Category Archives: Star Trek

Slow Galactic Colonization, Zoo Hypothesis and the Fermi Paradox

I couldn’t resist posting this today after reading it at Centauri Dreams. It’s extremely mainstream, by which the papers Paul Gilster discusses uses geological travel times for interstellar travel and the effects on the Fermi Paradox.

But he talks about the “zoo” hypothesis for our supposed lack of contact with ETIs ( no discussion of UFOs what-so-ever of course ) and I find that fascinating:


Many explanations for the Fermi paradox exist, but Hair and Hedman want to look at the possibility that starflight is so long and difficult that it takes vast amounts of time (measured in geologic epochs) to colonize on the galactic scale. Given that scenario, large voids within the colonized regions may still persist and remain uninhabited. If the Earth were located inside one of these voids we would not be aware of the extraterrestrial expansion. A second possibility is that starflight is so hard to achieve that other civilizations have simply not had time to reach us despite having, by some calculations, as much as 5 billion years to have done so (the latter figure comes from Charles Lineweaver, and I’ll have more to say about it in a moment).

Image: A detailed view of part of the disc of the spiral galaxy NGC 4565. Have technological civilizations had time enough to spread through an entire galaxy, and if so, would they be detectable? Credit: ESA/NASA.

The authors work with an algorithm that allows modeling of the expansion from the original star, running through iterations that allow emigration patterns to be analyzed in light of these prospects. It turns out that in 250 iterations, covering 250,000 years, a civilization most likely to emigrate will travel about 500 light years, for a rate of expansion that is approximately one-fourth of the maximum travel speed of one percent of the speed of light, the conservative figure chosen for this investigation. A civilization would spread through the galaxy in less than 50 million years.

These are striking numbers. Given five billion years to work with, the first civilization to develop starfaring capabilities could have colonized the Milky Way not one but 100 times. The idea that it takes billions of years to accomplish a galaxy-wide expansion fails the test of this modeling. Moreover, the idea of voids inside colonized space fails to explain the Fermi paradox as well:

…while interior voids exist at lower values of c initially, most large interior voids become colonized after long periods regardless of the cardinal value chosen, leaving behind only relatively small voids. In an examination of several 250 Kyr models with a wide range of parameters, the largest interior void encountered was roughly 30 light years in diameter. Since humans have been broadcasting radio since the early 20th century and actively listening to radio signals from space since 1960 (Time 1960), it is highly unlikely that the Earth is located in a void large enough to remain undiscovered to the present day. It follows that the second explanation of Fermi’s Paradox (Landis 1998) is not supported by the model presented.

There are mitigating factors that can slow down what the authors call the ‘explosively exponential nature’ of expansion, in which a parent colony produces daughter colonies and the daughters continue to do the same ad infinitum. The paper’s model suggests that intense competition for new worlds can spring up in the expanding wavefront of colonization. At the same time, moving into interior voids to fill them with colonies slows the outward expansion. But even models set up to reduce competition between colonies present the same result: Fermi’s lunchtime calculations seem to be valid, and the fact that we do not see evidence of other civilizations suggests that this kind of galactic expansion has not yet taken place.

Temporal Dispersion into the Galaxy

I can’t discuss Hair and Hedman’s work without reference to Hair’s earlier paper on the expansion of extraterrestrial civilizations over time. Tom had sent me this one in 2011 and I worked it into the Centauri Dreams queue before getting sidetracked by preparations for the 100 Year Starship symposium in Orlando. If I had been on the ball, I would have run an analysis of Tom’s paper at the time, but the delay gives me the opportunity to consider the two papers together, which turns out to work because they are a natural fit.

For you can see that Hair’s spatial analysis goes hand in glove with the question of why an extraterrestrial intelligence might avoid making its presence known. Given that models of expansion point to a galaxy that can be colonized many times over before humans ever emerged on our planet, let’s take up a classic answer to the Fermi paradox, that the ‘zoo hypothesis’ is in effect, a policy of non-interference in local affairs for whatever reason. Initially compelling, the idea seems to break down under close examination, given that it only takes one civilization to act contrary to it.

But there is one plausible scenario that allows the zoo hypothesis to work: The influence of a particularly distinguished civilization. Call it the first civilization. What sort of temporal head start would this first civilization have over later arrivals?

Hair uses Monte Carlo simulations, drawing on the work of Charles Lineweaver and the latter’s estimate that planets began forming approximately 9.3 billion years ago. Using Earth as a model and assuming that life emerged here about 600 million years after formation, we get an estimate of 8.7 billion years ago for the appearance of the first life in the Milky Way. Factoring in how long it took for complex land-dwelling organisms to evolve (3.7 billion years), Lineweaver concludes that the conditions necessary to support intelligent life in the universe could have been present for at least 5.0 billion years. At some point in that 5 billion years, if other intelligent species exist, the first civilization arose. Hair’s modeling goes to work on how long this civilization would have had to itself before other intelligence emerged. The question thus has Fermi implications:

…even if this first grand civilization is long gone . . . could their initial legacy live on in the form of a passed down tradition? Beyond this, it does not even have to be the first civilization, but simply the first to spread its doctrine and control over a large volume of the galaxy. If just one civilization gained this hegemony in the distant past, it could form an unbroken chain of taboo against rapacious colonization in favour of non-interference in those civilizations that follow. The uniformity of motive concept previously mentioned would become moot in such a situation.

Thus the Zoo Hypothesis begins to look a bit more plausible if we have each subsequent civilization emerging into a galaxy monitored by a vastly more ancient predecessor who has established the basic rules for interaction between intelligent species. The details of Hair’s modeling are found in the paper, but the conclusions are startling, at least to me:

The time between the emergence of the first civilization within the Milky Way and all subsequent civilizations could be enormous. The Monte Carlo data show that even using a crowded galaxy scenario the first few inter-arrival times are similar in length to geologic epochs on Earth. Just what could a civilization do with a ten million, one hundred million, or half billion year head start (Kardashev 1964)? If, for example, civilizations uniformly arise within the Galactic Habitable Zone, then on these timescales the first civilization would be able to reach the solar system of the second civilization long before it evolved even travelling at a very modest fraction of light speed (Bracewell 1974, 1982; Freitas 1980). What impact would the arrival of the first civilization have on the future evolution of the second civilization? Would the second civilization even be allowed to evolve? Attempting to answer these questions leads to one of two basic conclusions, the first is that we are alone in the Galaxy and thus no one has passed this way, and the second is that we are not alone in the Galaxy and someone has passed this way and then deliberately left us alone.

