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

Re: SETI Off-topic Censorious Posts

Mitchell Jones ( mjones@jump.net )
Tue, 17 Nov 1998 21:33:11 -0600

>On Tue, 17 Nov 1998, Mitchell Jones wrote:
>> ***{If NASA told you that Mars should be at a location and, when you
>> looked, you saw a kangaroo, does that mean you would label the kangaroo as
>> "Mars" and think no more about the matter? If so, then I think you are a
>> bit odd. :-) Seriously, what your above comment tells me is that you
>> haven't checked out the suncruiser website. I suggest that you do so, and
>> *then* tell me whether what you see could be Mars. The link is
>> http://www.eagle-net.org/IWP/suncru.htm. Enjoy! --Mitchell Jones}***
>
>I checked out the web site and did about half a dozen tests with the
>astronomy program. It is Mars.

***{Mars averages about 1.5 A.U. from the Sun. That would put it more than
2 A.U. from Earth when the clearest of the "suncruiser" photos was taken.
Since SOHO is at the L1 Lagrangian (see
http://www.ms.u-tokai.ac.jp/aaindex/explore/wlagran.html), that puts
Mars--this is a guess--roughly 200 million miles from SOHO, when the photo
was taken. The Sun, which also shows in the same picture, is about
91million miles from SOHO. Yet, despite the fact that the Sun has a
diameter of 864,000 miles and Mars has a diameter of 4225 miles, the width
of the "suncruiser" in the photo is 9/12 of the diameter of the Sun! In
other words, despite the fact that the Sun has 204 times the diameter of
Mars and is less than half as far away, the width of the solar disc (as
indicated by the bright circle near the center of the frosted area), is
only 1.33 times as wide as "Mars!" Bottom line: *that ain't Mars, Daniel.*
--Mitchell Jones}***

Off hand I don't know why it looks like
>it has rings

***{Mars doesn't have rings. More importantly, this object doesn't look
like a planet with rings: it looks like a gigantic alien starship.
--Mitchell Jones}***

, but it is where Mars should be. As I pointed out the last
>time this was raised on this list: If it isn't Mars then we have an even
>bigger mystery because Mars would be missing. As far as I know none of
>the sun cruiser proponents have said where Mars is since it should be in
>those images.

***{Daniel, if I get in my helicopter and position myself between your
telescope and Mars, what are you going to see when you point your telescope
where Mars ought to be? The answer: you are going to see my helicopter, of
course. The fact that you don't see Mars will not give rise to thoughts
that Mars must be missing, because it will be obvious that it is behind my
helicopter, in its accustomed location. Similar reasoning applies if ET's
position a gigantic starship on the line of sight from your telescope to
Mars. In that case, when you attempt to look at Mars, you will see a
gigantic alien starship, and, once again, that state of affairs will *not*
mean that Mars is missing. --Mitchell Jones}***

>
>> ***{On that point, I remain unsatisfied. I have already posted my critique
>> of the SETI Institute's analysis of the "Paul Dore" situation. Since you
>> have gunned me out of the sky on the "suncruiser" connection, would you
>> care to go for two in a row? To that end, please tell me what,
>> specifically, you see about the situation that enables you to discount the
>> possibility that "Paul Dore's" current claims are being made under duress?
>> It seems to me that if we treat the situation seriously, then we have a
>> clear-cut clash between what "Paul Dore" said early on and what he is
>> saying now. Since one of the things he said early on was that he was being
>> subjected to threats and intimidation by government goons, it seems to me
>> that there are two ways to plausibly explain the change in his story:
>
>Well, for starters, I was on the private list he hacked into and saw a lot
>of the mail that went back and forth about it. There were major errors
>which pointed to the screens having been copied just a few minutes apart
>and then the dates on one or both were changed. We can't know when they
>were done, but we can tell from the background noise that they were done
>just a few minutes apart. This combined with the fact that the images had
>different dates tells us that one or both images had been altered. This
>was spotted very quickly. Discussion went on to internet security since
>we did have somebody hack into a private listserver. There was no way to
>contact the hoaxster since his email address had been faked and nobody
>wanted to advertise the fact he had hacked into a private listserver to
>post faked data. He then posted on the public listserver. Fractenna
>pointed out several other things wrong with the data including the fact
>that he claimed to have gone off source and back on the verify that
>the signal wasn't local, there was no trace of this in the data. This
>leads to the conclusion we are being lied to. The second set of data he
>posted claiming to go off and on source, well he didn't really understand
>how that would change the signal level. The third data set using SETIFOX,
>well the screen capture is just all wrong. I'm very familiar with the
>program and how it operates, so seeing things like information lines that
>show the Earth wasn't rotating for at least 6 minutes 39 seconds, signal
>detections marked on the waterfall display but not noted at the bottom of
>the screen, etc was kind of jarring. Conclusion: the screen was edited.
>The fourth set of data was taken from the SETI Institute web page and
>edited. The background noise gave away the source, kind of a digital
>watermark.

***{This sounds plausible so far. Of course, I would need the data images
and a detailed writeup in order to decide whether it is a correct
interpretation. If you have such a presentation, please send me a copy.
Alternatively, please point me toward the source of your information.
--Mitchell Jones}***

>
>Since the data was fake, let's look at the story.
>
>The web page that the hoaxster took the Paul Dore background information
>from was located very early on.

