This is a real quick blurb, drawn from memory without review of program episodes. Please join in and correct me, argue with me, and otherwise express your opinions.
Alien Encounters is a docudrama on the Science Channel, with emphasis on the docu. The drama lacks, hence I lack the desire to rewatch the episodes to make sure I’ve gotten everything correct. Somewhat like Ancient Aliens, with less hype and tons more science, we are given the story line, then we get information about current exploration and development in science and engineering from a collection of experts. Just as with Ancient Aliens, the experts appear over and over—no new faces.
I say current state of science to emphasis the short shelf life of new technology, and this is an important point I am making. What seems amazing today in the world of science and engineering quickly becomes common place and something even more mind blowing replaces its novelty. This is a defining limitation of the show. The producers aren’t showing us what might happen if an alien encounter occurs, they are showing us what will happen if we extrapolate our current pioneer work into the future several decades. I.e. it is exactly what will happen if there is NOT an alien encounter.
The aliens encountered in this TV series appear to be about a century ahead of us. A highly unlikely scenario, something I tried to demonstrate in a previous post. I assume the alien society is al least a 100 light-years away—otherwise we would have already discovered their existence. If they were only a century ahead of us and launched a spacecraft, that craft would be overtaken by a more advanced craft which they launched decades or even a century later. The alien we would encounter would be more than a century ahead of us, therefore the alien technologies described in this TV series would be mundane compared to the level of alien technology we would truly face.
In any case, we know aliens won’t get here in the craft depicted in the show. It won’t fly. It’ll just sit there. Anyone know why? Look at it.
I’m going by memory, but the first episode gets into SETI’s effort to locate other societies in our galaxy, i.e. the search for extraterrestrial life. In the show, SETI detects a signal that appears to have come from intelligent life. As I recall, this event happened at SETI, but later was proven to be a false lead. In the show it isn’t false and the source of the signal is headed our way.
I believe Hawkins warned that it is a rather stupid idea for us to attempt to get the attention of alien societies. We’re better off alone.
The first scifi example that comes to my mind is Galaxy Quest. Comic, rather than tragic, aliens pick up the signals of old Star Trek episodes and come to Earth to get help from Captain Kirk.
More about Alien Encounters when I return from vacation a month from now. Meanwhile keep those cards and letters coming in.