Michael E. Salla, Ph.D.
At five thousand dollars a ticket, some business leaders got more than they bargained for when they attended the first day of the Global Competitiveness Forum (GCF) being held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. They were told flying saucers are real, and they had better start thinking about the business implications of extraterrestrial life and technologies. Convened each year by the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority, the GCF brings together business and political leaders to discuss ways of promoting business competitiveness. For the first time at its annual conference, the GCF held a panel discussing UFOs and extraterrestrial life. Titled “Learning from Outer Space” the panel comprised five speakers who all endorsed the view that extraterrestrial life is real, and has many implications for the world as we know it.
The panel was held on January 23, and was a “main plenary” session meaning all GCF participants were able to attend and hear what the experts had to say about UFOs and extraterrestrial life. Up to 1000 participants included business and political elites such as former British and Canadian Prime Ministers, Tony Blair and Jean Chretien; Jim Albaugh, President and CEO of Boeing; Andy Bird, chairman of Walt Disney International; Jared Cohen, Director of Google ideas, and many others. The advice they got was that the issue of extraterrestrial life is real, and they better start paying attention to the business implications. Here’s how the GCF summarized the panel presentations on its website:
Learning from Outer Space – Panel
The unconventional and highly relevant topic of extraterrestrial life forms was addressed by yesterday’s panel discussion “Contact: Learning from Outer Space”. Experts Zoaghloul El-Naggar, Stanton Friedman, Michio Kaku, Nick Pope and Jacques Vallee made compelling cases for the existence of living beings elsewhere in the galaxy, drawing upon empirical evidence, religious theology and logical reasoning.
Mr. Friedman opened his remarks with a bold statement, “Flying saucers are real!” and this summed up the perspective of the panel members. Mr. Pope explored the potential business implications of outer space, such as the profitability of alien branding or sponsorship.
While El-Naggar was also convinced of their existence, he raised the interesting point that it may not be ethical to spend resources trying to contact alien societies when we still face war and poverty in our own society.
Mr. Vallee encouraged more academics to analyze the evidence. However, on behalf of his successful Venture Capital fund, he said, “We are not ready to invest in this type of research, but we think that somebody should.”
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