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Erich Von Daniken Concludes: Aliens Will Return To Earth Within 20 Years



Erich Von Daniken
Photo Credit: Collective Evolution

The author of one of the most popular books on the planet —Chariot of the Gods— indicates Aliens will return to Earth in the near future –20 years— since we are part of their DNA. The evidence of their return is present all around us, scattered across the globe in ancient texts, monuments, and civilizations.

During the ‘Erich Von Daniken Legacy Night’ which celebrates 50 years of one of his bestseller books, Erich used a number of images, video clips, computer animations and other crucial pieces of evidence in order to back up his claims that thousands of years ago, before written history, Earth was visited by beings, not from Earth. Now, he claims, our ‘makers’ will return since mankind is almost ready to finally meet them.

“The E.T.’s know about us because we are part of their DNA. The Bible speaks of the daughters of men having intercourse with these visitors, and many worldwide myths and legends repeat the same story. These stories always say the E.T.s will return to us.”

Erich Von Daniken claims that in the distant past, alien beings played an extremely important role in the development of modern civilization. According to the author, there are worldwide myths, legends and ancient texts that are clear indicators of the role ‘the Gods’ played in the development of mankind. All of these stories and tales repeat the same outcome: One day, aliens will return to Earth.

“From a safe hiding-place the inhabitants of the planet watch our space travellers, who wear strange hats with rods on their heads (helmets with antennae); they are amazed when the night is made bright as day (searchlights); they are terrified when the strangers rise effortlessly into the air (rocket-belts); they bury their heads in the ground again when weird unknown ‘animals’ soar in the air, droning, buzzing and snorting (helicopters, all-purpose vehicles), and lastly they take flight to the safe refuge of their caves when a frightening boom and rumble resounds from the mountains (a trial explosion). Undoubtedly our astronauts must seem like almighty gods to these primitive people, says Erich von Daniken.

I believe that at the moment we are under observation. This is based on conversations with very intelligent people, who have been told officially that UFOs are reality, and we are being watched, added the author.”

During the presentation, where Erich was presented with the Stella Citizen Award by Ancient Aliens TV regular Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, the author said that ancient texts like the Christian Bible, religious texts from India and other make reference to heaven which according to him is in fact nothing other than a reference to outer space. Von Daniken claims that the so-called angels where nothing other than Alien visitors who came from elsewhere in the cosmos.

Now, after thousands of years have passed since the visitors touched down on Earth for the first time, we are approaching the time where society is ready to ‘meet’ our alien cousins.

Furthermore, alien contact has become something that millions around the world are already expecting. Our scientific achievements, social acceptance derived from continuous “bombardment” by Hollywood movies and series on alien life in the universe has allowed us to be prepared–as a race— to finally meet Alien civilizations without causing social unrest.

Von Daniken’s work has been translated into over 32 languages.

This article (Erich Von Daniken Concludes: Aliens Will Return To Earth Within 20 Years) was originally created for Ancient Code and is published here under Creative Commons.

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Aerospace Billionaire & NASA Partner Tells CBS About The ET Presence On Earth



Photo Credit: Disclosure.TV

In a recent broadcast of CBS’ 60 Minutes, host Lara Logan sat down with billionaire Robert Bigelow, an entrepreneur and pioneer in the private sector aerospace industry. After giving his thoughts on the future of space exploration, Bigelow was asked if he believes in aliens, and given Bigelow’s partnership with NASA, SpaceX and other cutting edge companies, he is in a unique position to speak on this matter.

His company, Bigelow Aerospace is presently designing expendable space craft which can be used for a variety of purposes in outer space, and another company of his has for years been a consultant for NASA on reports of UFO’s and other unexplainable sightings and events. Bigelow has spent hundreds of millions of dollars of his own money to advance space exploration.

“The FAA confirmed to us that for years, it referred reports of UFOs and other unexplained phenomena to a company Bigelow owns.” [Source]

In response to Logan regarding his belief in aliens, Bigelow says they exist ‘right under our noses,’ yet he declined to comment on the details of his personal experiences or those of the FAA.

His comments are seen in the transcript below:

Lara Logan: Do you believe in aliens? 

