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von Neumann probe

Could UFOs be von Neumann probes

Why the idea of robotics hasn't been considered before

Are average person or even average scientist familiar with an idea that a computer can control a vehicle as skillfully as a human can? No. Until recently most of us haven't thought the idea, at least not seriously. The reason is simply because our robts, and especially robotic vehicles, have been crude designs for long time. Even the best robots are still no match to humans, but notice that computers have been developed only about 60 years. Also we have used so far only a relatively small amount of resources for development of robotic vehicles, compared to many other topics. Imagine what kind of robotic vehicles we will have in 100 years. Or 1000 years. Or 1,000,000 years.

Things are changing, however:

So we already have a technology that is needed for behaviour flying saucers allegedly have.

Another reason is picture of aliens on our mind. Green skin etc. Most probable reason for this is stories about UFO abductions

How about stories of alien abductions then

I claim that best saucer sightings can't be explained as "mass hallusinations" or other mental issues as sometimes are tried. Many of the sightings just have too many sane, reputable and educated witnesses, sometimes even dozens of them. For example most of the cases here. Also, sightings are often tracked not only visually but simultaneously on radar. These sightings have certainly taken a place: they are either a major misidentification of known phenomena or something genuinely unknown.

However I claim it could be possible that abduction cases can be explained with psychological factor. Individuals have seen spooky things throughout history - we just can't trust to the mind of single individual. I put an emphasis on word single: if somebody sleep and there is nobody to correct him, he might take his/her dreams or sleep paralysis as reality. But when a group of reputable people sees something completely strange flying in the sky, it is much more demanding to explain with psychology.

I would also like to point out hypnosis that is used here is not reliable method.

But I must admit that still leaves couple of cases where there have been more than one witness for an alleged abduction, althought the witnesses might not have been exceptionally reputable. So I believe the best way to put this is: witness evidence of abduction phenomena is far less convincing and numerous than witness evidence of saucer sighthings. However, the possibility that some abductions have taken place can't be entirely ruled out.

But finally, I don't see any reason why an abduction couldn't be performed by a robotic vehicle.

We can't also rule out that while most of (possible) visitors would probably be robotic probes, there's always a change some biological creature really takes the burden to travel here.

Manned flights compared to robotic probes

I can't imagine a single reason for sending a living alien to interstellar trip instead of robotic probe.

As far as I can imagine, interstellat traveling is always time-consuming and dangerous activity. It is time-consuming, because the absolute speed limit in the universe is the speed of light. Of course there is a hypothesis of wormholes, but as long as we haven't even detected one we shouldn't pay too much attention to them. And it is dangerous because you can encounter hostile spacecrafts or become a victim of supernova explosion.

Whatever the task is, advanced robotic probe could most likely do the same things as a living being. If the probe would be sentient it could do those things maybe even better than a living being.

When you have living things on board, you need to have 100% reliable vehicle. That's not the case with VNPs. Also, it's very complex to support biological life in space. You also need to have very fast vehicle if passengers don't want to spend millions of years.

From a point of view of a living being he Universe (and even a single galaxy) is pretty much Infinite, while the number of members of any race or civilization is necessarily finite

If UFOs are von Neumann probes, what is their mission here

The behavior becomes much more sensible if we assume flying saucers are actually robotic vehicles. Robotic vehicles that are here not because they are so curious or are trying to help us someway, but who are here to protect the interests of their masters.

They are making sure no hostile von Neumann probes are produced here: by us or by somebody else.

That might also explain why they seem to be hiding from us but don't always do it very well: they are programmed to stay invisible as much as possible (for our convenience) but if that notion conflicts with their primary mission to search for aggressive von Neumann probes they have no problem to get rid of their camouflage

Also it might be hard to build perfect camouflage on relatively crude self-replicating factories. Maybe camouflage suffer "tear and wear".

They might sometimes be mimicking airplanes. Also they might illuminate themselves to avoid being photographed.

They would probably also need to monitor underwater.

Why credible than aliens

Hynek argued that: 1. Despite world-wide radar systems and Earth-orbiting satellites, UFOs are alleged to flit in and out of the atmosphere, leaving little to no evidence.

2. UFO-related creatures are alleged to be overwhelmingly humanoid, and are allegedly able to exist on Earth without much difficulty (often lacking "space suits", despite the fact that extra-solar planets would likely have different atmospheres, biospheres, gravity and other factors, and extraterrestrial life would likely be very different from Earthly life.)

3. The number of reported UFOs and of purported encounters with UFO-inhabitants outstrips the number of expeditions that an alien civilization (or civilizations) could statistically be expected to mount.

4. The behavior of extraterrestrials reported during alleged abductions is often inconsistent and irrational.

5. UFOs are isolated in time and space: like the Cheshire Cat, they seem to appear and disappear at will, leaving only vague, ambiguous and mocking evidence of their presence

6. Reported UFOs are often far too small to support a crew traveling through space, and their reported flight behavior is often not representative of a craft under intelligent control (erratic flight patterns, sudden course changes).

7. The distance between planets makes interstellar travel impractical, particularly because of the amount of energy that would be required for interstellar travel using conventional means, (According to a NASA estimate, it would take 7×1019 Joules of energy to send the current space shuttle on a one-way, 50 year, journey to the nearest star, an enormous amount of energy[31]) and because of the level of technology that would be required to circumvent conventional energy/fuel/speed limitations using exotic means (see Faster than light travel).[13]

These are much easier to answer if we consider flying saucers as robotic vehicles.


What is von Neumann probe

Von Neumann probe is a hypothetical robotic space probe. It is programmed to search space for raw materials and energy in order to build copies of itself. It can be considered as a mechanical bacterium or virus. Besides self-replicating, von Neumann probes will execute tasks they are programmed to do. You can read more about von Neumann probe on Wikipedia.