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Mystery Signal from Outer Space Heard by Arecibo

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posted on Jan, 16 2008 @ 07:55 PM
Believe what you want but this is a BOGUS REPORT! At least it's "bogus" according to SETI researcher, Matt Labofsky. I know that there are those who will quickly scream "foul"! and that "its' a cover-up" but I choose to believe SETI's own. If SETI has been misquoted, it's up to SETI to set the record straight and that's exactly what they have done......

Originally posted by Roz47

Mystery Signal from Outer Space Heard by Arecibo

KTVU-TV, Channel 2 in San Francisco Bay area, reported yesterday: “Across the globe, researchers searching for signs of life in space were abuzz this week with word that a mystery signal has been picked up by a giant radio-telescope in Puerto Rico.

Dan Wertheimer, of UC Berkely SETI Project, apparently made an "off-the-record" that was misinterpreted by news reporters. This report quickly made a sensational headline that has since spread around the world. This is from a blog entry by Matt Lebofsky a SETI project administrator, developer and scientist.

Bogus news reports that we found a "mystery" signal should be summarily ignored. This was a gross misinterpretation by a reporter of an quick comment Dan made off the record about AstroPulse progress and recently published millisecond pulsar findings by another group. These are new stellar phenomena which are astronomically interesting (and AstroPulse hopes to find many of) but not ET. Sigh. SOURCE

[edit on 1/16/2008 by benevolent tyrant]

posted on Jan, 16 2008 @ 08:08 PM
strange lights in texas?
radio signals being picked up?
the site now being offline?

... I get the funny feeling in the not to distant future, we're going to have some significant happen in terms of 'other life'

be it a message, something found in a public area, or a visit.....

it seems to be accelerating.

posted on Jan, 16 2008 @ 08:24 PM
reply to post by benevolent tyrant

Thank you for the info. I suspected as much. Good luck getting everyone to believe it though.

posted on Jan, 16 2008 @ 11:18 PM
i wonder do people actually realise what a waste of time and money seti actually is, it is impossible to detect intelligent transmissions from an alien source at any great distance, sure radio telescopes are good at looking at the universe but not really good at communicating over the vast distances required by this project, it simple maths!

posted on Jan, 16 2008 @ 11:49 PM

Originally posted by Nohup
The first question is "how to answer it?" I think the first question (after it's determined to be valid) should be "can we answer it," followed immediately by "should we answer it?" I'm thinking of those deep sea fish with a little dangling light out in front of their huge, tooth-filled mouths.

[edit on 16-1-2008 by Nohup]

Wow.. This is just like that Jodie Foster movie. Strange.

No, I'm not mocking you. Just pointing out the similarities.

This might be the best evidence pointing towards extraterrestrial life we may ever have.

posted on Jan, 16 2008 @ 11:58 PM
Info from the seti site below:

[edit on 17-1-2008 by j_kalin]

posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 12:01 AM
Message 700669 - Posted 16 Jan 2008 21:21:12 UTC
Okay then:

A Bright Millisecond Radio Burst of Extragalactic Origin
D. R. Lorimer,1,2* M. Bailes,3 M. A. McLaughlin,1,2 D. J. Narkevic,1 F. Crawford4

Pulsar surveys offer a rare opportunity to monitor the radio sky for impulsive burst-like events with millisecond durations. We analyzed archival survey data and found a 30-jansky dispersed burst, less than 5 milliseconds in duration, located 3° from the Small Magellanic Cloud. The burst properties argue against a physical association with our Galaxy or the Small Magellanic Cloud. Current models for the free electron content in the universe imply that the burst is less than 1 gigaparsec distant. No further bursts were seen in 90 hours of additional observations, which implies that it was a singular event such as a supernova or coalescence of relativistic objects. Hundreds of similar events could occur every day and, if detected, could serve as cosmological probes.

1 Department of Physics, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA.
2 National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Green Bank, WV 24944, USA.
3 Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122, Australia.
4 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA 17604, USA.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail:

Transient radio sources are difficult to detect, but they can potentially provide insights into a wide variety of astrophysical phenomena (1). Of particular interest is the detection of short radio bursts, no more than a few milliseconds in duration, that may be produced by exotic events at cosmological distances, such as merging neutron stars (2) or evaporating black holes (3). Pulsar surveys are currently among the few records of the sky with good sensitivity to radio bursts, and they have the necessary temporal and spectral resolution required to unambiguously discriminate between short-duration astrophysical bursts and terrestrial interference. Indeed, they have recently been successfully mined to detect a new galactic population of transients associated with rotating neutron stars (4). The burst we report here, however, has a substantially higher inferred energy output than this class and has not been observed to repeat. This burst therefore represents an entirely new phenomenon.

