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Still Waters

If Seti found evidence of alien life,

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'In a sense, we've run that experiment,' says Seth Shostak, chief alien hunter at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.

After a day off recovering from jet lag, which I somehow end up spending whizzing up and down the hills of San Francisco on a Segway, I head off down Highway 101 to Mountain View to record the first interview in my Little Atoms road trip. I'm meeting Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the Seti Institute and presenter of their excellent Big Picture Science radio show and podcast.

Seth is the public face of Seti, he's the SETI GUY. At least that's what it says on his car registration plate. Seti is an abbreviation of Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence, and that's what Seth does. He's a full-time alien hunter.

http://www.guardian....ence-alien-life

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I'm not sure it would be completely fine if we found intelligent alien life, at least for the religious groups. I agree that a conspiracy sounds like nonsense though, even if some people do go crazy over it, the findings would come up sooner or later so why spend so much money and time hiding it?

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Posted (edited)

I'm not sure it would be completely fine if we found intelligent alien life, at least for the religious groups. I agree that a conspiracy sounds like nonsense though, even if some people do go crazy over it, the findings would come up sooner or later so why spend so much money and time hiding it?

A conspiracy to conceal the discovery of an extraterrestrial radio signal very probably wouldn't work, even if governments wanted to try it. In the process of confirming any signal heard, the news would go out fairly quickly to radio observatories all over the world. Before the governments even knew of the signal, the news would be all over the scientific community. Just try and keep a bunch of academics quiet about such a momentous discovery! Remember the 'close call' Dr. Seth Shostak spoke about in the article, where they thought they might have finally found the real thing for the space of about a day? Even news of that leaked out in a few hours.

*****In any case there wouldn't be any obvious reason for governments to try to conceal such a signal. A signal out of the void from a civilization hundreds of light years away probably wouldn't seem particularly threatening, at least initially. It could turn out to be a problem, of course, perhaps even a very big one, but that would depend on what sort of information the signal contained. Depending on the strength of the signal, It might take quite a while to build equipment good enough to extract a message, rather than just detect the bare existence of an obviously intelligent signal. There might also be considerable delays as the message was deciphered and interpreted.

*****One can imagine governments and conservative religious institutions watching that process with some degree of unease. A bad reaction by the conservative religious has been considered in speculative fiction, including Dr. Carl Sagan's novel 'Contact'. If someone believes that Earth is unique in all the universe; subject to a creators special favor, then the very existence of more technically advanced race of beings not so favored or 'saved' could be very disturbing to them. So, too, could be the news that such a species endorses a more advanced form of the science we practice, which itself is rejected in many respects by such persons.

Edited by bison

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what you mean is actual face-up contact and interaction, because the evidence since dawn of time, right from the stone age and days of cave paintings seem to prove that there have been sightings of beings with high technology who were capable of flight in machines.

But such sightings can at best be dismissed as 'mass illusion of a collective conscience.'

SETI is fully aware of all these encounters, cave paintings, rock sculptures, paintings in the sistine chapel in the Vatican, depicting advanced flying machines, etc.

What they want is a face-up 'Hello, i'm Zorg from the constellation Orion' to make it official. Hard, recorded, photographed, filmed, undeniable PROOF.

As far as public reaction is concerned, i'm sure most people would not be able to handle the truth and there would be a total breakdown of all established norms and beliefs, in short total chaos.

Now while people have a right to know, the responsibility of ensuring order also rests with the administration.

And except in the case of an invasion or serious disruption in normal life like an unwarranted attack on aircraft, we DON'T NEED to know since there seems to be no malicious intent from all of the recorded alleged encounters.

In fact, I heard a lot of stories of humans shooting at UFO's. So it would seem they have more to fear from us than we from them.

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They wouldn't be allowed to tell the sheeple!

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The news of Alien life wouldnt be surprising to christians . " I have other sheep who are not of this flock " , "There are many rooms in my fathers kingdom , I am going to prepare one for you " . " I am the bright morning star , I will give you the bright morning star "

If the Earth were a Sun , together with our Sun , is there a Planet that would be lit by them constantly .

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Probably very similar to now.

There would still be believers, skeptics, conspiracy theorists and probably not a lot would change for a long while.

I'd be happy ;)

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We'd buy 'em donuts.

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I would go crazy. I'd murder and loot before finaly offing myself in a most public firey death!

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Posted (edited)

Well it depends what kind of signal it would be. If they get a direct message: " We're aliens, hi we're from outer space", the reactions would be similar of an exploding H-bomb in the press :D.

Edited by BorisIWantToKnow

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THe biggest Four letter Word in our dictionary is " IF " or was that "Fnnn" ? no way Seti is going to ever give up though !

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It would be doubted. People would dismiss the evidence as hoaxed, and any, and all, evidence would be said to be fabricated to bring the institution publicity. The only way people would believe in alien proof is if they landed here. Well, if E.T. is intelligent then they would know better than to land here at this time with all the world events occurring.

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did the WOW signal count as from aliens?

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everybody would assume there was some giant coverup going on...same as now

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did the WOW signal count as from aliens?

It is denoted as having unknown origin. There was not enough time to eliminate/verify terrestrial origins, so we simply do not know - unfortunately.

