Media networks relish the moments when they serve as the source for breaking news. And what network wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to broadcast the first detection of intelligent extraterrestrial life? The BBC, apparently.
On Wednesday, November 7, British physicist and professor Brian Cox appeared on the BBC 6 Music breakfast show. Professor Cox explained to the show’s host, Shaun Keaveny, that he and his colleagues on the BBC’s astronomy program Stargazing Live wanted to point the Jodrell Bank telescope at Threapleton Holmes B to listen for signs of life. The team discovered this planet in 2011, and it has reportedly never had a radio telescope pointed in its direction. But before the team got a chance to listen for alien life on this newly discovered planet, Cox claims the BBC nixed the idea.
He explained, “The BBC actually said ‘You can’t do that. We need to go through the regulations and health and safety and everything in case we discover a signal from an alien civilisation,’” according to excerpts by the Telegraph. Cox continued, explaining his response:
“[I said], you mean we would discover the first hint that there is other intelligent life in the universe beyond Earth, live on air, and you’re worried about the health and safety of it?”
So, it would seem that the BBC either has advanced knowledge of foul-mouthed extraterrestrials on Threapleton Holmes B, or they are involved in some sort of cover-up conspiracy! CONSPIRACY! OK, maybe not. Either way, the network appears to be unreasonably worried about the unlikely possibility of indecency coming from an intelligent extraterrestrial. Even if the team detected an extraterrestrial signal, and assuming the signal was intelligible, I have a feeling the world would forgive the BBC for broadcasting the message if it contained profanity. Extraterrestrial profanity.