The zoo hypothesis indeed. A galactic model of non-interference is a tough sell because of the assumed diversity between cultures emerging on a vast array of worlds over time. But Hair’s ‘modified zoo hypothesis’ has great appeal. It assumes that the oldest civilization in the galaxy has a 100 million year head start, allowing it to become hugely influential in monitoring or perhaps controlling emerging civilizations. We would thus be talking about the possibility of evolving similar cultural standards with regard to contact as civilizations follow the lead of this assumed first intelligence when expanding into the galaxy. It’s an answer to Fermi that holds out hope we are not alone, and I’ll count that as still another encouraging thought on the day the world didn’t end.

I have a problem with this simply because of the economics involved; what is the motivation for ETIs to expand into the Universe to begin with?

Like, are they like humans in the sense that we go because “it’s there?”

Or are there more practical impulses involved like “can we make money” on these endeavors?

A commentor to this particular post wrote that before we colonize ( if we ever do ) the Moon, Mars and other planets in this Solar System ( and perhaps the closer stars ) that it’ll be cheaper to shoot small probes with micro cameras to these places ( NASA is already proposing sending tele-operated probes to the Lunar surface instead of astronauts ) and sell virtual reality tours. Expanded versions of Google Earth and Google Mars!

In other words, it’s cheaper to build Universes that have Star Trek and upload your mind into it than actually building such things as star-ships!

Could this be an answer to the Fermi Paradox?

New Models of Galactic Expansion

Are People the Biggest Challenge to Interstellar Travel?


The biggest challenge in mounting a space mission to another star may not be technology, but people, experts say.

Scientists, engineers, philosophers, psychologists andleaders in many other fields gathered in Houston last week for the 100 Year Starship Symposium, a meeting to discuss launching an interstellar voyage within 100 years.

“It seems like it would be so hard, and the biggest obstacle is ourselves. Once we get out of our way, once we commit to this, then it’s a done deal,” said former “Star Trek: The Next Generation” actor LeVar Burton, who is serving on the advisory committee of the 100 Year Starship project.

The initiative hopes to spur the development of new propulsion technologies, life support systems, starship and habitat designs, as well as myriad other necessaryinnovations, to send a vehicle beyond our solar system — where no manmade object has yet traveled — and to another star. As the closest stars to the sun are still light-years away, such a feat will be daunting. [How Interstellar Space Travel Works (Infographic)]

But Burton wasn’t the only one who said the most difficult part of interstellar spaceflight may be corralling public and governmental support, and getting the right thinkers to work together to attack the problem.

“I think the greatest challenges are going to be what the greatest challenges in anything are, and that’s the people piece,” said former NASA astronaut Mae Jemison, who was the first African-American woman to travel to space. Jemison is heading the new 100 Year Starship organization, which was founded with seedmoney from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

“The really exciting thing and the scary thing is I know I can’t do it by myself, but there are a lot of people who want to help,” Jemison added.

Interstellar spaceflight for humanity isn’t inevitable, she said — merely imperative.

“We could screw it up,” Jemison told “We could decide not to do it. But I can tell you what, if we don’t figure out how to do it, then we probably aren’t going to be around to worry about whether the sun turns into a red gas giant. Unless we find some focal aspiration that pushes us further, that helps us see ourselves as a species that we should be cooperating with, we’re going to be in trouble.”

Plus, if human beings can solve the challenges of interstellar spaceflight, in the process they will have solved many of the problems plaguing Earth today, experts said. For example, building a starship will require figuring out how to conserve and recycle resources, how to structure societies for the common well-being, and how to harness and use energy sustainably.

Perhaps the 100 Year Starship Symposium should partner up with the Build The Enterprise Project? They have a 100 year timeline also and I couldn’t think of a better marriage.

The biggest challenge to interstellar spaceflight? Us 

Sister Earths

Really? Warp Drive Actually Possible?


HOUSTON — A warp drive to achieve faster-than-light travel — a concept popularized in television’s Star Trek — may not be as unrealistic as once thought, scientists say.

warp drive would manipulate space-time itself to move a starship, taking advantage of a loophole in the laws of physics that prevent anything from moving faster than light. A concept for a real-life warp drive was suggested in 1994 by Mexican physicist Miguel Alcubierre; however, subsequent calculations found that such a device would require prohibitive amounts of energy.

Now physicists say that adjustments can be made to the proposed warp drive that would enable it to run on significantly less energy, potentially bringing the idea back from the realm of science fiction into science.

“There is hope,” Harold “Sonny” White of NASA’s Johnson Space Center said here Friday (Sept. 14) at the100 Year Starship Symposium, a meeting to discuss the challenges of interstellar spaceflight.

Warping space-time

An Alcubierre warp drive would involve a football-shape spacecraft attached to a large ring encircling it. This ring, potentially made of exotic matter, would cause space-time to warp around the starship, creating a region of contracted space in front of it and expanded space behind. [Star Trek’s Warp Drive: Are We There Yet? | Video]

Meanwhile, the starship itself would stay inside a bubble of flat space-time that wasn’t being warped at all.

“Everything within space is restricted by the speed of light,” explained Richard Obousy, president of Icarus Interstellar, a non-profit group of scientists and engineers devoted to pursuing interstellar spaceflight. “But the really cool thing is space-time, the fabric of space, is not limited by the speed of light.”

With this concept, the spacecraft would be able to achieve an effective speed of about 10 times the speed of light, all without breaking the cosmic speed limit.

The only problem is, previous studies estimated the warp drive would require a minimum amount of energy about equal to the mass-energy of the planet Jupiter.

But recently White calculated what would happen if the shape of the ring encircling the spacecraft was adjusted into more of a rounded donut, as opposed to a flat ring. He found in that case, the warp drive could be powered by a mass about the size of a spacecraft like the Voyager 1 probe NASA launched in 1977.

Furthermore, if the intensity of the space warps can be oscillated over time, the energy required is reduced even more, White found.

“The findings I presented today change it from impractical to plausible and worth further investigation,” White told “The additional energy reduction realized by oscillating the bubble intensity is an interesting conjecture that we will enjoy looking at in the lab.”

This is a boon and a most fortuitous opportunity if it’s the real deal. But like most things in the real world, there is something that is an essential ingredient in any research project.


Warp Drive May Be More Feasible Than Thought, Scientists Say

Anti-Matter is needed for Star Travel

Star travel has been claimed to be impossible for at least two centuries now. In order for any star-flight project to come to fruition and be guided by human project managers at JPL like any interplanetary project is now, the mission has to have at least a half-assed chance to be completed in a single human life-time, like 50-60 years.

The main problem? Propulsion of the star probe. Any method of propulsion has to push the probe to at least an appreciable percentage of the speed of light (5 – 25%).

And what power source has a better than 50% chance of sending a probe to the speeds needed for study of nearby planetary systems for evidence of lifeforms?

The power of Star Trek of course.



