paradox and its implications.

The Fermi Paradox & The Galactic Scale

The Fermi Paradox revolves around the contradiction between the high probability of extraterrestrial civilizations existing and our lack of evidence or contact with such civilizations. But, what if we are teeming with extra-terrestrial life, and the signs have been around us all along? Then, instead of having a paradox on our hands, we have a seemingly compelling conclusion.

Let’s break down the math. We’ll use a formula similar to the Drake Equation (an equation used by SETI to postulate the probability of discovering NHI communications). Our equation will be focused toward UAPs, and goes as follows:

Assume, to calculate for NHI in the Milky Way alone:

N​ = The number of stars in our Milky Way galaxy (approx. 100 billion or 1×10^11) fp​ = Fraction of those stars with planetary systems (conservatively, let’s say 20% or 0.2) ne​ = Average number of planets that could potentially support life for each star with planets (conservatively, let’s say 1) fl​ = Fraction of those planets that actually develop life (let’s say 10% or 0.1) fi​ = Fraction of planets with life where intelligent life evolves (again, let’s estimate 10% or 0.1) fc​ = Fraction of planets with intelligent life capable of interstellar communication or travel (let’s estimate 10% or 0.1)

Given the above, the number of civilizations in our galaxy that might be capable of interstellar communication or travel is:

NHI = N​ × fp ​× ne ​× fl ​× fi ​× fc

Plugging in our numbers:

NHI = 10^11 x 0.2 x 1 x 0.1 x 0.1 x 0.1 = 2 x 10^6

NHI = 2,000,000

That’s 2 million civilizations capable of interstellar communication or travel in our galaxy alone!

But let us be even more conservative. 10 times more to be exact.

Considering More Conservative Estimates

For the sake of argument, let’s take an even more conservative stance. What if our previous estimates were overly optimistic? Let’s re-calculate using 1% (or 0.01) for the variables fl​, fi​, and fc​.


fl​ = Fraction of those planets that actually develop life (1% or 0.01) fi​ = Fraction of planets with life where intelligent life evolves (1% or 0.01) fc​ = Fraction of planets with intelligent life capable of interstellar communication or travel (1% or 0.01)

10^11 x 0.2 x 1 x 0.01 x 0.01 x 0.01 = 2,000

That comes out to 2,000 civilizations within just our galaxy capable of interstellar communication or travel. And again, that’s just our galaxy. For now, the best approximation is that there are around 2 trillion galaxies in the observable universe. I’ll let you do the math on that, but even with our most conservative estimates, that’s 4 quadrillion species of intelligent life.

To grasp a number like that:

If each NHI was a penny, and you stacked those pennies flat on top of one another, that stack would go to the moon and back nearly 8,000 times.

Considering Interstellar Travel

Now, if these civilizations have existed for millions of years (bearing in mind that Earth is 4 billion years old, and if their planet is just 1% older than ours and they developed at the same exact rate as humans, they have a 40 million year headstart on us), then even at a fraction of the speed of light (let’s say 10% or 0.1c), they could traverse the Milky Way (which is about 100,000 light-years in diameter) in a million years. Our local cluster is much smaller, so even at these “modest” near-light speeds, our entire region of the galaxy should be teeming with NHI if they wanted to explore.

Extra Dimensional Travel: A Wild Card

And that’s if they’re burning fossil fuels to get here, which, if UAPs are proven to be real, they are almost certainly not. If we consider the possibility of extra-dimensional travel, the entire game changes. This could mean that travel between vast distances is not linear, potentially allowing NHIs to pop in and out of our dimension or traverse huge distances instantaneously. That means our numbers would not be limited to our galaxy, or even to our local group of galaxies. It may not even be limited to just our our universe.

The Great Filters

However, it’s essential to address the counter-arguments. The concept of the ‘Great Filters’ suggests that at some stage in the development of life, there’s a hurdle that’s extremely difficult to overcome. Whether it’s the step from single-celled to multi-celled organisms, the emergence of intelligent life, or the sustainability of a technologically advanced civilization without self-destruction. If these filters are ahead of us, it’s worrying. If they’re behind, it might explain the Fermi Paradox (unless, of course, there is no paradox, and they have in fact been here the whole time). There is, however, no evidence as of yet to support the theory of Great Filters.


I understand there is nothing exact about these formulae I’ve presented. Even the Drake Equation is theoretical. It is meant only to illustrate how the sheer size of our universe gives rise to astronimical possibilities, even when using the most conservative of estimates.


Given the vast number of stars, the likelihood of habitable planets, and the potential for life to emerge and become technologically advanced, it’s mathematically plausible, if not probable, that NHIs are out there. When you combine this with the UAPs observed with flight characteristics beyond our known technological capabilities, the argument for UFOs being of extraterrestrial origin becomes compelling.

If even a fraction of these civilizations took to the stars, our galaxy should be brimming with interstellar travelers. The absence of evidence isn’t necessarily evidence of absence. UAPs have been hidden from us for this long. Who knows what else is yet to be revealed? UAPs might just be the tip of the cosmic iceberg.

submitted by /u/GrimZeigfeld
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