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President Barack Obama answered a 6-year-old's hard-hitting question at an Ellen taping: "We haven't actually made direct contact with aliens yet."
... [A] healthy dose of skepticism is warranted, said Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer at the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute in Mountain View, California.
For example, it seems unlikely that 234 separate alien societies would be sending out such similar signals more or less simultaneously, Shostak said.
"It would be like expecting us to send the same signals as the Abyssinians — it doesn't make a whole lot of sense," he told Space.com. "If I were a betting guy, I'd bet this is an artifact of the way they processed their data."
"The international SETI community has established a 0-to-10 scale for quantifying detections of phenomena that may indicate the existence of advanced life beyond the Earth called the 'Rio Scale,'" team members of Breakthrough Listen, whose science program is headquartered at the Berkeley SETI Research Center (BSRC) at the University of California, Berkeley, said in a statement. "The BSRC team assesses the Borra-Trottier result to currently be a 0 or 1 (None/Insignificant) on this scale."