Robert Bigelow: I’m absolutely convinced. That’s all there is to it. 

Lara Logan: Do you also believe that UFOs have come to Earth? 

Robert Bigelow: There has been and is an existing presence, an ET presence. And I spent millions and millions and millions — I probably spent more as an individual than anybody else in the United States has ever spent on this subject. 

Lara Logan: Is it risky for you to say in public that you believe in UFOs and aliens?

Robert Bigelow: I don’t give a damn. I don’t care. 

Lara Logan: You don’t worry that some people will say, “Did you hear that guy, he sounds like he’s crazy”? 

Robert Bigelow: I don’t care. 

Lara Logan: Why not? 

Robert Bigelow: It’s not gonna make a difference. It’s not gonna change reality of what I know. 

Lara Logan: Do you imagine that in our space travels we will encounter other forms of intelligent life? 

Robert Bigelow: You don’t have to go anywhere. 

Lara Logan: You can find it here? Where exactly? 

Robert Bigelow: It’s just like right under people’s noses. Oh my gosh. Wow. 

The FAA confirmed to us that for years, it referred reports of UFOs and other unexplained phenomena to a company Bigelow owns. He told us he’s had his own close encounters, but declined to go into detail.

Robert Bigelow’s quirky and he knows it, but when you have as much money as he does, no one — not even NASA — seems to care.

Final Thoughts

His comments are inline with those of numerous government officials, astronauts and scientists who’ve gone public with their own stories of close encounters or in dealings with government agencies privy to the most secretive information on aliens and extraterrestrials.

Many people believe some kind of ET contact is certainly already underway on planet earth, yet due to a government and mainstream media blackout on this issue, the world at large is left to speculate. Comments like Bigelow’s can be taken as more evidence in support of theories on the presence of ET’s, or they can be taken as another small effort to obfuscate the truth by not providing details to such claims.

About the Author

Terence Newton is a staff writer for, interested primarily with issues related to science, the human mind, and human consciousness.

This article (Aerospace Billionaire & NASA Partner Tells CBS About the ET Presence on Earth) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Terence Newton and

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Ex Air Force Officer Says They Faked Alien Contact Experiences & Are “Probably Still Doing It”



Ex Air Force Officer Says They Faked Alien Contact Experiences & Are “Probably Still Doing It”
Photo Credit: Collective Evolution

Going down the rabbit hole of the UFO/ET phenomena will make you realize how much you don’t know, but it will also make something else quite clear, and that’s the fact that there is something very strange going on, and whatever it is it seems to have been going on for much longer than we think. The human race still seems to be in the process of noticing this.

There is no doubt that UFOs are real and that militaries around the world for the past several decades have had thousands of encounters with crafts that are tracked on radars, clocked travelling tremendous speeds, and performed manoeuvres that no known human air craft can perform. Apart from the millions of pages of documents that’ve been released over the years via governments as well as Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests that make this quite clear, there are also a number of whistle-blowers that come from interesting backgrounds like academia.

Several astronauts have been quite outspoken about UFOs, like Apollo 14 astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell and high ranking military/government personnel from around the world as well. On top of all this, the simple fact that many people have had their own experiences has also sparked interest in the subject. There are also multiple videos that’ve been released by governments around the world, as a couple came from the Pentagon over the past few years via the To The Stars Academy. Here’s a picture that the Canadian Air Force released in the 60’s.

It’s great to see that this topic is being taken seriously and is no longer considered taboo, because one thing is for sure–it has  been taken seriously by government agencies for decades yet it’s still shrouded in secrecy.

As you can image, with all of this information comes a lot of stories and a lot of disinformation. On top of that, for years, we’ve been subjected to an “official campaign of ridicule and secrecy” (Ex-CIA Director Roscoe Hillenkoetter) on the subject. For UFO enthusiasts today, the field is no doubt still filled with disinformation, fake stories and more that seem to stem from some people either profiting off of it or who are perhaps part of what could be a highly intelligent disinformation campaign that’s still in operation today.

This was Richard Doty’s  specialty, apparently. As a former Air Force special investigations officer, his job was to spread disinformation about the UFO phenomenon, a subject that he knew was very real.

