Don’t call the aliens,they might not be friendly
2007-12-20 0:00

By Tony Allen-Mills | timesonline.co.uk


For decades it has been a staple of science fiction � somewhere out in the galaxy, a highly developed alien race picks up a radio signal from Earth, and decides to eat us for lunch.

In a world plagued by war, hunger and disease, a possible attack by little green men may not rank high among most nations’ concerns. Yet for a small group of scientists who are harnessing increasingly powerful technologies in a trans-galactic search for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence, the prospect of catastrophe has stirred an angry debate.

Two senior scientists have resigned from an elite international study group in protest over a lack of public discussion about the possible consequences of attracting the attention of aliens by sending signals deep into space.

“We’re talking about initiating communication with other civilisations, but we know nothing of their goals, capabilities or intent,” warned John Billingham, a former Nasa scientist who has quit an extraterrestrial study group set up by the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA).

The scientists involved are all acutely aware of the dangers of ridicule in their discussions of ET and his more sinister cousins. Yet recent advances in radio telescope technologies, and a substantial flow of private funding into ET-related projects, has transformed the “search for extraterrestrial intelligence” (Seti).

In California last October, astronomers switched on the first elements of a giant new array of radio telescopes that will vastly extend the sweep of signals into outer space. Known as the Allen Telescope Array, it was built with the help of a $25m (£12.3m) donation from Paul Allen, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, and is a joint project of the Radio Astronomy Laboratory of the University of California at Berkeley, and the Seti Institute, America’s foremost centre of ET research.

“I like to call Seti the longest of long shots,” Allen said when the telescopes were commissioned. “But if this array picks up a signal, that would be an amazing thing � a civilisation-changing event.”

Yet critics argue that listening for signals and actively seeking out alien life are very different pursuits. At the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, Alexander Zaitsev, chief scientist at the Institute of Radio Engineering and Electronics, has been using a 70-metre-wide radio telescope in the Crimea to beam signals to nearby star systems � a practice known as “active Seti”.

It is the steady shift from listening to transmitting that has divided the Seti community and raised awkward questions that no one has yet been able to answer. Who will speak for Earth if an alien civilisation replies? And are we really in danger of inviting Armageddon? Sir Bernard Lovell, the British founder of Jodrell Bank, once remarked that it was a “dangerous assumption” that any alien life would turn out to be friendly.

If an alien fleet mobilises against us, Allen should be one of the first to know. “If they do find something, they’re going to call me up and say we have a signal,” he said. “So far the phone hasn’t rung.”

Yet the question of whether we should go actively looking for ETs still needs to be debated, insists Michael Michaud, a former US State Department official who has also resigned from the IAA study group. Michaud is alarmed by his colleagues’ reluctance to halt transmissions pending consideration of the possible consequences.

Article from: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/
world/us_and_americas/article3056423.ece



Related Articles
Looking for aliens on the Moon
The Gnostic Theory of Alien Intrusion
Official Disclosure In The Pipeline?
Arthur C. Clarke at 90: Where's ET?


Latest News from our Front Page

Sweden may be at war "in a few years" - top brass in leaked document
2016-02-13 5:24
In a few years Sweden may be engaged in a war with a “qualified opponent” after two centuries of peace, a senior Swedish commander has told soldiers in an internal brochure. The alarming message was reportedly sent by Major General Anders Brännström, the Army chief, in a brochure distributed among the participants of a major annual event that is to open ...
Danish imam urges govt to accept child marriages among refugees
2016-02-13 4:57
A high-profile imam has urged the Danish government to accept child brides, as the practice is part of the culture of many refugees arriving in the country. It follows an announcement by Denmark that such couples will be separated under Danish law. Imam Oussama El-Saadi, of the Aarhus mosque in Denmark, said that child brides should be looked at from a ...
White Parents in Virginia Shutdown White Guilt Video!
2016-02-13 4:56
You see folks? This is what happens when you stop blaming the Joo, and you get the fuck off your favorite bitch corner and start taking action! This is what happens when parents start parenting again! What? You’re gonna brainwash our kids with your filth and lies? We don’t think so. How would you like an empty school with no ...
Hungarian Top Economist: Civil War is Coming to Europe
2016-02-13 2:36
Zsolt Bayer, Hungarian journalist, publicist, and co-founder of Hungary's currently ruling political party, and Dr. László Bogár, former politician and leading economist, discuss the Cologne sexual assualts committed by migrants on New Year's Eve, 2016. This short part of the 60-minute long television program that aired on Echo TV on January 8, 2016, is of a rant by Mr. Bogár warning ...
British scientists granted permission to genetically modify human embryos
2016-02-12 23:48
The Francis Crick institute will genetically edit the leftover embryos from from IVF clinics British scientists have been granted permission to genetically modify human embryos by the fertility regulator. The scientists want to deactivate genes in leftover embryos from IVF clinics to see if it hinders development. It will only be the second time in the world that such a procedure has ...
More News »