The Great Filter

by Marco Gehlhar

Shortlisted at the Charta Award 2022

We are living in peculiar times; a time in which our civilisation has technologically progressed enough to be able to scan the galaxy in search of alien lives. In the meantime, the same evolution has had an impact on the natural balance of our planet and could potentially lead to the collapse of our civilisation.
The Great Filter project investigates the ties between the environmental crisis, the danger of a nuclear war, and the biggest question posed by mankind: “Are we alone in the universe?”
This question has ignited a spark among scientists and has even led to the creation of new religious movements.
But what can life on other planets tell us about our own fate on planet Earth?
The Great Filter aims to expand our thoughts and lead to possible answers, exploring the scientific and folkloristic aspects of the search for extraterrestrial lifeforms.
The scientific perspective is represented by the work of Seti, eavesdropping on the galaxy in search of alien transmissions through their radio telescopes in Northern California. The same interest in our cosmic neighbours is found in the scriptures of Aetherius and Unarius Academy of Science, two new religious movements stemming from the UFO craze of the 50s. Finally, the genesis of a modern myth is revealed through the history of the famous UFO Crash in Roswell, Arizona.
Sometimes questioning what is out there does lead to answers on what is happening “down here”.