He has admitted to infiltrating UFO circles, and his colleagues joined him as they often fed ufologists lies and half truths. This is something I believe is still occurring within the UFO community–multiple disinformation campaigns that are now perhaps more sophisticated as well as a number of frauds who are sharing their ‘experiences’ when they’ve really had none.

As far as Doty’s identity, UFO researcher Alejandro Rojas wrote a piece for the Huffington Post in 2014 linking some very interesting documents regarding one of Doty’s misinformation missions, one of which he also speaks about in the interview below. The Guardian has confirmed his identity, as do these videos. But what really did it for me was Hal Puthoff’s response to this well-known UFO researcher.

He is an American physicist who earned his Ph.D. from Stanford University. He is the Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin. His research includes theoretical and experimental projects in electrodynamics, quantum physics, gravitation, cosmology, energy research and more. His professional background includes engineering work at General Electric and Sperry as well as three and a half years spent at the U.S. Department of Defence. He served various government agencies, the Executive Branch, and Congress as a consultant on leading-edge technologies and future technology trends. He has been awarded the DoD Certificate of Commendation for Outstanding Performance, post-doc appointments at Stanford University as Research Associate, and more.

He is currently part of the team at the To The Stars Academy and was also the co-founder of the US Government’s STARGATE program, which examined parapsychology.

You can view a number of his publications here.

Doty claimed that he worked with Puthoff on multiple occasions and also mentioned him in the interview below. I came across a tweet from well-known UFO researcher Grant Cameron who tweeted that Hal Puthoff confirmed Doty’s identity. Furthermore, another popular and well-known UFO researcher, James Iandoli, also asked Puthoff to comment on Doty’s claims, and he did.

It’s safe to say that Doty is who he claims to be. Whether or not he is telling the truth is up to you to decide.

Furthermore, the interview below is conducted by Dr. Steven Greer, who is well-known for his contacts with high-ranking personnel with verified backgrounds. People like Puthoff, astronaut Edgar Mitchell, former Canadian Defence minister, and countless others have all given him some very interesting interviews on the subject, so there is a lot of credibility here.

False Alien Experiences?

In the interview, Greer asks Doty, “Have you heard of any of the projects that deal with ET simulations? There have been some contact events… The one you’re referring to, I have sources… that it was not actually ET.”

Doty replies, “We did do that, yes. OSI did that, there was a special group…that came out and did that. They had these people, they had maybe some sort of defects, anatomical defects that were brought in to fool people into thinking they’re aliens. I can’t give you any specifics because the program is still classified and they’re probably still doing it. I wouldn’t doubt that they’re still doing it.”

Greer goes on to emphasize that he’s had a number of contacts share this type of information.


Both of them mention how it’s used as a fear tactic. Doty provides an example of people having an experience or coming across information they weren’t supposed to about the subject and something like that may be a catalyst to stage such an event.

Who really knows–experimentation? Mind control? More disinformation?

The point of disinformation campaigns is to squander the truth and have the UFO community ‘run’ with it so that they continue to get even further from the truth.

The idea that some alien contact experiences are organized and run by the military and intelligence agencies, and even some abduction experiences as well, is a well-known strategy that has been used with regards to this phenomena for years. It’s a bit shocking to see someone like Doty admit to having knowledge of it.

The interview is a long one, as he speaks about different beings, propulsion systems with regards to reverse engineering these crafts, and more. The part about staging alien contact events occurs around the 1:21 minute mark.

Another Popular Source For Staged Events

Carol Rosin, the first female Corporate Manager of Fairchild Industries, was also referenced in some interesting Wikileaks documents alongside astronaut Edgar Mitchell. Rosin stated in an interview with Greer:

“I met the late Dr Wernher Von Braun in early 74, at that time Von Braun was dying of cancer, but he assured me that he would live a few more years in order to tell me about the game that was being played, that game being the effort to weaponize space, to control Earth from space and space itself.

He asked me to be his spokesperson, to appear on occasions when he was too ill to speak, and I did. And what he asked me to do was to educate decision makers and the public about why we shouldn’t be putting weapons into space… and what the alternatives are, how we could be building a cooperative space system.

