New Delhi: One of the biggest priorities of the world's scientists is seeking evidence that would lead to confirmation of the existence of extraterrestrial life.
While UFO hunters and alien chasers are certain that aliens do exist and feel that space agencies are deliberately trying to hide the obvious, a new San Francisco-based organization has decided to take the search one step further.
The organization called METI, or Messaging Extra Terrestrial Intelligence is planning to initiate the conversation and send out a greeting in the form of signals to distant planets, as decades of attempts of scanning the skies for signs have been in vain.
The organization aims to do this by the year 2018, via radio or laser signals to a rocky planet circling Proxima Centauri and later to more distant destinations, hundreds or thousands of light years away.
"If we want to start an exchange over the course of many generations, we want to learn and share information," said Douglas Vakoch, president of METI and former director of Interstellar Message Composition at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute in Mountain View, California, known as SETI, Phys.org reported.
Like most projects related to aliens and their questionable existence, this one has also turned controversial, especially after renowned physicist Stephen Hawking's predictions and warnings that aliens will destroy humanity.
Physicist Mark Buchanan, in journal Nature Physics, wrote that, "We have almost zero idea of whether aliens are likely to be dangerous."
According to Phys.org, Andrew Fraknoi, chair of the astronomy department at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills said, "Babbling babies are not always appreciated during adult conversation. Listening and learning is how children become adults, and why not try that for a while?"
Others endorse the effort. "I'd be happy to see this done," said Seth Shostak, senior astronomer with the SETI Institute. "I think there's something to be learned, nothing to be feared, and at least the possibility of discovering something truly revolutionary: We have company nearby."
"By reflecting on how we can communicate what it means to be human to someone who is not human, we view ourselves differently," said METI treasurer Dalia Rawson, a former dancer with Ballet San Jose and now managing director of the Silicon Valley Ballet. "By looking at our bodies, our movements, and our dance through the eyes of an alien, we gain a renewed appreciation of what it means to be uniquely human."