> " It really is a matter of social and therefore political
> unaceptability, and certainly, as you and your colleagues already
> painfully know, is precisely this reason that Congress cut the funding
> for Phoenix."
> Sorry, but you are wrong. The "UFO factor" was only the case for a few
> members of congress. Most didn't know what the program was and were
> simply voting to cut a small NASA project after debating much larger
> programs for two days.
Oh I am sorry. Please read the following:
"...A decade later, NASA established a SETI program. It continued until
the early 1990s, when SETI funding was cut after being ridiculed on the
floor of Congress as a search for "little green men." Since then, the
SETI Institute, a non-profit corporation, has taken over the
and the following is similar to what I read (way back then :^) Please
note "...the list of those responsible".
"Is there Intelligence in Congress? Part II by EARL PHILLIPS In the
last issue of Signals, I promised to publish a list of the congress
responsible for the SETI funding cut-off, as well as parts of the
Congressional Record that attempts to explain the reasons for it.
Following are excerpts from the record. As you'll recall, congress
cited "proof" of ETI as the main reason for the funding cut. Here's
what your congress had to say officially: Mr. Machtley stated on record
"Frankly, I would like to see a special terrestrial intelligence
program in our schools and colleges in this country. We do not have to
go into outer space to find minds and intelligence that need to be
developed. In every state, in every city in this country there is
intelligence, there are minds to be developed. Ask any parent who is
trying to pay a tuition bill for their kids to go to college today."
Isn't it rather presumptuous to assume that, if we find ETI, we need to
"develop" their minds, as Mr. Machtley seems to feel? Mr. Conte stated
on record "We shouldn't be spending precious dollars to look for little
green men with misshapen heads."
Now there's an intelligent thought for ya!Mr. Conte goes on to state
that "of course, there are space aliens." A Mr. Hefner states that "it
has just been on the AP wire, they have located some extraterrestrial
beams, and they're wearing striped coats." Mr. Conte comes back to say
"of course there are flying saucers and advanced civilizations in outer
space. But we don't need to spend 6 million dollars this year to find
evidence of these rascally creatures. We only need 75 cents to buy a
tabloid at the local supermarket. Conclusive evidence of these crafty
critters can be found at checkout counters from coast to coast. This
article, Exhibit 1, from the Weekly World News, for example, describes
how UFO's were poised to land at Chicago's Soldier Field during
half-time at last year's Bears-Eagles game. They were scared off,
though, by gridlock traffic of blimps, helicopters, and airplanes over
the stadium." At this point, Mr. Conte submitted for official record
this "proof" of ETI as part of the congressional record. And it goes on
and on. We have copies o£ 4 pages of the congressional record that
continues on in this vein. There is talk of psychic comunication on a
regular basis with UFO crew members. There are pictures of Noah's Ark
being brought to Earth for Noah, because he didn't have time to build
it himself before the floods. Then there's the one about space aliens
wiping out the Earth's frog population, cause they eat them and use
them for research. So that's what happened to the frogs! All of this is
part of the official congressional record, and the reasons why the SETI
funding wa cut from the NASA budget. The real sad part is, these people
actually believe this garbage! Why are we allowing these people to run
this country? These people should be institutionalized, not running the
country! If this situation is maddening to you, here is the list of
those responsible. Write, call or visit them, and let them know how you
feel! House Appropriations Subcommittee Bob Traxler Louis Stokes Lindy
Boggs Allan Mollohan Jim Chapman Chester Atkins Bill Green Lawrence
Coughlin Jerry Lewis U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES RAYBURN HOUSE OFFICE
BUILDINGWASHINGTON, D.C. 20515 Senate Appropriations Subcommittee
Barbara Mikulski Bob Kerry J.Bennett Johnston Frank Lautenberg Don
Nickles Alfonse D'Amato Charles Grassley UNITED STATES SENATE HART
SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON, DC 20510 Patrick Leahy Phil Gramm
Wyche Fowler, Jr UNITED STATES SENATE RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20510 Leaders of the Full Appropriations Committe
James L. WhittenU.S. House Of Representatives 2314 Rayburn Office House
BuildingWashington, D.C. 20510 Silvio O. ConteU.S. House Of
Representatives 2300 Rayburn House Office BuildingWashington, D.C.
20510 Robert C. ByrdUnited States Senate5128 U.S. CapitolWashington,
D.C. 20510 Mark O. HatfieldUnited States Senate711 Hart Senate Office
BuildingWashington, D.C. 20510 Meeting"
Perhaps you can see why I have said what I said? It may be that a few
individuals made the case on the floor, but it only takes a few
individuals to influence the other members to vote the death of SETI.
If SETI was of any importance or value to them, it would have been
reinstated in a follow-up bill. Since it wasn't, I would contend that
giggle-factor (or the "UFO factor" as you put it) was too strong to
> As for writing a proposal to look for probes, remember it would have to
> compete for very limited telescope resources in a time of decreased
> funding. It wouldn't stand a chance on scientific merits. The giggle
> factor wouldn't be considered.
I agree with you except for the last sentence of that paragraph. The
PENULTIMATE SENTENCE IS VALID because the last sentence isn't. (IMO :^)
Sincere best regards, Jason H.