The burst was discovered during a search of archival data from a 1.4-GHz survey of the Magellanic Clouds (5) using the multibeam receiver on the 64-m Parkes Radio Telescope (6) in Australia. The survey consisted of 209 telescope pointings, each lasting 2.3 hours. During each pointing, the multibeam receiver collected independent signals from 13 different positions (beams) on the sky. The data from each beam were one-bit sampled every millisecond over 96 frequency channels spanning a band 288 MHz wide.

Radio signals from all celestial sources propagate through a cold ionized plasma of free electrons before reaching the telescope. The plasma, which exists within our Galaxy and in extragalactic space, has a refractive index that depends on frequency. As a result, any radio signal of astrophysical origin should exhibit a quadratic shift in its arrival time as a function of frequency, with the only unknown being the integrated column density of free electrons along the line of sight, known as the dispersion measure (DM). Full details of the data reduction procedure to account for this effect, and to search for individual dispersed bursts, are given in the supporting online material. In brief, for each beam, the effects of interstellar dispersion were minimized for 183 trial DMs in the range 0 to 500 cm–3 pc. The data were then searched for individual pulses with signal-to-noise (S/N) ratios greater than 4 with the use of a matched filtering technique (7) optimized for pulse widths in the range 1 to 1000 ms. The burst was detected in data taken on 24 August 2001 with DM = 375 cm–3 pc contemporaneously in three neighboring beams (Fig. 1) and was located ~3° south of the center of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC).

Figure 1 Fig. 1. Multiwavelength image of the field surrounding the burst. The gray scale and contours respectively show H[alpha] and H I emission associated with the SMC (32, 33). Crosses mark the positions of the five known radio pulsars in the SMC and are annotated with their names and DMs in parentheses in units of cm–3 pc. The open circles show the positions of each of the 13 beams in the survey pointing of diameter equal to the half-power width. The strongest detection saturated the single-bit digitizers in the data acquisition system, indicating that its S/N >> 23. Its location is marked with a square at right ascension 01h 18m 06s and declination –75° 12' 19'' (J2000 coordinates). The other two detections (with S/Ns of 14 and 21) are marked with smaller circles. The saturation makes the true position difficult to localize accurately. The positional uncertainty is nominally ±7' on the basis of the half-power width of the multibeam system. However, the true position is probably slightly (a few arcmin) northwest of this position, given the nondetection of the burst in the other beams. [View Larger Version of this Image (47K GIF file)]

The pulse exhibited the characteristic quadratic delay as a function of radio frequency (Fig. 2) expected from dispersion by a cold ionized plasma along the line of sight (8). Also evident was a significant evolution of pulse width across the observing frequency band. The behavior we observed, where the pulse width W scales with frequency f as W [propto] f –4.8 ± 0.4, is consistent with pulse-width evolution due to interstellar scattering with a Kolmogorov power law [W [propto] f –4 (9)]. The filter-bank system has finite frequency and time resolution, which effectively sets an upper limit to the intrinsic pulse width Wint = 5 ms. We represent this below by the parameter W5 = Wint/5 ms. Note that it is entirely possible that the intrinsic width could be much smaller than observed (i.e., W5 10 in the analysis of data from almost 3000 separate positions. Sources with flux densities greater than ~1 Jy are typically detected in multiple receivers of the multibeam system. Although this is true for both terrestrial and astrophysical sources, the telescope had an elevation of ~ 60° at the time of the observation, making it virtually impossible for ground-based transmitters to be responsible for a source that was only detected in three adjacent beams of the pointing.

We have extensively searched for subsequent radio pulses from this enigmatic source. Including the original detection, there were a total of 27 beams in the survey data that pointed within 30 arcmin of the nominal burst position. These observations, which totaled 50 hours, were carried out between 19 June and 24 July 2001 and showed no significant bursts. In April 2007 we carried out 40 hours of follow-up observations with the Parkes telescope at 1.4 GHz with similar sensitivity to the original observation. No bursts were found in a search over the DM range 0 to 500 cm–3 pc. These dedicated follow-up observations implied that the event rate must be less than 0.025 hour–1 for bursts with S/N > 6 (i.e., a 1.4-GHz peak flux density greater than 300 mJy). The data were also searched for periodic radio signals using standard techniques (8) with null results.

