archiv~1: SETI ATNF clams up on 1.451 ghz hit.

SETI ATNF clams up on 1.451 ghz hit.

Jim Ostrowski ( )
Thu, 19 Nov 1998 06:02:54 -0800

Dear Seti listserver participants,

I have subscibed to this list for the purpose of obtaining comment on
subject matter contained herein.

While acknowledging that the GeoCities "Paul Dore" SETI hit site was
faked (to who's benefit?) there remains some nagging questions about
followup effort conducted by the Australian radio astronomer Dr. Ray

I participate on the vortex-l listserver where John Winterflood is an
occasional contributor. Winterflood was formerly associated with the
Australian Telescope National Facility (ATNF). On Nov 3 he posted the
following message to the list:

> -------------------------------begin clip---------------------------
> Subject: Australian CSIRO fails to find SETI signal
> Resent-Date: Mon, 2 Nov 1998 23:36:22 -0800
> Resent-From:
> Date: Tue, 03 Nov 1998 15:38:25 +0800
> From: John Winterflood <>
> Reply-To:
> To:
> An update on CSIRO's efforts :-
> >This is just a quickie to let you know that we have used the Australia
> >Telescope Compact Array to look for the claimed signal from EQ Peg, and
> >found nothing, at a sensitivity level about thirty times greater than that
> >of the claimed detection.
> >
> >Details are on
> >
> >Dr. Ray P. Norris
> >Head of Astrophysics and Computing
> >CSIRO Australia Telescope National Facility

Since I was interested in this subject, I clicked on the website

I was startled to find that the information contained on the site
disagreed with the information given in the subject line in the above
message. Norris
did observe a very narrow band signal @ 1.451 ghz. He spent less than
20 minutes observing this signal, made no attempt to determine the
modulation mode, if any, and decided that it was "probably"
"interference" from a "satellite". He even commented that it might
have been a "secret" gov't satellite since it was one of the
speculations extant at the time, put forward as an explanation of the
"Dore hit".

The site referred to in the above clip is now blocked from public
access. I wrote to Dr. Norris asking him for further comment and he did
reply, but simply said that he would not "waste any more time" on the

There are two factors that mitigate against the idea that what Norris
(and others, apparently) observed was a satellite or terrestrial space
probe of any kind. These are (1) the very narrow bandwidth ( <600 hz
wide ), and (2) and high relative field strength against background
noise ( I have a jpeg graphic of the spectrum analyzer screen dump that
was on the now inaccessible ATNF site) . Modern satellite technology
uses wide
band but low field strength "spread spectrum" technology which requires
recursive processing at the receive end in order to extract data from

With all of this in mind , it came to my attention that the "SETI
League" effort is geared to looking for a wide band signal. Is this

If so I would like to discuss the merits of assuming a wide band signal
across interstellar distances with any representative of the SETI group
who feels knowledgeable. There is apparently a "Dr. Nathan Cohen"
associated with the SETI league who thinks that a narrow band signal
won't work.
I see no reason for this. In fact, there are reasons to draw the
opposite conclusion,
i.e. that wide band signals across such distances would be much more
difficult to
detect than narrow band emissions.

I think the very cursory examination of this signal and subsequent
dismissal as being "interference" was a disservice to the SETI effort
in general. While it could be acknowledged that Dr. Norris has other
priorities for his radio telescope, he could have at least logged this
one as unexplained rather than dismissing it completely as he did
after such little time as was spent on this. This would have had the
effect of spurring further investigation by other sites, perhaps even
the SETI league itself.

I have read that there were "numerous" attempts by menmbers of the SETI
to verify the "Dore" hit. However this one of Dr. Norris' is the only
one I have seen a report about. Where can one review write-ups of the
reported attempts of others?


Jim Ostrowski

PS: Parties interested in where my interests in this arise from are
invited to visit

"Experimental Evidence for an Alternate Theory of Light Propagation"