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NASA Whitepaper Urges SETI Scientists to Address UFO Phenomenon

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posted on Dec, 2 2018 @ 03:25 PM
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A few months ago, a rather short but nonetheless interesting white paper (PDF link) was uploaded to the NASA technical reports servers/NTRS. The document, written by NASA Ames researcher Silvano P. Colombano, investigates how we might "refine" our strategy regarding the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI).

Although MSM didn't really pick it up back then, I think the paper does raise some key issues regarding our communication with potential ET civilizations. Rather surprisingly, it also refers to the UFO phenomenon as a field of study that deserves serious attention and consideration when discussing the ways in which extraterrestrial intelligence may reach out (ie. send signals), especially if they're so advanced that it's hard to actually compare them to our current level of civilization and technology.



The paper was part of the "SETI Decoding Alien Intelligence Workshop" (link) which took place in March this year. Among the participants were various renowned individuals, such as David Grinspoon and Jason Wright, just to name a few.

In a nutshell, Colombano recommends to rethink and challenge four assumptions that have dominated our SETI strategy over the past decades. The fourth point directly addresses the UFO phenomenon:

1. Interstellar travel is impossible or highly unlikely
2. Radio waves continue to be the major form of communication (...)
3. Intelligent civilizations would be based on carbon life
4. We have not been, and are not being... visited

Colombano goes on to explain in detail why all of these assumptions are flawed and limiting to the scope of our approach. Regarding UFOs, the white paper states the following conclusion/recommendation:


New Assumptions to Guide SETI Research

[We should] consider the UFO phenomenon worthy of study in the context of a system with very low signal to noise ratio, but nevertheless with the possibility of challenging some of our assumptions and pointing to new possibilities for communication and discovery (...)

One of the recommendations made is to study UFO reports as a low signal to noise ratio phenomenon. Big Data Analysis could approach several existing databases such as 130,000 pages of declassified U.S. Air Force documents, National UFO Reporting Center Database and several other international databases.


There are of course different ways of interpreting what Colombano exactly means in terms of the phenomenon's connection with SETI and ET communication. But essentially it comes down to the fact that we cannot exclude the possibility of 'them' having visited us in the past or the phenomenon being a manifestation of ET communication.

Mankind's "communications footprint" in the universe:


The paper also reminds us that the timeline of modern man is relatively short and that modern technology only started to emerge some 150 years ago. An incredibly short period compared to the age of the universe and the time that other civilisations (and technologies) might have had for their own evolution, if they indeed exist. It may also help to look at our own limited footprint in the universe, in terms of our radio communications. We barely reached beyond 100 light years and once we move on to other technologies and methods of communication, our messages may be compressed or encrypted such that they become indistinguishable from background noise.

Humans on the timeline of the universe:


Admittedly, the arguments mentioned in this white paper are not necessarily new but I can't remember having come across any UFO connection before in this context. And it's also refreshing to have something like this in "black and white", so to say, officially available on NASA servers. IMO this may help looking at the UFO phenomenon from a different angle and making it just a tad bit more "mainstream".

Thanks for taking the time to read all this and I very much look forward to your thoughts!




Sources & Links:
--------------------------------------------------
01. PDF: New Assumptions to Guide SETI Research
02. Website of "SETI Decoding Alien Intelligence Workshop"
03. Guest Papers of the DAI Workshop
04. Silvano P. Colombano on Research Gate
05. More info about Colombano on Space Architect
06. Repository of NASA Technical Reports Servers
07. Article: We wouldn't Be Able To Decrypt Seti Messages From Aliens
08. Website of NASA Ames Research Center
09. Website of the SETI Institute
edit on 2-12-2018 by jeep3r because: formatting




posted on Dec, 2 2018 @ 03:40 PM
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I like to think about the Voyager Record in space, and how dated it already is. Imagine if we found one just like it today from some alien planet. We would laugh knowing they have just reached the Disco era with that golden LP, the bad hair, and at that point we had ONLY identified two sexes, male and female.

Great thread though, I wonder what’s out there all the time.
edit on 2-12-2018 by TexasTruth because: Good



posted on Dec, 2 2018 @ 03:45 PM
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a reply to: jeep3r

Very special OP right there!! Well put together, thank you!

Definitely gonna have some night reading today..




posted on Dec, 2 2018 @ 03:46 PM
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This is very cool to see but a bit unexpected as well. I can just see the look on Seth Shostak's face when, if he reads this. It would be like the plague to him. Historically, their funding mechanism has depended upon " We believe there is life out there, but it ain't coming here".



posted on Dec, 2 2018 @ 03:52 PM
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a reply to: TexasTruth

Indeed, the golden record was a nice idea and Carl Sagan (and his team) certainly gave it a lot of thought when putting it all together. If I were ET, I think I'd rather want to listen to that record than to our transmissions from WW2.



posted on Dec, 2 2018 @ 03:56 PM
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Why would radio waves be preferred over something like optical wavelengths. I remember seeing something on Tomorrow's World or another science series, on how they were using lasers to get aircraft to communicate with satellites. The system had two pairs of lenses, one dark and non-reflective, the other transparent glass. Both were separated by a b shaped fin. The pair of lenses were in turn mounted on a rotating assembly that could point directly up to the sky.

