Former federal defence minister Paul Hellyer, 86, believes not only that aliens have visited Earth but also that they have contributed greatly to human technological advances.
So he can’t quite understand why the world renowned astrophysicist views them with such trepidation; Hawking recently warned that malevolent aliens could lead to the destruction of humanity.
The longtime cabinet minister accuses Hawking of spreading misinformation about extraterrestrials.
“I think he’s indulging in some pretty scary talk there that I would have hoped would not come from someone with such an established stature,” Hellyer said in an interview.
“I think it’s really sad that a scientist of his repute would contribute to what I would consider more misinformation about a vast and very important subject.”
Hawking speculates in a new documentary that most extraterrestrial life will be similar to microbes, or small animals — but he adds that advanced life forms may be “nomads, looking to conquer and colonize” new planets.