What was most interesting to me, was a repetitive sentence that he said to me over and over again… And that was the strategy that was being used to educate the public and decision makers, and the scare tactics, the spin that was being put on the weapons system. And that was how we identify an enemy.

The enemy at first, he said, the enemy against whom we’re going to build a space based weapons system… First, the Russians are going to be considered the enemy… Then terrorists would be identified and that was soon to follow… Then we were going to identify third world crazies, we now call them nations of concern… The next enemy was asteroids… [And] against asteroids we’re going to build space based weapons.

And the funniest one of all was against what he called aliens–extraterrestrials–that would be the final card. And over and over and over, during the four years that I knew him and was giving his speeches for him, he would bring up that last card.

‘And remember Carol, the last card is the alien card. We’re going to have to build space-based weapons against aliens,’ and all of it, he said, is a lie.”

The Takeaway

It’s important to remember here that this phenomenon is real, as Doty admits and has been creating a lot of awareness about it. According to his knowledge, we are not alone, and governments around the world have had contact with multiple extraterrestrial races. Despite this fact, there was and possibly still is a massive disinformation campaign at work.

If you enjoyed reading this article and want to see more like this one, we’d be humbled if you would help us spread the word and share it with your friends and family. Join us in our quest to promote free, useful information to all!

This article (Ex Air Force Officer Says They Faked Alien Contact Experiences & Are “Probably Still Doing It”) was originally created and published by Arjun Walia for Collective Evolution and is published here under a Creative Commons license.

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Extraterrestrial Beings Visiting Earth Is Something For Us To Discover – Not Government To Announce



Extraterrestrial Beings Visiting Earth Is Something For Us To Discover – Not Government To Announce
Photo Credit: Dino Reichmuth on Unsplash

UFOs and the idea that some of them are piloted by extraterrestrial beings are no longer taboo subjects. UFOs have officially left the sphere of ‘conspiracy theory.’ That term is used today mostly when people’s beliefs are challenged, no matter how clear the evidence may be. But can we really blame them? For years, we’ve been bombarded with the idea that it’s silly to believe such things; in fact, the very first director of the CIA, Roscoe Hillenkoetter, told the world that there was actually an “official campaign of ridicule and secrecy.”

That was decades ago, and since then one thing has become abundantly clear, and that’s the fact that the UFO problem has involved military personnel and more from around the world for more than 70 years now. The subject is wrapped in secrecy.

A great quote comes to mind here from European filmmaker Terje Toftenes, who put out a documentary about the extraterrestrial presence many years ago. In it, he shares a thought that really makes one think.

“Lord Kelvin’s statement bears with it the voice of paradigms past… We knew that we were the centre of the universe, and we knew that a man-made heavier than air piece of machinery could not take flight. Through all stages of human history, intellectual authorities have pronounced their supremacy by ridiculing or suppressing elements of reality that simply didn’t fit within the framework of accepted knowledge. Are we really any different today? Have we really changed our acceptance towards things that won’t fit the frame? Maybe there are concepts of our reality we have yet to understand, and if we open our eyes maybe we will see that something significant has been overlooked.” – Terje Toftenes (source)

UFO Flying over a corn field at sunset. Image source: Collective Evolution

It’s been nearly ten years since his film was made, and having worked in this field for quite some time, it’s truly mind altering just how much the collective mind has opened up to the possibility that we’ve been visited by extraterrestrial beings.

We are in a process, and there is a reason why “are we alone” is one of the biggest questions ever pondered by humanity. We are naturally inclined to discover, wonder, and ponder, at least most of us are. No doubt our way of life has shifted from discovery, one quality out of many that represents the natural state of a human being, into a robotic life focusing on our jobs, career, family, and providing. The systems we have in place here on our planet are not conducive to our natural state, and human beings no doubt have the potential to create something much greater that is both in harmony with us and our planet.

The process of disclosing the reality that we are not alone–that we have and are being visited–is simply a reflection of human consciousness. It’s occurring because there are people all over the world who are contemplating and searching for the answers to this phenomena, and it’s the result of more people doing their own research instead of allowing an untrustworthy entity to provide the answers for them.