The galactic latitude (b = –41.8°) and high DM of the burst make it highly improbable for the source to be located within our Galaxy. The most recent model of the galactic distribution of free electrons (10) predicts a DM contribution of only 25 cm–3 pc for this line of sight. In fact, of more than 1700 pulsars currently known, none of the 730 with |b| > 3.5° has DM > 375 cm–3 pc. The DM is also far higher than any of the 18 known radio pulsars in the Magellanic Clouds (5), the largest of which is for PSR J0131-7310 in the SMC with DM = 205 cm–3 pc. The other four known radio pulsars in the SMC have DMs of 70, 76, 105, and 125 cm–3 pc. The high DM of PSR J0131-7310 is attributed (5) to its location in an H II region (Fig. 1). We have examined archival survey data to look for ionized structure such as H[alpha] filaments or H II regions that could similarly explain the anomalously large DM of the burst. No such features are apparent. The source lies 3° south from the center of the SMC, placing it outside all known contours of radio, infrared, optical, and high-energy emission from the SMC. This and the high DM strongly suggest that the source is well beyond the SMC, which lies 61 ± 3 kpc away (11).

No published gamma-ray burst or supernova explosion is known at this epoch or position, and no significant gamma-ray events were detected by the Third Interplanetary Network (12, 13) around the time of the radio burst. The Principal Galaxy Catalog [PGC (14)] was searched for potential hosts to the burst source. The nearest candidate (PGC 246336) is located 5 arcmin south of the nominal burst position, but the nondetection of the burst in the beam south of the brightest detection appears to rule out an association. If the putative host galaxy were similar in type to the Milky Way, the nondetection in the PGC (limiting B magnitude of 18) implies a rough lower limit of ~600 Mpc on the distance to the source.

We can place an upper bound on the likely distance to the burst from our DM measurement. Assuming a homogeneous intergalactic medium in which all baryons are fully ionized, the intergalactic DM is expected (15, 16) to scale with redshift, z, as DM ~ 1200 z cm–3 pc for z ≤ 2. Subtracting the expected contribution to the DM from our Galaxy, we infer z = 0.3, which corresponds to a distance of ~1 Gpc. This is likely an upper limit, because a host galaxy and local environment could both contribute to the observed DM. Using the electron density model for our Galaxy (10) as a guide, we estimate that there is a 25% probability that the DM contribution from a putative host galaxy is >100 cm–3 pc and hence z < 0.2. Obviously, the more distant the source, the more powerful it becomes as a potential cosmological probe. The sole event, however, offers little hope of a definitive answer at this stage. To enable some indicative calculations about potential source luminosity and event rates, we adopt a distance of 500 Mpc. This corresponds to z ~0.12 and a host galaxy DM of 200 cm–3 pc. In recognition of the considerable distance uncertainty, we parameterize this as D500 = D/500 Mpc. If this source is well beyond the local group, it would provide the first definitive limit on the ionized column density of the intracluster medium, which is currently poorly constrained (17).

What is the nature of the burst source? From the observed burst duration, flux density, and distance, we estimate the brightness temperature and energy released to be ~1034 (D500/W5)2 K and ~1033W5D5002 J, respectively. These values, and light travel-time arguments that limit the source size to

posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 12:03 AM
First things first, lets give the new civilization a cool sounding name. But seriously, this is heavy stuff. Absolutely amazing!

posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 12:14 AM
Actually, the original link is now active again... not taken down surreptitiously.

This afternoon, KTVU-TV Channel 2, removed their earlier report quoted below and by tonight, a correction was posted saying the mystery signal had been recorded by an Australian radio telescope (confirmed now to be the Parkes Radio Telescope) and that the complex signal is still being studied. Yesterday, KTVU-TV in the San Francisco Bay area, reported:

posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 12:20 AM
Listening to the Seti guy right now on Coast to Coast....

He is really hedging...

say it was originally picked up in Australia at the Parks in September....

WTF??? he is going back to the pulsar story.....

