Hear me out:
I honestly don't think we, humanity, give ourselves enough credit. I mean we have personal transport machines (cars), personal global communicators
(cell phones), anti gravity travel machines (planes), personal computing devices (laptops, tablets, smartphones), and many more instances of
"high-tech" things we constantly take for granted.
I think we deserve a lot more credit than we give ourselves.
We have absolutely no metric to gauge just how advanced we are as a civilization,
because we only know of one technologically advanced species; ourselves. It is entirely probable we are the most advanced species in the galaxy, but I
wouldn't dare apply that to the universe as, in earth metrics, the universe is near-infinite.
What I speculate is more likely is that our galaxy is absolutely teeming with life, but not the kind of super-advanced life that is currently zipping
around the galaxy in Alcubierre drives. Consider the movie Avatar. I know it's a movie, but the Na'Vi illustrate very well an intelligent form of
life that has yet to evolve into a technologically advanced species. I think it's highly probable, given the possibility our own solar system has 4
examples of life on different planetary bodies (clouds of Venus, microbes on Mars, methane based microbes on Titan, and obviously earth), that almost
every solar system in the galaxy has some kind or form of life, just not the kind that may get us overly excited, as our imaginations crave the
familiarly sculpted little green men in tacky space suits.
Try to see it how I do: Intelligent, technologically advanced lifeforms HAVE to be somewhat rare. Consider all the obstacles that species must endure
to survive the necessary amount of time for proper evolution to occur. Not the least of which is the extreme volatility of star systems and planets.
Look at all the extinction events Earth has had in its lifetime. In order for some super advanced species to survive for hundreds of thousands of
years, to even millions of years, I would think at some point that species would have to leave their terrestrial planet behind in favor of residing
solely in space in what I would assume would be gigantic space ships that make up a space colony. It as at that point, I'd expect them to branch out
to other planets and form colonies to gather resources, all while their population numbers dramatically multiply.
If one were to assume this species has existed for a million years, it is logical to assume their numbers would be nearing the trillions. It seems
likely we'd know them at this point in time, if they were out there combing the galaxy for resources. If not because we can detect them, but surely
because they'll have the technology to detect US. And if they're peaceful, I see no reason why they wouldn't announce themselves to all humanity.
If they're not, well hey, I don't know how we could still be here right now. We'd either have been near-instantly wiped out or somehow enslaved as
they colonize and extort our planet for resources.
For me, to think this assumed species wouldn't announce themselves to the world in a grand fashion, but rather a small ship with few occupants that
"secretly" meets with our government to form some treaty, well, seems entirely too forced.
That isn't to say, perhaps a wildly advanced species from another galaxy hasn't made the trip to us long ago in our infancy, to account for all the
drawings and stories of higher powers that permeated our ancient existence. Perhaps this omnipotent race visited us, just for a short while, to give
our species a little jumpstart to become what we are today.
I think it's entirely possible we underestimate what our species is capable of, and I think it's very possible humanity has much greater technology
than what the common civilian (us) realizes. I think it's possible a lot of the better UFO cases can be tied to experiments of this technology, as
others have speculated.