Over the coming decades there will be increasing discussion about sending robotic interstellar probes to nearby stars.

The discovery and cataloging of inhabited planets within just a few light-years of Earth will provide the motivation — we’ll want to see how Darwinian evolution has played out on other worlds.

WIDE ANGLE: Project Icarus: Reaching for Interstellar Space

Remote sensing from huge space telescopes may never definitively prove that life is elsewhere — we’ll want to see it squirming under a microscope or, better yet, walking on all six legs.

But how to get to the stars? Both scientists and science fiction writers have long favored matter-antimatter propulsion. In the Star Trek TV series, antimatter fuel is discussed as casually as buying a propane cylinder for the barbecue grill.

Antimatter is the mirror image of the electrical charges found in normal matter. It was abundant after the big bang. But when it came into contact with normal matter– *poof!* The Ying-Yang forms of matter annihilated with each other in a powerful burst of gamma rays.

Fortunately for us, there was a very slight excess of normal matter in the early universe to make stars, planets, and people. This is call a CP violation: the breakdown of the predicted symmetry between the number of particle and antiparticles made in the Big Bang.

ANALYSIS: Antimatter Matters: Fermilab Glimpses ‘The Toe of God’

The problem is that God doesn’t make half the universe out of antimatter any more. And even if there were whole antimatter galaxies out there you’d want to stay far away from them.

But as a source of fuel antimatter can’t be beat, as Jennifer Ouellette describes in her recent article.


In the 2009 film “Angels & Demons” antimatter extracted from the Large Hadron Collider is use to manufacture a terrorist bomb for leveling the Vatican. Talk about overkill!

In reality, some estimates suggest that it would take 1,000 years to make a microgram of antimatter with present-day accelerators. However, the intensity of beams of antiprotons in accelerators has increased about four orders of magnitude per decade. Coincidentally, the growth in production of liquid hydrogen, which propelled NASA’s space shuttle, has likewise increased exponentially over the past few decades.

A stash of antihydrogen may grow exponentially such that a microgram of fuel might be produced by the middle of the 21st century say some experts.

The trouble is that a lot more antimatter is needed for an interstellar mission. For a planet reconnaissance and landing mission, the starship will have to have enough fuel to decelerate into the target star system. A starship with a 100-ton payload designed for a cruising at 40 percent the speed of light would require the equivalent of 80 ocean supertankers full of antimatter fuel. If the cruise speed were limited to 25 percent the speed of light or less, fuel requirements would be dramatically lower.

Antimatter propelled starships can only become more than a sci-fi dream if it ever becomes feasible to accumulate antimatter in large quantities. And, once it’s collected it has to be stored safely, shielded from contact with normal matter. In 2011, CERN’s Antihydrogen Laser Physics Apparatus (ALPHA) trapped 309 atoms of antimatter for more than a quarter of an hour.

NEWS: Record Smashed: Antimatter Trapped for 16 Minutes

The upshot is: we’ll likely have to turn to nature to make the antimatter for us.

Antiprotons have been discovered trapped by the Earth’s magnetic field by the international PAMELA (Payload for Antimatter/Matter Exploration and Light-nuclei Astrophysics) satellite. The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer recently installed on the International Space Station should also be able to detect, identify, and measure antiparticles in Earth orbit.


Theoretical studies suggest that the magnetospheres of much larger planets, like Jupiter, should have more antiprotons than Earth. “If feasible, harvesting antimatter in space would completely bypass the obstacle of low energy efficiency when an accelerator is used to produce antimatter,” writes Ronan Keane (Western Reserve Academy) and Wei-Ming Zhang (Kent State University) in a recently published paper on antimatter engine design.

As far-fetched as all of this may sound, imagine trying to explain to Lord Kelvin or Thomas Edison the mastery we’d have over matter and energy at the start of the 21st century. Even Albert Einstein was quoted in 1932 as saying, “There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will be obtainable.” Therefore, the seemingly impossible challenges of using anitimatter as the ultimate power source may be comparatively routine a century from now.

IMO, I don’t think it’ll take that long. I think it’ll happen in fifty years.

Of course I might be wrong. Maybe the MIC ( military-industrial-complex ) will release any advanced tech they’ve been holding back into the mainstream public technology fields?

But I’m not holding my breath.

Space Harvesting of Antimatter Might Fuel Starships

Projects Beta and Bluebeam: National Security State Disinfo Dujour!

When it comes to investigating the National Security State and disinformation about UFOs, nobody does it better than Nick Redfern.

However in this recent entry at Mysterious Universe, he posts a commentary on Greg Bishop‘s book Project Beta: The Story of Paul Bennewitz, National Security, and the Creation of a Modern UFO Myth.

In the book Bishop writes about the very real sad story about physicist Paul Bennewitz and the way the government apparatus of the security state used and abused this man to drive away his sanity, thusly to stoke the mythology of UFOs into the American psyche:

Many people unacquainted with the complexities of the UFO puzzle assume that all talk of attempts by “the government” to silence certain players in the field is nothing but outright paranoia and lies. Even within Ufology there are those who dismiss such stories as X-Files-like nonsense. How wrong they all are. Published in 2005, Greg Bishop’s book, Project Beta: The Story of Paul Bennewitz, National Security, and the Creation of a Modern UFO Myth, provided the field of UFO research with what was without doubt one if its most important contributions in years.

The subject matter of Project Beta was an unusual one; and while seasoned researchers were already aware of certain aspects of this dark and ultimately tragic affair, those unaccustomed to the events in question might have been forgiven for thinking that they had stumbled upon a high-tech, X-Files-meets-Robert Ludlum-style thriller. But Project Beta told a very real story – one that was as harrowing as it was informative.

In essence, the truth-is-stranger-than-fiction book related the saga of physicist Paul Bennewitz, who, after digging into Air Force and National Security Agency secret projects at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico in the late 1970s that he believed were connected to the activities of sinister extraterrestrials and UFOs, was put under deep surveillance by the US military and intelligence services, and was bombarded by the murky world of officialdom with a mass of disinformation, faked stories and outright lies in order to divert him from his research – which worked. In fact, it worked rather too well, and led to the mental and psychological disintegration of Bennewitz.

While everyone with an interest in UFOs should read Greg Bishop’s book, it will not please all – particularly those who are of the opinion that aliens inhabit underground bases in the United States, that cattle mutilations are the work of sinister extraterrestrials, or that the rumors of government-alien collusion have a firm basis in reality. As Greg skillfully demonstrated, many of the cornerstones upon which today’s ufological lore are built, had their origins in the fertile minds of military intelligence and the behind-the-scenes, spook-brigade.

