Long Distance Calling
written by Laramie:
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The patient, but expensive, waiting and hoping for incoming messages of any kind from any intelligent beings from some other world has been halted. We aren't listening anymore. We didn't know whether or not there was anyone out there who wanted to, or were able, to get in touch with us, but just in case there was, we were ready. For decades, there have been scientists studying ways to determine if signals from any life form outside Earth were being sent, in hopes that we would receive them, and possibly send back answers.
Some forty or so huge listening devices, 20 foot in diameter dishes, were set up high in the mountains 300 miles NE of San Francisco, just waiting to get any signals that might indicate that we were not alone in the Universe. These devices, called the Allen Telescope Array, are sensitive to the wave lengths of the type that researchers believe messages would be sent on to Earth. As of now no signals that can be interpreted to be anything but random static has been received. But the project has run out of money, the receivers have been turned off, and for now the ears to the stars are deaf.
Why did the developers of these devices believe that some other form of life, somewhere in the Universe, if there was any, would be capable of and willing to try to let Earth know they were out there? And what sort of language would be used, if they could speak? Would they want anything from us? Stephen Hawking has suggested we avoid any contact with aliens, as they may want our mineral resources, or something else, and would be apt to treat us as the Europeans treated the Native Americans in their explorations, and that wasn't kindly.
Occasionally, reports of sightings of unidentified flying objects are reported in the media. And those who believe there are extraterrestrials nearby will claim that UFO's are in fact spacecraft piloted by aliens from outer space. There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of these reports on file. The question is: How many sightings of UFO's that can't be explained away as objects from Earth are legitimate and how many are a hoax? The easy answer is we don't know. Unidentified means we don't know what it is, and many who report the sightings often interpret that to mean the vehicle came from outer space. The skeptics, of course, say unidentified doesn't imply that the object came from some other world. The doubters just want to see some hard evidence, and as yet none has been offered. As happens so often, the answers to some questions depend on who you ask.
If the Allen Telescope Array was to be restarted and some decipherable contact with some source outside Earth was made, maybe then we could get a handle on this UFU, alien situation. For now, we can't say there are, or there aren't, any UFO's carrying Earth bound passengers, with lifelike characteristics, that have passed our way. We can only say that many people have reported they have seen strange sights in the sky that they and others aren't able to recognize as Earth craft.
I have two thoughts on the subject. One: The closest star to Earth, besides our Sun, that might have orbiting planets capable of sustaining life as we know it, is at such a distance away that if a space vehicle could travel at 60,000 mph, it would take some 50,000 years to reach Earth. Based on that speed, if the rate was upped to 500, 000 mph, it would require 6000 yrs. travel time to reach us. These are imposing numbers, and that's just from the closest star. How advanced would a civilization have to be to have such capacity? Two: If the UFO sighters are really witnessing alien encounters in our air space, why haven't the visitors contacted us? If they were as advanced as they would have to be to get here, they should be able to somehow get in touch with us. And that's assuming they want contact. Maybe that's why the Allen Telescope Array was developed, because scientists strongly believe that there are no UFO's in our skies with aliens on board investigating the earth, for whatever reason. Researchers are prone to believe that any such contact will be from much, much farther away than the altitudes of the UFO's that have been reported. Realistically, though, the hopes for any contact with other world civilizations is not at a high level. But, if the next hundred years shows the same kind of technological advances as the last hundred, the possibilities seem almost too incomprehensible to even imagine.
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