April 26, 2011
SETI Alien Scanners Turned Off

If alien invasion armadas are approaching we aren't watching for their radio transmission signals.

Lacking the money to pay its operating expenses, the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., has pulled the plug on the renowned Allen Telescope Array, a field of radio dishes that resemble giant dinner plates. The radio dishes in the Northern California mountains scan the skies for signals from extraterrestrial civilizations.

Deep in space word is getting around that the SETI Institute has stopped watching for aliens. So all the aliens in hiding are popping their heads out, hopping on their space scooters, and meeting up to make space jamborees with radio transmissions going in every direction. Yes, you read that right: The aliens are using this gap in our searching to get out and move around.

Think about it. If you've been hiding behind asteroids and moons trying to evade detection for years then finally you aren't being scanned for what are you going to do? Resume your trip to wherever you were going before you went into hiding.

So now is the time to watch for UFOs - unless the USAF hasn't stopped looking for them. The UFOs might all be hopping out from behind Mars to cruise down to Earth to frighten people hanging out in the countryside. Watch for an uptick in reports of alien abductions.

Here's from the SETI Institute front page about the radio observatory funding shortfall.

Federal and state funding cutbacks for operations of U.C. Berkeley’s Hat Creek Radio Observatory (HCRO) force hibernation of Allen Telescope Array – In an April 22, 2011 email (PDF) to Allen Telescope Array stakeholder level donors, SETI Institute CEO Tom Pierson described in detail the recent decision by U.C. Berkeley, our partner in the Array, to reduce operations of the Hat Creek Radio Observatory (and thus the Allen Telescope Array) to a hibernation state effective this month. NSF University Radio Observatory funding to Berkeley for HCRO operations has been reduced to approximately one-tenth of its former level and, concurrently, growing State of California budget shortfalls have severely reduced the amount of state funds available for support of the HCRO site.

Work for the US Air Force makes sense. Gotta help the USAF spot alien invasion fleets.

What next for the ATA? – The SETI Institute is working on numerous efforts to insure the Array comes back on line as soon as possible. Pierson’s email outlines potential work the ATA may be performing for the United States Air Force. Donor support is also needed to restart SETI observations on the Array. For the first time in history, SETI researchers are poised to use the ATA to examine the bounty of smaller planetary systems starting to be revealed by NASA’s Kepler Mission. We are also working with a consortium of big thinkers to develop exciting opportunities for the public to participate in the future of SETI, making the science much less vulnerable to government budget cycles. Watch for these future developments in the realm of our citizen science. In the interim, if you haven’t already done so, check out the early results of these efforts at setiQuest.org and setiQuest Explorer.

Worried you are going to wake up tomorrow with an alien invasion fleet camped out in your back yard? Or is your neighbor using the gap in radio telescope monitoring to send back reports of his reconnaissance of this plant? I figure there could be Vulcans living among us. Carl Sagan was probably a Vulcan in disguise sent to help orient ourselves more toward outer space and prepare us for First Contact.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2011 April 26 10:21 PM  Space Alien Intelligence

PacRim Jim said at April 27, 2011 1:20 AM:

I doubt that alien rule would be worse than what America has now.

Black Death said at April 27, 2011 6:56 AM:

I agree. Alien rulers could hardly be worse than what we have now.

TheBigHenry said at April 27, 2011 8:34 AM:

I'll vote for the alien over Obama, as long as he shows a valid birth certificate.

Lono said at April 27, 2011 9:29 AM:

Dubious scientists close down dubious, impractical, science experiment.

And nothing of value was lost.

While I have nothing against SETI research per se - and for years I ran one of those SETI screen savers - I have been consistently appalled by the extremely dogmatic attitude and non-trasparent methods employed by most of the scientists involved in the project over the years.

None of them wanted to work with UFOlogists - and - to the best of my knowledge - they were not even remotely interested in looking at the data compiled by non-profit organizations such as MUFON.

They also refused to comment on U.S. or Russian astronaut whistleblower testimony - and would not even take the most basic look at the evidence and eye witness testimony compiled and released by several prominent governments.

To me the SETI experiment is one of the worst cases of a priori scientific bias I have ever had the displeasure to witness in modern times.

Bruce said at April 27, 2011 9:31 AM:

Randall, you must know it is VITALLY IMPORTANT to squander 1 trillion dollars or more on CO2 hysteria.

SETI is irrelevant.

Chris T said at April 27, 2011 10:45 AM:

Ignored in the media reports was that the array was mostly used for radio astronomy, SETI mostly just piggybacked.

Personally, I think the probability of actually detecting a verifiable signal are too low to make SETI worthwhile. We'll be able to directly search for life bearing planets within the next few decades anyway.

philw1776 said at April 27, 2011 11:27 AM:

This is a time of deep fiscal problems. NASA cannot help fund SETI because the money is needed to fund Muslim outreach. The CA state govt cannot help fund SETI because they already spend several billion per year in aid to aliens already in CA. Who needs to radio more aliens to tell them "Everything free in America"? (Yes, I do know the Allen Array is not transmitting) And finally Paul Allen is tapped out funding his Seattle Seahags NFL team fixed expenses during the lockout.

Private funding may be the answer but as a former contributor to SETI projects like the Paul Horowitz's search in Harvardd MA, I'm now convinced that the serach is futile. Probably no ETI in the entire Virgo cluster. And if there were any, radio waves are probably a brief technological window.

Better that the array redirect its science to astrophysical phenomena.

Jim said at April 27, 2011 1:13 PM:

It was cool. The movie was cool...
But reality check, most people I think would agree money could be better spent on asteroid detection science instead.
Time to move on...

Fremma said at April 27, 2011 3:03 PM:

I agree with philw1776. SETI was a good idea at the time but in the years since it was first envisaged it has become clear that, in the one example we do have, broadcast radio waves are not the definition of intelligence that we thought they were. The chances of detecting an ETI during this brief phase of its existence has dropped from unlikely to negligible.

I now eagerly await next week's announcement that shows this comment up as completely wrong.

Chris T said at April 27, 2011 5:08 PM:

Basically, the only chance of success for radio SETI is for an alien civilization to have:

1) Set up an omnidirectional beacon with utterly obscene levels of power.
2) Deliberately sent a signal in an attempt to contact us.

The signal must be analog and, for SETI to confirm anything, repeat.

Randall Parker said at April 27, 2011 7:45 PM:


I agree with you on putting asteroid detection above alien detection. We could deflect the asteroids if found soon enough. By contrast, do we have any chance of stopping Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz if he shows up to put in a hyperspace bypass? I don't think so. We aren't technologically advanced to stop aliens. But we are technologically advanced enough to stop rocks.

Bruce said at April 28, 2011 11:57 AM:

"But we are technologically advanced enough to stop rocks."

I doubt we have the will. The EPA will shut it down anyway.

A.Syme said at April 30, 2011 1:16 PM:

I think that many years of searching with out results has led most people to think that this might be enough.
With their attitude toward UFO's and lack of willingness to expand their spectrum this might be enough for now!

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