Are we alone in the Universe? It is a question that echoes in the minds of many individuals across the face of the planet. Many people within hard faith religions would say that we are, solely because we were the ones favored in creation, while others with wider thoughts would hope that we are not. Ignoring the limits imposed by books dealing with set rules for this planet alone, let us take a look at the universe as a whole.
Whether sired from natural or higher power means, this universe is between 13.5 and 14 billion Earth years old, made out of countless numbers of galaxies which in turn hold countless number of solar systems which in turn hold favorable conditions for planet possibilities. Already over 25 notable planets have been discovered in other parts of our galaxy, The Milky Way. These discoveries were made possible because of the wobble effect the planets have on their parent stars and because of their gigantic mass, which puts the typical planetary discoveries in favor with the giant gas planets or terrestrial bodies much larger than Earth. Although much harder to identify it isn't difficult to believe that similar water covered and life promoting planets like the Earth exist as well.
Now comforted by the revelation that there are millions, if not billions, of planets strewn across the star systems of the night sky and far beyond into the other galaxies, and taking into account that at least a small percentage of those planets must hold favorable conditions for carbon based life to emerge, for the possibility of unintelligent life to occur the percentage is quite high. However, the first question isn't asking for life in general, but intelligent life. Not very many people are going to feel exhilaration in knowing that off planet bacteria and pathogens are awaiting them on other worlds. The revelation of a potential new epidemic wanting to be your best friend does nothing to make you feel better about yourself or allow you to feel any less lonely than you already are. No... clearly the answer that one hopes for lies in life of the intelligent sort.
Theories and government project cover-ups aside, many people are thoroughly convinced that our planet is visited on a regular basis by higher intelligent beings. Much of the controversy that exists is based in the gigantic jump in technology during the 20th century, where many believe that the technological change occurred much too quickly without aid... routinely ignoring the massive drive the world wars gave to the rush of experiments and the breaking of barriers. Stories of World War II pilots sometimes gave reports of glowing spheres of lights that would trail their planes or ride the night sky beside them. Were these mysterious objects UFOs? Or were they inventions of the Nazis that were simply new forms of technology untested and eventually lost to the fires of war? It is rumored that the lights were indeed human created, and the technology that wasn't lost became the base information for the mysterious lights in the sky people see to this day. If truth lies behind the rumor, then the majority of Unidentified Flying Objects are merely military uncertainties, much like the Stealth Bomber before the knowledge surrounding it was released to the public.
Others are not convinced. Stories much beyond the 1940s give accounts of other military pilots and aviators that often engaged in missions to confront large and enigmatic mechanical wonders in the skies that no man could build. These alien encounters are seldom mentioned and most information highly classified. Those brave individuals few enough to come forward have mentioned harrowing tales and encounters with secret labs that bear the wonders of a Hollywood Monster workshop. But without any proof these "alien autopsies" remain as ambiguous as the mythological monster of ages past.
Yet still the search continues. Beyond the workings of our world governments, organizations like SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) in the private sector hope to use giant satellite arrays on Earth to intercept potential messages sent from among the stars. If their operation has yielded results and intercepted a signal form an intelligent being beyond our planet, then it is information well hidden and held in highest secrecy. Even if a signal has not been received, then the search continues.
With so many unexplained mystery and phenomena left in this world, from crop circles to ancient structures and civilizations, the doubt of humanity's involvement gives the perfect excuse to believe in another answer. Whether those answers sought will give reply to the greatest questions and reveal the truth many eagerly anticipate, we will be forced to repeat the question. Are we alone in the universe? Given the countless possibilities amongst the stars, one would say "we are not", but until there is irrefutable evidence, it remains an open question.