Much of the UFO “truth” fed to the research community by purported and sympathetic insiders and whistleblowers might not be “out there” after all. It may all be one big con behind which a veritable plethora of classified, military projects have been hidden – and, in the Bennewitz caper, projects specifically focused upon NSA communications systems, test flights (and possibly crashes) of early, prototype Stealth aircraft, and Air Force technologies designed to track the orbital movements of space satellites launched by the former Soviet Union.

As Project Beta skillfully revealed, Bennewitz had come to the conclusion that the collective operations described above were related to the activities of extraterrestrials, when in reality the truth was far more down to earth, although most certainly not in a mundane fashion. The book demonstrated that the Intelligence community cared not a bit that Bennewitz thought that their secret operations were UFO-related – precisely because the UFO connection was one of Bennewitz’s own making.

However, there was deep concern on the part of the world of officialdom that by digging into classified activities at Kirtland in search of UFOs, Bennewitz would inadvertently reveal – to the Soviets, in a worst-case scenario – information and technology that had to be kept secret at all costs, even if those costs included Bennewitz’s own sanity.

And so a plan was initiated: Having learned the essential parts of Bennewitz’s theories – very ironically from the man himself, by actually breaking into his home while he was out and checking his files and research notes – that aliens were mutilating cattle as part of some weird medical experiment; that they were abducting American citizens and implanting them with devices for purposes unknown; that those same aliens were living deep underground in a secure fortress at Dulce, New Mexico; and that we were all very soon going to be in deep and dire trouble as a direct result of the presence of this brewing, intergalactic threat, the Air Force gave Bennewitz precisely what he was looking for – confirmation that his theories were all true, and more.

Of course, this was all just a carefully-planned ruse to bombard Bennewitz with so much faked UFO data in the hope that it would steer him away from the classified military projects of a non-UFO nature that he had uncovered. And, indeed, it worked.

When Bennewitz received conformation (albeit carefully controlled and utterly fabricated confirmation) that, yes, he had stumbled upon the horrible truth and that, yes, there really was an alien base deep below Dulce, the actions of the Intelligence community had the desired effect: Bennewitz became increasingly paranoid and unstable, and he began looking away from Kirtland (the hub of the secrets that had to be kept) and harmlessly towards the vicinity of Dulce, where his actions, research, and theories could be carefully controlled and manipulated by the Government.

As long-time watchers of the ufological research scene will be aware, American Intelligence even brought Bill Moore (co-author with Charles Berlitz of the 1980 book, The Roswell Incident) into the scheme and asked him to keep them informed of how their disinformation operations against Bennewitz were working. In return, Moore was promised – and provided with – data and documents on super-secret, official UFO projects, crashed saucers, dead aliens, and more.

Bishop and Redfern aren’t the only folks to write extensively about the connection between UFOs and government disinformation. Chris Knowles over at the Secret Sun posted about another plan that was fed to another unfortunate individual, Serge Monast, which was none other than a script written by Gene Roddenberry in the 1970s for a future episode of Star Trek — in case it got revived!:

Anyone who spends anytime looking into the UFO phenomena has probably seen the words “Project Blue Beam” – often misspelled – show up when any aerial anomalies are being discussed online.
“Blue Beam” has become such a catch-all that it’s now applied to any sighting, no matter how trivial. It’s also been stretched to explain phenomena that have nothing to do with UFOs at all. You often see it conflated with HAARP, a very real program that’s also been stretched to explain anything that might otherwise require actual thought to deal with.
We saw any number of claims that the balloon show on October 13 was itself the work of this mythical Blue Beam, even though the event itself has little to do with the claims of the original “Project Blue Beam” essay, which was published online by the radical Fundamentalist and Quebec separatist Serge Monast. “Blue Beam” has been dated to 1994, but I don’t remember hearing anything about it until at least 1996, when Monast died of an apparent heart attack. But 1994 is very, very important to the chain of events we’re going to look at in this piece.
UFOs and the National Security State author Richard Dolan got so sick of hearing about the mythical Project Blue Beam that he wrote a scathing essay entitled “Project Blue Beam Countdown? Don’t Bet on It”in the run-up to an alleged Blue Beam event on October 13. In it, Dolan outlined the claims made in Monast’s original essay:

First, a series of artificially created earthquakes at “certain precise locations on the planet,” which will uncover archaeological evidence that will “be used to discredit all fundamental religious doctrines.”
Second, we will be subjected to “a gigantic space show.” This will involve “three-dimensional optical holograms and sounds, laser projection of multiple holographic images to different parts of the world, each receiving a different image according to predominating regional national religious faith. This new ‘god’s’ voice will be speaking in all languages.” These staged events will show the “new Christ” or Messiah, and will be a false Second Coming.
Third will be the “Telepathic Electronic Two-Way.” This involves “telepathic and electronically augmented two-way communication where ELF, VLF and LF waves will reach each person from within his or her own mind.” These communications will fake a communication from god.
Fourth, according to Monast, would be “the universal supernatural manifestation with electronic means.” He said it would take on three specific “orientations.” One would simulate an alien invasion, which would then provoke nations with nuclear weapons to strike back.

Dolan quoted extensively from Monast’s writings so that reasonable individuals could get a measure of the man and the extremist religious views that dictated his view of world events:

I included this long passage just so that you could get a whiff of the mind of this man. Very intense, no understanding of science. At no point in any of Monast’s writings is anything like evidence offered for any of this. To say nothing of the fantastic capabilities he attributes to NASA or the United Nations.

The logistics of the various sky shows also seems daunting, to say the least. First there is the false alien invasion scenario — presumably this could be done with a fleet of black triangles, although could they blanket the world? Doubtful. But then, regarding the religious fakery, are “they” really going to blanket the world with holographic images of, what — God? Jesus? Krishna? Allah? All the while sending a message into our brains via extra low frequencies in all languages of the world? All in a way that convinces us to abandon our previously held faiths?

What Dolan may not have realized it is that Monast – rather, the mischeivous spooks who fed him the whole Blue Beam scenario in the first place – was/were borrowing plots points left, right and center from another source.
We’ll get to that in a moment, but first Dolan took the time to dismiss most of the current Blue Beam theorizing as regurgitated bullshit:

None of these sites offer anything resembling evidence to support the alleged existence of Blue Beam. I am not asking for proof, only evidence. And I see nothing.

