There is now an estimated 500 billion galaxies in the known universe, containing on average around 500 billion stars. This number keeps going up as our telescopes improve, I suspect it will continue to do so.
Of the nearby stars we have surveyed, so far approximately half have been found to have planets and that’s with our very limited technology that can only detect large planets orbiting relatively close.
In our little solar system, at least one planet is capable of supporting intelligent technological civilizations, most probably two are capable of supporting bacterial life (Earth + Mars), and there may be several moons of Jupiter and Saturn supporting life as well.
There is evidence suggestive of life on Mars. There is methane in the atmosphere, while this could be of non-biological origin, whatever process is creating it is continuously replenishing it. Formaldehyde has also been found in the atmosphere. Formaldehyde has a very short half-life in the atmosphere and there aren’t obvious non-biological means of explaining it’s presence.
Several moons of Saturn and Jupiter are believed to have the potential for a large liquid ocean beneath a crust of ice, heated by tidal forces acting upon the moons. And then there is Titan, possessing an atmosphere heavy in oxygen. While it has long been believed that life would be impossible at the cryogenic temperatures of Titan, we now see that there is a methane cycle that operates at those temperatures very much like the water cycle at more familiar temperatures. So who knows? Life may exist, perhaps moving at a very slow pace owing to low energy input.
It would seem that the universe is teaming with life. Given the enormous number of planets that most probably exist, something on the order of 10 to the 22nd power or so, probably more once we get better telescopes but even that number is fantastically huge, it seems likely that a large number of planets hosting intelligent, technologically advanced life, exists. Even within our own Milky Way galaxy there is something on the order of 250 billion star systems with planets.
It is my belief that even within our own galaxy there are many technologically advanced civilizations, the only reason our skies aren’t filled with alien craft is that space is so big, there are so many places technologically advanced races can go, we are probably not all that interesting.
Never the less, I do believe we are being visited by a number of extraterrestrial species. The species I encountered, various versions of Grays, Pleiadians, Reptilians, and probably many others. Some are beneficial, some are nasty, and some are just curious or here for material resources.
We have developed certain technologies, mostly we have made heavy usage of combustion and electricity. We are developing other sciences such as the science of genetics, into technologies. We are exploring many other areas but so far haven’t developed them into usable technologies, spin technologies, quantum computing, come to mine. We are just starting to take advantage of nanotechnology.
It is my believe that other civilizations have developed quite different technologies some of which have lead to faster-than-light travel in some form (folding or compressing space would qualify). I believe whether or not we do depends on our ability to resist the temptation to kill each other.
I’ve already elaborated with respect to what I think the Grays are and what I believe their agenda is. The Pleiadians seem to be trying to help.
Most of the rest seem indifferent.
It is going to be interesting as our telescopes improves further and we can resolve earth sized planet, get spectra, etc.