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

Re: SETI ATNF clams up on 1.451 ghz hit.

Jim Ostrowski ( )
Sat, 21 Nov 1998 10:35:04 -0800 wrote:

> No; it is correct. But YOUR statement is not. The closed list was reviewing
> the data and found it to be bogus. However, the data was posted on THIS PUBLIC
> list on 10-26. At that time , I first saw the data and found it to be bogus,
> at which point Paul Shuch made the first statement from the closed-list
> analysis on this public list. That's how I found out about the closed-list
> hacking, and I feel that the SL did the right thing in not announcing it
> earlier. Why announce a hoax when the people it affects all know? There was NO
> public description of the data until 10-26. I have no idea (or interest) on
> when the geocities web site came up. I saw it on 10-29, may 10-28.
> I am not privy to the closed list, nor was I on 10-26 or before.
> What's the big mystery?

The fact that you have to ask this question illustrates the problem.
It's obvious to me but apparently your particular orientation and
mindset prevents you from seeing it somehow, Dr. Cohen.

The big mystery is the identity , motivation and institutional
affiliation (if any) of the hoaxer(s).

Dr. Shuch asked what qualifications do I have to judge Dr. Norris'
procedures as being
"unacceptable". Framing the issue this way , it becomes obvious that Dr.
Norris' procedures ARE "acceptable" - to people with the PREFERRED
credentials, such as the ones Dr. Shuch has. Ergo- if someone with
these preferred credentials makes a pronouncement, then everyone who
does not have them must just accept it. Although I may not have these
same kinds of credentials, most notably a "Dr." or a "Prof." in front of
my name, I do not believe that fact disqualifies me from making
reasonable judgements about things based on the evidence in front of me.
I admit I may not have all the evidence that might be available. That is
what I'm trying to get here.

So rather than debate the issue as I framed it earlier, I proposed the
following :

That Dr. Norris' conclusions were arbitrary and NOT reasonable.

Dr. Shuch , of course, takes the inverse of this position.

My background:

I am an electronics engineering senior level technician. I have worked
in several engineering labs of some big name companies , where my duties
included experiment design and documentation. Presently I have my own
small business, having to do with the repair and maintenance of various
types of electronic equipment. I think my daily routine of finding out
the truth of matters pertaining to electronic equipment failures is
pertinent to recognizing a reasonable probative procedure when one is
described or displayed. I believe, as a basic philosphy, that any job
worth doing is worth doing "right" - which means thoroughly and
completely , with no loose ends left lying around.

If you start something , you have to finish it, and if you do not have
time to finish it
it is your duty then to try and get someone else to take up where you
left off and
NOT rush to judgement on such an important issue. This is what I believe
Dr. Norris did,
namely, "Rushed to judgement"

Let's start with the Hoagland website's critique and take it from there.
I believe that Hoagland has a "Dr." in front of his name, so that should
satisfy those who are not happy with my "credentials" , described above.

----------begin clip--------

Setting aside for a moment the implications of a community of
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,
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
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
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
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
the ET equivalent of an
8-track tape to any mildly advanced civilization, had it occurred to
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
smart as assuming that a
traffic light is not related to your car unless it is positioned
in front of you, not to
mention stop signs, which are way off to the side. Given the "probe
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
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
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
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
farther from the position
of EQ Pegasi and it's frequency will continue to drop. Further
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
seems calculated to
discourage anyone else from looking, as opposed to trying to determine
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.
--------------------end clip---------------------------------------

Please remember these are not my words, and as inflammatory as they may
seem, I merely quote them for the purposes of this discussion, and I
specifically have not arrived at the conclusion that you are liars or

What are the chances, if this was all due a big hoax, that Dr. Norris
would encounter
a signal in the very same region of the sky quite near EQ Peg less than
1 percent in deviation from the frequency asserted in someone's fantasy?
(the hoaxter's)


Jim Ostrowski