China claims it has picked up alien signals, then deletes report
June 15, 2022 | 33 comments
FAST is the largest telescope of its kind in the world. Image Credit: NAO / FAST
China's 'Sky Eye' telescope has picked up possible evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence.
News outlets today have been reporting on the intriguing claim that astronomers at China's Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) - which began efforts to scour the cosmos for signs of intelligent life back in 2020 - have picked up several 'suspicious' signals.
Two of these were recorded in 2019 and then analyzed in 2020, while a third was picked up this year during observations of extrasolar planets.
What makes these claims particularly interesting is the fact that the report - which was published in the Chinese state-backed Science and Technology Daily
- has since been deleted without explanation.
Fortunately it had made its way onto social media before being removed, however details of the discoveries are thin on the ground and nobody has been quite sure what to make of them.
It's quite possible that Chinese astronomers did discover unexplained signals, however it is not a foregone conclusion that they would be extraterrestrial communications.
Perhaps the article's authors spoke too soon and decided to pull the report to avoid putting across the wrong impression, or maybe they determined that the data wasn't as promising as they thought.
Alternatively, perhaps they really did find something significant and the Chinese government wanted to keep it quiet.
Whatever the case, the incident is likely to generate some heated debate.
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