Well, there is evidence of Blue Beam, only it comes from a source one would never confuse with Jane’s Defence Weekly or Covert Action Quarterly. For some deep background on all of this alleged devilry, let’s travel back to 1994.
Not long before Serge Monast stunned the conspiracy circuit with his “Project Blue Beam,” a book was released on Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. It recounted information that hardcore Trekkers were well familiar with; Roddenberry’s proposed Star Trek feature film script from the mid-70s:

“In May 1975, Gene Roddenberry accepted an offer from Paramount to develop Star Trek into a feature film, and moved back into his old office on the Paramount lot. His proposed story told of a flying saucer, hovering above Earth, that was programmed to send down people who looked like prophets, including Jesus Christ.
Gene Roddenberry: The Myth and the Man Behind Star Trek by Joel Engel, p.165, Hyperion, 1994

Shortly thereafter, Monast writes of a very similar situation- a satellite that will project images of holy figures:

With computer animation and sounds appearing to emanate from the very depths of space, astonished ardent followers of the various creeds will witness their own returned messiahs in convincing lifelike reality.
Then the projections of Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, Krishna, etc., will merge into one after correct explanations of the mysteries and revelations will have been disclosed.

So, already we see two of Monast’s Blue Beam claims – an alien “invasion” and a false reappearance of the Earth’s major historical prophets – taken straight out of the Star Trek script.
How are these images of these gods to be received? In both cases, telepathically.

Monast again, 1994: The advancement of techniques propel us toward the third step in the Blue Beam Project that goes along with the telepathic and electronically augmented two-way communication where ELF, VLF and LF waves will reach each person from within his or her own mind, convincing each of them that their own god is speaking to them from the very depths of their own soul.

Roddenberry, 1976: “On the planet below, people are beginning to receive mental impressions of a returning God.”

The projected images are only part of Blue Beam; there’s also the “massive UFO invasion.” Note: Monast’s “UFO over every major city” scenario is stolen from the original V (1983), which in turn was borrowed from Roddenberry’s original 70s script for Earth: Final Conflict.:

Monast, 1994: “The first is the ‘space show.’ Where does the space show come from? The space show, the holographic images will be used in a simulation of the ending during which all nations will be shown scenes that will be the fulfillment of that which they desire to verify the prophecies and adversary events.
“One is to make mankind believe that an alien (off-world) invasion is about to occur at every major city on earth in order to provoke each major nation to use its nuclear weapons in order to strike back.”
Roddenberry, 1976: “At the same time a huge object, one thousand times larger than a starship, is moving toward Earth, knocking off the U.S.S. Potemkin and hurtling a cluster of asteroids toward Earth. Kirk, now a grounded admiral, assembles his old crew (all of whom have risen higher in rank), and they take the newly refitted Enterprise on a mission of interception with the alien claiming to be God.”

The whole point of all of this is to convince the world that these computers on these orbital platforms are the work of God, but it’s all a grand deception. In both cases:

Monast, 1994: The result of these deliberately staged events will be to show the world the new ‘christ,’ the new messiah, Matraia (Maitreya), for the immediate implementation of the new world religion. Enough truth will be foisted upon an unsuspecting world to hook them into the lie. “Even the most learned will be deceived.”
Roddenberry, 1976: “The Object turns out to be more than just a vessel–it is a computer form so advanced it is a living entity itself. However, we discover that this God they’ve worshipped is actually the Deceiver, the computer-programmed remains of a race who were “cast out” from their dimension and into this one.”
Roddenberry quotes taken from The Making of Star Trek-The Motion Picture, by Susan Sackett and Gene Roddenberry, Pocket/Wallaby, 1980

So again, Monast’s Blue Beam is essentially the same as Roddenberry’s “God Thing.” Both are computer programs on orbital platforms creating electronic visions and apparitions, tailor-made to the beliefs of certain populations. The difference is that Monast chalks it all up to NASA while Roddenberry was describing a malfunctioning alien craft:

Monast, 1994: “Computers will coordinate the satellites and software already in place will run the sky show. Holographic images are based on nearly identical signals combining to produce an image or hologram with deep perspective which is equally applicable to acoustic ELF, VLF and LF waves and optical phenomena.” Roddenberry: “Somewhere out there,” [Gene] starts off, his eyes widening as he continues, “there’s this massive … entity, this abstract, unknown life force that seems mechanical in nature, although it actually possesses its own highly advanced consciousness. It’s a force thousands of times greater than anything intergalactic civilization has ever witnessed. It could be God, it could be Satan, and it’s heading toward earth. It demands worship and assistance, and it’s also in a highly volatile state of disrepair.”
Star Trek Movie Memories by William Shatner with Chris Kreski, HarperCollins, 1994 (note publication date)

Themes from Roddenberry’s unused script were recycled throughout the franchise’s history, including the ST: TNG episode “Justice” and the now-notorious Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. Then there was the Next Generation episode, “Devil’s Due,” which was one of the highest rated episode’s in the series history.
This episode, which ran in 1991, had even stronger echoes of Monast’s 1994 “Blue Beam” theories. Here’s the synopsis:

The USS Enterprise-D responds to a distress signal from a science station on Ventax II, where the planet is in chaos over the return of a being who claims to be that culture’s “devil.”

Not coincidentally, that devil is there to install a new world order on the alien planet. Which brings us to Monast’s “Blue Beam” denouement:

The second is to make the Christians believe that the Rapture is going to occur with the supposed divine intervention of an alien (off-world) civilization coming to rescue earthlings from a savage and merciless demon. Its goal will be to dispose of all significant opposition to the implementation of the New World Order in one major stroke, actually within hours of the beginning of the sky show!

Again, this is the same scenario we see before in “Devil’s Due,” which is based in themes Roddenberry first explored in his God Thing script. The parallels continue: Monast writes in Blue Beam that “the first step in the NASA Blue Beam Project concerns the breakdown [re-evaluation] of all archaeological knowledge. It deals with the set-up, with artificially created earthquakes at certain precise locations on the planet.”

I must also note that investigator Richard Dolan has written about the national security state and disinformation. Despite of this evidence, folks such as Stephen Bassett and Dr. Steven Greer spread the religious mythology of “good aliens” into the memestream.

Stay tuned for more fun!

Update: I find it interesting that Wikipedia doesn’t have an entry on Stephen Bassett. Anyone have a “theory” on this parculiarity?

NASA Gets Sirius on the 17th (UPDATE)

Project Blue Beam Exposed! (UPDATED)

UFOs: The Project Beta Scandal

Special hat tips to The Anomalist and the Daily Grail.

“Mister Sulu, lay in course heading…”

As the title suggests, future interstellar navigation might require some esoteric fixtures in space.

But according to researchers at the Max-Planck Institute, not quite so strange:

A method of very precise positioning anywhere in space using X-ray signals from pulsars is being developed by researchers at Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics.

These dense, burnt-out stars rotate rapidly, sweeping their emission across the cosmos at rates that are so stable they rival atomic clock performance.

This timing property is perfect for interstellar navigation, says the team.

If a spacecraft carried the means to detect the pulses, it could compare their arrival times with those predicted at a reference location. This would enable the craft to determine its position to an accuracy of just five kilometres anywhere in the galaxy.

Engineers will need to miniaturize the technology to make a practical pulsar navigation unit.

