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Ron Patton | June 24, 2019
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Depictions of contact with extraterrestrial life in fiction for over a century have highlighted potential downsides of alien contact, from H. G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds” to the television series “The X-Files,” and films such as “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” and “Independence Day.”

However, most speculations regarding humanity’s reactions to extraterrestrial life, both in fiction and otherwise, have focused on discovering evidence of intelligent life from elsewhere, while less consideration has been given to how we may react to the discovery of extraterrestrial life that is not intelligent.

We are so busy trying to find that anthropomorphic alien instead of other key findings that make it highly probable that we live in a universe teeming with life.

There are some scientists that believe a discovery of microbial life, or a faint signal from space will not really shake up the planet on a psychological level.

The majority of scientists believe that any disclosure will be earth shattering and that it will eventually lead to mass hysteria.

But we can argue that we are hearing that the government takes it all seriously –and that just hearing about military interest, government interest, and the establishment of a military arm for space defense should give us all a clue.

Many argue that we are no further in finding out anything because many scientists and politicians are in denial mode. Most mainstream religions are on board with the idea that there is extraterrestrial life, while many cult relations are fearing that they are demons and that any report of extraterrestrial life is a demonic deception.

I believe that it is somewhat comforting to realize that for all of the years of speculating about life in space there is somewhat of a vindication that many people who are into UFO’s and the search for alien life can lay claim to.

What was once considered a fringe activity bordering on pseudoscience is quickly becoming a rigorous, well-respected scientific discipline.

However, the biggest drawback to all of the so-called disclosure is the containment of most of what is happening in space.

Senators are being briefed on UFOs the President is vague on the subject and intelligence ops say that whatever they know they will not tell you unless they think you need to know.

Well, it is not lost on many people that there is a concern that the so-called disclosure has gone back to being a moment of “nothing to see here.”

However, there is plenty to see and plenty to hear as the solar system is beginning to yield fascinating clues that many of the space agencies and world government cannot keep up with.

One of the ways that you can tell that there is something out there in space is the new budgets that are being set aside for space travel and also analyzing the cosmos for what are known as techno signatures.

The budgets are now being diverted to UFO threat assessments, weaponizing space, massive satellite systems, asteroid detection, and listening for signals from planets that may be inhabited by ETI.

The Breakthrough Listen project has completed a sweeping search of over 1,700 nearby stars for signs of alien technology. At the moment there have been no direct techno signatures of alien life that can be duplicated. Every once in a while something looks promising. However, the Breakthrough Listen Project is saying that if they just beefed up their equipment they may be able to boost the ability to find without a doubt a technical signature that would certainly prove the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence.

It was reported that something out there has made the $145 million projects take a major leap forward in terms of its ability to continue the search.

If at first, you don’t succeed, try again but with better tools and refined techniques.

Such is the feeling right now among researchers involved with the Breakthrough Listen Project, a 10-year initiative founded in 2015 by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner and the late physicist Stephen Hawking.

Based at the SETI Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley, the project aims to find signs of an extraterrestrial civilization. Researchers are scanning the cosmos using the Green Bank Radio Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia and CSIRO’s Parkes Radio Telescope in Australia, among other tools.

The Breakthrough Listen team recently completed a comprehensive scan of 1,702 nearby stars, but in the three-year survey – there were a few nibbled but according to the group, they found nothing.

It might seem like a disappointing result, but the project says that much of what little they have heard out in space has set the stage for more ambitious and sophisticated searches that are already underway.

The work also resulted in two new research papers, both of which are set to be published in the Astrophysical Journal.

The endeavor generated a whopping one petabyte (PB), or one million gigabytes, of optical and radio telescopic data, which is being made available to the public. As a Breakthrough Listen press release pointed out, it’s now the largest release of SETI data to date.

The latest search involved a sample of 1,702 stars, none of which are farther than 160 light-years away. The survey included a wider variety of star types than usual, including stars that aren’t similar to our Sun.

As the new project demonstrated, however, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, or SETI, has come a long way since its humble beginnings in the early 1960s when astronomer Francis Drake began to search in earnest for intelligent aliens.

For the most part, conventional SETI focused on the search for radio communication leakage, but the big new idea now employed by SETI researchers is the hunt for technosignatures, that is, evidence of advanced alien technologies.

This can include signatures produced by communications systems, propulsion devices, megascale engineering projects such as Dyson spheres, and even industrial waste, among many other possibilities.

Accordingly, SETI researchers are honing their methods and technologies to tune in to the applicable wavelengths.

The Breakthrough Listen program works by scanning the electromagnetic spectrum for signatures, or emissions, consistent with what we think we know about advanced alien technologies, but are at the same time inconsistent with natural phenomena.

The researchers are using machine learning-driven algorithms to sift through the troves of data. SETI and the revolution in Big Data are now intersecting in a big way; the recent search yielded 1 PB worth of data, but the Breakthrough Listen team expects the size of the archive to grow to around 25 PB over the next several years.

The cosmic hills are alive with the sound of tidbits but nothing really has been found that would be definitely extraterrestrial.

So they say…it just seems that with all the money involved there has to be a reason to move quickly on the possibility that something may be out there.

There have been relevant events that have happened before now and so there is a lot of suspicion as to why at this moment in time we have become so interested again in what may be out there.

