SAN FRANCISCO, California - 20th March ,2003
Using 4 million computers worldwide, scientists based at the University of California,
Berkeley said that they have identified about 150 sources of possible signals
from intelligent civilizations.
The California researchers plan to head to Puerto Rico this month to use one
of the world's most powerful telescopes to more closely investigate the signals
that might be from extra terrestrials, a university spokeswoman said:
"They are homing in on interesting signals," said Sarah Yang, a spokeswoman at
the University of California, Berkeley where the SETI+home research project is
based. "They have not said they found anything."
The project links volunteer computer users into the researchers' efforts to search
for strong or unusual signals from space that one day may lead to the proof that
there really may be something else out there. The leading candidate signals compiled
over more than three years of work are the ones that were particularly strong
or have been observed in the same spot more than once, researchers said. While
scientists involved in the project are cautious about their chances of actually
discovering a signal from an intelligent being in outer space this time, they
believe they are on the right track for the future.
Dan Werthimer, chief scientist of SETI+home said in a statement:
"I believe that we will likely discover extraterrestrial civilizations in the
next hundred years, even if we don't find a signal from ET this time, I'm optimistic
in the long run, since our search capabilities are doubling every year."
Washington – April 2003
Proof that life exists outside the boundaries of Earth continues
to elude scientists, but President Bush's
budget suggests that "space aliens" may be out there.
And it could just be a matter of time before they are discovered.
In a brief passage titled "Where Are the Real Space Aliens?"
Bush's budget document released Monday says several important
scientific discoveries in the past decade indicate that "habitable
worlds" in outer space may be much more prevalent than
once thought. The finds include evidence of currently or previously
existing large bodies of water - a key ingredient of life as
we know it - on Mars and on Jupiter's moons.
Astronomers also are finding planets outside the solar system,
including about 90 stars with at least one planet orbiting them. "Perhaps
the notion that 'there's something out there' is closer to reality
than we have imagined," the passage concludes.
The president calls for $279 million next year and $3 billion
over five years for Project Prometheus, which includes building
the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter.
"This mission will conduct extensive, in-depth studies of the moons of
Jupiter that may harbour subsurface oceans and thus have important implications
in the search for life beyond Earth," the budget reads.
The budget is the second time in recent months that the Bush
administration has addressed questions about life in space.
On Dec. 24, the White House issued a September determination
by Mr. Bush in which he followed his predecessors' lead by issuing
a determination exempting the Air Force facility near Groom Lake,
Nevada, from environmental laws allowing the release of classified
information about the area.
Groom Lake is the place that UFO buffs call Area 51.
"I find that it is in the paramount interest of the United States to exempt
the United States Air Force's operating location near Groom Lake
… from any applicable requirement for the disclosure to
unauthorized persons of classified information concerning that
the president wrote.
sighting might make Huntington next Roswell
I know a few
people from Huntington, the town that gave us Dan Quayle. The
Huntingtonian I know best is my fishing buddy, Rex, who has farmed
near Huntington all his life.
Of all the people I know, Rex may the most level-headed. The
ups and downs of farming - which are controlled by such imponderables
as temperature, rainfall and grain prices - would drive me
crazy, but Rex takes as it comes, accepting both the good and
the bad with a shrug and a smile.
So when Huntington was in the news recently for an event that
most would find difficult to swallow, I used Rex as my yardstick
for the sensibility of those who witnessed something odd in
the sky above the city of 2,000.
On Jan. 4, The Herald-Press of Huntington reported the three
Huntington police officers saw an object they couldn't identify
hovering over SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church at 2:30 p.m.,
Dec. 26. It was flying low enough that one thought it might
strike the church steeple, but it shot away north after hovering
for 30 to 45 seconds.
The officers described the object as big, circular and dome-shaped,
but without the "hump" in the middle typical of 1950s
flying saucer descriptions.They kept the story of what they'd
seen to themselves, fearing people would think them daft, until
curiosity got the better of them. They went public with the
story, wondering if anyone else had seen the same thing.
When I read the story off The Associated Press wire, I called
Rex to see if he'd had a close encounter. Nope, he said, he
hadn't seen a thing, nor had anyone else he knew.
