Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Recently Rediscovered Churchill Essay Ponders Extraterrestrial Life

A tour director for Insight Vacations by Destination America, Manuel Marquez, MD, guides motorcoach tours throughout the United States, striving to facilitate cultural and social exchanges while fostering fun through his on-board commentary. Experienced in directing historical tours, Manuel Marquez, MD, also has a personal interest in history. 

A small piece of lost and forgotten history was recently discovered, confirming an interest in potential extraterrestrial life for former British Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill. Aside from helping protect Britain and the western world from Nazi rule, Churchill was himself an historian and writer of note, evidenced by the Nobel Prize in Literature he won in 1953. 

One of the influential leader’s unpublished essays was recently discovered in Fulton, Missouri, at the National Churchill Museum. The essay deals with the possibility of alien life somewhere out there among the stars, and according to astrophysicist Mario Livio, Churchill’s approach to the topic was “like a scientist.” Churchill starts the essay by defining what life is before naming the required conditions for life to exist. 

Churchill’s essay predicts the discovery of exoplanets more than 50 years before scientists actually discovered them. The essay also discussed what is now referred to as the “Goldilocks” zone, the area between a star and planet that determines whether a planet is too hot, too cold, or just right for supporting life. 

Shortly following the rediscovery of Churchill’s lost essay in Missouri, the first draft was found at the Churchill Archives Centre, located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. The Churchill Museum is currently navigating the piece’s copyright issues in hopes of eventually publishing the essay, almost 80 years after it was written in 1939.