any signs for contacts yet?

If there were any evidence without doubts, this discussion would be simply superfluous. But as always there are rumors of such evidence and TV series like the "X Files" (German flag Akte X) nowadays promote further such hypes and assumptions. All types of such are thrown into the discussion: strange structures in our planetary system (remember the "Mars face"), UFO interpretation as alien spacecrafts or that there were already signals detected by SETI programs. Now I discuss these in more detail.

artefacts?

The now already infamous "Mars face" is possibly the best known of the structures, which are claimed by some people as to be artefacts from alien civilizations. Even with not yet confirmed life on Mars in the past and even if it persists up today, it seems very highly unlikely, that any intelligent race has lived there and left such surface markings: it simply not fits into Mars' areological history (planetological is the more common expression, I know). At principle an ancient civilization, maybe distributing itself by generation spacecrafts about thousands of years, could have left it also millions of years ago. But newer pictures from Mars Global Surveyor have proven, that the posture of nearly all experts was right: the appearance was mainly due to illumination effects, which can alter the impression dramatically. Also measuring markings were involved in that phantasy interpretation! Finally a human face is a very improbable artefact anyway.

Other surface structures, mainly on Earth, are in my opinion not worth to mention them - see also below!

what about UFOs?

Now ongoing for about half a century, the UFO myth seems to persist. Despite there are very few events, which can't be easily explained without any doubts by astronomical mirages of Venus, Jupiter etc. or the planets themselves, weather balloons, unusual clouds, some secret military (spy) planes, fakes and so on, these are often referred to as proofs for the alien nature of UFOs by UFO activists. But even these cases can be explained in conventional ways and there are two another questions, which seem to prove, that UFOs are not alien spacecrafts: travelling faster than light is very highly unlikely due to our current knowledge, and anybody, who isn't able to do just this, would never play such a ridiculous, leading to nowhere game with us, which is generally assumed by UFO activists. 

The strongest reason against it is in my view the vast void between the countless stars, which makes contacts even with all direction messages difficult and direct contacts by chance and spacecraft use nearly impossible. And - as mentioned above - the sphere filled with radio signals generated by our technical civilization is now just a few light decades in diameter, highly unlikely to be already recognized by other civilizations. And these would also only try to detect such ones generally, if they have no faster than light spacecraft. Otherwise it would be simply a wasting of time. But than they simply can't get to us really, especially not in a short timescale - also at least decades would be than required.

already detected signals?

Even more as in the UFO case, some people state, that there were already signals detected by the diverse SETI programs. This would require total suppression of these facts; a trial which is in todays world simply hopeless. There were and are too many peoples involved, often scientists and technicians without any special military status - I guarantee you, the first confirmed signal would made its way into the global media in a record breaking short time!

But there is a more serious aspect: especially in the last years with the arrival of modern multi channel detectors the difficulty is, that it requires extremely high amounts of CPU time on any computers, to filter out any possible detections of alien radio messages, it may be the case, that there are lurking such real data in the mountains of data, which are already collected! By the way, some signals in the past were discussed as serious candidates, but nothing conclusive has been found yet.

With ever increasing detector sensitivity and also growing channel numbers the amount of data collected increases in an even growing pace!

And that is the simple reason behind a project, which was initiated by some major SETI experts. The Internet offers this chance: similar to the GIMPS project (searching for Mersenne numbers ), they have developed software for all recognizable distributed operating systems, which is able to help them to compute these masses of data. This is the topic of the final, next page!
 

come and join the SETI efforts!   back to SETI overview    back to main

questions, suggestions etc. to:  stefan.urbat@apastron.lb.shuttle.de

(URL:  http://www.lb.shuttle.de/apastron/consCont.htm)