archiv~1: SETI More about the HOAX

SETI More about the HOAX

PHENOMENA ( (no email) )
Thu, 12 Nov 1998 04:05:53 +0100

Down Under Radio Astronomers Are Upside Down: Prove They're Just Horsing Around




More data just keeps pouring in.

After sign off from the Art Bell show last night, TEM posted an image showing the SETI data obtained
in Australia.The images came from the Australian Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) and were posted by
Dr. Ray Norris, a principal investigator with the facility. While the paper claimed to be a "case
closed" on the Dore affair, it was full of several major logical holes and seemed to ignore their
own data graphs. The posting is obviously intended for political consumption, aimed at the general
public who lack the training to spot the obvious inconsistencies.

It starts by linking Dore with the Effelsberg story, which is easily used to discredit the Dore
data. It should be remembered that Dore at no time named the two astronomers or the Observatory he
claimed were going to support him at the press conference.Those stories came from the British press.
Norris then points out that the claim has been "ridiculed" by the SETI community, partly because
Dore (who is not part of that community) did not follow established protocol for reporting it. Dore
of course, evidently had good reason for not reporting it, he did not trust the SETI community and
did not wish to be "ridiculed" before confirming his findings.

Setting aside for a moment the implications of a community of "scientists" who would rather ridicule
a possible find in their chosen field than check it out, ATCA at least pointed their telescope at EQ
Pegasi. After using a very narrow band instrument pointed at the star, they came up with nothing.
When they switched to a mode with less sensitivity and a larger field of view, they had a major hit
at 1451.8 MHz, which they promptly dismissed as "probably not related," because Dore's original
signal was reported as 1453.075 MHz and the signal was several degrees off the star's position. The
logic of this conclusion is hard to absorb.

The signal, derisively described as "interference" by Norris, is a megaphonic blast of biblical
proportions! It is unimaginable that a spike which is nearly twice the amplitude of the background
noise can be mere interference.

The SETI model may be the problem. Evidently, the SETI guys assume that ET will be sitting around
one night, listening on his ET version of a HAM radio, and catch a call from us. They have decided
that what he will then do is send another signal back from his little cabin in the ET woods, and
wait around for 22 light years or so for us to call him back.

Now, even if you ignore the fact that a radio telescope would probably be the ET equivalent of an
8-track tape to any mildly advanced civilization, had it occurred to these geniuses that ET might do
something else? Like get in his car and go have a look?

Assuming that any signal off a stellar source is "not related" is about as smart as assuming that a
traffic light is not related to your car unless it is positioned directly in front of you, not to
mention stop signs, which are way off to the side. Given the "probe model" put forth by Hoagland on
Art Bell's show last Friday, it would seem only logical to check the general vicinity, which they
did. But then to dismiss such an obvious hit as "Almost certainly ... a terrestrial satellite" is
sheer stupidity. I mean, didn't it ever occur to these guys that ET might have a car phone?

Norris goes on to argue that it must be a satellite signal because it is modulating up and down. He
assumes that this due to a rotational period of the source object, which he has decided is a
satellite. OK, which satellite? It is a fairly easy thing to check for a terrestrial satellite in
the area, although it can take some time. But he hasn't apparently even tried. Another problem is
that most satellites don't rotate unless they are committed to particle research, and there are no
such bogey's in the sky at the moment.

Of course, there is another perfectly reasonable explanation for the observed modulation. It's

The idea of an approaching probe sending out a navigational beacon is evidently beyond the SETI
mindset. To dismiss the signal as a satellite simply because it is not on a star and seems to be
dropping in frequency is overtly stupid. The fact is the signal has all the characteristics that
SETI should logically be looking for, if in fact they are actually interested in finding ET. It is
our suspicion here that they are not.

To make such arrogant assumptions and dismiss such compelling data is criminal. If the target is
moving and decelerating, then we can expect that it will continue to drift farther from the position
of EQ Pegasi and it's frequency will continue to drop. Further observations are essential if we are
to determine where it is really coming from and what it really is.

To ascribe such behavior to gross incompetence is far fetched. This posting seems calculated to
discourage anyone else from looking, as opposed to trying to determine the nature of the signal. As
we stated yesterday, SETI must fall into one of two categories on this issue, liars or idiots. At
the moment, they appear to be liars.

But, we know one thing more than we knew yesterday. The signal is real.