There was the 1967 discovery of pulsars which were initially thought to be potential extraterrestrial broadcasts. In 1977 there was the Wow signal, which was also thought to be a potential extraterrestrial broadcast. In 1996 there was the discovery of potential fossilized extraterrestrial microbes in a meteorite of Martian origin.

Moving ahead to 2015 there was the discovery of periodic dimming around Tabby’s Star which was thought to potentially indicate the presence of an artificially constructed Dyson Sphere around the star and the 2017 discovery of Oumuamua — an alleged comet, turned asteroid turned vague extraterrestrial space ship.

Arguably, it was the very thing that triggered this new interest about life in space.

This week, NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover found a surprising result: the largest amount of methane ever measured during the mission — about 21 parts per billion units by volume. One ppbv means that if you take a volume of air on Mars, one billionth of the volume of air is methane.

The finding came from the rover’s Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) tunable laser spectrometer. It’s exciting because microbial life is an important source of methane on Earth, but methane can also be created through interactions between rocks and water.

Curiosity doesn’t have instruments that can definitively say what the source of the methane is, or even if it’s coming from a local source within Gale Crater or elsewhere on the planet.

So, while we have heard about methane and water on the planet, there seems to be no word on why another methane story is really nothing to think about when it comes to life on Mars.

NASA claims that Curiosity’s scientists need time to analyze these clues and conduct many more methane observations.

They also need time to collaborate with other science teams, including those with the European Space Agency’s Trace Gas Orbiter, which has been in its science orbit for a little over a year without detecting any methane. Combining observations from the surface and from orbit could help scientists locate sources of the gas on the planet and understand how long it lasts in the Martian atmosphere.

Just before Curiosity detected a puff of Methane from the Martian surface, it snapped a photo of an unknown light hovering in the Martian atmosphere just above the terrain.

The photo, which seems to show a light floating above the planet’s surface, was taken on June 16, or Sol 2438, of Curiosity’s mission to explore the Red Planet. Martian days are known as Sols and last for 24 hours, 39 minutes and 35 seconds, meaning a year or one orbit around the Sun is 668 Sols or 687 days.

When NASA was asked about the light, their answer was that it simply was an anomaly that they were looking into.

The space probe has 17 cameras on it – the most of any NASA planetary mission – so that’s a lot of images, and some of those have featured anomalous lights too.

Curiosity rover happened to detect an equally mysterious illumination on Mars’ surface in 2014. Still, there was no word on what the lights are or why Curiosity is picking them up or why NASA decides to shut up when inconvenient data pops up from out nowhere.

Meanwhile, space agencies are gearing up for rocket launches, sending probes, robots and eventually astronauts to both Mars and the moon.

NASA and the White House will ask Congress for an extra $1.6 billion in next year’s budget to accelerate human missions to the Moon and return people to the lunar surface by 2024. The space agency is requesting these funds in addition to the $21 billion budget that the president already requested for NASA.

The additional funds are meant to help NASA meet Pence’s challenge of sending astronauts back to the Moon within the next five years. During a speech at a meeting of the National Space Council in March, Pence said that NASA’s original goal of sending humans to the Moon by 2028 was “just not good enough,” and that the space agency would pull off this new deadline by “any means necessary.”

This expedient push for space travel is unprecedented and makes you wonder if they have found something that would be the smoking gun with regard to the question or life in space.

Of the $1.6 billion the agency is requesting, $651 million is meant to accelerate the development of vehicles that NASA has already been working on: a massive new rocket called the Space Launch System, or the SLS, and a new capsule to carry humans called Orion. The Orion capsule is meant to ride on top of the future SLS, carrying humans into deep space and onto the Moon. The vehicles are supposed to fly together for the first time in 2020, marking the debut of the SLS. However, the 2020 launch date is still very uncertain.

Additionally, $1 billion will go toward beginning the development of a new lunar Lander that can carry people to and from the Moon’s surface, “three years earlier than previously envisioned,” according to a budget document released after the announcement. But while the Lander program gets a giant boost in funding, NASA is also downgrading other lunar projects. As part of its Moon initiative, NASA has been planning to develop a new space station around the Moon called the Gateway. This new platform is meant to serve as an outpost for lunar astronauts, where they can live and train before traveling down to the surface of the Moon. NASA envisions this Gateway consisting of various modules strung together, either designed for habitation or for providing power and propulsion.

But in the rush to get to the Moon more quickly, NASA director Jim Bridenstine has said that NASA might instead focus on a scaled-down version of the Gateway — one consisting of just a power module and a small habitat module. In the president’s original budget request, the Gateway received $824 million, but the amendment calls for a reduction of that budget by $321 million.

Again, it is suspicious that all of this money is going into a project that NASA claims is uncertain.

NASA never tells us why there is uncertainty in doing something we did 50 years ago with less advanced technology than what is in our cell phone.

It does not make any sense — period.

Think of the many times we have had reports of evidence of life being denied.

Or the many times we have been told that there have been signals from space sequestered.

There have been many times that we have heard of secret programs to identify UFOs and the various briefings about whether or not they are a threat.

Over the years we have been told that the anomalies in the rocks on Mars are pareidolia – no statues, no artifacts, no face on Mars, and no Cydonia.

We have water, methane organic matter in meteorites, building blocks for life in old Martian lake beds and I could go on and on but yet in space, no one can hear you deny.

Written by Ron Patton

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