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Revealed: Winston Churchill’s View On Aliens

First Posted: Feb 16, 2017 03:01 AM EST
Winston Churchill
Prime Minister of Great Britain Winston Churchill (1874-1965) makes his VE Day Broadcast to the world.
(Photo : Keystone/Getty Images)

Winston Churchill was a significant figure in history. But it seems that there is more to this man than meets the eye. A newly unearthed essay he has written revealed that besides being a master politician, Churchill also has his mind open of the fact that life may exist on other planets.

According to BBC, he penned a popular science article in 1939. It is where he mused about the likelihood of the existence of extraterrestrial life. The essay, 11 pages long and updated in the 1950s, was drafted just as the Second World War was breaking out, but it was never published. The essay was then passed to a U.S. museum in the 1980s but remained lost in archives until it was "rediscovered" last year.

Israeli astrophysicist Mario Livio described the discovery of the essay "a great surprise" because Winston Churchill, who was known as a wartime leader, reasoned like a scientist in writing about the likelihood of the existence of life on other planets. In fact, it seemed that Churchill's thinking mirrors modern arguments in astrobiology, building on the Copernican Principle that life on Earth should not be so unique, considering the vastness of the universe.

Quoting Livio from an interview, The New York Times reported, "The most amazing thing is that he started this essay when Europe was on the brink of war and there he is, musing about a question about a scientific topic that is really a question out of curiosity."

While mainly self-educated in sciences, he was known to have an insatiable thirst for knowledge. Also, Winston Churchill actually posited the possibility of extraterrestrial life years before astronomer and astrophysicist Frank Drake presented his theory about communicative civilizations in the cosmos (1961). In his article, the late British Prime Minister wrote, "I am not sufficiently conceited to think that my sun is the only one with a family of planets."

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