Prof. Werner Becker from the Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics believes his navigation solution will be useful on Solar System probes, providing autonomous navigation for interplanetary missions, and perhaps for future manned ventures to Mars, where high performance systems will be an absolute requirement for safety reasons, and one day, across interstellar space.

A method of very precise positioning anywhere in space using X-ray signals from pulsars is being developed by researchers at Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics.

These dense, burnt-out stars rotate rapidly, sweeping their emission across the cosmos at rates that are so stable they rival atomic clock performance.

This timing property is perfect for interstellar navigation, says the team.

If a spacecraft carried the means to detect the pulses, it could compare their arrival times with those predicted at a reference location. This would enable the craft to determine its position to an accuracy of just five kilometres anywhere in the galaxy.

Engineers will need to miniaturize the technology to make a practical pulsar navigation unit.

Prof. Werner Becker from the Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics believes his navigation solution will be useful on Solar System probes, providing autonomous navigation for interplanetary missions, and perhaps for future manned ventures to Mars, where high performance systems will be an absolute requirement for safety reasons, and one day, across interstellar space.

The question I have is; “What if whatever (or whomever) controls the pulsars decides to turn them off?”

Dead stars ‘to guide spacecraft’

Hat tip to The Daily Grail

Lost Star Trek Pilot and UFOs of the 19th Century

For all you old ‘Trekkers’ out there, a remastered version of the original Star Trek has been found and will be sold on Blue Ray disk.

As you know, if you’re a ST: TOS geek, “Where No Man Has Gone Before”, was the pilot version Gene Rodenberry managed to sell to NBC after they rejected the first version (“The Cage”) for being “too” progressive.

Captain’s log, Stardate 1312.4. The impossible has happened. From directly ahead, we’re picking up a recorded distress signal, the call letters of a vessel which has been missing for over two centuries. Did another Earth ship probe out of the galaxy as we intend to do? What happened to it out there? Is this some warning they’ve left behind?

In the briefing lounge, Captain James T. Kirk and Vulcan Science Officer Lieutenant Commander Spock are playing three-dimensional chess. Spock warns the captain that he’s about to checkmate him on his next move, but the captain is preoccupied with awaiting the bridge‘s update on the unexplained Earth-vessel distress signal. The captain notes that Spock plays a very “irritating game of chess”, to which Spock responds with “Irritating? Ah yes, one of your Earth emotions.” Captain Kirk makes a move that surprises Spock, and smiles, to which Spock simply turns to look at him. “Certain you don’t know what irritation is?” Kirk says wryly. As Spock begins to state that despite the fact that one of his ancestors married a Human female, Kirk interrupts him and jokingly chides him, saying it must be terrible to have bad blood like that. Just afterward then, a call comes over the comm. Lieutenant Lee Kelso informs the captain that the object is now within tractor beam range, and that it is only about a meter in diameter, too small to be a vessel. Kirk tells him to lock on to it, and the two of them head out.

SS Valiant recorder-marker

In the transporter room, Lieutenant Commander Montgomery Scott is fine-tuning the transporter, preparing to beam the object aboard. Kirk gives the order, and Scott transports the device into the transporter room. The captain immediately recognizes it as an old-style ship recorder, one that would be ejected in the event of an emergency. Spock agrees, but states that, based on the level of damage the object seems to have sustained, something must have destroyed the ship. Montgomery Scott tries to feed the tapes into the computer, when the marker begins transmitting a signal. Captain Kirk orders red alert, and the crew go to their stations.

This “pilot” version has been broadcast before over the years in various reruns. some of the episodes of the old Trek have been digitally remastered and they look great! None of the flavor of the old special effects is taken away at all.

If you’re a true Trek-geek, this will surely interest you!

Where No Man Has Gone Before (episode)

hat tip

Jules Verne was the consumate speculative science writer of his era and his stories of airships flying about the 19th Century skies surely had folks looking up into the clouds to spot any anomalous seeming ‘balloons’.

Now there has been a discovery of a book of art drawn by an unknown Texan butcher named Charles A. Dellschau, who’s most curious drawings are a subject of debate:

When he died at the great age of 92 in 1923, Texas butcher Charles A. Dellschau left behind a secret and a mystery. These were a series of note books, filled with paintings of fantastic flying machines, which only came to light when his descendants had a clearout. By a process of serendipity they came to the attention of graphic designer and ufologist Peter Navarro. By decoding and translating writings in and around the pictures Navarro pieced together a tale of Dellschau’s involvement in a secret society of inventors living in gold-rush California. He created a vivid cast of over 60 characters, and a range of Heath-Robinsonish flying machine, the Aeros, with names like Aero Goosey, Aero Babymyn, Aero Honeymoon and so on. They were the work of this secret group The Sonora Aero Club, and its even more shadowy backer the NYMZA.

At the time of the discovery of these notebooks in the late 1960s there was much interest among ufologists in the mystery airships of 1896/7, and the tales of mysterious inventors which surfaced at the time. Ufologists had originally seen the airships as early flying saucers and had assumed that they came from outer space, but as they studied the airship stories in more depth and realised that many claimed contact with very terrestrial pilots, so the idea of secret inventors began to grow on some of them.

Among those who took up the Dellschau story was Jerome Clark, who made it the centrepiece of his chapter on the airship in his and Loren Coleman’s The Unidentified. Clark suggested that the mysterious NYMZA were a group of occult initiates building airships at the bidding of ‘the others’ (whether extaterrestrials or John Keel’s ultraterrestrials was never clear). By the time the book was ready for publication, Clark had repudiated this view in favour of para-depth psychological theorising, and tried, without success, to get this chapter recalled.

As shown in this book, attempts to trace the people in the Sonora Aero Club turned out to be fruitless, and Navarro himself, with obvious reluctance, accepted that the story was the work of Dellschau’s imagination. However some of the other people involved including author?/editor? Crenshaw start going deep down into crank territory, with ideas of 26 elements lighter than hydrogen (as hydrogen consists of a single proton and electron its obvious that no chemical element can be lighter, the only ‘element’ which is, is the very short lived positronium, which consists of an electron and positron orbiting each other before they mutually annihilate), and the ubiquitous Viktor Schauberger.

If this is true, it would implicate that almost all of the “airships” witnessed in the late 19th Century skies in Texas were of “earthly” origin and had nothing to do with aliens at all.

Is this misinformation like the ‘triangle UFOs’ of today?

The book of art seems to be real at least.

Maybe the guy was ‘drawing’ from Jules Verne?

The art and airships of Charles Dellschau

hat tip

The Dreaming Dead, Open Letter To Augustine Commission and Prelude To Augustine Report

Metaphysical essayist Bruce Duensing puts forward a theory that is interesting and what some would conclude is impossible.