There have also been UFO reports where witnesses claimed to have seen a craft send a beam of red light up into the sky - it would appear against the blue sky, and red against white clouds.



posted on Dec, 2 2018 @ 04:02 PM
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What if they're trying to communicate with us using quantum subspace (FTL) RF technology?




posted on Dec, 2 2018 @ 04:13 PM
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Its is my conjecture or belief that the human race is the only intelligent race in the universe because of the simple fact there is only room for one intelligent race. Interstellar flight is not impossible. After that hurdle is leaped, within 1000 years the human race will have explored most of the galaxy and moving on to the rest of the universe. Within 10,000 years most of the universe will be known and a good portion of it populated.

Technological advance is exponential.



posted on Dec, 2 2018 @ 04:43 PM
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a reply to: eManym

If we survive the technological singularity, that is. If not, it will be our AI offspring that'll colonize the universe and who knows what plans they come up with and how they're going to do it.



posted on Dec, 2 2018 @ 06:15 PM
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The image of our radio footprint over the galaxy is incorrect. a radius of 95 LY (or a diameter of 180 LY) over 100 000 LY is 555.56. You should be able to place over 550 of those circles across the image. The circle should only be about 1/10th the diameter shown.



posted on Dec, 2 2018 @ 06:55 PM
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originally posted by: TexasTruth
I like to think about the Voyager Record in space, and how dated it already is. Imagine if we found one just like it today from some alien planet. We would laugh knowing they have just reached the Disco era with that golden LP, the bad hair, and at that point we had ONLY identified two sexes, male and female.

Great thread though, I wonder what’s out there all the time.


There are more than two genders, or sexes?



posted on Dec, 2 2018 @ 07:39 PM
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I think if there is a space faring civilzation, they wouldnt be using raido to communicate. That would be like us modern people using clay tablets to talk to each other. Weve barely left our own pla et, we are children trying to figure out how to use the latest smart phone
edit on 12 2 2018 by jonnyhallows5211 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 2 2018 @ 08:08 PM
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originally posted by: Groot

originally posted by: TexasTruth
I like to think about the Voyager Record in space, and how dated it already is. Imagine if we found one just like it today from some alien planet. We would laugh knowing they have just reached the Disco era with that golden LP, the bad hair, and at that point we had ONLY identified two sexes, male and female.

Great thread though, I wonder what’s out there all the time.


There are more than two genders, or sexes?


In some races, maybe. Hard telling without proof of life outside of our little blue dot... But unless the human race has indeed been controlled by reptiles (who can have vague genders) the answer is pretty cut and dry.
Really though, that's just off topic.

Without FTL communications, it's going to be a long time before anyone has a chance off reaching us- and in the century we've been broadcasting we've come a long way towards extincting ourselves.



posted on Dec, 2 2018 @ 10:20 PM
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originally posted by: CraftBuilder
The image of our radio footprint over the galaxy is incorrect. a radius of 95 LY (or a diameter of 180 LY) over 100 000 LY is 555.56. You should be able to place over 550 of those circles across the image. The circle should only be about 1/10th the diameter shown.


That bothered me too (even though I didn't do the math as you did 😊).



posted on Dec, 3 2018 @ 08:47 AM
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a reply to: CraftBuilder

I still think it's awesome how they had Voyager turn around and take that picture of the Milky Way right before they lost contact or right before the battery died or whatever? Yeah that was like super cool how they did that, I thought. Like a final goodbye. It makes me emotional thinking about it.

Yay science!!!

😁



posted on Dec, 3 2018 @ 11:35 AM
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originally posted by: CraftBuilder
The image of our radio footprint over the galaxy is incorrect. a radius of 95 LY (or a diameter of 180 LY) over 100 000 LY is 555.56. You should be able to place over 550 of those circles across the image. The circle should only be about 1/10th the diameter shown.


You're right, the illustration is far too optimistic with regard to our communications footprint. Also, according to wiki, the Milky Way is estimated to be between 150.000 and 200.000 light-years in diameter.

When also considering the estimated diameter of the observable universe, which is thought to be about 93 billion light-years across, I think it's safe to say that our footprint is almost nil. Not to mention that, at some point, our radio signals get so weak as to be essentially indistinguishable from background noise.



posted on Dec, 3 2018 @ 01:45 PM
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a reply to: 3n19m470

I've always wondered if we do travel the stars as a species, what the look on the humans faces would be that stumble upon one of the voyagers, and what they would make of it?



posted on Dec, 3 2018 @ 03:25 PM
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originally posted by: eManym
Its is my conjecture or belief that the human race is the only intelligent race in the universe because of the simple fact there is only room for one intelligent race. Interstellar flight is not impossible. After that hurdle is leaped, within 1000 years the human race will have explored most of the galaxy and moving on to the rest of the universe. Within 10,000 years most of the universe will be known and a good portion of it populated.


And an alien called "X" on "Planet X" is expressing the exact same notion many millions of light years away.

Is this not like the question of whether a tree can fall in a forest if nobody is there to witness it fall?

Hmmm...



edit on 3-12-2018 by ConfusedBrit because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 5 2018 @ 12:27 AM
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a reply to: stormcell

Optical wavelength is light.

Non-optical light is radio waves.

We are technically considering both.



posted on Dec, 5 2018 @ 12:29 AM
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originally posted by: ausername
What if they're trying to communicate with us using quantum subspace (FTL) RF technology?



Would potentially explain uncertainty, if all quantum states can be used as a party line style communication.

Perhaps the quantum movements/uncertainty are a form of communication that is entangled across the universe.

This would in some sense, allow a faster than light communication method, but it would not necessarily allow a mechanism for faster than light travel.




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