ORLANDO, FL.., June 21, 1996 -- In death Tony Wojtowicz may well be accomplishing what he never could achieve in life. The retired aerospace engineer, who had devoted the last 20 years of his life to a radio search of the heavens, has left his books, notes and equipment to the non-profit SETI League, Inc., leaders in a scientific Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence. The bequest was announced by his widow Aline late last year at the couple's Central Florida home. SETI League executive director Dr. H. Paul Shuch met with Mrs. Wojtowicz yesterday to accept the gift on behalf of his organization.
Equipment donated to the SETI League includes a complete microwave circuit development laboratory, plus receivers, antennas, and computers. The equipment will indeed be used by a younger generation of scientists, notes Shuch. But it is Wojtowicz' laboratory notebooks, two loose-leaf binders representing a lifetime of work, which may prove most valuable to future researchers. "I never had the honor of meeting Tony Wojtowicz," comments Shuch, "but I feel his presence when I read his lab notebooks. Here is a man who spent years pursuing a dream, and documented his every thought and effort thoroughly, methodically, as though he were writing for my personal benefit. I wonder if he knew the historical significance of his work."
Zdizislaw Anthony Gregory Wojtowicz was born in Poland in 1921, and fought with the Polish Resistance during the Second World War. Educated in England, he became a U.S. citizen in 1964 and worked for the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and several prominent aerospace corporations. He was a member of the Planetary Society, a space advocacy group founded by Carl Sagan. Wojtowicz died of natural causes on October 5, 1995. He leaves his wife, three sons and five grandchildren.
SETI scientists seek to determine through microwave and optical measurements whether humankind is alone in the universe. Since Congress terminated NASA's SETI funding in 1993, The SETI League and other scientific groups have been attempting to privatize the research. Experimenters interested in participating in the search for intelligent alien life, or citizens wishing to help support it, should email to 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 electromagnetic Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence.
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