Do the dead dream that they are alive?

Do they dream at all?

Chickens as Eggs In Embryo
I am about to suggest to you, based on my own experiences, which one can either take or leave as either a psychic set of impressions of an afterlife or an imaginative construction that is the creation of myself as an observer of my own model of reality, that there may be a truism veiled in this account, that death as well as life is a combination of the imaginative realm toward itself, as well as having a parallel of weaving a spiders web in tandem in which we become exposed, naked to our own assumptions as to what or whom we may be.

Perhaps this is as much of a cautionary tale to you as it is to it’s author, but then in some sense, I am only a correspondent whose narrative portends a fever dream or a eyewitness of self fulfilling prophecies or then again, perhaps both.

More specifically, death is not a singular state… but the many, from those allegedly dead to our world who are imagining they are alive, imagining one is in a environment that is free standing and existential, imagining delimited self expression .. as I now recall in hindsight within my childhood as recalled as “my Father’s house has many mansions.” Indeed. A chilling thought is that we unawares may be encasing ourselves in amber.

Let me explain this strange perspective by way of an experiential account lacking any proof, any tangible artifact other than the hand that selects the letters that are arranged to express this chain of events, both in the prosaic and in the metaphysical sense.

Further,this wayward and seemingly random account has a pattern as apparent to me as a leaf thst begs the question; Is reality, in it’s highest intermediary sense formed in the eye of the beholder?

Is there not one heaven but an infinite variety of them, all of which are constructed by what we have sewn together from the material, the defining of what oneself may be as a purpose entirely invented, created by the observer and of course, no two observations in the subjective nature of him or her are similar, unlike a leaf or a automobile, sentience apparently not only borrows form, but mimics it’s objectively rote nature with the freedom only limited by our own trans-personal models of Self, and many.. as I experienced… have none whatsoever.

In these proverbial soap bubbles, each a universe onto themselves, these membranes of our own making once blown from the bubble pipe of the young lady or man on a summer day that is but a shadow of another yet to come, a faux escape, that are only to be carried by the wind, suspended in the atmosphere of a realm we can scarcely imagine. Or, then again, do we do so every day, imagine what we are? And thus make a body of work that is our world as we have experienced it? And so begins my account from the early hours of this day, “stuck inside a mobile with the memphis Blues again..” Am I the inadvertent chronicler of this parallel world or have I been played? Perhaps both.

Years ago I read a short story by Robert Charles Wilson titled ‘Divided By Infinity’ in which the protagonist experiences a kind of twisted immortality by continuously commiting serial suicide.

To him, there’s no relief by death, only universes where he’s only becoming more ‘unlikely’ to exist.

Which, I think, is a kind of Purgatorive Nightmare.

Duensing’s Dreaming Dead is kind of like that I think.

Do The Dead Dream?

My old friend James Essig has written an open letter to the Augustine Panel on America’s spaceflight future asking them to consider nuclear power for rockets:

Dear Folks at NASA;


You all live the dream of human space exploration and manned space flight. Many of you grew up in the era of the Star Trek and Star Wars movie series, as I have. If we are honest with our selves, we have to admit that we all love dream about the future possibility of mankind’s travel among the stars that might be  realized for our decedents. Some of you, as I do, have a dream that we might travel to other star systems this very century, but due to the rationality and the here and now approach that must necessarily be at least part of the institutionalized research and development programs of a very large Federal Government organization such as NASA which is ultimately funded by the American tax-payers, I understand that you must at times feel the need to subjectively repress the desire to express your interest in a bold initiative that would enable human civilization to launch manned space expeditions to our nearest stellar neighbors by some time this century if not by mid-century. I offer some plausible rationalized and mildly mathematical arguments why we should not dismiss such ideas and why known physics may enable us to reach very high relativistic gamma factors in terms of manned space craft, whereupon perhaps novel kinematical and/or unknown space time topology altering effects might be manifest due to any unspecified break down in the principles of special and/or general relativity for macroscopically spatial and rest-mass wise objects traveling at such high velocities such as perhaps future manned spacecraft.

I haven’t the heart to tell him they wrapped up shop August 12th and that they’re giving Mr. Obamanator the final report September 14th or 15th.

An Open Letter To The Leadership Of NASA And The Members Of The Augustine Commission Regarding A Personal Vision Of The Utilization Of Nuclear Energy For Manned Interstellar Space Flight.

And speaking of the Augustine Commission…

NASA Needs More Money to Meet Space Goals, Panel Finds, Washington Post“Don’t try to put astronauts on Mars yet — too hard, too costly. Go to the moon — maybe. Or build rockets that could zip around the inner solar system, visiting asteroids, maybe a Martian moon. Keep the International Space Station going until 2020 rather than crash it into the Pacific in 2016. Help underwrite commercial space flight the same way the United States gave the airline business a boost in the 1920s with air mail.”

Report on NASA’s Future Backs Use of Private Contractors, WS Journal

“A blue-ribbon study group is urging the Obama administration to rely on private enterprise to reduce costs and accelerate broad access to low Earth orbit, comparing budding entrepreneurial space efforts to the 1920s, when air-mail contracts sparked a boom in U.S. commercial aviation.”

Augustine panel tells White House NASA needs a new plan — and more money, Orlando Sentinel

“A presidential panel told the White House today that NASA is on an “unsustainable trajectory” and to preserve a “meaningful” human spaceflight program, NASA needs an additional $3 billion annually and a mandate to work closely with other countries and private companies.”

Obama space panel says moon return plan is a no-go, AP

“A White House panel of independent space experts says NASA’s return-to-the-moon plan just won’t fly. The problem is money. The expert panel estimates it would cost about $3 billion a year beyond NASA’s current $18 billion annual budget. “Under the budget that was proposed, exploration beyond Earth is not viable,” panel member Edward Crawley, a professor of aeronautics at MIT, told The Associated Press Tuesday.”

Augustine Commission member says NASA needs more money for any future mission, Huntsville Times

“It’s pretty clear NASA needs more money,” said Dr. Ed Crawley, panel member. “We basically said human exploration beyond low Earth orbit is not obtainable within the fiscal year 2010 budget. We did not find a credible plan that would fit within the budget.”

Panel: No moon or beyond for NASA without new funds, Houston Chronicle

“NASA has not been given resources matched to the tasks it has been asked to undertake,” said Rep. Bart Gordon, D-Tenn., chairman of the Committee on Science and Technology. “That has to change.” That message was echoed by Rep. Pete Olson, R-Sugar Land, the ranking Republican on the House panel that has jurisdiction over NASA. “The benefits of human spaceflight to our nation are innumerable, and as such our financial commitment to NASA and to the aerospace industry should not waiver and in fact should be increased to meet these worthy objectives,” Olson said.”

