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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1998 > Jun > Jun 11

More Than 100 ET Radio Signals Collected During

From: virginia@ping.be, Stig_Agermose@online.pol.dk (Stig Agermose)
Date: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 13:05:48 +0200
Fwd Date: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 23:10:17 -0400
Subject: More Than 100 ET Radio Signals Collected During

Received from the UASR list via Lieve (virgiania@ping.be) June 10 1998.



Date: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 12:05:35 +0200
From: Lieve <virginia@ping.be>
To: Stig_Agermose@online.pol.dk
Subject: re-send

Posted by : Dave Pigott <davep@harlequin.co.uk>

Sunday Times of London,
by Steve Farrar & Alex McGregor,
7 June 1998

Some of the world's leading astronomers revealed last week that
they have collected more than 100 unexplained radio signals
during routine surveillance of space.

These faint, pure tones have no natural origin and could have
been created artificially, the scientists said. They do not rule
out the astonishing possibility that this strange radio traffic
could have extra-terrestrial origins.

Most of the signals have been picked up by American radio
telescopes managed by the Search for Extra-Terrestrial
Intelligence Institute (SETI) in Mountain View, California, set
up in 1988 to study radio static in space and scan it for
material that could be evidence of alien contact. A few have
also been logged by British astronomers studying stars and
galaxies with the Lovell telescope at Jodrell Bank, near
Macclesfield in Cheshire.

"It's tempting to hypothesise that at least some of these
seductive signals were truly from ET and that they vanished from
the ether when the extra-terrestrials turned off their
transmitters or otherwise went off air before we could verify
the message," said Dr Seth Shostak, SETI's public programmes

Alternatively, he said, it was possible they were simply the
product of some kind of local interference that did not repeat
when the astronomers tried to relocate the rogue signals.

SETI, which was formed by scientists including Carl Sagan and
received funding from Nasa until 1993, has yet to discover any
clear, repeated radio pattern that might hint at the existence
of alien intelligence in the universe.

The short, indistinct signals that have been detected are a far
cry from the resounding pulses featured in the movie Contact, in
which Jodie Foster played a SETI astronomer who deciphered radio
contact with aliens. Foster's signed photograph is pinned to a
wall in SETI's Silicon Valley office. None of the signals has
been heard by human ears - they were all picked up by computers
monitoring radio telescopes.

"If you could hear the signal at the frequency it is received,
it would sound like a faint whistle, a pure tone which could
only be made by a transmitter. As far as we know, nature can't
make a pure sound," said Shostak. Each time one of these signals
is detected by a radio telescope, an alarm alerts SETI
astronomers, who work around the clock. None has yet been
pinpointed or recorded a second time, so that scientists have
been denied the chance of making a study of their source or

SETI is stepping up efforts to increase its chances of
relocating one of these signals and has secured agreement to use
the world's largest radio telescope - which was featured in the
James Bond film GoldenEye - at Arecibo in Puerto Rico.

The Americans are also negotiating with British astronomers to
launch a five-year project to allow speedy verification and
tracking of these elusive noises.

Whenever SETI identifies a suspect signal, radio telescopes at
Jodrell Bank will scan the same section of the sky to locate it.
In this way the scientists can rule out possible terrestrial
interference from radar, traffic and even electric fences as a

"I'm sure there are signals that have come and gone that we
couldn't get to the bottom of. That's not to say it's little
green men trying to communicate with us, but we just don't
know," said Dr Tom Muxlow, an astronomer at the British radio
astronomy observatory. He disclosed that Jodrell Bank had picked
up about six rogue signals.

The possibility that the signals have extra-terrestrial origins
cannot be ignored, according to Nobel laureate Tony Hewish,
emeritus professor of radio astronomy at Cambridge University.
In 1967 Hewish and Jocelyn Bell, a student, believed they had
found evidence of an alien first contact when they detected a
regular pulse of radio signals coming from a distant star.

"It all had an air of unreality about it, but for a month we
thought it was possible that the signals were coming from
intelligent life on another planet. When radio astronomers pick
up signals that are very peculiar they take it with a big pinch
of salt, but you cannot remove the possibility," said Hewish.
Instead, they had found a pulsar, a rapidly spinning neutron
star, a discovery for which Hewish won a Nobel prize in 1974.

Shostak is not put off by the prospect that any signal from an
alien world would probably be indecipherable. "If we heard from
an ET, it would be from a civilisation that is a long way ahead
of us, maybe even a million years more advanced than we are," he


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