He told me that there the folks in town weren't unduly distressed
about the event. Maybe they figure that if whatever it was
doesn't start carving circles in their crops, it's not worth
Cindy Klepper, the newspaper's city editor, wrote a follow-up
to the original story after three investigators from the Mutual
UFO Network came to town. They discounted one suggested explanation,
that what the officers saw was a "Hoverdisc," a table-sized
toy that is filled with helium and set adrift.
"It's not a balloon of any kind," MUFON representative Roger Sugden
told Klepper. "Whichever way the wind was blowing, it wouldn't have stopped,
tumbled and moved off."
An Internet search turned up a couple of interesting side notes.
An Indianapolis man reported to Whitley Streiber's Unknown
Country Web site that he and two other people spotted six red
and white objects pass over downtown Indianapolis about seven
hours after the Huntington object was seen.
Stranger still, a Google search using the terms "Huntington
turned up a game called "UFO Attack" on the Huntington-Indiana.com
I contacted the Bill Holden, a Web designer who built and maintains
the site, who said UFO Attack and other games had been on his
site for some time. A few hours later he reported that his
site had received 80 hits for UFO searches over two days.
Spotting an opportunity, he put the headline "SAVE HUNTINGTON" on
the game and put a note that "The out-of-town newspapers" had
been contacting him for information on the sighting. I've been
called many things in my life, but "out-of-town newspapers" is
a new one.
not often one sees an article about UFOs in the mainstream
print press or on television, these days; when one does, it's
usually filled with terms like believers, pseudo-science, fringe,
paranormal, cult, hoax, etc. On television the reporting of
UFO events is generally done in a light comical manner, complete
with the "winks, nods and guffaws included."
said, it's no surprise how ignorant the American public "of
is on the subject of UFOs. Moreover, when attempts are made
by independent sources, via television, the bulk of these productions
come complete with organ music, smoke machines and are narrated
by an eerie character with a British accent.
when a reporter from the mainstream press does gather the courage
to broach the subject of UFOs, more often then not we see an
individual who approaches the subject from the afore mentioned
education received by his fellow colleagues; that's not to
say there haven't been some reporters/newsmen etc., who have
done some good publicized research; but those individuals,
and instances are far and in-between!
to common" term, or phrase used by the mainstream reporters,
"UFO believers." Most Americans are familiar with the
term, "UFO", and most incorrectly associate the term
with extraterrestrial spacecraft and or beings. The term, "UFO''
was borne by the Air Force back in 1952, specifically Capt. Edward
J. Ruppelt, Chief of the Air Force's Project Blue Book, the government's "public
investigating agency" of the UFO phenomenon. In the verbatim
it is an acronym for, "Unidentified Flying Objects";
the "key word" being "UNIDENTIFIED."
associate the verb, "believer" with a "factual
thing" i.e., "UFO," is an oxymoron. Say to yourself, "I
believe in the Empire State Building,"
or use the term "The Mount Rushmore believers"--just
doesn't make sense does it? Yet the layman who is ignorant of
the subject of UFO's, or who's only knowledge on the subject
is from the comedic side of the mainstream press might assume
there is a debate about the existence of such things, particularly
if the individual has never seen one--henceforth we breed more
public as a whole, I'm sure would be quite surprised to learn
that the media in the early years of UFOlogy ( late '40's and
early '50's)did not turn a "blind eye" to this phenomenon--quite
the opposite in fact!
"Flying Saucer" stories (the term created by a reporter
from Oregon in response to Kenneth Arnold's report of his sighting
of 9 UFOs in June of '47, describing their flight characteristics)
permeated the press--it was headline news in most states across
the country. The press was eager to learn and report what these "strange
objects" were, flying in our skies.
it was the press that provoked the "powers-that-be" to
become very aggressive in a public anti-UFO campaign. Initially,
"newly independent branch of the military, i.e., the Air
Force, established "Project Sign," aka, "Project
Saucer" (one of the predecessor's to "Blue Book")
who's function was "to collect, collate, evaluate and distribute
to interested government agencies and contractors all information
concerning sightings and phenomena in the atmosphere which can
be construed to be of concern to the national security";
there seemed to be a genuine desire to get to the bottom of the
UFO phenomenon; however the evidence towards the end of 1948
was leading to an apparent extraterrestrial explanation, which
didn't sit well with the higher-ups, namely "Air Force Chief
of Staff General Hoyt S. Vandenburg."