Combining the Berkley story and the Arecibo pick up??

[edit on 1/17/2008 by Paloma]

posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 12:42 AM
reply to post by benevolent tyrant

Okay, if I had read all the posts thoroughly, I would have seen this.

This is essentially the story that Seth Shostak is giving...

I am still uncertain how the Parkes pick up in September and Arecibo are getting confused. Where is the confusion happening in the translation here exactly with the segment from the San Diego TV station?

Can anyone here help me out?

posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 12:52 AM
While reading this is potentially exciting, it is also just as frustrating and scary given the issues we would face regarding how to communicate, if we should, and not even knowing if these massive distances in space that separate us are there for a reason and shouldn't be messed with.

Imagine actually being able to communicate with another life form from far, talk about culture shock!

Where to start? What to say? Would we want them to know what goes on here?

Are they locked onto our signal and on their way to dinner right now?

Do they have oil there?

I could sit here and ask questions for days of which there may never be an answer for one.....

posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 01:30 AM

Originally posted by Quazga
Actually, the original link is now active again... not taken down surreptitiously.

This afternoon, KTVU-TV Channel 2, removed their earlier report quoted below and by tonight, a correction was posted saying the mystery signal had been recorded by an Australian radio telescope (confirmed now to be the Parkes Radio Telescope) and that the complex signal is still being studied. Yesterday, KTVU-TV in the San Francisco Bay area, reported:


sounds abit dodgy to me, why report it was a signal then completley say it was something else?

cover-up anyone?

posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 01:42 AM
reply to post by gtirlad2

Yes, yes!

See, I was thinking I was just dense, but I thing we have an apples for oranges switch here.

I did misspeak and put San Diego rather than Berkley or San Fran, depending on the source, but it is still not clear how this got mangled with Arecibo and Parkes.

Also, I have lost the thread in my multiple tabs, but someone posted that the person from Seti would give the spiel that he did...

Analysis please???

posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 06:41 AM

Originally posted by yahn goodey
reply to post by Nohup

how can we answer radio signal from the aliens?----we dont taste very good----please dont eat us ! that would be a start ?

Wouldn't worry too much about it mate.

Had that signal come from anywhere interesting it would of taken a loooonng time to get here, ergo should we fire of a response now we would all be dead of old age before it got half way there!! ~ you could send "McDonalds sucks ~ but mammalian grey matter is most palatable, come on over" and not miss a wink of sleep due to worry....... Well, they could always have faster than light travel.

posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 07:34 AM
Correct me if I am wrong, but weren't they answering us from the 70's?

posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 07:40 AM
reply to post by j_kalin

You've been a member here long enough to realise a para or two would have done here and a link to the original source would have been great...

Me personally, I like to read original content largely, and if it is backed up by links or sources, sure, I'll read those too...

What I don't appreciate is an article like this reproduced almost in its entirety from another site...

Thanks for the info anyways...

posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 07:44 AM
reply to post by Now_Then

it doesnt bother me in the least if friendly aliens want to come visit us.

the speculation is that a signal sent from us in 1974 has just been received as a reply here?.assuming the aliens sent it as soon as they received ours thats 17 years to get here traveling at the speed of light.

some of the latest theories are that it is possible to travel faster than the speed of light-----maybe we should put the roast in the oven /set the table/and buy a case of beer for our guests? pronto ? if they are friendly.

if they are not--- better make funeral arrangements now---if they can get here they would be definetly superior to us in every way.

posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 07:51 AM

Originally posted by Paloma
but it is still not clear how this got mangled with Arecibo and Parkes.

I remember back a couple of months that Aceribo observatory was a topic of discussion in a congressional hearing on funding.

I think that Aceribo is on the chopping block, NASA was saying that it could not continue without funding or donations.

I wonder if this could be some way of getting the observatory some attention to prevent the potential closing and reallocate funding for them.

I noticed the spelling is different in this thread, I always remembered it as Aceribo.

posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 07:55 AM
Think about this.

I am an experiencer and I have written many times there are different species of beings right here in the deepest of our waters.

These beings can communicate in any language spoken on Earth and they use frequencies and vibrations for many things.

One way to pick them up under water would be low frequency wave lengths. All you have to do is get the right frequency and if they "want" to communicate they could very easily.

Seth at Seti does not impress me one bit.

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