> Jason H. wrote:
" 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
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
I agree with you except for the last sentence of that paragraph. The
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.
PENULTIMATE SENTENCE IS VALID because the last sentence isn't. (IMO :^)
Sincere best regards, Jason H.
I think the important sentence is that: "it wouldn't stand a chance on
scientific merits" ... sure the giggle gactor is there, but if there was
scientific merit you bet scientists would get in there! Remember when
pulsars were first detected? The scientists thought at first that they
were ETI signals. However that possibility was dismissed (fell to the
bottom of the list of possibilities) when they looked at the energy
required to send those pulses. It must have been another source and they
figured it out eventually as a natural phenomena associated with fast
rotating neutron stars. The point is that the scientists were not afraid
to face the facts and figure out what exactly was happening despite the
"giggle factor" of "little green men" (LEM).
I remember when you thought there was a possibiliy of a META project
signal detection from Saturn. I did not think you were some crazy looney
person. I thought you made a good point, but there was no followup ...
no continuing evidence to be suspicious about or backup the observation.
There just wasn't! I have over 160,000 seti@home WU results that I have
archived. I have looked at that data too. There just isn't any obvious
or firm evidence pointing to an excess of signals from the planets or
even the sun (which I was convinced would be the case, but it wasn't!).
Nothing. If there were I would have raised a flag, jumped up and down,
and caused a ruckess (sp?), but nothing, nada, zilch! My data samples is
not that great however even though it spans almost 7 years of time.
Seta@home has billions of WU files however. Why don't you lobby and ask
them to see if there are any excess hits coming from the planets? This
would require funding! I'd do it (the work) myself (for free) but looks
like I'd have to wait until I to see their seticlassic data made
available to the public. I don't have enough money myself to try to fund
such an effort myself now. It would be viewed as "fringe science" anyway
(like betting on the extreme long shot horse) and extremely difficult to
get funding from NASA or some other scientific institution as a result.
"Scientific merit" is the key Jason, not "giggle factor" ...