The process of disclosure, especially within the past 10 years, has been greatly assisted by evidence. There are peer-reviewed scientific studies examining this phenomenon, there are photographs, videos, witnesses, high ranking military testimonies, and aerospace executives, academics, astronauts and many more all sharing their proof, evidence, and knowledge showing that not only are UFOs real, but many of them are piloted by ‘people’ that do not originate from planet Earth as well. There are also millions of pages of documents on the subject that’ve been released by dozens of governments.

Dr. Brian O’Leary once said, “There is abundant evidence that we are being contacted, that civilizations have been visiting us for a very long time.” Apollo 14 Astronaut, Dr. Edgar Mitchell told the world, “yes, there have been crashed crafts and bodies recovered” and that “there is no doubt that we are being visited.”

Many of these objects are tracked on radars, and again, have been photographed and video taped for years. For example, here is a photo taken by two Royal Canadian Air Force pilots on August 27th, 1956, in McCleod, Alberta, Canada. (“Physical Evidence Related To UFO Reports” – The Sturrock Panel Report – Electromagnetic Effects) (source) (source)

The evidence is truly overwhelming, and undeniable.

Of course this begs the question, why don’t ‘they’ just show up en masse? Well, perhaps there are still many things we don’t understand. Perhaps ‘they’ have trouble communicating with us, as we do with other species. Perhaps they are afraid and prefer their presence not to be known. Perhaps there are multiple groups out there with multiple motives and agendas, some malevolent, some benevolent, and perhaps there are many who are simply exploring and minding their own business.

Why has this subject been shrouded in secrecy? The answer to that is simple: We are a controlled race, and we don’t have our sh*t together here on Earth. If we did, we’d probably already be a space faring race. UFO technology threatens that in a number of ways, from ‘free energy’ to the destruction of current belief systems about the true nature of reality. The extraterrestrial phenomena could perhaps reveal to humanity something about ourselves that would completely change worldview paradigms–there are a number of implications.

The point is that we are asking questions, our minds are opening, and we are going through a process. Our civilization is very young, and no doubt other civilizations out there had to go through what we are going through before they themselves became a space faring race.

There are still many questions to ask, and a lot of discoveries to be made. We are currently in the beginning of this long yet rapid process that will change our world forever. Perhaps the biggest lesson of ‘looking out there’ is to encourage us to look within, at our own planet, and ask ourselves: What exactly are we doing here, and what is going on?

The awareness of the extraterrestrial presence is also coinciding with many other transitions and awakenings the human race is becoming privy to. We are waking up to deception on all fronts–we are opposing a heightened national security state where the goal seems to be total population control, we are becoming more aware and in tune with our planet and the fact that there are much better ways to operate here on Earth that are more harmonious to all life, and we are becoming aware that we have been deceived on so many levels and on so many topics.

We are waking up.

Sure, official extraterrestrial ‘disclosure’ may never happen, and that’s because it’s a process. We are the discoverers of something that was perhaps already known by our great ancient ancestors. After all, they wrote about it and told many stories about travellers from other places.

Do you really think we are alone? What does your intuition tell you? Have you looked into it? Have you gone through the evidence and seen how strong it is?

The only things holding us back from knowing are our long held beliefs, which are always hard to let go of in light of new information and evidence. As I said, it’s a process.

The Takeaway

The realization that we are not alone is not one that will come in the form of an announcement from a government authority. In fact, it’s a lesson in how we do not need to wait for authoritative figures to tell us what is and what isn’t correct. Too often, we see deception from authoritative figures, and more people are starting to realize that it’s time to rely on their own thinking instead of letting someone else do it for them.

This realization also leaves no aspect of humanity untouched. It has spiritual implications, all the way to technological and scientific implications, and much more. It really opens up pandora’s box, and we haven’t even begun to scrape the tip of the iceberg.

If you enjoyed reading this article and want to see more like this one, we’d be humbled if you would help us spread the word and share it with your friends and family. Join us in our quest to promote free, useful information to all!

This article was written by Arjun Walia for Collective Evolution where it was originally published and has been republished under Creative Commons.

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First Contact: What If We Find Alien Life?



First Contact: What If We Find Alien Life?
Photo Credit: Collective Evolution

If we’re going to spend time and resources searching for extraterrestrial life, we should know what happens when we make alien contact.

