The tests were performed in response to a request from kindered organization Invitation to ETI, a group of 90 scientists and artists engaged in an online Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) experiment. Invitation to ETI maintains a highly visible World Wide Web presence, in hopes of stimulating a dialog with other intelligent civilizations in the Universe. "Because their technology is probably highly advanced," states Prof. Allen Tough of Toronto, the group's founder, "some extraterrestrial species may be using unobtrusive methods of observing humankind and other fledgling civilizations in this Galaxy. As its name indicates, the Invitation to ETI invites these visitors to dialogue with all of humanity. Sooner or later, advanced extraterrestrials will have an enormous impact on humankind."
Over the last few years, Invitation to ETI has received several communications, allegedly from extraterrestrial beings or humans in contact with them. Up until recently, none has proven sufficiently credible to warrant the examination of physical evidence. That changed last October, when an individual initiated a dialog with Prof. Tough and other Invitation scientists, claiming to be able to demonstrate elecromagnetic emissions associated with an alien presence. The claims, though extraordinary, were deemed worthy of further study.
The subject's claim was thoroughly tested in a professional Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) screen room available to The SETI League's New Jersey headquarters. Although the subject appeared intelligent, polite, and cooperative, his claims could not be substantiated in the laboratory.
Neither The SETI League nor Invitation to ETI normally engages in the analysis of physical evidence relating to claimed extraterrestrial technology. "The Invitation to ETI project is based on the likelihood that a highly advanced society will send super-smart nano-probes to study other civilizations, or will monitor our telecommunications in some other way," states Prof. Tough. "We have chosen a web-based invitation as our best bet for contact. Every scientific project has to make choices about what to focus on. Given that we cannot do everything, we seek a highly articulate response from a super-smart alien intelligence. We lack the expertise and (given that we cannot do everything) the motivation to pursue research into UFOs, orbs, abductions, ancient astronauts, and many other fascinating claims and reports of anomalous phenomena. I hope everyone realizes we are not in the business of investigating such claims. We have not changed our focus."
SETI League executive director H. Paul Shuch emphasizes that his organization consists primarily of radio astronomers, not UFOlogists. "However," adds Dr. Shuch, "this claimant asserted a measurable electromagnetic phenomenon, and we were in possession of the resources necessary to test that claim. We do not regret this brief diversion from our accustomed focus, and believe the null result reaffirms the scientific rigor and objectivity of the entire SETI community."
Largely using radio telescopes and optical telescopes, SETI scientists seek to determine whether humankind is alone in the universe. Since Congress terminated NASA's SETI funding in 1993, The SETI League and other scientific groups have privatized the research. Amateur and professional scientists interested in participating in the search for intelligent alien life, and citizens wishing to help support it, should email join_at_setileague_dot_org, check the SETI League Web site at http://www.setileague.org/, send a fax to +1 (201) 641-1771, or contact The SETI League, Inc. membership hotline at +1 (800) TAU-SETI. Be sure to provide us with a postal address to which we will mail further information. The SETI League, Inc. is a membership-supported, non-profit [501(c)(3)], educational and scientific corporation dedicated to the scientific Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence.
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this page last updated 1 January 2005
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