***{Well, yes: it was the web page of "Paul Dore"--i.e., the guy who
apparently was proven, by the data I supplied in my last post, to be the
actual source of the claimed SETI hit. But that is not surprising, is it?
What is wrong with him taking his background information from his own web
page? --Mitchell Jones}***

I probably shouldn't go into details, but
>it was figured out that he was an innocent party.

***{Yes, after a post went out under the name of "Paul Dore" claiming that
he was being threatened and intimidated by government goons, a second post
went out under the name of "Paul Dore" denying all knowledge of the claimed
SETI hit. But how do we decide which post was true and which was false? The
answer, at that point, was unobtainable. However, it was later argued, in a
post to the Art Bell site--which I quoted to you in my last post here--that
"Paul Dore" had left his tracks on the net and, thus, that his claim to
have had no knowledge of the claimed SETI hit was false. The implication
would seem to be that his first claim was true and that his later denials
were made under duress. Nothing you have said thus far has undercut that
reasoning in any way--unless, of course, you expect me to take your word
that your analysis of the signal is correct. Unfortunately--no offense--I
can't do that. What I am looking for here is some sort of factual proof
which will enable me to sort this out without making a leap of faith.
--Mitchell Jones}***

The two Jodrell bank
>astronomers, who were supposed to be at the press conference, could not be
>found

***{This part is wrong. I followed the story from the beginning, and "Paul
Dore" explicitly stated that the two astronomers were *not* from Jodrell
Bank. He never said *where* they were from, though it was speculated in one
of the wire service stories that they may have been from Efflesberg.
--Mitchell Jones}***

and the hall he was supposed to give the press conference at had no
>record of the area being reserved. This is suspicious.

***{It would be, if he had ever stated the location of the press
conference. However, he did not so state in any of the material I read, and
as far as I am aware, I read it all. Thus I think that, once again, we are
dealing with a guess gleaned from a reporter, rather than from "Paul Dore."
--MJ}***

The images of the
>black cars outside his residence have the steering wheel on the left, not
>the right like they do in England.

***{I suspect that you are misremembering here. The SETI Institute stated
that the cars were parked on the right side of the road rather than on the
left. It did not claim that the cars had steering wheels on the left side,
and I do not recall being able to discern that from the photos. Of course,
I am open to being corrected about this. If you have the two photos, please
send them to me. If I see steering wheels on the right side, I will
cheerfully and openly concede that you have made a good point. --Mitchell
Jones}***

Also the license plate is blacked out

***{This statement reinforces my conviction that you aren't looking at the
actual photos, because I studied both of them very carefully, and looked in
particular for front license plates. Neither was "blacked out." There were
simply no front plates on either car. Since that is perfectly legal in many
jurisdictions, it proves nothing. --Mitchell Jones}***
,
>but it was an American size license plate that was blacked out.

***{This is an inference based on a false datum, and proves nothing.
--Mitchell Jones}***

The claim
>that it was really a secret military satellite was also bogus since they
>can't really stop you from receiving secret military transmissions.

***{They claimed that it was a top secret military deep space probe
connected with "project 415," according to "Paul Dore's" description of his
conversation with the three men. Moreover, again according to "Paul Dore,"
they claimed that it wasn't a SETI hit and that, for reasons of
"international security," he should shut up about it. The point: they
weren't focused on the fact that he was reading the signals, but on the
fact that he was drawing public attention to them. And, believe me, under
the cover of "security," government goons can do any damn thing they
please. Bottom line: there is no no clear basis, from the contents of the
story itself, that the story of the visit by the government goons was
bogus. It might have been, and it might not. --Mitchell Jones}***

Now
>if the military were using cellular phones it would be another story. :)
>
>Seriously, if this had been a real signal we would not of had the fuss we
>had. In searching people have turned up some interesting things,
>including secret military satellites.

***{Could be, but without supporting evidence, why are you willing to trust
a claim by a government operative that a tentative SETI hit is really from
a "secret military satellite?" If you are willing to do that, you
essentially place them in the position of being the final arbiters of
whether a hit is real or not. I don't think it is permissible to do that.
Government claims are just claims, and need to be supported by evidence,
just like similar claims by private citizens. Why so? The reason is
obvious: it has been alleged for decades, by thousands of people from all
over the world, that governments are attempting to cover up the existence
of aliens. If that is true, then they would invoke the "secret military
satellite" excuse to divert SETI league researchers off the trail of a real
SETI hit, if one were to be made. That means they cannot be trusted, and
must back up their claims with evidence or expect to be ignored, just like
everybody else. --Mitchell Jones}***

A real ET signal would be a great
>discovery, but the EQ Pegasi signal was a hoax and as such means that EQ
>Pegasi is no more likely a place to look than anywhere else in the sky.
>Actually, there are better places to look than EQ Pegasi.

***{I appreciate your feedback, but so far I'm not convinced. If I owned a
small radiotelescope dish, I would be busily searching the sky around EQ
Peg at this very moment. (Where there's smoke, there may be fire!)
--Mitchell Jones}***

>
>I hope this answers some of your questions.

***{Your comments are very interesting and are appreciated despite the fact
that I have disagreed at a number of points. I encourage anyone to jump in
who can assist us in clarifying this issue. --Mitchell Jones}***

>
>Daniel Fox