The truth might be out there, but the BBC would rather not know – the British media company said no to a plan to point a radio telescope at a recently-discovered planet.
Their reason, according to the show’s presenter? They worried about the health and safety ramifications of attempting alien contact.
Professor Brian Cox, who hosts a show called Stargazing Life, said the BBC was concerned the planned live experiment broke the corporation's health and safety rules.
"We decided that we'd point the Jodrell Bank telescope at the planet (Threapleton Holmes B) that had been discovered by these two viewers (in January) and listen because no one had ever pointed a radio telescope at it and you never know," Cox said on BBC radio.
"The BBC actually said, 'But you can't do that because we need to go through the regulations and health and safety and everything in case we discover a signal from an alien civilisation'."
"(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?'
"It was incredible. They did have guidelines. Compliance."