Cheers,

Badeskov

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is it true the Vatican issued a statement acknowledging the fact that life is present elsewhere, while also asserting this doesn't affect our faith.

I'm looking into this.

If it's true, then certainly they are privy to some startling information which is at best announced in a very veiled manner, but that only the blind and dumb would not take seriously.

Will get back.

Anything guys ?

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The news of Alien life wouldnt be surprising to christians . " I have other sheep who are not of this flock " , "There are many rooms in my fathers kingdom , I am going to prepare one for you " . " I am the bright morning star , I will give you the bright morning star "

If the Earth were a Sun , together with our Sun , is there a Planet that would be lit by them constantly .

In the beginning, don't forget, God created the heavens and the Earth. Even if the Chosen People really are the Chosen People, that doesn't mean that has to be in relation to the whole universe. One planet would be quite enough for all practical purposes. So i don't really think there need be any problems at all from a biblical point of view.

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is it true the Vatican issued a statement acknowledging the fact that life is present elsewhere, while also asserting this doesn't affect our faith.

I'm looking into this.

If it's true, then certainly they are privy to some startling information which is at best announced in a very veiled manner, but that only the blind and dumb would not take seriously.

Will get back.

Anything guys ?

I think they put it in hypothetical terms: "if there was life elsewhere".

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They wouldn't be allowed to tell the sheeple!

Some people still use the word Sheeple?

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It is denoted as having unknown origin. There was not enough time to eliminate/verify terrestrial origins, so we simply do not know - unfortunately.

Cheers,

Badeskov

I had a reply from Dr. Robert Dixon, Director of the Ohio State University SETI program, to an inquiry I made about the 'wow signal', in 1996. I quote from his reply: " The shape of the curve (was) traced out by the intensity as it drifted thru our antenna pattern. It fits the curve perfectly, indicating it is not in the near field of the antenna. If it were an Earth satellite, it would have to be at least at lunar distance to appear fixed in the sky."

***** Satellites at lunar distance are few in number, and were fewer still in 1978, when the 'wow signal' was received. A satellite at such a distance would not be practical as a surveillance platform, subject to secrecy, so any satellite at this distance would presumably be known to the scientific community. No known satellite could be determined to be the source of the 'wow signal'.

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I think if it were announced tomorrow that SETI had real honest to goodness proof of alien life that many people would go TOLD YOU SO, many people would get some renweed energy to "dig that old story out" Roswell would probably have the biggest revival in history and plastic alien masks would sell well. Possibly a Betty and Barney Hill movie will get produced by Hollywood.

People would go to work, kids would go to school, banks would still collect mortgages, people will go shopping, cook, eat and sleep. Machines will still need to be turned on money will still need to be made, lives will need saving cars will need fuel people will need things fixed, some people will go fishing. It would be a very fascinating moment in the day of a great many people whilst we continue doing what has to be done. I expect dinner tables may be buzzing with conversation a little more than usual that night.

People do not think the world would stop or go crazy for real surely. We already have all the crazy people this planet can handle I think.

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I had a reply from Dr. Robert Dixon, Director of the Ohio State University SETI program, to an inquiry I made about the 'wow signal', in 1996. I quote from his reply: " The shape of the curve (was) traced out by the intensity as it drifted thru our antenna pattern. It fits the curve perfectly, indicating it is not in the near field of the antenna. If it were an Earth satellite, it would have to be at least at lunar distance to appear fixed in the sky."

***** Satellites at lunar distance are few in number, and were fewer still in 1978, when the 'wow signal' was received. A satellite at such a distance would not be practical as a surveillance platform, subject to secrecy, so any satellite at this distance would presumably be known to the scientific community. No known satellite could be determined to be the source of the 'wow signal'.

Ehman has also considers the likelihood that this might be from another planet - LINK

Personally I try to keep up with any developments with the WOW! signal, it is not too hard to be honest, pretty slow going between informational releases there.

However, one should keep in mind that the LGM-1 signal (and CTA-102 signal) had a lesson to be learned with regards to a premature conclusion.

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Posted (edited)

Ehman has also considers the likelihood that this might be from another planet - LINK

Personally I try to keep up with any developments with the WOW! signal, it is not too hard to be honest, pretty slow going between informational releases there.

However, one should keep in mind that the LGM-1 signal (and CTA-102 signal) had a lesson to be learned with regards to a premature conclusion.

There were no premature scientific conclusions, as far as I am aware, concerning PSR B1919+21 (LGM-1), the first pulsar discovered, or CTA-102, one of the first quasars known. It was *suggested* that these *could* be extraterrestrial signals, which was perfectly true, based on what was known of them, early on. The TASS news agency made a too positive announcement that the latter source was a beacon of an extraterrestrial civilization, but this was not science, merely careless journalism, something that troubles this field, even today, regardless of the country involved.

*****All due honor to Dr. Jerry Ehman for having discovered the 'wow signal', but his idea that one of our own signals was reflected from a planet in our solar system seems very unlikely. None of the planets was at or near the coordinates at which the radio telescope was aimed at the time the signal was detected. The signal was quite strong (60 Janskys; the Sun, as a comparison has a typical flux density of 105 Janskys) This was 30 sigma above background noise. The planets are inefficient reflectors of radio waves.

Edited by bison

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