Panel: Space goals need $3 billion more a year, USA Today

“I’m very curious about what the administration is going to do with a report like this,” said Marcia Smith, a former space expert for the Congressional Research Service and founder of The “committee has made a stark case. … They’re saying it’s $3 billion if you want to do almost anything.”

Panel Calls Program of NASA Unfeasible, NY Times

“A blue-ribbon panel said Tuesday that a lack of financing has left NASA’s current space program on an “unsustainable trajectory” and that the Obama administration should consider using private companies to launch people into low-Earth orbit.”

The above is from NASA Watch.

Uncle Seth’s “Cult of SETI”

After reading Paul Gilster’s post today on Centauri Dreams,  I felt I had to blow off some steam and out of respect for Paul at the risk of getting carried away with myself,  I decided to write a little piece here concerning Seth Shostak’s op-ed in the New York Times instead of commenting there.  Here’s the item that got my short-hairs lit-up:

IT’S a birthright proffered by science and prophesied by “Star Trek,” “Battlestar Galactica” and a thousand other space operas: We’re destined to go to the stars. Our descendants will spread beyond this nondescript solar system and seek adventure and bumpy-headed pals in the stellar realms.

Well, cool your warp jets, Mr. Scott, because we’re not about to breach the final frontier. Piling into a starship and barreling into deep space may long remain — like perfect children or effort-free bathroom cleaners — a pipe dream.

The fastest rocket ever launched, NASA’s New Horizons probe to Pluto, roared off its pad in 2006 at 10 miles per second. That pace would be impressive in the morning commute, and it’s passably adequate for traversing the solar system, something we’ve done and will continue to do. Combustion rockets, like New Horizons, can deliver you to the Moon in a matter of days, Mars in a matter of months, and the outer planets in a matter of years. But a trip to Proxima Centauri, the nearest star beyond the Sun and 100 million times farther from us than the Moon, would consume a tedious 800 centuries or so. You’ll want to upgrade.

First of all, what makes this guy think that we’ll still be using chemical rockets to launch space probes by the end of the 21st Century?

Unless he’s pretty certain that research into advanced propulsion systems won’t be funded. Not very heartily anyway. He does concede that some form of nuclear rocket is needed to launch nano-sensors in order to have his ‘Google-Interstellar.’

And what of the weight of technical advances itself?

Granted, government funded enterprises like the ‘civilian’ NASA might come to an end because of no more printing press money, but certain individuals like Branson and Elon Musk will put money into research for advanced propulsion technology, simply because not everyone is tied to funny money like us slaves are.

No, Uncle Seth’s reasons for down-playing manned space exploration beyond the Solar System is economic IMHO. He may make logical arguments that sound real good to his true believing green-tech, human caused global warming, Gaia worshipping, the Google-Plex will save us crowd, but I’m not buying into it.

SETI requires funding that may soon become real scarce. And competition for the resources will be fierce.

Get the picture?

But hey, I can’t blame the guy and the others that work with him, this is a dog-eat-dog world man!

And he might actually believe his memes.

But I’m reminded of this quote by the late, great Sir Arthur C. Clarke:

If a[n elderly but] distinguished scientist says that something is possible, he is almost certainly right; but if he says that it is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

Sorry Seth, Sir Arthur gets my vote here.

And besides, why not Star Trek?


Note: The term “Cult of SETI” is attributed to Stanton Friedman, nuclear physicist and UFO researcher.


Of SETI, Stellar Engineering and The Galactic Internet

Many ways of communicating with and detecting ETI ( extra-terrestrial intelligence ) have been proposed for over fifty years. Mainly these consist of using radio telescopes, either a huge one as in Arecibo, or a vast array such as the Allen Array at the University of California at Berkley.

So far SETI ( Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence ) has come up with only one possible signal ( the WOW! signal in 1977 ) and many false ones. Very discouraging for everyone involved, especially the mainstreamers.

Which leads the mainstreamers ( mistakingly ) to assume that no ETI exists, or that they are too far away to detect our primitive smoke signals. This could be the case, but very unlikely in my view. Dr. Seth Shostak and his mainstreamers haven’t given themselves enough time to scan the skies if they really are convinced in the belief that ETIs are still using radio signals to communicate within our own little corner of the Galaxy. The chauvinistic belief that ETIs use radio just because we still do is narrow-mindedness writ large. Also it keeps astronomers, exobiologists and astrophysicists employed through shrinking university grants and increasing DoD funding ( DARPA anyone? ). In a way I can’t blame them for poo-pooing any other form of communication with ETI, or other related ( unrelated ? ) phenomena that doesn’t fit the present SETI paradigm ( serious scientific study of UFOs ).

This is about to change I believe. I have ranted in past posts that mainstream scientists wouldn’t recognize advanced ETI cultures in the Universe if one fell out of the sky on top of them because they wouldn’t resemble Star Trek or Star Wars objects ( Death Stars and dreadnaught Starships ), but in fact resemble objects in nature. The following excerpt from this paper by John G. Learned, R-P. Kudritzki, Sandip Pakvasa and A. Zee makes an interesting case for a ” Galactic Internet ” that uses variable stars:

[…] we propose that the well studied Cepheid variables might provide an easily and likely to be monitored transmitter, which would be seen by all societies undertaking serious astronomy.

Cepheid variable stars was first observed in 1595. They were first recognized as having the marvelous property of having a relationship between period and luminosity by Henrietta Swan Leavitt in 1908, permitting the establishment of a distance ladder on the galactic scale. The nearest stars could be ranged via parallax. Using the Cepheid scale one could move outwards up to stars in galaxies 20 megaparsec distant, and these stars have played a crucial role in the determination of the Hubble constant. Cepheids are generally bright stars with significant modulation and are easily observed. We expect that any civilization undertaking astronomy would soon discover them. Nor are there a daunting number of these, there being only of order 500 such stars presently tallied in our galaxy, and relatively few that are excellent standards.

The general picture for the Cepheids of Type I is that of a giant yellow star of population I with mass between five and ten times that of our sun, and 10^3 to 10^4 times the solar luminosity. A dozen or so of these stars are visible to the naked eye. The period of the brightness excursion ranges between 1 and 50 days, and is generally stable.

Finally, a real debate on whether advanced ETIs would communicate using stellar engineering to send long lived signals that could be easily translated if a culture as primitive as us took time to investigate the possibility.

Even if this proves to be unfeasable for some reason, perhaps it’ll rouse the dozing sheeple scientists out of their hypnosis ( and knowledge filter ) long enough to consider options other than radio.

Or maybe, just maybe, invest some serious scientific inquiry to the UFO phenomena.

I’m not too optimistic about that though!

The Cepheid Galactic Internet