archive: SETI LDEs & probe searching

SETI LDEs & probe searching

Chris Boyce ( (no email) )
Mon, 7 Sep 1998 10:58:20 +0100

A natural explanation for LDEs was put forward by Anthony Lawton almost a
quarter century ago ['Long Delayed Echoes: the Search for a Solution' by A.T
Lawton and S.J. Newton, Spaceflight, vol. 6 no 5, pp 181-187, May 1974].
This was written in response to Duncan Lunan's hypothesis that the 1920s
LDEs could be pattern interpreted and that they indicated a station-keeping
probe from Epsilon Bootes lay in either the L4 or L5 Lagrange points in the
Moon's orbit around the Earth (published in his book 'Man and the Stars',
1973 - 'Interstellar Contact' in the USA). Such a probe had been suggested
by Bracewell who also suggested a message may lie in the echoes themselves.

Lawton's natural origins hypothesis was regarded as sufficiently impressive
by the British Interplanetary Society for them to award the author
Fellowship of the Society. Since that time it has been cited a number of
times usually in the context of dismissing further investigation of the

That notwithstanding, the L4 and L5 points actually were subsequently
investigated but with negative results ['A search for natural or artificial
objects located at the Earth-Moon libration point', Icarus, vol. 42, pp
442-7, 1980].

Twenty years ago I wrote a book 'Extraterrestrial Encounter' (same title in
USA) in which I presented a case for ET probe searching. This was based on
the hypothesis that the replicator probe strategy outlined by Michael Arbib
['The Likelihood of the Evolution of Communicating Intelligences on Other
Planets', in Interstellar Communication: Scientific Perspectives (C.
Ponnamperuma and A. Cameron, Eds.), Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., (1974) pp.
59-78] This appeared so logical a strategy that I assumed, then and now,
that any alien society with sufficient technical proficiency would probably
adopt it if they intended exploring the cosmos.

There is good reason to make further searches. The technological level of
the probes need not be particularly advanced on our own whereas the average
ET society will probably be hundreds of millions of years beyond ourselves
with technologies possibly 'akin to magic', to paraphrase A.C. Clarke.
Replicator probes need only be a few centuries beyond us in technological
development even if they were released a billion years ago.

They would also be autonomous, self-sufficient and self-aware systems closer
to biological entities than any robot device we might imagine. They will
also be highly intelligent.

And they will be local. They'll have been in the Solar System for tens of
millions of years at least. So where they are concerned we are the new kids
on the block!

There's much more material on my website on this theme in the article 'The
Logical Contact' - website address below.

Chris Boyce
ET-Presence -
-----Original Message-----
From: <>
To: <>
Cc: <>
Date: 07 September 1998 05:49
Subject: Re: SETI Yet another hair-brained-antenna-idea?

>On Sun, 6 Sep 98 20:04:36 +0100 Richard Burke-Ward
><> writes:

>Anyways Richard, there are a lot of open minded folks on these lists..
>Maybe some folks think LDEs are like UFOs and want to
>hold back their comments until they see others come clean..
>(Of course no one wants people to think they are UFO kooks)..
>In plain english, if ETI probes really exist (in this area), then
>there is a very good likelihood of a link to many UFO sightings.(IMHO)..
>Right now, it seems unlikely there is a link between probes and LDEs..
>We can only speculate. One thing I have found, is you can't
>easily convince very many people that things that they personally
>have never seen really exist.. Most folks are like me and have
>that old ' Seeing is believing' MO..
>Due to a few strange events in my own life, It's no leap of 'faith'
>for me to know that these things exists. One has to believe in
>his own powers of observation. (most especially if there were
>1500 other people there too). But without more data, I'll have to
>reserve judgement on what these things are.
>Don't be disheartened by the low response level.. I read your LDE
>stuff and it got me thinking about an approach to the problem
>that may not be too hard to execute.
>And don't think for one second that looking for probes is a
>back-burner project. La grange point & asteroid scanning
>have been done and will most likely be done repeatedly with
>better & better technology. There are researchers that
>think that probes are possibly here now or have been here in
>the past.
>Oh no, it's late.. I'm off to the sleeping module.. 73 Rich <>
>Richard Tyndall NJ1A Woburn, MA. USA
> or
> ARGUS Observatory FN42jl