Podcast Brunch Club

EXTRATERRESTRIAL LIFE: November 2022 podcast playlist

Extraterrestrial Life: Podcast Brunch Club playlist

It’s so easy to get caught up in all of the chaos and minutiae that is happening on this planet. But, the second you look into the night sky it becomes very clear that we are just a tiny speck in a giant universe. It’s both humbling and awe-inspiring. What is out there beyond that night sky? And, perhaps more interestingly, who is out there? It seems very unlikely that we are the only intelligent life that exists and even less likely that we are the only life, intelligent or not. Check out this science-forward playlist on questions around the search for extraterrestrial life.

This playlist was curated by Maree Watkins, leader of PBC’s Northern Virginia chapter, and librarian at the Fairfax County Library.


Get the full playlist on your podcast player of choice using these platforms:

This Month’s Podcast Playlist Running List of PBC Podcast Playlists
Listen Notes | PodchaserPodyssey | Spotify Listen Notes | PodchaserPodyssey | Spotify

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That UFO Podcast: “56: Episode 26 Prof. Avi Loeb” (January 2021, 52 min)
Avi Loeb talks extraterrestrial visitors from a purely scientific standpoint, including Oumuamua and why it likely wasn’t of natural origin, studying UAP’s scientifically, stigma in academia & scientific community in discussing ET’s, how we can move forward and progress, conciousness, and listener questions.

Wild Thing: “S2 E2: What Is Life” (September 2020, 34 min)
We’re surrounded by life here on Earth—and given how huge the galaxy is, it’s got to be out there on other planets, too, right? But where to look? What to look for? And would life on other planets be anything like life here? It turns out that while we know a lot about life on this planet—like what it needs to survive—we’ve still got a lot to learn.

Stuff You Should Know: “Selects: How SETI Works” (January 2022, 35 min)
SETI stands for ‘search for extraterrestrial intelligence,’ and the term is used to describe both the SETI institute and the search for alien life in general. In this classic spaced-out episode, Josh and Chuck explore the origin, aims and challenges facing SETI.

CrowdScience: “Is there life on Mars?” (August 2018, 28 min)
It’s the central question for the current generation of Mars missions. Since the first close-up pictures of the red planet back in 1965, decades of space missions have revealed our neighbouring planet to be cold, rocky and sterile. But there are hints of a more dramatic past; of raging volcanoes and flash floods. Could this be a planet where life existed? Could life still exist under the surface? And could humans live there, or even travel the distance to get there safely, at some point in the coming decades?

The Daily: “Inside the U.F.O. Report” (June 2021, 27 min)
Recently, the government released a long-awaited report: a look at unexplained aerial phenomena. This episode explores the report and what implications it may have. Will it do anything to quell theories of extraterrestrial visitors?

Bonus podcast episodes:

  • Today, Explained: “The truth is out there” (May 2021, 34 min)
    UFOs are having a renaissance. The New Yorker’s Gideon Lewis-Kraus explains what we stand to learn from an expected government disclosure, and why we want to believe.
  • History Extra podcast: “The history and mystery of UFOs” (June 2021, 45 min)
    Following the release of the Pentagon’s much anticipated report on UFOs, Dr David Clarke explains how the idea of extra-terrestrials in mysterious flying saucers developed from its origins in the Cold War to become an enduring modern myth.
  • Ologies with Alie Ward: “Astrobiology (ALIENS) with Kevin Peter Hand” (March 2019, 1 hr 23 min)
    Dr. Kevin Peter Hand of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory dishes on the oceans of distant moons, methane rivers, E.T., ice crusts, what might be out there, the timeline of possibly finding them, ghosts, aliens, dark matter, if we should fear making contact with intergalactic beings, if the government is hiding alien secrets, how finding extraterrestrial microbes would change the way we see life on this here tiny blue dot in space. Also: the galactic bulge.
  • Unexplained Mysteries: “The Wow! Signal” (September 2020, 39 min)
    In 1977, a radio telescope at The Ohio State University received an extraordinarily strong signal from outer space. Scientists have suggested it might have been sent by aliens.
  • Things I Learned Last Night: “1561 Sky Battle – The Best of History’s UFO Sightings” (May 2022, 40 min)
    Imagine you woke up one morning to find the sky is full of circular, triangular, and cylindrical objects darting to and fro in an apparent struggle for aerial supremacy. You might immediately think that you were witnessing an alien invasion. Maybe you’d assume you were hallucinating. But, imagine this happened while you were living in the year 1561. That’s exactly what happened to the people of Nuremberg, Germany. The 1561 Sky Battle, also known as the 1561 celestial phenomenon over Nuremberg, excited the imaginations of those who saw it. Whereas our cultural conditioning would lead us to assume it was a fleet of UFOs, the locals on that day thought it was a warning of the impending judgment of God.

Conversation Starter Questions:

  1. Do you think life exists beyond earth? What about intelligent extraterrestrial life?
  2. Do you think governments should invest money in the exploration of the possibility of extraterrestrial life?
  3. If we found out that extraterrestrial life does exist, do you think we should attempt to make contact?
  4. How do you feel about the fact that we are transmitting communications that may be discovered by intelligent extraterrestrials without our knowing?


  • Thank you for the thoughtful discussion on life being discovered on other planets.
    I’m sorry to learn that the podcasts were selected that weren’t more about UFOs.
    It would have been fun to discuss current issues on the topic, without all the denialism.
    Like what do you think about the 2022 release of the Blue Book Project? Or the Tic Tac seen by the Navy Pilot, or the Phoenix lights by the whole town….believe or not believe? Betty and Barney Hill’s experience, like Maree mentioned. Any other paranormal topics I can help with, lol.
    I imagine it’s hard to please everyone with one person’s perspective, but it’s nice to meet other podcast fans!

  • Linda Leyva says:

    It seems likely that, given the infinity of time & space, intelligent life would develop many times. Also given the distance and small amount of time humans have existed, it is unlikely we will make contact.
    Yes, we should contact if it is possible, and we should make sure every understands that there is no threat due to distance & time issues.

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