the beginning of 1949 "Project Sign" was no more,
and "Project Grudge" was in it's stead. "Grudge" like
it's name took to a dim view of UFO reports, and indicated
the Air Forces "public shift" in policy to
"explain away" reports as natural phenomenon, e.g.,
planets, meteors or stars; more drastic explanations would include:
hallucinations, reflections, birds and even "particles that
float in the fluid of the eye that cast shadows on the retina."
the Air Force couldn't explain away the evidence they inturn
would ridicule the witnesses. UFO observers were called hoaxers,
fearsome freaks, or people just trying to get media attention.
Edward Ruppelt in his book, "The Report On Unidentified
Flying Objects" referred to the beginning of the "Project
Grudge era" as the
"Dark Ages," or "as a period of "intellectual
stagnation.'" What he didn't realize is that "stagnation" would
evolve and continue for decades.
the beginning of the Air Force's "debunking policy" it
used big names like Vandenburg, and LeMay to substantiate and
solidify the "natural explanation" of UFO reports;
but it didn't stop internally; the Air Weather Service was
asked to verify "balloon flights" that must have
been confused with UFO's. In regards to astronomical answers,
Dr. J. Allen Hynek, head of Ohio State University's
Astronomy Department sorted out reports that could be associated
with stars, planets, etc.
the public and the media didn't swallow the Air Force's policy
shift at once, it did sow the seed of doubt. Magazines like "True
and Life" from 1949 through 1952 published some ground-shaking
revelations on UFOs based on Air Force reports and files ;
however that rich source of "official unbiased information" was
soon to dry up.
1952 the Air Force was in "full debunking mode," and
that summer would offer a grandiose example of how far the
Air Force would go to explain away the Flying Saucer (UFO)
folk (those "mildly" knowledgeable about UFOs) have
"If they are from another planet, why don't they just land
on the Whitehouse lawn?" Ironically, in July of 1952 they
came very close to doing just that!
headline of the Washington Post's Final Edition of July 28th,
1952 declared, "'Saucer' Out Ran Jet, Pilot Reveals." The
article went on to reveal a "secret military investigation" of
what were described as
"glowing aerial objects" that were appearing on radar
screens in the Washington area for the second consecutive week.
Pilots sent up by the ADC (Air Defense Command) reported that
they were unable to overtake the UFOs that were near Andrews
Air Force Base.
Air Force's official response was that they were investigating
the incidents and that it was classified as "secret." They
"we have no evidence they are "flying saucers";
conversely we have no evidence they are not "flying saucers." We
don't know what they are."
be clear, the UFOs were not just "blips on a screen" they
were simultaneously witnessed from the ground as well as from
the air (radar/visual sightings) by the pilots pursuing them
in addition to civilian airline pilots.
an interview with "The Alexandria Gazette," James
Ritchy, an "air traffic controller and radar specialist" for
The Washington Air Traffic Control Center said, "These
objects were about 30 miles from the airport when we first
made contact with them. We spotted 12 objects, and judged that
they were moving in a southeasterly direction at a speed of
about 40 mph . . .. The Air Force sent some jet planes up to
investigate, and we would help 'vector' the pilots toward the
objects . . ..
we 'vector' a plane onto an object, we are in radar contact
with both the object and the plane, and also in radio contact
with the pilot of the plane. We keep telling the pilot how
to turn to approach the object until he makes a sighting. The
first jet pilot to go out Saturday night reported that he sighted
a steady white light that appeared to be about 10 miles distant.
When we tried to draw closer, it just disappeared . . ..
commercial pilot got much closer to one of the objects, and
reported to us that he sighted a yellow light that appeared
to turn red and then yellow again. He reported to us that the
object appeared to be about two miles away and the flying parallel
confirmed that he was between two and three miles from the
third pilot sighted two bluish lights and later five more white
lights. Our radar continued to show unidentified objects through
the night, until 6 a.m. the next morning, but the pilots did
not get closer to them."
pursuit planes used were F-94s with a top speed of 600 mph.