Over two decades ago, the first alien planet was detected orbiting another sun. We’ve since spotted more exoplanets, but no discovery has caused a stir quite like the star KIC 8462852 (also known as Tabby’s Star). The odd nature of this alien solar system came to light in September 2015 when astronomers were using Kepler to look for dips in the star’s brightness caused by any orbiting planets passing across its face.

Given that stars are enormous, and planets much smaller by comparison, these fluctuations are usually tiny. Even a Jupiter-sized planet passing in front of a star like the Sun only results in a 1% change. And yet astronomers saw KIC 8462852’s brightness plummeting by up to 22%. Nothing like it had ever been seen before.

What rocketed the find into the news was the fact that some commentators suggested aliens might be responsible for the drop. Since it was too big to be caused by a single planet, some theorised huge mega structures created by an intelligent civilisation might be blotting out the star’s light. They imagined the dimming could be caused by vast banks of solar panels orbiting the star.

Of course there were other, far less fantastic explanations – some said it was likely that a huge swathe of comets was collectively blocking our view. Louisana State University’s Bradley Schaefer disagrees.

Are aliens building a structure around Tabby’s star? (© NASA/JPL-Caltech)

After poring over data, he found that the dimming has been going on for more than a century. His calculations show that nearly 650,000 giant comets would have had to pass by the planet during this time to create the recorded patterns, something he’s dubbed “completely implausible”.

The astronomers behind the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project pointed the radio dishes of the Allen Telescope Array at the star, just in case they could hear something. “We found no indication of an extraterrestrial civilisation at the other end of the telescope,” says SETI’s Douglas Vakoch.

If KIC 8462852 turns out to be a dead end, it’ll be the latest in a line of blanks. Ever since astronomer Frank Drake undertook the first SETI experiment in 1960, we’ve detected no signals that we can definitively say are alien in origin. But that may be about to change.

A Bigger, Better Search For Alien Life

In summer 2015, the late Stephen Hawking and Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner launched Breakthrough Listen, a 10-year, $100m (£66.5m) project billed as the biggest scientific search ever undertaken for signs of intelligent life, which kicked off in February 2016.

Utilising two of the biggest radio telescopes on the planet – the 100m Green Bank Telescope in the US and the 64m Parkes Telescope in Australia – it’ll be more than 50 times as sensitive as previous searches and will cover 10 times more of the sky. It will also listen over a frequency range five times greater than before and will scan through them 100 times as fast. It will eavesdrop on the million closest stars and 100 nearest galaxies for any sniff of civilisation. The search will be sensitive enough to pick up the equivalent of aircraft radar on any of the 1,000 closest stars to Earth.

Along with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerburg, the pair also announced Project Starshot, which will send tiny rockets to search for habitable planets in Alpha Centauri, our nearest solar system.

The fact that Milner is prepared to spend such a vast sum on hunting for aliens shows just how far we’ve come. We now live in the era of exoplanet astronomy, with more than 4,000 confirmed alien worlds beyond the Galaxy. From what we’ve found so far, astronomers estimate there could be 60 billion potentially habitable planets in our Milky Way.

A famous equation formulated by Frank Drake – the Drake Equation – suggests some of them may host to intelligent life. That’s a rich seam to mine. “The search doesn’t appear as futile as in the past,” says the University of Portsmouth’s Bob Nichol, a member of the UK SETI Research Network.

As well as searching for radio signals, they will also look out for laser transmissions. But with all this excitement about detecting future alien signals, what will we do if we find something?

Confirming First Contact

Should we pick up an alien signal, the first hurdle to leap is being able to show definitively that it doesn’t come from anything else.

“To start with, you’d have to put a low probability on it being alien,” says the University of St Andrews’ Duncan Forgan. Once other possibilities have been ruled out, he believes there are important checks that must be carried out. “The first is whether it’s reproducible,” he says.

If a signal is just a one-off then it’s hard to tell anything about it. This is well illustrated by the Wow! signal heard in August 1977. The intense burst of radio waves lasted for 72 seconds and was very close to the frequency that SETI researchers believe an alien civilisation might choose to communicate at. When astronomer Jerry Ehman first saw the signal on a printout from the Big Ear radio telescope in Ohio, he wrote ‘Wow!’ next to it in red ink.

