It’s been a while since we’ve had any mainstream UFO stories here, so when I saw this story about how we might be overlooking signals from alien worlds, I thought it was worth a read.
From the article:
In a recently published paper by James Benford and Dominic Benford of Microwave Sciences in Lafayette, California, the authors imagine that SETI beacons might be much like a lighthouse, sweeping the galactic plane in a raster pattern. Depending on beam size and scan rate, many days could pass between the brief Twitter-like bursts of “here we are” flashes from alien civilizations.
“We should learn how to identify any such beacons,” the authors say. For starters they expect the beam would pulsate to conserve energy and also have amplitude or frequency modulation of the carrier to draw attention to itself.
The problem is that pulsars (powerful bursts of radiation from rotating neutron star magnetospheres) look just what an alien transmission might look like according to this SETI “lighthouse” model. In fact when pulsars were first discovered in the mid 1960’s they were nicknamed “LGMs” for “Little Green Men.”
There are certain unusual transient phenomena that are likely due to pulsars behaving, well, unusually. These occasionally repeat, but others do not. The authors say that we should consider SETI beacons as a candidate explanation when perplexing non-repeating signals that are seen in the radio sky.
The article also suggests that because of the vast distances in space, it might make more sense for other civilizations to try and make contact by sending radio signals or other types of beamed messages rather than trying to launch actual interstellar craft. Considering the challenges we’ve had trying to explore our own solar system, that’s not an unreasonable thought. I mean, we’re now sending robots and satellites to do our exploring rather than living beings, so a long-range intergalactic signal or beamed message would be the natural next step.
I also think we all expect that other civilizations are eager to make contact with other worlds, but that might not be the case. For all we know, the inhabitants of next closest civilization might not be eager space explorers bent on universal colonization, but a bunch of peace-loving blobs content with just living on their own world, blissfully minding their own business. Heck, I know I feel like that most days.
Regardless, as a civilization, we will no doubt continue to scan the heavens searching for someone else in the Universe. Of course, there are those who believe they are a lot closer than most of us believe.
A quick check of the reports page of MUFON (the Mutual UFO Network) shows that there’s been at least a dozen reports of unusual things in the skies over Connecticut in this calendar year alone.
Here’s one report from last week, marked June 17, 2010 —
Ok i was fishing at the bridge on rt six in danielson right on my street..I seen a object flying towrds me.. this happens all the time cause i live next to a small airport so i just figured it to be a plane comming in till it stoped….it got reall bright and was just hoving in one spot.. i called my mom and dad cause they live 3 houses down from me and my dad came running i was scared..my dad and i watched this thing for like 15 min.. it just stayed right there no sound..would just glow some differnt colors..im still shooken up over this …so at like 10 300 we wa;lked back home i came in the house took a quik shower and grabed some binoculors and went back to the bridge..i new if it were a star or it would have still benn there…it wasnt it was gone.. i dont care if anyone belives me i seen it it was reall and it was gone.. i tried to get this on my cell it not very distinct at all
Spelling and grammar issues aside, it’s just a sample of the kind of events that are regularly reported to happen here. As long as there are skies, we will keep looking up at them at night!
To that end, I know that MUFON is trying to get reorganized in the state — as a matter of fact, New England MUFON is meeting this Saturday, June 26, 2010.
From the site:
We are pleased to annunce the next statewide meeting of New England Mufon in Connecticut: Saturday, June 26, 1pm – at: Panera Bread, 533 South Broad St. (Rte 5), Meriden (This is located in the Town Line Square Shopping Center, on the border of Meriden and Wallingford. Panera Bread is located behind Pier 1 Imports, on the right hand side of the mall as you enter) To find this location, I recommend using Google Maps for directions; enter this address:
533 South Broad Street
Meriden, CT 06450-6661
* The Mufon Mission.
* New England Mufon Chapter and state areas.
* Introductions: ourselves, our interests.
* Next meeting: date and place.
Check it out if you’re interested. Or just keep your eyes to the skies!