archiv~1: Re: SETI Off-topic Censorious Posts

Re: SETI Off-topic Censorious Posts

Daniel Boyd Fox ( )
Mon, 16 Nov 1998 22:21:16 -0500 (EST)

On Mon, 16 Nov 1998, Mitchell Jones wrote:
> ***{Frankly, these astonishing SOHO photos and their associated
> interpretative difficulties were only pointed out to me a few days ago, and
> I have not had time to get much feedback about them. The reason for my
> posting of these links, in fact, is to elicit feedback. I am open to any
> alternative theories anyone may care to toss at me. That's why I posted
> those links on this list. It is only within the last month that I have
> begun to seriously consider the possibility that all of this talk about
> "flying saucers," "alien visitations," etc., may have enough factual basis
> to be subject to scientific verification, and my opinions on this topic are
> anything but firm. One thing does seem crystal clear, however: a supposed
> "search for extraterrestrial intelligence" that, on principle, refuses to
> consider the possibility that there may be aliens in our own solar system,
> is little more than a fraud. Tentative hits from near the earth, or near
> the sun, cannot reasonably be discounted without evidence. And if the
> government simply asserts that something is a satellite, they must be
> required to support their assertions with evidence. Too many people have
> alleged that governments are trying to cover up the existence of ET's for
> us to place them in the position to be the final arbiters of whether we
> have a "hit" or not. --Mitchell Jones}***

You might read through the archive of this listserver. There was a
posting back in May that tried to claim that the planet Mars was an alien
spacecraft that the government was trying to cover up based on a SOHO
image. I think the same people are still at it.

> ***{Actually, the coordinates of EQ Peg are RA 23h31m52s, DEC 19deg56m15s,
> according to a reference I pulled off of the net. What the declination
> number means is that EQ Pe lies almost 20 degrees above the plane of
> Earth's equator. However, since the plane of the ecliptic is tilted at an
> angle of 23.5 degrees to the plane of Earth's equator, the actual angular
> distance between EQ Peg and the Sun varies throughout the year as the Sun,
> from the point-of-view of the celestial coordinate system, swings about the
> Earth. Now I do not have access to a program that would be capable of doing
> an exact calculation of this sort, but from the perspective of simply
> visualizing the situation that existed from Sept. 17 until the end of
> October, when these various possible SETI hits occurred, it seems to me
> that the "suncruiser" may have been in the vicinity of the line of sight
> from Earth to EQ Peg. [Note: the first tentative SETI hit on EQ Peg was


> happens. I would try it in English: "Hello out there. We read your signal
> loud and clear. Do you have anything to say to us? Over." If we got a
> response, it would be the beginning of a mind-boggling adventure, and would
> be guaranteed to transform the world.
> Of course, these are merely possibilities. But pointing an amateur dish at
> this signal and transmitting a response to see what happens is an
> experiment to test these possibilities, and so this thread has already
> progressed from the point of speculation to that of hard science. As such,
> it is fully legitimate even by that standard, and those who claim that
> discussion of this alleged hoax is off topic are out of line.

The sun won't line up with E Q Pegasi until the middle of January. This
whole line of thought is wrong from the start.

> ***{What is your point--that I am the hoaxer, perhaps? Well now there's an
> occasion for a good laugh! Hell, maybe *you* are the hoaxer! Can you prove
> that you aren't? Maybe you are insinuating that it's me to divert attention
> away from yourself! :-) --Mitchell Jones}***

According to what I read elsewhere, it looks like the hoaxster's real
identity is becoming known at last. It may actually increase the signal
to noise of the entire internet by a small amount.

Daniel Fox