Essay reveals Winston Churchill almost definitely believed in aliens

A newly discovered essay written by Winston Churchill reveals he thought seriously about life on other planets.

The 11-page manuscript was recovered last year by Timothy Riley, the director of the U.S. National Churchill Museum, and given to astrophysicist Mario Livio for analysis.

Churchill wrote the essay titled "Are We Alone in the Universe?," in 1939 when Europe was about to enter World War II, and it was never officially published.

The article assesses the odds that other stars in the universe could host planets, and contemplates whether or not those planets could support life. This was 50 years before the discovery of exoplanets.

He ultimately concludes that the universe is so vast, we may never know whether planets support life. The astrophysicist who investigated his work has a great deal of respect for Churchill's essay.

"I was absolutely astonished to see that this great statesman showed such profound interest in science, to engage in writing an essay about this topic," Livio told Gizmodo.

"This essay demonstrates that Churchill was not only interested in the type of applied science that could help win wars, but was also curious about basic scientific questions, and in particular in our place in the cosmos."

It shouldn't be totally surprising that the statesmen had such a profound grasp on science. He is credited with several important inventions, including the "landship" (now known as a tank), artificial harbors and aircraft carriers made from ice, according to Gizmodo.

He may have taken issue with the implications of his belief in aliens, though.

According to the BBC, documents released in 2010 claim the politician classified a report on a UFO sighting because he thought it would incite panic and shake the public's religious faith.

A quote from his essay sums up his beliefs on the matter of aliens:


"I, for one, am not so immensely impressed by the success we are making of our civilization here that I am prepared to think we are the only spot in this immense universe which contains living, thinking creatures, or that we are the highest type of mental and physical development which has ever appeared in the vast compass of space and time."

See photos of Churchill:

13 PHOTOS
Winston Churchill through the years
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Winston Churchill through the years
(Original Caption) Close-up of Winston Churchill as a young boy, around 7 years old. Undated photograph.
Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965) in 1904. He became Conservative MP for Oldham in 1900, but changed his allegiance to the Liberals in 1906. (Photo by � Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
Winston Churchill (1874-1965) the Conservative statesman aboard the Royal Yacht, whilst First Lord of the Admiralty in 1912. (Photo by � Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - CIRCA 1912: Winston Churchill (1874-1965), British politician, giving evidence during the English anarchists' trial in 1912. (Photo by Branger/Roger Viollet/Getty Images)
Winston Churchill (Photo by Keystone-France\Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, 1874 � 24 January 1965. British politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)
Winston Churchill as British war time prime minister 1942. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)
Winston Churchill as British wartime prime minister 1940. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)
Winston Churchill in 1945.
(Original Caption) Sir Winston Churchill makes the Victory Sign as he greets well-wishers from his automobile. Photograph.
Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965), 1956. (Photo by � Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
Winston Churchill
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