WASHINGTON, July 23, 2017 — The signal was strong and came in regular intervals that were more in keeping with a man made, Earthbound radio beacon than what one expects to hear propagating through deep space.
When the radio telescope used by astronomer Jocelyn Bell Burnell detected the signal in 1967, recording its oscillating lines on a roll of paper like heartbeats drawn by an electrocardiogram, her boss Tony Hewish jotted three letters on the printout’s margin: LGM.
It stood for “Little Green Men.”
The signal turned out to be radio emissions from a newly discovered celestial object: a pulsar – the small remnant of an exploded star whose polar regions emit beams of electromagnetic radiation as the object spins rapidly on its access, like a lighthouse lantern.
Then last May, astronomers using the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico, Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia, and the Parkes Telescope in Australia, combined their petabytes (millions of gigabytes) of data to discover another signal from outside our solar system, somewhere near the dwarf star Ross 128 in the constellation Virgo, 11 light-years from Earth.
The discoverers call themselves the Breakthrough Listen Team, with famed cosmologist Stephen Hawking counted among its members. They search the night sky for radio signals from civilizations not of this world.
Their data was submitted to the Department of Astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley and the folks at the SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) Institute for evaluation.
Although their report was heavily laced with scientific jargon and charts bearing oscillating lines with accompanying dots, a single sentence helped the layman understand their conclusion:
“We note that one possible source for the emission… could be a broadband radio signal from an artificial satellite.”
Still no answer to the Fermi paradox: “Where is everybody?” Oh, well.
Back on planet Earth, meanwhile, here’s an interesting fact concerning Stephen Hawking and the Breakthrough Listen Team. Their search for intelligent life beyond our world, owes its $100 million funding to Russian billionaire Yuri Milner.
His Digital Sky Technologies (DST) is rumored to have ties to the Russian mob and Vladimir Putin’s KGB-FSB police-state goons.
Recently, Milner tried to make inroads in Silicon Valley as a venture capitalist, using methods described as “harassing and hounding.” He even built a $100 million mansion with spectacular views of San Francisco Bay.
At a time when the mainstream media is subjecting Americans to an endless barrage of stories expounding the dangers of Russian collusion, its seems that scientists eager to make “first contact” with intelligent aliens have few qualms concerning their financial ties to unsavory Muscovites.
That means the first Earth ambassadors to greet intelligent and superior alien beings might be Russian oligarchs who are prone to invade their neighbors, prone to extort goods and cash, prone to poison obnoxious opponents with polonium-laced tea, and supposedly prone to “influence” presidential elections – at home and abroad.
Come to think of it, this kind of Russian activity might be what’s keeping aliens away… and radio silent.
Come to think of it, this may explain Enrico Fermi’s paradox.