But despite various efforts since, no repeat signal has ever been heard coming from that part of the sky. If a repeat is found, you can confirm it is coming from another planet by the way that planet’s motion affects the signal. “There should be a measurable shift in its spectrum due to the velocity of the planet around the star compared to us,” says Forgan.

The Wow! signal was picked up by the Big Ear telescope in Ohio in August 1977, but no similar signal has been detected since (© Getty Images)

If the discoverer(s) of the signal cannot find anything to rule out aliens, they’ll then throw it open to others teams of astronomers who will do their best to prove it isn’t from ET. “Any suspected signal would become the subject of extreme scrutiny,” says Forgan.

If extraterrestrial technology remains the most plausible explanation then, according to the official ETI Signal Detection protocol, that information should be passed to the UN Secretary General as well as a host of other international organisations. The frequency at which the signal was heard will be protected to keep that channel free from any other radio clutter, and no reply is to be sent until an international consensus on the matter has been reached.

Details of the discovery will be spread rapidly to the general population through the usual media channels, and the person or persons who discovered the signal will tell the world themselves.

It is all well and good confirming an artificial signal from an alien race elsewhere in the cosmos, but if it is a deliberate message rather some eavesdropped technological hum, how will we know what it says? After all, they are unlikely to be fluent in any Earth language. But civilisations within a few tens of light-years of Earth would have received a few decades’ worth of radio signals from Earth, so perhaps they could package up their message in a way they know we’d understand.

Alternatively, it’s been suggested that mathematics might be the language of choice for interstellar chit-chat. Initial contact could be made by beaming out a radio message encoding the list of prime numbers or the Fibonacci sequence. Once both sides know they both speak the same language – maths – you could use binary numbers to send more detailed messages such as pictures. So we’d search any potential message for mathematical structure.

Should We Call Back?

If we do find alien life and start up a conversation, what impact would that have on the wider population? One insight comes from a 1999 survey by The Roper Organization on behalf of the National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDS). When asked how they would cope psychologically with confirmed news of an advanced extraterrestrial civilisation, 32% of respondents said they were “fully prepared to handle it” and 17% said they would “rethink their place in the Universe”.

However, when asked how they thought others would respond, 25% said “most people would totally freak out and panic” and 10% said most others would “act irrationally and become dangerous to others”.

“Much would depend on the contents of the message,” says Forgan. Clearly, detecting the existence of advanced alien technology on a far distant planet is different from an aggressive message threatening imminent invasion. A 1997 survey found that 84% of respondents believed aliens would turn out to be friendly rather than hostile.

Perhaps we can learn something about our reaction to extraterrestrial aggression from Orson Welles’ famous War Of The Worlds broadcast in 1938. The radio version of the HG Wells story was said to be so realistic that many people mistook it as factual and believed aliens were really invading. While reports of mass hysteria were overblown, the same cannot be said when a Spanish version was broadcast in Ecuador in 1949. Crazed crowds took to the streets and at least six people ended up dead.

Should the message not threaten imminent invasion, the thorniest question we’d have to confront is whether or not to send a return message. It’s a topic that currently divides astronomers.

“I was recently at a meeting of UK SETI scientists and there was a quick straw poll. The room was split exactly in half,” says Forgan. He doesn’t believe we should be sending out any kind of deliberate message into space. “I don’t think it’s a good idea to speak to someone when you have no idea who they are,” he says. “I’m not convinced we should be advertising the human race at this point in our existence.”

This is a particular issue if we’ve just eavesdropped on another civilisation without them explicitly sending us a message. They might have no idea of our existence. This hasn’t stopped astronomers before, however. The Arecibo message, for example, was beamed towards the star cluster M13 in 1974. It contained fairly intimate details of who we are and where we can be found.

Now that our search for extraterrestrial intelligence is about to move up a level thanks to Breakthrough Listen, these are questions we are going to have to grapple with properly. There may be rules for how scientists should deal with any suspected signal; what the rest of us should do and how we’re going to feel if that day ever comes is anyone’s guess. But it’s certainly an exciting time to be a citizen of the cosmos.

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