The targets (UFOs) were tracked at speeds as slow as 90 mph
and faster then that of their pursuers. (Substantially faster,
as when planes approached in some instances, the UFOs would
simply disappear from radar-presumably retreating faster then
it took the "radar antenna" to make a full sweep).
one might imagine, since this was an ongoing phenomenon (for
two weeks) and it was taking place near the nation's capitol,
it created quite a hubbub! With telegrams, phone calls and
letters by the thousands pouring into the Pentagon, as well
as pressure from the constituents of local Congressman, and
topping it off with a lot of noise from the media; the powers-that-be
needed to do something, and quickly! That something ended up
initiating "the largest press conference held since the
end of the Second World War."
July 29th at 4:00 pm in the conference room at the Pentagon, Major General John
A. Samford, Director of Intelligence of the Air Force proceeded
to engage in the one of the largest cover-ups ever perpetrated
on the American public! With him in this machination was Major
General Roger M. Ramey, Director of Operations, a veteran in
confabulating UFO events (a la Roswell), Colonel Donald L.
Bower, Technical Analysis Division, ATIC (Air Technical Intelligence
Center), Captain Roy L. James, Electronic Branch, ATIC, Captain
Edward J. Ruppelt, Aerial Phenomena Branch, (head of Project
Blue and future author of "The Report On Unidentified
Flying Objects) ATIC, and Mr. Burgoyne L. Griffing, Electronics
the other side of the table were the media's elite, top correspondents
from all the major newspapers and national magazines were in
attendance; heavy hitters from radio and the new medium, "TV" were
also there; in the midst of that crowd was one "Major
Donald E. Keyhoe,"
who had penned, "The Flying Saucers Are Real" and was
a considerable thorn in the Air Force's side.
opening statement recapped the Air Force's investigation of
the UFO phenomenon since 1947; he mentioned the Air Force's
concern of possible air born menaces to the United States,
talked about Project Saucer (Project Sign) and it's current "more
improved" organization. He noted the mass amount of reports
that have been analyzed, and quickly put them to rest as some
easily explainable phenomenon, e.g., our own aircraft, weather
aberrations, hoaxes etc.
oratory was mild mannered and done in an academic fashion;
Keyhoe later commented that the "tension in the crowd
was eased" by his simple explanations of the UFOs. Samford
didn't shy away from the "20%" of the reports that
couldn't be "identified," either, and gave the impression
that with more data those could be laid to rest as well.
concluding he made a point that the Air Force's role was to
ensure that UFO sightings didn't pose a threat to the United
States; he said there was no pattern to indicate there was
this point the rest of the conference would proceed as a Q & A
session with the reporters. As would be expected, the reporters
began a barrage of some very poignant questions, but Samford
held his ground, and calmly gave rational explanations for
the previous weeks UFO sightings and consequent "radar
asked about "solid returns" Samford talked about "birds
and temperature inversions"; when asked about multiple
radar units tracking the same objects, "simultaneously" he
mentioned the same phenomenon can pass from scope to scope,
and indicated that the timing can be off. (I.e., it wasn't
simultaneous). When asked about the "expertise" of
the radar operators he politely indicated that even the "best
can be fooled."
you can see, no matter the question Samford and or one of his
panel had a very "logical explanation" for the recent
UFO phenomenon; even when he left room for further investigation
he firmly stated, "there is nothing in them that is associated
with materials or vehicles or missiles that are directed against
the United States."
conference lasted an hour and twenty minutes, at it's finale
the members of the media had a mixed response, some thought
that Samford and his group were on the level, others didn't
buy it for a moment, but by and large they would "accept
the more feasible explanations" and that is what would "go
following day the "New York Times" published an article
"Air Force Debunks 'Saucers' As Just 'Natural Phenomena.'" The "Herald
Tribune" published the same article, and the "Post" headlined
an article, "Saucer Blips Over Capitol Laid To Heat." The "AP" ran
"those stories" and premise was spread across the country.
might wonder how the press could be so naïve . . . but
those were different times, and we were much more trustful
of the powers-that-be. Still, after taking in Samford's explanations,
it must have given people pause if they had to board airplane,
since their very lives depend upon the air traffic controllers
who apparently couldn't tell a plane, or another solid object
from a flock of birds and or heat inversions.